The Art of the C4 ZR-1 LT-5 Corvette Engine

Dateline: 7.23.11
Corvette Engines as Art Objects

Too bad this wasn’t a 283 Fuelie!

Everything has a beginning, right. For me, it goes back to 1965 when my Dad bought me “The Visible V8” model kit. What a wonderful way for young boys to understand the basic operational principals of an internal combustion engine. If you carefully put the parts together and didn’t get glue in places you shouldn’t and wired everything right, your got to see the pistons go up and down, rocker arms actuate, the fan spin, the camshaft rotate, AND the red grain-of-wheat lightbulb spark plugs light up at top-dead-center. Of course, it sounded all “WHEEEEEE” Because the battery-opperated starter motor was driving everything. “Sorry kids! No VROOM! VROOM!”

LT-5 art prints available HERE.

But, it was a lot of fun and started my lifelong passion for engines. But engines didn’t become “art” for my until I got into drag racing and those wonderful supercharged hemi engines. And the first Corvette engine that wowed me was the 1967 L71 427/435 big-block. While 3-deuces had been around for over 10 years on Pontiacs, seeing that big triangular air cleaner atop of the already enormous big-block stuffed into the ‘67 Sting Ray was almost better than a Playboy centerfold!

LT-5 art prints available HERE.

Corvettes have had beautiful engines going all the way back to the first ‘57 Fuelie. But the Corvette community wasn’t quite prepared for what they saw when Corvette chief of engineering, Dave McLellan unleashed the Lotus-designed, double-overhead-cam LT-5 than powered the C4 ZR-1. WOW!

Configurations such as double-overhead-cams seemed to be forever the domain of exotic European cars from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Porsche and other expensive cars. Okay, it took GM/Chevrolet a long time to offer such a beast, but ah, what’a beauty! And since GM owned Lotus when the LT-5 was being designed and developed, the LT-5 is unquestionably a “Corvette engine.” McLellan and his team set the parameters for the engine and Lotus did the detail work. (Yes, I remember the Cosworth Vega. Nice engine, too bad about the Vega part.)

David Kimble is THE master of the cut-away technical illustration. LOVE the tube headers!

Over the years through my association with VETTE Magazine I have created technical illustrations of all of the most important Corvette engines, including the beautiful LT-5. You can check out my collection of Corvette engine illustrations HERE. Enjoy the art show! – Scott

PS – For more awesome images and info covering the C4 ZR-1 and the LT-5 Engine, CLICK HERE.

An LT-5 Corvette engine makes the PERFECT end table for your family room. Don’t you agree???

If you want to consult with the owner of this beautiful piece of furniture as to how to get your lady to approve this, CLICK HERE.

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