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427 vs. LT1

Which would you buy? A '69 427/390 or a '71 LT1?

  • 427/390

    Votes: 3 50.0%
  • LT1

    Votes: 3 50.0%

  • Total voters
    6
  • Poll closed .
J

jmp

Guest
Hello all! How's it going?

Well, I'm once again trying to get my hands on my first 'vette, and thought I'd ask for your opinions: all else being equal, which would you get -- a '69 427/390 or a '71 LT1? And why?

Let's just say that both cars are in equally good condition and neither will need much in the way of improvements.

Anyway, I'll just leave it at that for now.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
My 2 cents...

I voted for the 70 LT-1 not so much for the engine, although I love small blocks, but rather because I like the looks of the 70-72 sharks better than the 68-69. The side vents, the flared fender lips, the egg crate front grill, the square tip exhaust. I actually wanted an LT-1 when I started my quest but my wife wanted an automatic so it was not to be. I also see a lot more 427s at shows than LT-1s, and I always thought it would be kinda cool to show up at a show and have a one-of-a-kind car.
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
All things being equal, go for the big block.

It will hold more value over time, and I promise it will get far more attention when you pop the hood open vs. the most radical small block around.

However, chances are, you will not find an original 427 in the same price range as the LT-1--all things being equal.

However, you will be able to find much more mods in a reasonable price range for the small block, and more people that own small blocks that have been there and done it.

Also, on fuel economy, you may get a few more miles per tank out of a 350. That could come in handy if you take a long cruise.
 
B

BBB454

Guest
They don't call me "Big Block Barbie" for nothing...

I love the rumble of the big blocks...

Barb :w
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,195
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
vote

I wanted to vote "YES" but it wasn't there. That would be a hard choice. I would probably buy the nicest of the 2 if I couldn't get both. The LT1 would be the better balanced but the 390hp is a sweet performer.

Tom
 
7

72 Bluz

Guest
Tough choice

I'm with 71Shark on the styling of the 70-72. If I was ever to get another vette, it's BB all the way. Xena would like a Big Brother hehehe

Let's rumble...
72 Bluz
 
J

J.T. Marlin

Guest
I'd take the 427. Emissions-controlled small blocks just don't do it for me, no matter the speed.
 
J

jmp

Guest
Well, thanks for the opinions! Unfortunately it hasn't made my decision any easier! :confused Not that I really thought it would -- I was more curious than anything.

The problem is, all else is not equal. Both cars have rebuilt original engines, but neither has been "restored". However, the LT1 is in awesome shape while the '69 ad states "int nds TLC". (I'm seeing the car on the weekend, so I'll have a better understanding on exactly what the means.) And, of course, the LT1 is $10K more expensive! :eek

I do have one question though: Chris states that the 427 will hold its value better. Is this true, even given that this 427 is 1 of ~10000 made, while the LT1 is 1 of ~1200?

Later,

Joseph
 
J

J.T. Marlin

Guest
I think the fact that people like big block, high-ouput engines more than small blocks makes the value of the 427 hold its value better.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
jmp said:
I do have one question though: Chris states that the 427 will hold its value better. Is this true, even given that this 427 is 1 of ~10000 made, while the LT1 is 1 of ~1200?

I've heard it said and I believe it's true that there is a buyer for everything at almost any price if the seller has time to wait. Whether it holds water or not, the Corvette Fever annual price guide issue a couple months back shows that the price diff b/w BB and SB is narrowing rapidly. It showed that though the price of all of the older Vettes is increasing, the BB cars are slowing down. As with anything like this, it's subject to interpretation and trends come and go. I guess what it comes down to is personal taste. Personally, I don't see me getting rid of my shark for many, many years and the enjoyment it gives us is profit enough for me. Moral of the story: a Vette is a Vette, get the one you want and enjoy it and if it doesn't do it for you, get another one, and so on and so on...
 

Tom Bryant

Well-known member
Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,195
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
speaking of trends......

Earlier this summer when gas prices were so high BB and high performance small blocks actually were in less demand than the base engine cars. Highly unusual. They appear to be bouncing back again though. A high performance car will return you more money but can also be harder to live with if you intend to drive it a lot. But then that isn't always true either. My '67 390 horse should have been an easy maintenance driver but required frequent plug cleanings. My '70 LS6 454/450hp El Camino with it's high compression and solid lifters ect. required practically no maintenance.

The LT1 will always be in demand because they were a very special car and, as you have noted, far fewer made. Having owned both big block and small block cars and with the difference in condition I would buy the LT1. It just sounds like a great car that you can use and enjoy right from the start without thinking about all of the things it needs.

Tom
 
7

70 LT-1 convert

Guest
I agree with 71shark also. Not just because I own a 70 LT-1 but when I attend the local shows I found that people want to see the rare vette. I really enjoy talking about the LT-1 and I often dont get a chance to see all the other cars because of the questions and stories people have for me. Good luck in your search.
 
J

jmp

Guest
71Shark said:


Whether it holds water or not, the Corvette Fever annual price guide issue a couple months back shows that the price diff b/w BB and SB is narrowing rapidly. It showed that though the price of all of the older Vettes is increasing, the BB cars are slowing down.

Which issue? I'd like to take a look at that. Do you know if I can back order issues? (If not, I guess I'm off to the library!) I suppose the prices are all US$ for the US market (I'm in Canada)?
 
B

Bullitt

Guest
LT-1 camshaft

I like both the LT-1 and the 390/427. Come to think of it, I like all kinds of noisy V-8s. The problem with the LT-1 though, is the way the camshaft was developed. According to the guy who designed the cam, it's a lousy choice for street driving. The book "How to Restore and Modify Your Corvette 1968-1982" by Richard Newton, has a section on the LT-1 cam. To quote; "The only reason he designed the camshaft was to keep Duntov happy at the proving grounds. Zora always liked high rpm engines. He was willing to sacrifice everything to run over 6000rpm. With the LT-1 he gave up all the power under 3000rpm. This is not something you really want to do." So if you want to do a lot of real world driving, plan on replacing that camshaft. Also, pick up Richard Newton's book. It's wonderful to read about someone who has already been there. And like 71shark said, get what you want!--Bullitt.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,237
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Re: LT-1 camshaft

Bullitt said:
Come to think of it, I like all kinds of noisy V-8s.

What?!? You too? And I thought I was the only one. :L

Ken
 
J

jmp

Guest
Re: LT-1 camshaft

Bullitt said:
And like 71shark said, get what you want!--Bullitt.

:( And therein lies the problem -- there's not much choice where I live. Around here there's an $18K 427/390 that'll require another $20K to look and run good; an $30K LT1 which doesn't pass the local environmental regs; and a $45K ex L71 (the engine is no longer an L71, even though it's being advertised that way--sort of). The LT1 is looking like the best bet, but I think I really want a 427 (I think :confused ).

*All prices in Canadian funds.

I seriously considering looking in the US, but 'vettes are more expensive there, especially when you factor in the lousy exchange rate. :cry Plus, I'm not sure what duties, etc. have to be paid for shipping it up here.

*Sigh* Maybe more will become available by the end of the summer. :(
 
R

redmist

Guest
Never being one to withold an opinion.....
Ideally find a body style you like with no engine or one with little redeeming value.
Do a Chris McDonald on it, tear it down and build it up with updated brakes and suspension. (and A/C)
Get that new aluminum 427 "small block" from chevy and build it up.
Unworldly power, looks and handling for a lot cheaper than a semi restored classic. (More fun too!) If you get tired of it, yank the engine, sell the rest and find a new receptacle.
 

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