Most Corvette enthusiasts are familiar with the legendary L88 package which was essentially a collection of limited edition racing parts installed on the L71 427/435 hp engine. I would also say that most are not that familiar with the 1970-72 ZR1 package which essentially did the same with the LT-1 350 ci small block. Much rarer than the 216 L88s made the three years prior, only 53 ZR1 Corvettes were produced during the three year span making them the rarest of all Chevy small blocks. So its a pretty big deal when one shows up for sale like this 1972 Corvette ZR1 which was recently listed for sale on eBay.
Rumor has it the ZR1 RPO stood for Zora’s Racer 1. There is no doubt that this special street racing package has Zora Arkus-Duntov’s fingerprints all over it. As the successor to the L88 Corvette which ended production in 1969, the ZR1 package was built on top the L88 chassis utilizing the LT-1 small block. Like the L88s, the ZR1 package included the M22 Muncie Rockcrusher 4-speed heavy duty transmission, J56 heavy duty brakes, transistorized ignition, a special aluminum radiator and a special suspension that included heavy duty springs, shocks, brakes and stabilizer bars.
When the ZR1 was released in 1970, there was no fanfare, magazine comparisons or road tests like we see today. As the corporate ban on racing was still in effect, no promotion was given to a radio-delete street racer. But the back door was wide open, especially when Chevy’s corporate brass were looking the other way. But word did get out to those in the know, and in 1970 25 of these special Corvettes were sold. Over the next two years, the $1,010 ZR1 package would see another 28 more examples make it out into the wild for a total production run of just 53 Corvettes.
This 1972 Corvette ZR1 that showed up on eBay appears to the real deal. Featuring its original engine, drive train, interior and having just 16,295 original miles on the odometer, the Corvette has the provenance of the original tank sticker and its originality was acknowledged by its peers by appearing in the 1999 Bloomington Gold Special Collection.
The Corvette was restored in the mid-1980’s and was repainted with lacquer paint to its original color of Elkhart Green. Inside is the original saddle leather interior and like all 1970-72 Corvette ZR1’s, this example is missing a radio as well as no power windows, power steering, rear window defroster or air conditioning.
The Corvette was recently relisted with a “buy it now” price of $200,000 although offers are being accepted. The auction runs through June 28th, 2010. A premium price for a premium car for sure, but with only 53 examples of the original as well as the success of the new C6 ZR1, I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of these cars start showing up at auction.
For more info or to contact the private seller of this Corvette, check out the ebay listing.