Parked In The ’90s: 1961 Chevrolet Corvette

This 1961 Corvette isn’t completely original, but what it represents is a solid prospect for restoration. The car has been sitting since the early 1990s, but has been returned to a running state, and could be driven as it currently stands. Located in Durant, Oklahoma, the Corvette is listed for sale here on eBay. With bidding having now reached $23,900, the reserve has been met. That means that the Corvette is set to find its way to a new home.

When it was new, the Corvette must have been quite a sight finished in Roman Red. Time has taken its toll on the car, but if the owner’s claim is correct, it is at least a rust-free vehicle. There are some fiberglass repairs required on the front left corner of the car, but the rest of the body appears to be in fairly reasonable condition. The majority of the external trim and chrome looks to be quite good, but it isn’t clear whether all of the original hubcaps are present. The soft-top has also got a bit of a ratty look about it, and it is hard to tell whether this could be restored, or whether a replacement will be on the cards.

In 1961, 40% of all Corvettes built featured a Red interior, making this the most popular choice amongst new car buyers. This interior is one of these, but it is also showing the ravages of time, and a full restoration is going to be required. The original radio is missing, so a replacement will need to be sourced. All of the metal trim items appear to have survived okay, but the vast majority of the upholstered surfaces will either need to be restored or replaced. The wheel also sports some obvious wear on the rim, but this could be restored without having to resort to replacement.

Lifting the lid on the Corvette reveals why the car could not be considered to be original. The 283ci V8 that originally graced the engine bay is long gone, and in its place is the 340hp version of the 327ci V8 from a 1962 model. Backing this is a 4-speed close-ratio transmission. When the car was placed into storage in the 1990s, apparently it was well prepared beforehand. As a result, it took little work to breathe new life into the 327. The fuel system was purged and cleaned, and new fuel lines were fitted. The braking system has undergone a complete rebuild. The original drums have been machined, but the Corvette sports a new master cylinder, new wheel cylinders, new shoes, and the car is now said to run and drive well. Given the fact that the car is apparently rust-free, there appears to be no reason why it couldn’t be driven and enjoyed immediately.

As a restoration project, this 1961 Corvette doesn’t seem to be a bad proposition. The owner floats the idea of using the car as the foundation for a restomod, and given the fact that it is no longer fitted with its original engine, this is a very real possibility. Whatever path the next owner chooses to follow, the end product could still be a pretty nice classic to own and drive.


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  1. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Haven’t we seen this car before….and before ?

  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Seen before or not, it’s still something a lot of people will love. What I don’t remember is the engine, what’s the cr on it and unless the heads have been reworked I doubt it’s got hardened valve seals in it.
    Regardless of the costs, I think it would be fun to have in the garage.

  3. Ron Bajorek

    drive it, have fun

  4. A.J.

    Gotta watch this one. Wife will kill me if I take the 401K money to buy it but hey ya only live once and if you do it right once is enough. I think I still have an original shifter somewhere too. Couple of winter’s projects and you would have a great summer car.

    Like 3
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Do it while you can. Wait to you get to my age and instead of getting something fun with your 401 you’re paying off hospital bills for someone.

      Like 2
  5. Jonathan

    It would need the original engine to be worth that much. Half maybe.

  6. TimM

    I really wish they weren’t so expensive to get one that needs total restoration!! I would love to own a gem like this!!! In my opinion the 327 is a great upgrade from the 283!! A period correct fuel injection system would be sweet on this car!!!

    Like 2
  7. George mattar

    Cleam it up and drive. Life is short. I have had my old Corvette 4 years now. Put more miles in it than the previous owner did in 25 years. Yeah. 4 cylinder Hondas driven by jerk offs can pass me. So what. I have more fun.

    Like 4
  8. Wr HALL

    When I was studying auto mechanics in the early seventies the dept chair turned his a 62 Vet into a dragster to get interest in the program. I got now clue whatever happened to it but if someone wanted to restore it would have been a ground up project.

  9. Tex260Z

    Why $23,900?, do people really think we fall for that anymore? Just call it $24,000 and we might think you are honest.

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