1961 Corvette Fuelie Survivor – One Owner 53 Years!

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Most automotive enthusiasts love knowing something about their cars, and this one comes with a known history dating back to 1964. This fuel-injected 1961 Corvette in Porter Ranch, California, seeks a new owner for the first time in 53 years. Offered here on eBay, it has attracted more than a dozen bids and a market value above $60,000.

Chevrolet assigned some of the world’s best engineers to develop its mechanical fuel-injection system, first available in 1957. As an owner of a mechanically fuel-injected car (BMW 2002tii), I appreciate the complexity required to do what computers accomplish on modern EFI cars. The fuel supply must be adjusted to allow for cold starts, warm-up, and at all times with engine RPM, and throttle position, and ambient temperature, and also with elevation. Modern cars use sensors to evaluate all this information, run calculations many times each second, and send a signal to open the injectors to allow the perfect air-to-fuel ratio at all times. This car relies on mechanical systems for all those adjustments, which makes them a far greater engineering marvel.

Back to our story! A gentleman named Harry, at the tender age of 19 years, took possession of this white ’61 “fuelie” and kept it garaged and parked during inclement weather for its entire life.Aside from typical replacement parts and a paint job in 1971 (using correct paint purchased from GM), this ‘Vette is original and unmodified. Many fuel-injected Chevrolets saw their state-of-the-art technology tossed aside and replaced by carburetors at the first sign of trouble, but a good-running injected 283 will “…rev cleanly to 7,000 rpm, yet idle (reasonably) happily at some 900 rpm,” according to the informative write-up at curbsideclassic.com.

The driver-centric cockpit offers the wheel-man or woman an array of shiny knobs, switches, and levers. The passenger gets a grab bar so they can hold on and shut up when things get interesting. This interior must have looked like a space-ship in ’61, a time when space exploration fueled patriotic dreams. Do you imagine this car bringing top-dollar at a TV auction, or enjoying some road-time at the hands of someone who drives and appreciates it the way Harry did?

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. John M.

    Only one word to describe it,

    “NICE” “SWEET” “BEAUTIFUL” ……………….

    I’d better stop before I get carried away.

    My apologies everyone.

    Like 17
  2. Beatnik Bedouin

    Gorgeous looking, and great to see the early-style Rochester Fuel Injection still in place. I’d suggest that anyone considering buying this car ensures that they get someone with some expertise in this generation of Corvette to have a close look to ensure it’s as genuine, as claimed.

    Assuming that the selector and/or the second gear synchros are in good condition, the car’s motor and transmission mounts might be due for replacement as the whole powerplant might be twisting, hence the car sometimes popping out of Second.

    Hope that this is bought by someone who’ll drive it and not an ‘investor’ who will let it languish in a garage just to have bragging rights. Who knows? We might see it on Million Dollar Car Ferrets… ;-)

    Like 14
  3. David Frank David FMember

    One needs to lean back if you’re looking at this on a laptop. (So you don’t drool on your keyboard and ruin your laptop) I’m sure if you look closely there are faults to be found and many think it is overpriced, but what a beauty!

    Like 4
  4. 86 Vette Convertible

    Gorgeous, can’t say more about it.

    Like 8
  5. Max

    I am Not sports car fan but as a classic auto collector and also a classic Tv and movie fan whenever I see these Corvettes I automatically link it to the Route 66 Tv series if early 60’s starring Martin Milner and George Maharis! one of my favorite classic Tv series!!

    Like 8
    • WILLIAM BABYAK

      “Paging Mr. Stiles…Mr. Todd Stiles… Your car is ready, Sir!” I thought of the same thing.

      Like 1
  6. Ted

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if Bill@solospeedshop is the contact guy, then this would mean the original owner Harry has sold the car, and it’s now with it’s second owner. So it’s looking for it’s third owner in 53 years, and second within minutes.

    Curber.

    Like 1
    • JamesMember

      Actually, it appears that Harry was the second owner, having bought the car in 64. If Bill owns it now, he is number three, and the next buyer will be number four. I never thought much of the number of owners criteria, except inasmuch as it was easier to follow a cars real history. Beautiful find even if it had ten owners!

      Like 9
  7. Suttree

    A man buys a car. A man sells a car. Does it really matter how long he keeps it or how much money he makes off the sale?

    Like 6
  8. geomechs geomechsMember

    My favorite Vette of all. Too bad that my means is so limited. I wonder if I could afford a die cast.

    Like 3
  9. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Love it!

    Like 2
  10. Bob S

    Absolutely lovely car! From shortly after it was introduced I fell in love with the Corvette, and Route 66 just enhanced its image. There was something about that show at that time that promoted the idea that anyone had the opportunity of this kind of freedom and adventure.
    The fact that it is also a fuel injected car just adds to the allure.
    I had my chance to buy a complete 57 FI system back in 1969 for $200, and the only reason I didn’t was because of the bad press it was getting, more from the lack of knowledge of the maintainers than the design of the system. I always regretted not buying it, but I had too much going on at the time to take on another distraction.
    I would love to own this car, and would buy it in a heart beat, but it would distract me from my other projects.
    Bob S

    Like 3
  11. Chuck

    In the mid 80’s, a friend of mine sold a complete FI system to someone that was restoring a ’62 Vette back to original. The guy paid $3000 for it, which I didn’t understand at the time. It was still in the original box! Ah, if we could all go back in time WITH what we know now, I’m sure that everyone would make some different choices!

    Like 0
  12. John

    Todd and Buzz had one just like it. I loved it then, too.

    Like 2
  13. moosie Craig M Bryda

    I remember hearing back then that if you heard it whistling while it was idling it meant the fuel injection was properly set up?

    Like 1
  14. Wayne

    The body colored wheels with the dog dish hub caps just look so right on this car!

    Like 2
  15. Raymond HurstMember

    Beautiful car but not a survivor if it has been painted. It is just a very nice old car car with a repaint. The same as when someone calls a car original, unrestored and then they go on to say it has only been painted once. A painted car is neither a survivor nor is it unrestored.

    Like 1
  16. Winesmith

    Was not the 1962 model the first of this two year series to have the monochromatic color scheme?
    I’m no expert but my memory is that the ’61 always had a contrasting color inset?

    Like 1
    • Constance Banko

      In 1961 only 3,351 Corvettes were painted two tone. That left about 7,500 painted in one single color.

      Like 0
  17. WILLIAM BABYAK

    I do believe that is correct. Also, the year of the blacked-out grille.

    Like 0
  18. Karl

    The car is beautiful, is it “perfect” ? I don’t care, it’s got all the big # crossed and the F/I part is the frosting on the cake! Not sure how to beat this one guys?

    Like 0

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