The enthusiast who shelled out the extra money for an LT-1 ($447.60, $483, and $483.45 in 1970, '71, and '72 respectively) got plenty of power but obviously wanted more than just brutish acceleration. After all, for about $188 less he could have gotten an LS5 454. He also wanted a Corvette that cornered, braked, and rode like a true sports car.

Over the three-year span from 1970 to 1972 a total of 4,977 buyers got the near-perfect blend of raw power and sports car balance the LT-1 had to offer. Of the nearly 5,000 LT-1s sold, most were driven as Zora Duntov and his associates intended and therefore few totally unmolested examples survive today. The '72 coupe featured here, owned by collector Stan Rivera, is surely among the most original LT-1s left in existence.

Though not perfect when scrutinized up close, its original Classic White lacquer paint is still quite beautiful given its age. Likewise, the deluxe saddle interior is all original and nearly perfect. Along with the leather seat covers, the deluxe interior package included fancier carpeting and upgraded door panels. Under the hood this amazing survivor is really a wonder to behold. Naturally, every number and date code is correct for the car's assembly date. Even normal disposables like engine hoses and belts are original and in excellent condition. Likewise, the Air Injection Reactor system is completely intact and functional.

An examination of the car's underside reveals many insights into what the chassis and its components looked like when they were brand new. Different color paint dabs, various inspection marks, body shim allocation slashes and the like reveal the complexity that authentic detailing should have.

For enhanced driving pleasure, as well as an extra margin of safety, the car now wears modern radial tires on all four corners. However, the original Firestone Wide Ovals, still on their original wheels, rest comfortably in Stan's garage.

Given the care that each of this LT-1's owners have lavished on it since the day it was born, it's not the least bit surprising that a folder full of original paperwork still remains with the car. "I have complete documentation for the car since day one," explains Stan, "including the owner's manual, original window sticker, Protecto-Plate and all bills related to the car since it was new."

As it has been since the very beginning, this Corvette is regularly exercised on the open road. Power steering and brakes make driving it more pleasurable without sacrificing any of its performance. And given the stoutness of its powerplant and drivetrain, it's entirely feasible to drive it in a spirited fashion, and yet have confidence that it will remain in superlative condition for another 30 years.