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“Mostly Complete” 1961 Corvette


The statement “Mostly Complete” is never encouraging, but does that mean one should stay away from a mostly complete project? Take this 1961 Corvette, which the seller is advertising as being mostly complete. While it is missing lots of parts, it appears to be solid and straight. Take a look at it here on eBay.


The 283 cui V8 under the hood isn’t the original and isn’t complete. It appears the seller has some of the parts for it in boxes. It comes with a 4-speed manual, but they don’t state what condition it’s in. Perhaps mostly complete isn’t the best way to describe this engine bay.


The interior is more complete then the engine bay, but is still missing pieces. What’s here looks to be in solid shape though and should be salvageable. The biggest concern here is the missing convertible top assembly, which could be expensive to replace.


This is a rather desirable year of Corvette, but its current condition and “mostly complete” status makes it a hard sell to anyone but the most dedicated of Corvette fans. If this is a mostly complete car to this seller, I can’t help but wonder what an incomplete car looks like to them. That being said, it doesn’t mean this couldn’t be a good buy for the right price.


  1. MM

    Solid basis for a Pro-Touring/Track beast. Who cares about the convertible top? Drop worked LSx motor in it with 6 spd,. full cage, Wilwood, the track suspension of your choice, and it will be a great car.

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  2. David Reeves

    I like the 1 on the left in the background in pic 4

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  3. paul

    When ever I see cars in the back round as this picture shows a couple of Vettes I always have the same question, why would a guy who has a couple of Vettes want to sell this one & not the others so you sort of have to think the the good parts where swaped out, leaving this the bastard child.

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    • Lee

      Ditto, Paul…I have to wonder if this was picked like a cherry tree and we are looking at the pits. I’d like to see this one saved and put back on the road but I think it’s a hodeg-podge for a reason.

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  4. geomechs geomechs Member

    Anything can be a worthwhile project as long as the initial price is right. Some of those missing pieces can cost a small fortune so you’re usually better off with something complete. The price this one is currently at is at the breaking point. I have to question what’s left of the engine. Is it fixable? Or does it have an extra breather hole in the crankcase just above the starter? Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think the 327 came out until ’62, unless the Vette got it a year earlier. The ’60-’62 Vette is my favorite and I’d love to find one. But this one would have me running scared; I agree with Paul. It was once a parts car.

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  5. Dolphin Member

    Yes this should have the 283, so the 327 in this is a later incorrect engine. I think much of the value of this car depends on the state of the body. If uncracked and not needing detail restoration of the ‘glas, and if the bonding strips are OK, it could be a good purchase for someone who knows these cars and can do the work it needs but can’t put out the $40K-and-up that it would take to buy one that doesn’t have needs. There are some parts that come with the car shown in the last few pics on the website, but I don’t know enough about these to know to what extent it’s “mostly complete”.

    This seller has really good feedback and seems to have presented the car honestly, altho some underside pics would have been welcome. The tough thing for bidders is to spend the time & energy to evaluate the car, but then resist the urge to overbid, relative to the car’s condition & completeness.

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  6. OLDSTUFF1941

    The article here said it was a 283 but not the original, and from the ‘looks’ of it, it has one of the most expensive hard to come by parts on it,…The Dual point Distributor… A carb is an easy find and Breathers and other missing engine bay parts are a dime a dozen….After restoring 53-75 Corvettes exclusively for about ten years, …I can tell you that most of the missing parts,(chrome,emblems etc.) may look like alot missing, but actually is not, and easily found, either reproduction or swap meet reasonably priced…. Just from past experience, the body looks great! … you can actually seem the factory bonding and seams, which means it has not been painted before and your looking at an original unhit body!! All in all, I can see that after gathering the parts, getting it running fairly easy, this would be a two or three day ‘Fixer-upper’ to have a decent ‘driver while you get it ready for paint… Just an opinion from an old guy who has built and restored all kinds of cars, trucks, boats for about 44 yrs.

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  7. OLDSTUFF1941

    OK….OK…. it has some body work,…. just looked at the Ebay photos…but these cars were notorious for stress cracks around the nose…due to the heavy weight of the front grill work and chrome….it couls also be where it was ‘nosed’ into something or a light fender bender…. but basically a great start on a really nice driver…the Ebay price of Ten grand is current but not meeting the reserve… my guess, this one wont sell for less than 15 to $20,000

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  8. OLDSTUFF1941

    and Yeah it has a passenger side replacement fender…seems to be decent work, all the gaps are good windshield seems to fit good… BUT HEY it a 61 Corvette! and it should be an fairly easy fixer…these cars were not real complicated..

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  9. Ted

    Has anyone ever thought about checking the “net’ for Corvette salvage yards and parts?

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    • OLDSTUFF1941

      I have found numerous parts for all years of these cars on the ‘net’ and also found that once people know your looking they tend to give leads to others who have parts and are also restoring them…there are a few Corvette only salvage yards, you just have to get in the loop to find info on them. Ebay and Craigslist are great sources and repro parts are readily available if your not building a ‘Bloomington Gold’ class car…

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  10. tkd

    I restored one of these 25 years or so ago! Even then it was very hard to find parts. Would I do another one? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.

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    • OLDSTUFF1941

      LOL,… you sound like me, 25 yrs. ago, … parts were much harder to get, especially if you were restoring to original show car specs… Luckily, (as I wrote Ted above), getting in that ‘Loop’ of other restorers and the car show/swapmeet markets, made it a much easier task to source the parts I needed. The original parts were more expensive too back then as the huge selection of quality repro parts that we have now,…were not as readily available… I’ve seen good original parts much cheaper than what I used to have to pay… I guess my favorite out of all the Corvettes I owned and restored was a white/black interior/automatic/hardtop only 59 …Great little car. You should try sourcing parts for a resto on an all original 1941 Chevrolet -Cabriolet-(convertible)

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  11. Larry

    UNMOLESTED ?????? This car has been raped!!! I too have worked on many corvettes in my 63 years, and yes this one does have a lot of good points along with the bad ones. I think this would make a nice driver, OLDSTUFF 1941, not in 3 days, sorry, have to agree to disagree with that statement. It’s at $11,000 and still not at reserve, getting to expensive. I have to agree with Paul’s statement.

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    • OLDSTUFF1941

      Your right about the unmolested part, heh heh…and in a sense, that this car has been raped…LOL… the body has been stripped of all paint,(which to me is good if I’m buying a restorable builder)…It has many parts removed and most likely is going to take a little pocket change to replace, The Ebay ad shows a few of the harder to find and somewhat expensive parts do come with the car though. AND YES,…I should’ve written that the two or three days would’ve been to get it running and driving for around the lot or shop,…especially without any paint on it…I wouldn’t let one of these cars (or any fiberglass car) sit outside any time at all without any paint or at least a sealer primer on it,…much less drive it down the road…So I guess I should’ve said that two to three days to get it running and driving around the shop, and maybe another two to three weeks for the rest (Paint etc. etc.) to have a really nice driver, not a points winning show car…You were right Larry to point out my obvious ‘Old car guy over anxious wishful thinking’ …

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  12. Dolphin Member

    22 bids to $15,600 but the reserve was not met.
    IMHO, that should have been enough.

    Like 1

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