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1961 Chevrolet Corvette

This 1961 Chevrolet Corvette in Jewel Blue with Ermine White coves marks the last time that a tone-tone color scheme would be offered on the ‘Vette. It was also the only year that Jewel Blue was available. From 1962 only solid colors were used! (well until 1978 when it was available with the top and bottom in different colors).

In 1961 the Corvette was restyled with, albeit minor, changes at the front. The grille was now a fine mesh replacing the chunky chrome teeth that were there previously.

The rear end received the most significant change, giving the rear deck a much more sleek look. A look that was dubbed the “ducktail”. There were now two round taillights on each side and the bumpers were revised. Together with the front changes the car now looked less “chrome laden” that it did in the previous 3 years

The ducktail rear of a 1961 Corvette
“ducktail” rear

Since its introduction in 1953 the Corvette had always been a convertible. It wasn’t until the second generation cars were introduced in 1963 that a Coupe was available.

side view of a 1961 Chevrolet Corvette
side view

The interior features foam rubber padded, all-vinyl trimmed, deep-contoured bucket seats. The Corvette was also carpeted in deep-pile carpets. The transmission tunnel was 19 per cent narrower for ’61 giving more room in the two-passenger cockpit.

interior of a 61 Corvette

It was also a year when new standard items were added: dual sun visors, windshield washers, parking brake alarm and courtesy lights.

dash in a 1961 Chevy Corvette

The standard engine that came with the ‘vette in 1961 was a 283 cubic inch V8 that output 230 horsepower. There were four power options from 245 horsepower right up to a 315 hp fuel injected V8 that cost an additional $484.

A 3-speed manual transmission was standard with a 4-speed manual available as a $183 option. Also available to original buyers was a 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission at $199. Interestingly most original buyers went for the 4-speed which was now encased in aluminum and shaved 15 lbs off the total weight.

This Corvette now uses a later 350 cubic inch V8 paired with a 4-speed manual transmission.

Another new feature for 1961 was the use of an aluminum radiator replacing the previous copper-core one. Not only was it lighter but offered 10% more cooling capacity.

Chevrolet produced 10,939 Corvettes for the 1961 model year at a base price of $3,934. Only 855 were made in Jewel Blue.

This 1961 Corvette is currently for sale on eBay. (follow the link for lots more photos)

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