Early Shark With Late-Model Powertrain A Tasty Blend Of Style And Might

There are so many benefits of today’s cars, but many feel they can’t hold a candle to the style and design of earlier designs. This 1971 Corvette Stingray shows exactly how the benefits of both old, and new, can blend together to make a killer package.

Admittedly, the base for the conversion already clicks so many of the “want” boxes – bumpers front and rear, convertible, ’71 Corvette… Need we say more? Now, some of you will change the channel almost instantly when you find out that this car is actually an auto-equipped Corvette, but for us, we’re okay with that because it has so much to offer. And, besides, we think that’s likely how the owner wanted it.

The video above was posted on High Tech Corvette’s YouTube channel in 2012, so the car has been around for a while. But, even so, the classic lines and modern drivetrain are still cutting edge and relevant for today. While there isn’t much show of the engine or interior, we think that the outside is precisely what pops in our head when you say modern driver, early-‘70s Corvette.

We don’t typically default to all the shiny stuff unless it came from the factory that way. That said, we think the choice of rims blend well with the car’s styling and the (something other than Corvette Red) paint just gives this Corvette more of that “car next-door” kind of appeal to us.

Upgrades are evident, but not overbearing. Sometimes restraint is the most important tool in the shed, and we think this car uses it quite well. We wonder what an early-70s styled ZL-1 might look like on that hood instead of the Blue1 logo? Thoughts?

Admittedly, what makes this Corvette stand out is the LS9 engine that proudly gleams up out of that ZR1-style window, now molded into the center of the car’s big-block style hood. We’re usually not fans of stacking features on hood-lines like this (think hood-scoop on top of another hood-scoop), but since the ZR1 window follows the basic lines of the factory hood, we see it as a positive. The vote is not settled on whether we’d put the ZR1 logo on the hood, but we’re unsure what we’d do differently. Again, someone else’s car, and they didn’t ask us, so value that info as what you paid for it.

There is real-time performance data which leads us to believe that there are a lot more functions available than what this car had originally, when it left the factory.

Other hints that there’s something more going on, are the quad set of exhaust tips out back. Again, not a big thing, but something different that most would notice, but many won’t. From what we can see of the interior, the seats have been updated but don’t look out of place and gauges, steering wheel and perhaps some other creature comforts have been updated as well, but not over-sold. The video description does say that the car’s radio now has Bluetooth, and the fact that the video shows performance data tells us that there’s a lot more going on electronically inside the car than simply a hands-free device.

The video even shows a little bit of dyno time to the tune of 536 rwhp and 480 lb/ft of torque.

When you get to the part of the video where the car is idling, you’ll likely note the super-smooth, yet throaty idle that this car has. When you get to the dyno portion of the video, it becomes more obvious why today’s engines are finding their way under the hoods of vintage cars with the goal of being a “driver”.

Hearing the car idle, you can tell there’s something new breathing through those four exhaust exits.

All in all, we’d love to know how this car is doing after all these years, and how many miles have hit the odometer since it was built by Houston-based Fastlane. Many cars have been built in a similar fashion, all in the name of making them “drivers” and in this case, we hope they held true to their word. We wonder if there have been any changes to the original build and if the owners have found anything that they would have done differently? Personally, we can’t find anything that we would have done differently and we’d love to have this early shark as a daily! Hopefully, it continues to bring miles of smiles to it’s owner(s) and perhaps one day, our paths might cross – hopefully on the highway!

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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