1970 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 Convertible - SOLD
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One, yes, it’s a real-deal LT-1. Two, yes, it’s matching-numbers. And three, we have detailed ownership history back to day one, receipts dating back more than 30 years, and a fully intact tank sticker to back it up.

Not all great cars are perfect and very few perfect cars are truly great. TV shows and auctions make it seem like only frame-off restored trailer queens are worth owning, but our experience here tells a very different story. Yes, if you want a car that wins awards and you don’t care how it drives, there are plenty of those around. But if you’re like most of us with more modest means and a desire to actually use your collector car as a car rather than static art, then perhaps you should consider something with a little history already in place, something like this fantastic 1970 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 convertible. A few important points: One, yes, it’s a real-deal LT-1. Two, yes, it’s matching-numbers. And three, we have detailed ownership history back to day one, receipts dating back more than 30 years, and a fully intact tank sticker to back it up. If you want a quality ‘Vette with a pedigree and don’t mind a little character built right in, this is a fantastic choice.

Code 975 Marlboro Maroon is this car’s original color and yes, it has been repainted—we have the receipt from 1987 showing that Corvette Connection in Florida gave it a respray along with a new top, and that’s what’s on the car today. They must have done a great job because the car still looks very good, with a soft shine that only time can create and which looks a lot more authentic on an old ‘Vette than a modern two-stage job. It’s just about the right color, too, with Marlboro maroon being a bit less bold and a little softer than, say, Madeira Maroon, and the combination of the subtle color and the sledgehammer LT-1 engine is extremely appealing. There’s absolutely zero evidence that this car was ever hit, wrecked, or damaged and it fits together just about the way you’d expect a 50-year-old ‘Vette to fit, with decent gaps, a solid feel to the doors, and no issues in the usual areas around the headlight doors. I also note that the bumpers were re-chromed at that time and the LT-1 stripes and decals were reapplied to the hood. It’s not quite a survivor, but it is quite nicely preserved and shows very well no matter where you take it. Best of all, you can drive it without worries about bugs, rock chips, or other maladies that freeze trailer queen owners in their tracks. That might be the ultimate luxury when you own a Corvette.

The black upholstery remains in excellent condition and we note that when it was repainted, it also received new seat covers. Again, the passage of another 30 years makes them look extremely authentic and had I not seen the receipt, I would have been inclined to believe they were original. It feels just right to settle in behind the wheel of this Corvette and everything is instantly familiar, even if you’ve never been in one before—that’s design done right. There are more recent carpets on the floor which are in excellent shape, but things like the door panels and dash pad appear to be original, which speaks to the care this car has received. It spent its early life in North Carolina, then Virginia, then Florida, so sun was always a part of the equation, but it was clearly well protected because there’s no cracking or other signs of UV damage. All the gauges are bright and fully operational, including the 6500 RPM redline tachometer, which was unique to the high-revving LT-1. The factory AM/FM radio is still in the center console and yes, all the fiber-optic indicators work properly, too. Nice! It appears that only the clock is inoperable, which isn’t surprising. The aforementioned black convertible top installed 30 years ago remains in excellent shape, folding easily behind the seats and with a crystal clear rear window that hasn’t been yellowed by age. And in any early C3, I suppose it’s also important to note that the windshield wipers work properly, popping out of their hidden compartment when you hit the switch.

The 350 cubic inch LT-1 engine was the most expensive engine option and tied with A/C as the most expensive option of all on 1970 Corvettes. It was nearly 50% more than the LS5 big block, which explains why only 1287 were built. Today as in 1970, it remains a mistake to simply look at cubic inches to judge a motor, and in many enthusiast’s opinion, the LT-1 is the finest iteration of the Chevy small block ever built. Grunting out 370 horsepower and 380 pounds of torque, it’s certainly potent, but it also loves to rev (that 6500 RPM redline isn’t just for show). Thanks to a solid lifter cam, 11:1 compression, and a host of airflow improvements, the LT-1 snarls and roars when you really get into it, yet remains remarkably docile if you’re just tooling around. GM clearly invested big in getting this engine right, although it was discontinued due to emissions laws.

This is unquestionably the car’s original, numbers-matching engine, showing a correct partial VIN stamp as well as the CTK suffix code that denotes 350 cubic inches, 370 horsepower, manual transmission, and a transistorized ignition, so it’s definitely legit. It has been serviced and maintained all its life, including rebuilding the heads and top end in the 1990s (which was about 12,000 miles ago). The carburetor has also been rebuilt more recently, but we do not believe that the engine itself has ever been out of the car, which is fairly remarkable. And before you start to fret about mileage, remember that this is a small block Chevy we’re talking about and it exhibits no signs of abnormal wear, no smoke, no weird noises, plenty of oil pressure, and it’s not even much of a leaker. Calm down, this engine has plenty of life left in it. We cleaned the engine bay but didn’t repaint or alter any originality, and we believe that’s mostly original Chevy Orange paint on the block, factory-issue finned valve covers, and even original exhaust manifolds that are in shockingly good condition (more proof that this car has never seen inclement weather). The ignition shielding is intact and the original distributor lives inside, so it fires, idles, and runs like it did in 1970. A/C wasn’t available on the high-winding LT-1 and neither power steering nor power brakes were added to this one, so it remains a pure driving experience. Don’t worry, I promise you can handle it because this LT-1 is light, agile, and more connected to the road than any early ‘Vette I’ve ever driven (and I’ve driven a lot of them).

The transmission is likewise the original close-ratio Muncie M21, which was the only choice on the LT-1. The undercarriage is extremely tidy for a 50-year-old car, with exactly zero rust or critical damage, particularly in the areas just ahead of the rear tires where C3s always have issues. There’s an older exhaust system that still sounds great and there’s a long list of recent service work that includes front end steering components, bushings, shocks, rear spring, hardware, brakes, calipers, rotors, pads, and hoses. Yes, it’s a bit grimy, but remember that we’re talking about a car you’re going to drive on real roads, not a trailer queen, so it’s probably better that someone else already got it dirty for you. The LT-1 still sounds potent at idle with a nice mechanical whirr from the solid lifters and a muted V8 burble from the tailpipes that escalates as you run it through the gears. The suspension is surprisingly compliant, making this a fine long-distance cruiser, although the standard 3.70 gear on a Posi makes it a little busy on the highway. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt it—it revs to 6500 RPM, so a 3500 RPM cruising speed is nothing. 8-inch Rally wheels are unmarked and feature fat 225/70/15 Goodyear radials with plenty of life left in them.

As I mentioned, documentation on this car is extensive. Most importantly, we have the original tank sticker that remains completely legible and proves that this is a real LT-1. There are two huge binders full of information, with one showing a detailed ownership history compiled by the fellow who owned the car for more than 35 years. Every title ever issued, he tracked it down—there’s even an affidavit in there showing that the car was repossessed in 1973! That’s pretty cool. We also have extensive service receipts dating back to the mid-1980s all the way up to 2014. You want an excellent documentation package with your Vette? This car delivers.

We had a saying at the Corvette shop where I used to work: “I can get my small block car around the track faster than your big block car.” The LT-1 is proof of concept. There might be a few big block cars that will outrun it in a drag race ( VERY few) but none of them are as agile, nimble, and downright tossable as this LT-1. Where the big block cars fight using brute force, the LT-1 is a scalpel that carves them up and throws them away. If you delight in the driving experience, this car will reward you in ways that you can’t imagine until you’re behind the wheel. Don’t think about what it isn’t, just focus on what it is: a rock-solid car with an awesome look and bulletproof pedigree. How can you go wrong with that? Call today!

Vehicle: 1970 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 Convertible
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 115024
Mileage: 1318
VIN: 194670S411304
Engine: 350 cubic inch LT-1 V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.7
Wheelbase: 98 inches
Wheels: 15-inch Rally wheels
Tires: 225/70/15 Goodyear radial
Exterior Color: Marlboro Maroon
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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