Thing is, time marches on, and so do the standards of automotive performance. While there's certainly nothing at all wrong with the classic small- and big-block V8 engines the Corvette has been fitted with over the years, the latest pushrod V8 in the current C7 Corvette is the best ever designed and built by The General, equipped as it is with continuously variable valve timing and direct injection to pump out 460 horsepower while still meeting the latest efficiency and emissions requirements.
Chevrolet has teamed up with NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson on the creation seen here at today's SEMA Show. Behind the aforementioned Gen V LT1 V8 sits a six-speed manual gearbox that, like the engine itself, can be found in GM's expansive aftermarket parts catalog. Adjustable coil-over suspension bits replace the stock pieces, and the 18-inch blacked-out wheels were made to emulate the rallye wheels of the 1971 original.
All the details can be seen down below, along with a video showing the collaborative effort between the boys from Chevy and Johnson in creating this modern/classic custom.
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.
"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.
"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.