SEMA is now in full swing and the cars keep on coming. 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 new availability in GM Performance’s E-Rod series of aftermarket powertrain solutions.

The team started with a rough ’71 Stingray that had seen better days. It’s deep Brands Hatch Green paint showing signs of fade and the worn out 350-cubic-inch V-8 in need of spicing up. A frame-off restoration was needed to bring the Vette’s body back into shape. Johnson helped the design team sketch up the perfect look for the resto-mod. Modern flair like the C7 hood heat extractor and side gill vents were added to bring the two Corvette eras together.

Of course, the worn out suspension was updated to modern, adjustable, coil-over shocks with thick anti-roll bars, and the brakes were swapped for those normally found on a C6 Corvette Z06.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Jimmie Johnson.

  • 1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson
  • Year:
    1971
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    460
  • Torque @ RPM:
    465
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front-engine, Rear-Drive
  • Price:
    150000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Preview Video

Exterior

1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson High Resolution Exterior
- image 576067
A similar heat extractor like the one found on the current C7 Corvette Stingray is added.

The C3 Corvette Stingray keeps its original shape, with its bulging front fenders, T-top roof, sloping B-pillars and chrome bumpers front and rear. The original hood that housed the 350, V-8 powerplant is swapped for the domed hood found on the more powerful 454 V-8 and 350, V-8, LT-1 Vettes. A similar heat extractor like the one found on the current C7 Corvette Stingray is added. The signature side gills also sport a similar look.

Johnson chose an exterior paint color called J.J. Blue. The deep grey is accented by even deeper After Midnight trim and Satin Dark Android graphic accents. The look fits the Stingray rather well.

The wheels are 18-inch Rally-style rollers designed to look like the 15-inch Rally wheels originally on the car from 1971. The larger wheels not only look the part, but also provide the clearance needed for the large brakes to fit and allow for low-profile tires for better handling.

Interior

Johnson and the Chevy team didn’t let the interior go unnoticed. The seats are styled after the original buckets but are covered in black leather with suede inserts. A placard on the seatback shows off Johnson’s signature. The three-spoke steering wheel also gets updates with suede wrappings. A few carbon-fiber trim pieces help round out the interior’s makeover.

The Corvette still enjoys its removable T-top roof panels and removable rear glass for a convertible-like open-air experience.

Drivetrain

1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson Drivetrain
- image 576066
The LT1 also features oil-spray piston coolers to keep internal temperatures down.

Of course the biggest news is under the Stingray’s hood. It’s the latest in GM’s arsenal of small-block engines, the 6.2-liter, LT1 V-8. Just like the LT1 found in the current Corvette Stingray, this engine gets all the same technology that makes the C7 so powerful. Direct fuel injection and variable valve timing help make the most power without using an excessive amount of fuel while the aluminum block and heads help keep weight down.

The LT1 also features oil-spray piston coolers to keep internal temperatures down. A two-stage, variable-displacement oil vane pump keeps oil flowing throughout the engine while an offset water pump and thermostat keep the water circulating. A coil-on-plug ignition system ensures a powerful spark from the iridium-tipped spark plugs.

All this translates into a mighty 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Chevy is backing up the engine with a Super Magnum six-speed manual transmission for quicker shifts than the original four-speed manual unit.

Drivetrain Specifications:

Type Gen V LT1 crate engine
Displacement 6.2-liters
Bore & stroke 4.06 in. x 3.62 in.
Block material Cast aluminum
Cylinder head material Cast aluminum
Valvetrain} Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery Direct injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 460
Torque (lb-ft) 465

Construction Time lapse

Prices

1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson High Resolution Exterior
- image 576065

While this Corvette is a beautiful work of automotive art, Chevy would be quick to point out the LT1 is available for sale in GM’s growing list of E-Rod powertrain packages. GM has done the legwork by offering a pre-packaged, ready-to-start, plug-and-play engines and transmissions that allow customers to drop in a modern LS engine into whatever they chose.

Chevy is offering the LT1 with both a wet and dry oil sump system so folks can get exactly what they need.

Option Price
LT1 crate engine - wet sump version $11,000
LT1 crate engine - dry sump version $11,250
Controller/harness kit $2,250
Front-end accessory drive kit $725

Conclusion and Unveiling

Jimmie Johnson’s 1971 Corvette Stingray turned out to be a beautiful example of what time, money, and an antique car can do. There is little wonder why the resto-mod trend is growing these days, with vintage cars offering on-par performance to today’s sports cars. While it’s somewhat sad to see what could have possibly been a numbers-matching, mostly original Corvette be modified, its also amazing to see what modern technology can do for these vintage machines.

  • Leave it
    • Another original 1971 Vette now lost
    • No more noises from the four-barrel carb

Press Release

NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson collaborated with Chevrolet to personalize a vintage 1971 Corvette with exterior and interior updates, and an all-new Gen V LT1 crate engine.

1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson Exterior
- image 575917

“This car not only has the look, but the power train is going to make it sound fast and responsive,” said Jimmie Johnson. “ And it’s a 1971 classic.”

The LT1 crate engine brings modern technology to resto-mod vehicles, including continuously variable valve timing and direct injection. It’s rated at 460 horsepower.

The crate engine from Chevrolet Performance is offered in wet sump (part number 19328728) or dry sump (part number 19329997) versions. Chevrolet also offers the electronic controller and harness (part number 19303137) and a front-end accessory drive system (part number 19329990), to support engine integration. Some custom fabrication by the Chevrolet build team was required to install it in the classic “C3” Corvette. It’s matched with a new Super Magnum six-speed manual transmission also offered by Chevrolet Performance for retro-fit installations.

The LT1 crate engine is available now with a suggested retail price of $11,000 for the wet sump version and $11,250 for the dry sump.

The controller/harness kit lists for $2,250 and the front-end accessory drive kit is priced at $725. They will be available in January 2015.

Johnson’s resto-mod Corvette also has an updated chassis, with adjustable coil-overs replacing the original front and rear suspension components, for more precise handling. The track-proven brakes from a C6 Corvette Z06 have also been adapted to the car, giving it exceptional stopping power.

Along with the all-new powertrain, the classic Corvette features a custom hood vent inspired by the current Stingray, along with restyled front fender vents and 18-inch wheels that emulate the design of the 15-inch rally wheels originally offered in 1971.

Johnson selected a unique silver-blue exterior color, with After Midnight dark silver trim accents and Satin Dark Android graphic accents.

Inside, Johnson selected original-style bucket seats trimmed in black leather with suede inserts. He also selected a suede-wrapped, three-spoke steering wheel, as well as carbon fiber accents. Johnson’s signature is also featured on the floor console, door panels and seat backs.

1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson Exterior
- image 575918

“Jimmie Johnson is an enthusiast who has restored several classic Chevrolets and he knew exactly what he wanted – classic design supported by modern performance,” said Campbell.

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