Featured: A ‘71 Corvette Stingray LS6 in France Is an Unexpected Surprise

A ‘71 Corvette Stingray LS6 in France Is an Unexpected Surprise

By Bryan Joslin
November 11, 2013
9 comments

The Corvette was originally conceived as America’s answer to European sports cars like Jaguar, Porsche and Ferrari. But while the Europeans were obsessed with low weight, balanced handling and free-revving engines to win races, the American approach was much simpler: no replacement for displacement.

Nowhere is this mantra more evident than on the third-generation Corvette, or C3. Introduced in 1968 and running through 1982, the C3 hosted a number of small-block and big-block V8s over the course of its long run. The undisputed king, however, was the 7.4-liter LS6, with its 454-cubic-inch wielding as much as 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque officially. Unofficially, rumors are the monster engine was underrated, producing closer to 500 hp in reality.

The owner of this 1971 Corvette Stingray coupe, Sylvain Pottier, is a French automotive designer who loves American cars. He purchased this Stingray car in Texas and had it shipped to France, where he restored it over the course of two years. This car is a magnificent example of the asphalt-twisting 454 in its final year in LS6 specification. The 7.4-liter would live on in LS5 tune until 1974, an eventual casualty of emissions rules and a fuel crisis. But power would never again be as plentiful, tumbling to as low as 270 horses by the time it retired.

In spectacular Le Mans Blue, Pottier’s Stingray is a time capsule, perfectly depicting the priorities of America’s sports car in the early ‘70s, complete with automatic transmission and T-top roof. Other sports cars may have been more graceful, but none was more brutal than the Corvette LS6.

Photography by Laurent Nivalle for Petrolicious

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Ib Erik Soderblom
Ib Erik Soderblom

Simply just beautiful !
And great pictures !

Ben Lamboeuf
Ben Lamboeuf

This is a classic beauty. Great photography too! I’m glad to see that the owner isn’t afraid to get his ‘Vette a bit dirty whie having fun.

Jeb Brown
Jeb Brown

I am pretty sure that is a Texas Department of Transportation registration sticker on the left side windscreen. Interested to know the history of the car and how it ended up in France.

Aaron Venable
Aaron Venable

That is certainly a TX registration sticker, and somewhat recently issued at that…

Steijn Uijttewaal
Steijn Uijttewaal

I which all cars were like this
@Jeb @ Aaron, You must be right, this seems to be a Texas car.
The registration plates or not French or European, thus they must be from Texas.
All corps diplomatique cars in Europe drive with plates with which registration startes with CD. As Sylvian Potter is French, living in France this does not seem to be the case.

Patrick Mussotte
Patrick Mussotte

This is a french registration(I’m french ;)). I supposed the owner kept the Texas sticker just for fun. Beautiful car, not my prefered historic Corvette(I love C2 Stingray)

A C6 R437 owner

Becca Clason
Becca Clason

The owner is an automotive designer who purchased the car in Texas and had it shipped to France, where he restored it over the course of two years. (We will add this details to the article text right now.)

Dustin Rittle
Dustin Rittle

I always thought the third gen corvettes were very pretty looking american cars and the fact that its Leman blue and also in France i think is very fitting. The corvette may have not been as nimble as other euro sports car but this car is just brutal beauty with that v8 under the hood!!

JanMichael Franklin
JanMichael Franklin

Early C3’s are the most beautiful Vettes in my opinion. When I picture a Corvette in my mind, this is still what I see.