November
22nd

1970 LT 1 Corvette History

By RJ Sottile

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1970 Baldwin Motion1970 Marlboro Maroon LT1 Corvette

 

 

 

In 1969 GM was in the middle of a parts strike, which forced them to run the 1969 corvette production late. This in turn meant the 1970 production run would be shortened up with the corvettes hitting dealer showrooms February of 1970.The 1970 corvette featured a lot of changes including fender flares to keep stones from chipping the paint, more comfortable high back seats, a new square egg grate grill design, the addition of turn signal indicators, larger side marker lights, front fender vents that were changed to a bolt-on metal checkered design, and the dual exhaust outlets were changed from round to rectangular. GM also offered a deluxe interior package which featured leather seats, wood trim, and cut pile carpet.

In 1970 Chevrolet also snuck in a new, little-known engine option- the LT 1. This engine was designed to help with insurance costs and power-to-weight ratios for the people wanting to race. With 370 gross horsepower at 6,000 RPM, it featured many hi-performance and heavy duty components, including solid lifters, forged TRW aluminum pistons, 11:1 compression, four bolt main cap block, steel crank, special hi-lift cam, high rise aluminum intake, 780 CFM Holley four-barrel carburetor, baffled oil pan, ramhorn exhaust manifolds, high volume oil pump,  high volume fuel pump with no return line, larger radiator and shroud, 2 1/2 inch exhaust, 6500 red line tachometer, and transistor ignition. The 1970 Corvette LT 1 shared the same hood and suspension as the big block corvette.

A Stock 1970 LT-1 Corvette was tested at that time to be able to achieve 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, and run a quarter mile in 14.2 seconds. The LT-1 engine option was fairly expensive at a cost of $448, compared to the 454 engine option at only $289. Total production for the 1970 LT-1 came in at only 1,287 out of 17,316 total production for the corvette that year. The LT-1 option was only available with a 4 speed manual transmission and no air conditioning. Most were ordered without power steering, power brakes, or many other options to keep the cost and weight down.

These are some of the 1970 LT-1 corvettes in our collection: