Mecum Auctions are legendary for the wide selection of Chevy Corvettes available, and last week’s 35th Annual Indy Spring Classic was no exception. There were numerous historically significant Vettes to be found amongst the 2,504 lots on offer, but none quite so rare as this 1971 Corvette ZR2 convertible. One of just two constructed for the single year it was offered, this Brands Hatch Green example is unrestored, having covered just 8,702 original miles from new.
The 1971 Corvette ZR2 package was decidedly pricey at $1,747, but the optional $1,221 LS6 454 cubic-inch Big Block rated at 425 horsepower was included in the price. The ZR2 option included the M22 heavy-duty close ratio four-speed manual, heavy-duty power brakes, transistor ignition, special aluminum radiator, metal fan shroud, and F41 Special Suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, special springs and shocks. In essence, it was the ZR1 package, but with the LS6 Big Block. Of the twelve total ZR2s built, only two were convertibles.
The Corvette ZR2 we featured previously is one of those two convertibles, making it one of the rarest Corvettes of all time. It is unrestored, in remarkable condition having accumulated only 8,702 miles from new, and likely the lowest-mileage ZR2 in existence. Its factory coat of Brands Hatch Green is still glossy, as is the black leather interior. This ZR2 comes with both hard and soft tops.
This Corvette ZR2 has been awarded multiple accolades including a Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Triple Diamond Award in 2001, the Bloomington Gold Great Hall Inductee Award in 2011, Bloomington Gold Benchmark and Certified Survivor awards in 2015, and a National Corvette Restorers Society Top Flight Award in 2017.
As previously mentioned, the Corvette ZR2 convertible’s Brands Hatch Green paint shows the considerable care it has received over the years. Brightwork is in fine nick, with no pitting or patina noted. Painted Corvette Rally wheels are shod in Blackwall bias ply tires, and are trimmed with center caps and beauty rings.
The Corvette ZR2 interior features black leather seats that show minor creasing, but no appreciable wear. The Custom Interior Trim option features faux wood panels on the door cards and center console. This is a radio-delete car, as evidenced by the blank plate just below the center gauge stack. Carpets show little sign of wear, and there are no splits or signs of curling on the dash top, a problem common on Stingrays of this era.
The one-year-only 454 cube, 425-horsepower LS6 Big Block resides beneath the hood of this Corvette ZR2. Unrestored, original, and not overly detailed, the engine bay is that of an honest car. Some of the orange valve cover paint has flaked, and the A.I.R. pump is missing its drive belt. There is no ignition shielding as this is a radio-delete car.
This one-of-kind Corvette ZR2 sold for $962,500 inclusive of fees, just making it into the top ten most expensive lots to change hands last week. It was sold with all awards and certificates, the tank sticker, Vehicle Purchase Order, shipping invoice, Protect-O-Plate. You can see the final result here at the Mecum Auctions Indy Spring Classic listing.