1971 Corvette Convertible
1971 Corvette Convertible
This 1971 Corvette convertible was sold by Book Chevrolet in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to its first owner, Howard Schlieper of Pittsburgh, who babied it for 17 years. After passing through a series of brokers, it was purchased in 1989 by leading Corvette authority and Corvettes at Carlisle co-founder Chip Miller. Its third owner? You guessed it: Ed Foss, who purchased it for his renowned collection from Chip Miller at Corvettes at Carlisle in 1999.
The GM labor dispute of 1969 caused that year’s production to extend into 1970, so Chevrolet treated 1971 as an extension of the previous year’s production run. Few cosmetic changes were therefore made, as the first priority became readying engines for lower-octane unleaded fuel. After reaching its peak with the 370-horsepower LT1 of 1970, Corvette’s workhorse small block in carbureted form (the Rochester fuel-injected L84 of 1965 was the all-time champ at 375 HP) was detuned for 1971 production to meet the flood of federal regulations limiting emissions. The first step to meeting these new requirements was to lower compression ratios, which manufacturers did across their model ranges, and Corvette was no exception. Even so, horsepower in the baseline 350 CI small block fell just 30 points to 270, while still retaining the same 360 lb-ft torque rating of the solid-lifter LT1 rated at 330 HP. The pair of 454 CI engines offered in 1971 received the same treatment. The LS5 dropped from 390 to 365 HP at 4,800 RPM, while its LS6 counterpart cranked out 425 HP at 5,600 RPM, with respective torque ratings of 465 and 475 lb-ft. These were still highly respectable figures; if they seemed diminished, it was only in the context of the unbridled powerplants that had preceded them in the halcyon days of the laissez-fairer ’60s.
At an amazing 1,902 original miles, this 1971 Corvette convertible remains unrestored and original, even in such easily perishable details as the engine suffix sticker on the right side valve cover of its 350/270 HP small-block V-8 engine, the torquey and flexible base power unit that year. The car’s brilliant Mulsanne Blue paint is matched by a strikingly pristine Bright Blue standard vinyl interior offering high-backed bucket seats with woven inserts, Soft Ray-tinted glass, power steering and a Delco AM/FM radio. A Muncie 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction rear end were still common Corvette fare for those who took the purist’s approach, and Rally wheels wearing Goodyear Wide tread F70-15 tires were also the overwhelming favorite. Following his usual practice, upon purchasing the car collector Ed Foss immediately submitted his new acquisition for judging. The results spoke volumes about this Corvette’s incredible state of preservation: Bloomington Gold, Survivor and Benchmark Certification, the NCRS National Top Flight Award scoring a near perfect 99.3 and the Chevy Vettefest Triple Crown—all in the 2000 calendar year. Documented with the original window sticker Protect-O-Plate, bill of sale, copies of previous titles and odometer statements, this car is ready to thrill its next owner as one of the lowest-mileage, best preserved examples of its kind.
– Unrestored with 1,902 original miles – Formerly part of the Chip Miller Collection – Documented with the original window sticker, Protect-O-Plate, bill of sale, copies of previous titles and odometer statements – Bloomington Gold Benchmark, Survivor and Gold Certified in 2000 – National NCRS Top Flight Award in 2000 scoring 99.3 – Chevy VetteFest Triple Crown in 2000 – 350/270 HP V-8 engine, 4-speed – Power steering, Delco AM/FM radio – Mulsanne Blue with Bright Blue interior – Rally wheels with Goodyear tires – Three registered owners since new – Sold new at Book Chevrolet in Pittsburgh, PA – The original owner kept the car until 1987 – After passing through a series of brokers, the car was acquired by Chip Miller in 1989 – Chip Miller sold the car to Ed Foss in 1999 at the Corvettes at Carlisle auction – Part of the Ed Foss Collection since 1999