1971 CHEVY CAMARO CARRIED OVER There are very few differences between the 1971 and the 1970. The emblems were all new and the wheel covers were changed. There were 12 new exterior paint colors and 2 new vinyl top colors. Side marker lights were made to flash in unison with that corners’ turn signal. ‘Road & Track’ Magazine proclaimed the ’71 Camaro SS one of the world’s 10 best cars.
1971 Chevy Camaro INTERIORS
1971 INTERIOR UPGRADES Inside, there were new seats with integral headrests, borrowed from the Vega, which could be optioned to recline. Interior controls were new with soft surfaces for crash safety. International/universal symbols were used for the headlight switch, cigarette lighter and radio controls. The steering wheel was redesigned and the windshield glass was made thinner to reduce weight.
1971 Chevy Camaro ENGINES
1971 CHEVY CAMARO ENGINE OPTIONS The feds were forcing low-octane, low-lead and no-lead gas on people and carmakers had to reduce compression ratios to compensate. Performance suffered drastically. At the same time, GM changed from quoting Gross Horsepower to Net Horsepower, so all the numbers were going to drop anyway. This made it very difficult to tell just how much power was going down, but you could definitely feel it in the seat of your pants. The LT1 350 which made 370hp in the 1970 Z28 was now rated at 330hp. The lower-performance engines, that already had lower compression ratios suffered less. The pedestrian 350 small block V8 made 245hp. The hottest engine you could get was the LS3 396 big block which now made only 300hp, and that was gross, the net was 260hp. Around this time, Chevy was working on a 400ci small block V8 as a way to get more displacement for less weight, mass and cost than the big block. But the project was cancelled. 400 cubes out of the little Mouse Motor that started out life as a 265 sounded like an impossibly high number at the time. Of course, some of today’s Corvettes have small blocks that have been pushed all the way out to 427 cubic inches, and make more than 600hp.