Article Contributed by Steve Burns
Next up in our preview of Mecum Auctions’ 2011 Kissimmee Sale is a highly desirable C3. Mecum will be selling Lot F65, a rare Pewter Silver 1972 LT-1 convertible at approximately 12:30pm on Friday January 28th.
The solid lifter LT-1 engine would end its 3 year run at the conclusion of the 1972 model year. Between 1970 and 1972 just 4,977 Corvettes escaped St. Louis with the high winding 350CI powerplant. Of those, 1,741 were produced in 1972 which equaled roughly 6.5% of production that year. Compare the total quantity of LT-1’s to the 9,374 factory examples of the highly desirable L71 427/435 big block during its 3 year run and you can see just how rare a LT-1 Corvette is. At $483.45 RPO LT-1 cost $188.55 more than the torquey LS5 big block motor. A 4 speed transmission was mandatory with the LT-1.
1972 was somewhat of a transition year for the C3 as it marked the final year of chrome front and rear bumpers and the pop out rear window. The troublesome fiber optic light monitoring system was now gone and the anti-theft alarm became standard equipment. This was also the first year in which the factory engine designation showed up in the Vehicle Identification Number. For example, LT-1’s have a “L” as the fifth digit in their VIN’s.
Lot F65 is claimed to be a matching numbers car that has received a frame off restoration. The exterior wears the lowest production color for 1972 – Pewter Silver. Only 1,372 were painted in the attractive one-year-only color. The interior features the base vinyl interior finished in basic black. The whole appearance is finished off by a set of Firestone Wide Oval tires. Inside the tidy engine compartment knowledgeable enthusiasts will notice that the AIR system is missing as are the vertical ignition shields. Typically these items were tossed very soon after the vehicle was purchased as they either got in the way or robbed valuable engine power. It’s pretty common to not see them on any year LT-1 Corvette.
LT-1’s continue to be very popular in the collector car market due to their rarity and performance. One publication a few years ago claimed that they will be the next $100,000 Corvettes. It’s not likely we’ll see those types of figures any time soon, however we can expect this car to bring very strong bidding when it crosses the block on Friday afternoon. LT-1 convertibles in this condition don’t come up for sale very often so when we do see one, there are numerous people looking to place it in their garage.
Tune into Mecum’s webcast about 12:30pm at Mecum.com to watch the car go through the auction process.
Tune into CorvetteBlogger.com tomorrow as we spotlight a few of the Corvettes up for grabs on Saturday January 29th in Kissimmee.
Discovery’s HD Theater will have live coverage of the event’s final two days. The schedule is below:
- Friday 6:00-10:00PM ET
- Saturday 2:00-8:00PM ET
Don’t get HD Theater? Then checkout the webcast Mecum.com or grab a $15 ticket at the door.
Checkout the full Mecum Kissimmee event schedule.