71 Camaro For Sale

Published: 09th August 2010
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The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the most instantly recognizable cars in the entire world. Its production spans nearly 45 years, including an 8-year hiatus, and five vehicle generations. It has been the source of muscle in the 1960s and 1970s, a pop-culture phenomenon in the 1980s, and a source of innovation in the 1990s and beyond. Each model year has its own special allure, but some distinguish themselves more than others do. One such specimen is the 1971 Camaro, a revision of the first 2nd-gen Camaro. The only knock on the '71 is that it had less horsepower than its predecessor did, but more on that in a moment.

Chevrolet introduced the second generation with the 1970 Camaro on February 26, 1970. Luxury sports cars, such as those by Aston Martin, Ferrari, and Jaguar, had provided the inspiration for Chevrolet's design of this all-new body. The result was a longer, lower, and wider style than what the Camaro had previously been. Such a dramatic change was risky, but critics and consumers alike responded to it with fanatical enthusiasm. The style was so popular that the primary shape would carry on throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s.

In comparison to the 1970 model, Chevrolet offered only minor appearance revisions and tweaks on the 1971 Camaro for sale. One prominent change was on the interior. Chevrolet swapped out the 1970-only low-back seats, which had been a terrible design decision, with all-new high-back Strato bucket seats that had built-in headrests. However, the biggest change in the 1971 Camaro foe sale came under the hood due to a corporate mandate. General Motors wanted all 1971 model year vehicles to operate on regular-leaded, low-leaded, and unleaded gasoline.

This change necessitated the reductions in horsepower and compression ratios that we alluded to in the introduction. Of course, this change wasn't isolated to the General Motors. That year and over the next several years, these changes were occurring throughout the American automotive market. The 250-cubic-inch 6-cylinder, the 307-cubic-inch V8, and the two-barrel 350-cubic-inch V8 were the same as they had been in the 1970 model because these were already low-compression regular-fuel engines.

The changes came to the "muscle" engines. Output of the LT-1 350-cubic-inch V8 used in the Z/28 fell from 360 to 330 horsepower due to a compression ratio decline to 9.0:1 from 11.0:1. Likewise, the big block 396-cubic-inch V8 fell from 350 to 300 horsepower due to a compression ratio drop to 8.5:1 from 10.25:1. At the time, these changes weren't as unpopular as you might think. There were two factors at play. One, the U.S. was heading toward a fuel crunch, and increasing fuel prices were already shrinking the muscle car market. Two, insurance rates for pony cars were skyrocketing. In terms of insurance, the 250 and the 307 were far more affordable than the 396.

These changes aren't as big of a deal from the perspective of the modern enthusiast. Employing modern equipment and expertise, we can squeeze a substantial amount of horsepower out of these engines more than at which Chevrolet originally rated them. An enthusiast in the market for a 1971 Camaro for sale can find one in need of work with rust spots for a couple of grand. Prices begin to rise sharply if you're in the market for a 1971 Camaro for sale in prime condition.

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