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The 1961 Chevrolet Corvette

1961 Black Convertible Corvette


The 1961 Corvette was the first to include aluminum radiators as standard equipment. These radiators featured a new crossflow design. Unfortunately due to production delays some early 1961 Corvettes were built with the same copper radiators that were used in the 1960 models. The exhaust was moved to exit the car under the rear bumper instead of out of the bumber itself, this was to prevent the bumpers from getting dirty from the exhaust. The rear was completely redesigned to include the 4 tail lights that we now expect on a Corvette, the first year for that. The front of the car was the first that did not have the heavy teeth of previous years. The base engine was still supplied with a stamped valve cover with the Chevrolet script while the optional engines had 7-finned cast alloy valve covers. The 4-speed transmission was provided with an aluminum case this year. The transmission tunnel was also narrowed by 20% to give more interior space. This was the last year that the two-tone paint could be ordered from the factory. Dual carburetor engines were also available for the last time in 1961. This was also the last year for the 283 ci engines. Courtesy lights, windshield washers, temperature controlled radiator fan, sun shades and parking brake warning light all became standard this year.This was the only year for the Jewel Blue color. In 1961 17 Corvettes were delivered in non-standard colors or primer.

1961 also introduced us to the first "Shark" concept car.

1961 Production Options and Build Statistics

Total 1961 Corvettes Built - 10,261 - All Convertibles

Serial Numbers: 10867S100001 through 10867S110939

The serial number (Vehicle Identification Number -- VIN) is located on a stainless steel plate welded to the top of the steering column mast under the hood.

Position Character Description
1 1 1961
2 & 3 08 body series: Corvette
4 & 5 67 convertible
6 S Assembled in St. Louis, MO
7 to 12 100001 to 110939 production sequence

Engine Serial Number


1 to 7 0001001 sequential production number
8 F or T Flint, MI or Tonawanda, NY
9 to 10 Carburetion & transmission
  • CQ = 283-cid 230-hp V-8 with 9.5:1 compression ratio, three-speed manual transmission, and four-barrel carburetor
  • CR = 283-cid 275-hp V-8 with 11.0:1 compression ratio, three-speed manual transmission with fuel injection
  • CS = 283-cid 315-hp V-8 with 11.0:1 compression ratio, three-speed manual transmission, high lift camshaft, and fuel injection
  • CT = 283-cid 245-hp V-8 with 9.5:1 compression ratio, three-speed manual transmission and dual four-barrel carburetors
  • CU = 283-cid 270-hp V-8 with 9.5:1 compression ratio, three-speed manual transmission, high-lift camshaft and dual four-barrel carburetors
  • DG = 283-cid 230-hp V-8 with 9.5:1 compression ratio, Powerglide automatic transmission and a four-barrel carburetor
  • DJ = 283-cid 245-hp V-8 with 9.5:1 compression ratio, Powerglide automatic transmission and dual four-barrel carburetors

The body number plate is located on the engine side of the cowl. Fisher Body Style Number 61-0867 identifies a Corvette. The body number is the serial number of the body.


RPO Description Price Production
867 Base Convertible $3,934.00 10,939
101 Heater $102.25 10,761
102 AM Radio, Signal Seeking $137.75 9,316
242 Positive Crankcase Ventilation $5.40 N/A
276 Wheels, 15x5.5 $0.00 337
290 Whitewall Tires, 6.70x15 $31.55 9,780
313 Powerglide Automatic Transmission $199.10 1,458
353 283ci, 275hp Engine (fuel inj.) $484.20 118
354 283ci, 315hp Engine (fuel inj.) $484.20 1,462
419 Auxiliary Hardtop $236.75 5,680
426 Power Windows $59.20 698
440 Two-Tone Paint Combination $16.15 3,368
468 283ci, 270hp Engine (2x4 carbs.) $182.95 2,827
469 283ci, 245hp Engine (2x4 carbs.) $150.65 1,175
473 Power Operated Folding Top $161.40 442
675 Positraction Rear Axle $43.05 6,915
685 4-Speed Manual Transmission. $188.30 5,328
686 Metallic Brakes $26.90 920
687 Heavy Duty Brakes and Susp. $333.60 119
1408 Blackwall Tires, 6.70x15 $15.75 N/A
1625 24 Gallon Fuel Tank $161.40 N/A

Color Options for 1961

RPO Exterior Ditzler # Dupont # RM # Interior Soft Top Production
N/A Tuxedo Black N/A N/A N/A Red/Black/Blue/Fawn White/Black 1,340
501A Fawn Beige N/A N/A N/A Red/Black/Fawn White/Black 1,363
502A Jewel Blue N/A 4143-L N/A Black/Blue White/Black 855
506A Roman Red N/A N/A N/A Black/Red White/Black 1,794
509A Sateen Silver N/A N/A N/A Blue/Black/Red White/Black 747
510A Ermine White N/A N/A N/A Blue/Black/Red/Fawn Black/White 3,178

Two-Tone Paint Production (RPO 440)

Color Production
Roman Red / White 954
Honduras Maroon / White 647
Ermine White / Silver 385
Fawn Beige / White 358
Tuxedo Black / Silver 429
Jewel Blue / White 419
Sateen Silver / White 159

Interior Colors

RPO Color Production
N/A
Black 3,487
490B Blue 1,331
N/A
Red 4,459
N/A
Fawn 1,662

1961 Corvette Specifications

Mechanical Dimensions

Wheelbase 102 in.
Track Front/Rear 57 in. / 59 in.
Length 177.2 in.
Width 72.8 in.
Height 51.6 in.
Frontal Area N/A
Ground Clearance N/A
Curb Weight 3,035 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 16.4 gal.
Coolant Capacity N/A

Interior Dimensions
     
Headroom 34.7 in.
Hip Room $$$ 21.5 in. per bucket
59.6 in. total
Leg Room 46.5 in.
Shoulder Room 49.4 in.

Engine Specifications

Feature Base Engine RPO 469 RPO 468 RPO 353 RPO 354
Type V-8, Overhead valve
Block Cast iron block
Displacement 283 cid
Bore & Stroke 3.87 x 3.00
Compression ratio 9.50:1 10.5:1
Brake horsepower 230 @ 4800 rpm 245 270 275 315
Main bearing Five
Valve lifters Hydraulic solid
Carburetor Carter four-barrel Type WCFB Model 3779178 Two four-barrel carbs Two four-barrel carbs Rochester fuel injection Rochester fuel injection

 


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