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1971 Corvette Coupe in Nassau Blue
1971 Corvette LS5 Engine Statistics Plate
The LS5 (above engine statistics) was joined by the LS6 (below) for 1971, both as the top horsepower big block options.
1971 Corvette LS6 Engine Statistics Plate
1971 Corvette LS5 365 Horsepower Left: The future had arrived in the form of lower compression ratios for 1971. Unleaded gasoline and its lower octane rating forced the move and an era was over, not to return. The change caused the horsepower ratings of the LS5 motor to go from 390 horsepower via a 10.25:1 compression ration (1970) to 365 horsepower and a 8.5:1 compression ratio. Most reports indicate the performance loss was negligible and gasoline purchasing was easier.

C3 Corvette Hardtop
Corvette hardtops, which had been available starting in 1956 and continued for the C2 and C3 generations as long as convertibles were in the model lineup which was 1975. How they were sold is a bit different than what you might expect - you were given a choice of ordering your Corvette with either a hard top or a soft top - the price was the same. Should you want both you would order RPO C07 which was an extra $274.00 in 1971. Production quantity was 2,619 or 12%. Although it was possible to purchase a Corvette as hard top only - no ragtop - this was rarely done.
C3 Corvette Hardtop
C3 Corvette Hardtop
The C3 hardtops were available with vinyl covering RPO C08 for an additional $63.00. Why somebody would want to make their hardtop Corvette look like a convertible when it already was a convertible is beyond us, but 832 people (3.82%) went that route in 1971.

1971 Corvette in Nassau Blue
1971 Corvette fiber optic light monitoring
1971 was the last year for the fiber optic light monitoring system located behind the shifter.
1971 Corvette Car and Driver Bragging ad 1971 Corvette Sales Brochure Cover
Left: Famous Car and Driver "Bragging" magazine advertisement. Right: 1971 sales brochure cover.

1971 Corvette Stingray For Sale

Nassau Blue and Very Fast
Price: $29,500 obo
Exterior: Nassau Blue
Interior: Blue
Miles: 881
Location: Van Nuys CA

Click Here for more info

Drives excellent. We rebuilt the entire suspension with modern polyurethane bushings and the car handles better than when it left the factory---drives like a mid-engined sports car should (more)

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1971 Corvette Convertible in Brands Hatch Green
1971 Corvette convertible in Brands Hatch Green. Brands Hatch is a motor racing circuit in Kent, England. 7,121 of the 1971 Corvettes were convertibles or 32.66% which was typical of C3 Corvettes from 1969 to 1975.
1971 Corvette Convertible in Brands Hatch Green
1971 Corvette fender
1971 Corvette - Official GM Photo
1971 Corvette: Official GM Photo.

1971 Corvette Options, Prices

RPO Description Production Price
Custom Interior Trim 2,602 (11.94%) $158.00
PU9 White Letter Tires, F70x15, nylon 12,449 (57.10%) $42.00
A31 Power Windows 6,192 (28.40%) $79.00
A85 Custom Shoulder Belts (standard with coupe) 677 (3.11%) $42.00
C07 Auxiliary Hardtop (for convertible) 2,619 (12.01%) $274.00
C08 Vinyl Covering (for auxiliary hardtop) 832 (3.82%) $63.00
C50 Rear Window Defroster 1,598 (7.33%) $42.00
C60 Air Conditioning 11,481 (52.66%) $459.00
J50 Power Brakes 13,558 (62.19%) $47.00
LS5 454 cu. in. 365hp Engine 5,097 (23.38%) $295.00
LS6 454 cu. in. 425hp Engine 188 (0.86%) $1,221.00
LT1 350 cu. in. 330hp Engine 1,949 (8.94%) $483.00
M21 4-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio 2,387 (10.95%) n/a
M22 4-Speed Manual Transmission, close ratio, heavy duty 130 (0.60%) $100.00
M40 Turbo Hydra-Matic Automatic Transmission 10,060 (46.14%) n/a
N37 Tilt-Telescopic Steering Column 8,130 (37.29%) $84.30
N40 Power Steering 17,904 (82.12%) $115.90
P02 Deluxe Wheel Covers 3,007 (13.79%) $63.00
PT7 White Stripe Tires, F70x15, nylon 6,711 (30.78%) $28.00
PU9 White Letter Tires, F70x15, nylon 12,449 (57.10%) $42.00
T60 Heavy Duty Battery (standard with LS5, LS6) 1,455 (6.67%) $15.80
U69 AM-FM Radio 18,078 (82.92%) $178.00
U79 AM-FM Radio, stereo 3,431 (15.74%) $283.00
UA6 Alarm System 8,501 (38.99%) $31.60
ZQ1 Optional Rear Axle Ratio 2,395 (10.99%) $13.00
ZR1 Special Purpose LT1 Engine Package 8 (0.04%) $1,010.00
ZR2 Special Purpose LS6 Engine Package 12 (0.06%) $1,747.00

Total Production: 21,801
Coupe: 14,680 (67.34%)
Convertible: 7,121 (32.66%)

Notes: Base Corvette Coupe with 350 cu. in. 270 hp engine and wide ratio four speed manual transmission: $5,496.00.
Base Corvette Convertible with 350 cu. in. 270 hp engine and wide ratio four speed manual transmission: $5,259.00.


Code Exterior Quantity Interior Soft Top Wheels
905 Nevada Silver 1,177 (5.40%) Black / Dark Blue / Dark Black / White Silver
912 Sunflower Yellow 1,177 (5.40%) Black / Dark Green / Saddle Black / White Silver
972 Classic White 1,875 (8.60%) Black / Dark Blue / Dark Green / Red / Saddle Black / White Silver
973 Mille Miglia Red 2,180 (10.00%) Black / Red Black / White Silver
976 Mulsanne Blue 2,465 (11.31%) Black / Dark Blue Black / White Silver
979 Bridgehampton Blue 1,417 (6.50%) Black / Dark Blue Black / White Silver
983 Brands Hatch Green 3,445 (15.80%) Black / Dark Green Black / White Silver
987 Ontario Orange 2,269 (10.41%) Black / Dark Green / Saddle Black / White Silver
988 Steel Cities Gray 1,591 (7.30%) Black / Saddle Black / White Silver
989 War Bonnet Yellow 3,706 (17.00%) Black / Dark Green / Saddle Black / White Silver

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Comments (3)

The Corvette Storysays...

Look for presence of factory-type rear stabilizer bar only big blocks had these for the 1971.

I assume you do not have the body? The tachometer and oil pressure gauges are different on small / big block C3 Corvettes.

I recommend you look at the NCRS judging manual, they are a good source of info. Also the forums at NCRS.org can be helpful.


Paul Pollock

WebCars! / Corvette Story Webmaster




how can you tell a big block Chassis (no drive train) from a small block chassi on a 1971 corvette coupe/

The 1971 Corvette base coupe and convertible 350 had 270 hp. Not 300hp.

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