C3 Chevrolet Corvette: Legend of the LS7 Engine

The C3 Chevrolet Corvette saw a number of different and interesting editions from 1968-82.  One that was planned but never production-built was the 1971 LS7. This Chevy Corvette would have been one of the most powerful ever made, constructed around a LS7 454 cubic-inch engine measured at an impressive 465 hp (or 437 kW).


The emphasis here is on the word “was.” Even though this
powerhouse-of-an engine was planned, and even included in some
Chevrolet assembly manuals, it was never actually installed in a
production Corvette.

After this, beginning in late 1971, power began to decline for a number
of reasons – most having to do with new government emission standards.
Engineers designed engines with lower compression ratios necessitated
by catalytic converters, unleaded fuel and emission control devices.
The result was less and less power until the bottom was reached in
1975. That year saw the basic ZQ3 engine with a 165 hp (or 123 kW) with
the larger optional L82 engine rated at 205 hp (or 153 kW).