One Family For 56 Years: 1961 Chevrolet Corvette

Every car that survives long enough has a story, sometimes many of them. These objects that we love are, like all things, ephemeral; they succumb to rust and wrecks and mechanical failures. They burn and they get crushed. They’re built to be, ultimately, used and used up. This is why, when I see a car like this 1961 Corvette — located in Pendelton, Indiana, and available here on Bring a Trailer — I sometimes think about the story told by its condition, its modifications, even just its continued existence.

This car was bought in 1965 by the seller’s father, and at that time the 327 currently installed had already been stroked to 369 cubic inches. In the intervening years, the engine was given a new cam, headers, and intake manifold, with a new dual exhaust. The seller reports that the engine hasn’t been started in 20 years or so, but that he doesn’t believe that it’s seized.

When it comes to the body and interior, two things are clear: first, the car warrants a complete restoration, and second, that it’s likely an exceptional candidate. From the pictures provided of the underside of the car, the frame seems solid; at least, there’s no obvious rust-through. There’s damage to the fiberglass just ahead of the passenger side door, and the hardtop will need some glass replaced. The car comes with all its original trim– but this, too, will need attention. Every soft surface of the interior will need replacement, though if one were to take a chance with some polishing compound, the chrome might just prove to be a pleasant surprise. What the car needs would fill a post three times the length of this one, but the new owner will have one huge advantage: few models have such a passionate network of owners or the ready availability of aftermarket parts and supplies. There’s little that you might need for this car that can’t be found, including the expertise of a wide range of specialists who can address every aspect of a full restoration.

And this is one car that would be worth that sort of attention to detail. Not just for the automotive history, the investment, or to preserve an example of a timeless design, but because it has meant something to someone and can mean something to someone again. So many of us are here, part of this beautiful hobby, because of our own history with cars. As a pastime, old cars don’t make sense: they’re time-consuming and often frustrating to the point of madness. Money-wise, you’re lucky if it’s a wash. But that’s love. Cars are a part of us, a part of our personal histories. Sometimes, with a special car like this one, we can be a part of theirs.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Would love to tackle this one, but right now I’m way to sad. Just lost my wife as she passes away Tuesday evening in our home.
    God bless America

    Like 71
    • Euromoto Member

      Condolences, friend. God bless and may she Rest In Peace.

      Bob

      Like 57
    • StevSlade

      Peace be with you brother…

      Like 35
    • Rodney

      Very sorry to hear!

      Like 35
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      I’m sorry to hear that, sir. My deepest condolences, we’re thinking about you in your time of grief.

      Like 34
    • Jim in FL

      I’m terribly sorry. Please accept my prayers. Hobbies can bring people together, but also offer some inclusion in happiness and sadness. Corvettes are great, but the love for your wife would take ten barns to fill. I hope you find peace.

      Like 30
    • David Peterson

      My heart felt condolences.

      Like 24
    • StevSlade

      Peace be with you brother…my wife is in a wheelchair and i tend to her needs. This site lets me dream of the ‘what-if-only’ opportunity that life presents.

      Like 35
    • Ralph

      So sorry for your loss. Please know that there are a good many people that care, and share your sorrow.
      The right words can be very hard at times like this, sometimes there are few that seem to be of help or comfort.
      When we love a person, pain can be a part of the equation.
      Yet when we are blessed by and with the right person, love remains forever.
      Please remember that you and your family are in our prayers.
      God bless you and your wife.

      Like 30
    • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

      I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers to you and your family.

      David

      Like 22
    • Jt

      So sorry for your loss.

      Like 9
    • Paul Barger

      Sorry for your loss prayers for your family

      Like 2
    • Michael L Eveland

      John, I can’t even imagine how you feel. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

      Like 10
    • bobH Member

      So sorry for your loss. Blessings and prayers. I share your sorrow, as my wife of 55 years passed about 5 years ago. It will be a tough row to hoe for awhile.

      Like 2
    • Stu

      Very sad indeed. May you find peace in your life and may she indeed rest in peace.

      Like 8
    • gaspumpchas

      Sorry to hear John. Condolences from Darlene and myself.

      Like 4
    • geomechs geomechs Member

      So sorry to hear that. Condolences from our family to yours. May God bless.

      Like 5
    • Ort

      I’m so sorry John. My deepest sympathies.

      Like 3
    • Rob

      Most sincere condolences and prayers going out for you and your family tonight. She is with God tonight.

      Like 2
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      We are here for you, John, to hopefully brighten the days to come.

      Hang in there, friend.

      Like 2
  2. rbig18

    It appears to have good bones, but when you add up the labor, paint and pretty much every single piece of trim for the interior and exterior, all chrome and engine it will be in the 80-100K range (including purchase). One day way off in the future it might be worth what was put into it. Then again for someone in total love with these it might just not matter.

    Like 8
  3. Wayne Thorpe Member

    I’m sorry to read about your wife’s passing. May God give you strength. Wayne

    Like 12
  4. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Thank you all lovers of these old cars and these sites like barn finds( my favorite) for your kind words and thoughts. Although my wife suffered the last 2 1/2 years with amputation of left leg, diabetes, kidney failure and high blood pressure, she kept in good spirits and passed peacefully in her bed at home. Now she’s with Jesus whom she loved with all her heart.
    God bless America
    Johnmloghry

    Like 38
    • moosie moosie

      Johnmloghry, Please accept my sincerest condolences, May your wife Rest In Eternal Peace in the house of the Lord.

      Like 3
  5. John Oliveri

    To the man who lost his wife, God bless you and God rest her soul, hopefully you have some friends or family to help you get thru this, maybe an old car, to take you for long rides and some solitude, this Vette would help, also leave you broke. Sometimes cars are too far along for the untalented people to take on, this one needs a pro

    Like 9
    • StephSlade

      looks like 40K$ to get it driveable and $60k to make it pretty.
      my swag…

  6. Brian Woods

    May time do It’s quiet work, bringing comfort to your heart.
    Sorry for your loss

  7. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    @John-Heartfelt condolences 💐 in the passing of your wife as you live the rest of your life to honor her. I smiled when I read the last sentence in your second post. She knew what mattered most.

    Like 2
  8. Kenn

    Seller “….doesn’t believe that (the engine) is seized.” Too lazy to put a wrench on the pulley to find out? Or has he, and knows the true answer. Some of the descriptions by sellers on this site astound me.

    Like 2
  9. larry

    sorry for your loss. we will be praying for you

    Like 1
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Item Withdrawn from BAT:

    bringatrailer
    Hello BaT community,

    It has come to our attention that the seller of this car and his family are not all on the same page about parting with the vehicle. We believe it is vital to ensure that the winning bidder is not put in an awkward position after the auction closes, and so we are unfortunately obliged to withdraw the listing. This is not a step we take lightly, and we apologize for any inconvenience it causes.

    -BaT

  11. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments. You really feel like family to me.
    God bless all of you.
    God bless America

    Like 3

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