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Classic Corvettes trade hands among car buyers nearly constantly, but when something special pops up, fans take notice. That’s exactly what’s set to happen with a survivor 1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 soon to go up for sale. The special edition ‘Vette may bust past the $1 million mark when it goes up for auction. So, what makes this Plastic Fantastic so special?

Is there a ZR2 Corvette?

While there have been several iterations of the ZR1 throughout the model’s 70-year tenure, a ZR2 is a seldom-seen classic Corvette. However, unlike the unicorn that fans compare it to, the ZR2 is as real as it is monstrous. “Zora’s Racer,” as die-hard enthusiasts know it, is a limited-run big-block ‘Vette that Chevrolet produced for only one year. 

A classic 1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 in Brands Hatch Green parks in a studio.
A 1971 Chevy Corvette ZR2 | Mecum Auctions

Better yet, affluent auction-goers have the chance to bid on one of the only ZR2s in existence. That’s right; a Brands Hatch Green 1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 is for sale at a Mecum Auction in May of 2023, and auctioneers think it will sell for a premium.  

How much is a Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 worth?

According to Mecum, the green-on-green classic ZR2 will likely sell for between $475,000 and $600,000. However, given the ZR2’s rarity, there is a real chance that the special edition ‘Vette will go for more. 

A 1971 Chevy Corvette ZR2 | Mecum Auctions

MotorTrend said that one of the last ZR2s for sale, a 2022 auction model, could have fetched over $1 million with the right collector. However, average values for the ultra-rare Corvette model are under the seven-figure mark. 

What makes the Corvette ZR2 special?

The 1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2 heading to auction is one of just 12 models that GM produced during its single model year. As a result, the ZR2 is one of the rarest production Corvettes ever. Moreover, the classic Corvette model packs the unique RPO ZR2 Special Purpose LS6 Engine Package.

A 454 LS6 engine in a special edition C3 Corvette shows off its orange paint.
The 454 LS6 V8 | Mecum Auctions

However, the 454 cubic-inch big block engine was just the tip of the performance iceberg; the ZR2 boasted an F41 Special Suspension, improved disc brakes, a Muncie M22 four-speed manual transmission, and a stout aluminum radiator, per MotorTrend. The special edition super ‘Vette certainly earned its Zora Arkus-Duntov-derived nickname. 

How much horsepower does a Corvette ZR2 have?

The 1971 Corvette ZR2 produces 425 horsepower courtesy of a naturally aspirated 454 cubic-inch big block LS6 V8. Moreover, GM rated the beast’s heart at 475 lb-ft of torque, five more than the new C8 Stingray. Better yet, fans assert that the horsepower and torque figures are underrated.    

A Corvette for a sale displays its interior.
A 1971 ZR2 flashes its interior | Mecum Auctions

What is the difference between a ZR1 and ZR2?

In 1971, the ZR1 package included a 350 cubic-inch LT1 V8 that produced around 370 horsepower. While it was more than enough to justify its $484 markup from the L48 option of the time, it’s not in the same ballpark as the ZR2’s 425-horsepower LS6. 

However, the ZR1 and ZR2 share some architecture; both cars pack the F41 suspension and heavy-duty disc brakes. 


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