This 1971 LS5 Vette Stingray is a 1971 Stingray.

The name “America’s only true sports car” is not limited to the United States: This ’71 Stingray, currently plying the roads of New South Wales, Australia.

Greg Euston’s fondness for Corʋettes began long before he reached his dry years. “I dreamed that one day I would own a four-speed Corʋette T-top, ’71 454,” he said. “It started the first time I saw a Corʋette in my teens, when I was walking to school. I didn’t see it coming—I heard it coming from behind me. When I turned around, I saw the Vette driʋe’s immaculate, white, early ’70s past. I remember thinking: ‘What a perfect car!’ I told myself that one day I would own one of those beautiful cars.’” – His dream didn’t become a reality until 2006, but only after a car he drove to Melbourne (about 700 miles away) to see him eluded. “Long story short, the owner called me when we were about 25 minutes from his house and told me he sold it,” he recalls. “I was gutted.”

The disappointment persisted when Euston found another C3 for sale, this time in Adelaide. “I saw an ad on the Internet that said ‘1971 Corʋette 4-Sp Big Block for sale,’ he said. “I called him, asked him about it and then flew down to see it.” After giving the Brands Hatch Green, LS5-powered ’71 a good look, the deal was done. With the help of a friend who had accompanied him on his search for his prized Vette, Euston placed the car on a “tilt tray” (roll) truck and drove it 1,706 miles to his garage in New South Wales.

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It stayed there for the next three years, although Euston said he was able to dry it as soon as he got it home. “I can register my Vette after doing a little electrical work on her and she’ll look pretty good,” he said. “The person I think owned the car for six years. He did some work but never got it registered.”

Work carried out by another esteemed owner of ’71 came to light as Euston began the restoration process. For one thing, the four-barrel on the 454 is not the original LS5 Rochester QuadraJet. On the other hand, the lower intake manifold is not an OEM LS5 — and neither is the cylinder head. As Euston explains, “Sometime during my Corʋette life, someone put a 3986195 780-cfм Holley in the engine, along with a 3963569 aluminum intake manifold and square port heads.”

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That’s right: The LS5 carries the top half of Che’y’s formidable LS6—the Big Holley, its corresponding intake, and open chamber tips. “I’m not sure when this happened, but the part numbers and dates appear to be accurate,” says Euston, who also has plenty of documentation on the ’71 attesting to the original LS5/four-speed configuration its, said.

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A closer look at the rest of the car reveals very few traces of rust or “very enthusiastic” dryness. “There were mechanical signs, such as unbuilt brake discs, very good chassis condition and the fact the car had been unregistered in Australia for almost 10 years. All of that makes me think the mileage is correct,” Euston said of the original 42,100 miles that were on the odometer as he thought.

With his C3 now known as more than just another of the 5,097’71 Vettes fitted to the LS5 454, Euston began the process of completely restoring the car, which led him to took three years. “I did all the restoration work, except the electrical and mechanical work.” His old friend Chris Adams helped repair the ’71’s electrical system. “If it weren’t for Chris spending hours helping me, my Corʋette would still be sitting in my garage, unfinished,” says Euston. Meanwhile, another old friend, Peter Henshaw, assisted with the mechanical restoration. “I always tap into his wealth of knowledge about all things mechanical,” he added.

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Also supporting the project: Two NCRS staff members. “Jack Humphrey, a longtime NCRS manufacturer in the United States, helped me find many rare parts. His most recent knowledge of all things related to Corʋettes has been of great help to me,” Euston said gratefully, adding, “Andrew Gilligan’s knowledge of Corʋettes—he was an NCRS officer in Australia—also rated very highly.”

Euston says if you’re looking to buy a Vette — especially a ’71 or earlier — contact your local NCRS branch for advice. “They can advise you on what to look for in relation to damage; rust; functions of electrical systems, electrical systems, optical warning systems; and the correctness of the vehicle,” he said. “Speaking from my own experience, I wish someone had given me this ad before I bought mine.”

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And speaking of his experience, driving a Vette like this is truly special. “It evokes in me a feeling that constantly reminds me how lucky and privileged I am to own one of these special cars,” Euston said. “Looking at the fluid design of protectors and the internet always makes me feel happy and I never get tired of seeing how different the design lines are.

“Then, looking at the reʋiew mirrors in the roof fins, I felt like I was immersed in the interior and part of my Corʋette. I can understand the public’s desire for these Vettes, because there’s nothing on the road that looks as perfectly sculpted as a ’68-’72 Corʋette, especially in Australia.

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