This stunning vehicle is a 1971 Corvette Stingray that NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and the guys at Chevrolet put together as a way to show off the 6.2-liter, LT1 V-8’s availability in GM Performance’s E-Rod series of aftermarket powertrain solutions.
The goal of the project was to let the originality of the car shine through while modernizing the running gear with Chevy’s latest and greatest tech pieces.
Chevrolet Performance drew inspiration and design elements from 6-time NASCAR Champion, Jimmie Johnson, and his 1971 Corvette Sting Ray. Driven on stage by Mr. 6-time himself, the ‘71 Corvette isn’t just a typical resto-mod, beyond the LT1, Chevrolet has also added custom modern touches throughout to turn it into a serious head-turner.
The LT1 crate engine not only delivers 460 horsepower, but it also gives hotrodders the latest in small block technology such as Direct Injection and Continuously Variable Valve Timing.
Johnson’s personal car collection includes plenty of classic Chevys that are all outfitted with modern LS engines, including his daily driver, a 1949 Chevrolet Stepside Pickup. This is one of the main reasons why he jumped at the chance to work with Chevrolet Performance’s build team to assemble the first example of a classic Corvette with the Modern LT1.
Speaking of which, tilt the customized hood forward and you’ll find the 6.2L Direct Injection LT1 crate engine resting under the ‘71’s hood. Normally found as the production engine in the 2015 Corvette Stingray, the LT1 is rated at 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. It looks right at home in the C3 and includes technology that was unheard of back in ‘71.
Continuing the modern theme, bolted to the potent small block is a Super Magnum 6-speed manual transmission and free-flowing stainless steel exhaust system that sounded incredible when it rolled on stage. Under the car you will also find a fully adjustable coil-over front and rear suspension, while stopping power comes courtesy of track-proven C6 Corvette Z06 disc brakes.
Along with the all-new modern powertrain and suspension, the classic C3 features custom hood vents inspired by the current Stingray, along with restyled front fender vents and 18-inch Dark Android Rally wheels that mimic the design of the 15-inch rally wheels originally offered in 1971. Finally, the body has been covered in a silver-accented blue exterior inspired by Johnson’s race car.
Though some may not like the idea of throwing old technology into an amazing classic, it’s hard to have any complaints against this beautiful example.
Check out the video of the time lapse below and watch the gorgeous ride be built in less than 35 days from beginning to end!