In 1970 Chevrolet Corvette introduced to the racing world a new street legal racing machine. The racer was dubbed the ZR-1. Production was limited to 1970, '71, and '72. Altogether for the three years, ZR-1 Corvettes totals 53 cars; 25 were produced in 1970, 8 in 1971, and 20 in 1972. Racers saw the natural roll bar effect of the coupe as a safety advantage and, as a result, there are few convertibles.
What is a ZR-1 Corvette? A ZR-1 Corvette is an LT-1 equipped Corvette produced in 1970, '71, or '72. ZR-1's were specially equipped with all the heavy duty racing equipmentÂ that had previously been used on the L-88 Corvettes of 1967, '68, and '69.Â The only other Corvettes to receive this special group of heavy duty racing equipment in a package were the ZR-2 in 1971. The ZR-1 included the LT-1 engine, M-22 transmission, heavy duty J56 power brakes, transistorized ignition, special aluminum radiator, and special springs, shocks, and front and rear stabilizer bars.
ZR-1 identification features: (1) LT-1 engine, suffix CTV-1970, CGY-1971, or CKY-1972, (2) J-56 heavy duty brake package with dual pin front brake calipers (power), (3) F-41 heavy duty suspension package, 7 leaf rear spring, heavy duty shock absorbers, heavy duty 5/8" front sway bar and heavy duty rear spindle struts, (4) M-22 (rockcrusher) transmission, (5) large aluminum radiator with expansion tank (no other LT-1 equipped car has an expansion tank), (6) steel fan shroud, other than 1972's (most), (7) radio delete (no fenders drilled for antenna). The ZR-1 package could not be ordered with any creature comforts, ie: air conditioning, power windows, power steering, radio, alarm system, rear window defroster, or special trim items like P02 wheel covers.
The ZR-1 cars are the rarest small block Corvettes ever produced. The most common ZR-1 (the 1970) has only 5 more than the rarest L-88 (1967 - 20 units total). The ZR-1 cars are about five times rarer than L-88 cars.
note: portions of this article were taken from Vette Vues Magazine