THE CAR AND ITS OWNER
1971 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1 coupe owned by Bill Adlman
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
With their sloping noses and bulging fenders, the “Mako Shark” Corvettes were sales hits when they arrived in showrooms for the 1968 model year. But with the dawn of 1970s government emission controls and safety regulations, America’s favorite sports car began to lose some of its oomph under the hood and in 1972 sacrificed its sleek chrome front bumper to a clunkier plastic version. Buyers in 1971 could resist the Corvette’s loss of muscle by checking off the LT-1 engine option, which still pumped out 330 horsepower thanks to a host of beefier parts, from carburetor to crankshaft. “It is somewhat of a rare car,” Adlman says of his coupe. “In 1971, Chevrolet produced only 1,949 LT-1s.”
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
After an extensive nationwide search with the help of the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS), he bought his car from a New Jersey owner.
“The car has recently been totally restored,” Adlman says. “It is in the same condition as it was when it was purchased by the original owner in 1971. It’s all numbers-matching (matching engine and frame serial numbers) and all parts are authentic. In the fall of 2015, it was judged by the NCRS in terms of originality and condition. It was given a ‘Top Flight’ award for scoring 96.9 out of 100.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“Enjoy it, drive it and preserve it,” he advises.
Adlman estimates the Corvette is worth about $50,000.
THE BOTTOM LINE
After breaking his engagement with his high school and college sweetheart in 1971, Adlman says he boosted his spirits by selling the engagement ring and putting the money toward a brand-new LT-1 coupe. “It was gorgeous,” he says. “It had a four-speed transmission and it was a great vehicle for my college days.” Just 12 weeks later, the Corvette was stolen from the front of his Manhattan apartment building. “I received payment from the insurance company and decided to scale down to a car that would be around for more than 12 weeks,” he says. “From that point on, I always felt that someday I would once again own my 1971 Corvette.”