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Fire Survivor: 1961 Corvette Convertible


This 1961 Chevrolet Corvette has been the victim of a building fire after being restored to show condition. Now it’s ready to have you refinish it again. It’s located in Metuchen, New Jersey and is listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has just passed $20,000 as I write with heavy bidding, but the reserve has not yet been met.


The seller explains that the dash area took the brunt of the fire damage. While that may well be the case, you’re still going to have to do some work on other portions of the car as well. It’s a real shame, because the parts of the car that weren’t damaged much (like the inside of the trunk) really look great!


The wide whitewalls and spinner wheel covers are a classic Corvette look and work for me on this car. From this angle, the damage doesn’t look that bad, does it?


As you can see, you’ll be replacing pretty much the entire interior. More about that in a minute–some of the work has been done for you!


The seller has accumulated a huge amount of replacement parts to repair the car. The list is in the auction and goes for 13 full lines! This picture has some of them, but not all. It’s a great step towards getting the car back to the condition it was before.


Although the engine in the car is not the original one, it a crate engine and does run well, as well as stopping. The transmission is a four speed, and the car was originally a dual quad car which it still has. The original engine block is included as well, although it has been repaired. Based on the new parts the seller has purchased, it appears to me that they intended to rebuild the original engine and reinstall it. Considering the current one runs and at least looks the part, I’d be sorely tempted to leave it in there, at least for a while. What would you do?


  1. Gene Parmesan

    Another burnt early ‘Vette? I mean, is there a deranged Corvette arsonist out there who just goes around torching people’s clean C1 and C2 Corvettes? Are we gonna hafta form a task force at this point? What is going on?


  2. DrinkinGasoline

    I am by no means a Corvette guy but…..that’s a crying shame. It looks like it was a restored to original example prior to the fire. With bidding as high as it is, it will surely be returned to it’s glory. Just my opinion but, i think the 61’s and 62’s were the last good looking ‘Vettes….I know… come the thumb’s down onslaught.

    • Bingo

      My favorite is the 1960 model

      • DrinkinGasoline

        The ’60 was sharp…

  3. DRV

    I’ll bet the fire starter was the windshield wiper motor looking for a ground. I have seen it before. A shame.

  4. Mark

    If the buyer is going to do most if not all of the bodywork himself, then this could turn out to be a good deal in the $20’s. A friend of mine sold his non-numbers-matching ’62 in daily driver condition for $45k two years ago,and considered himself lucky. He had $90K into it.

  5. 68 custom

    looks like it can be salvaged, but will you owe less than it is worth? I do not price solid axle Vettes so I am not sure, seems high but maybe the multi carbed Vettes are fetching good money when restored? the cracked original block scares me.

  6. geomechs geomechs Member

    My all time favorite Corvette is ’60-’62. Problem is: cars even needing a lot of work are always way beyond my budget. It would take a major shift in my means to get something like this. I sure hope that it gets restored to its original glory…

  7. Dolphin Member

    Looks like a good do-able project to bring this one back, with good detail about the car’s condition, but I don’t get the secrecy about the numbers. Why show all those pictures (but no numbers) and write the long description and then not give out the numbers?

    The values of the ’61 non-FI cars vary enough to make it important to be sure what the car is before the auction ends. The recent median auction price paid for 230 cars has been $55K, for 245 cars $66K, and for 270 cars $75K, which is a range of $20K—not chump change. The bid is only $23K with less that 2 days left, but the reserve not met. Without the numbers there might not be at least 2 bidders who want to take a chance on which model ’61 car they end up with. I know I wouldn’t.

  8. chris lawrence

    Cracked engine block is nothing today. Watch Jay Leno explain how they fix them today. It’s on his restoration blog.

  9. Loco Mikado

    Heat from a fire will definitely affect the body and frame integrity in ways that do not show. As a trailer queen show car that will never be actually driven again, yes it can be made into that. But as a car to be driven as it was intended when built, no way.

    • Joe

      This vette didn’t get that hot. If I didn’t already have a pair of solid axle projects this one wouldn’t scare me off at all.

  10. Rocco Member

    Again. What a shame.

  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    It’s been for sale a long time now…..

  12. anthony derosa

    My dad had a friend working on his mint restored 57 Chevy.He did not have insurance on it because he is a used car dealer and thought the shop insurance would cover it.The insurance company said he had to have a separate policy for it and would not cover it.It was a total loss.He still has not gotten over it.MAKE SURE YOUR CAR IS INSURED WITH AN AGREED AMOUNT POLICY.

  13. Ck

    To me it doesnt look like the fire was that bad .It looks like it was mostly in the interior and the firewall area . Do you think the fire was hot enough to afect the frame? That is some thing that you would have to have checked out I guess . Anyway the 60-62 vettes are way kool I love the tail lites on this body style definitely one of my favorite vettes .When I was a kid in the late 60’s or early 70’s one of the older girls in my neighborhood had a boyfriend who had 62.It was silver with black paisley stripes. That was such a kool car.Anyway, this car looks like a pretty good deal.

  14. Jack

    You do this for love and heritage, not for money.

  15. Rolf Poncho

    Seems like these early corvette’s is in the fire zone
    all the time what is it? (with fire and vette’s)

  16. Jay

    we are actually repairing this car right now and have been for about a year. this car got really hot under the dash which is not good as they dont remake some key things under there.

    Like 2

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