Potential Show Car: 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Original 283 c.i. motor, original 2-speed Powerglide transmission, original paint, original interior.  According to the seller of this ’61 Vette, even every nut and bolt on this car is original!  Documented to be the 69th Corvette to roll off of the assembly line in 1961, it’s spent the past 40 years in a climate controlled garage near Los Angeles, California. This amazingly well preserved classic is listed here on Craigslist for $64,000 OBO.  Thanks to Ikey Heyman for another great Barn Finds tip!

Fawn Beige is the name Chevy gave this paint color and this Vette still wears it brilliantly.  It looks beautiful against the contrasting white bodyside paint and white removable hard top.  I was surprised to learn that, according to VetteFacts.com, of the six color options Chevy offered in 1961, Fawn Beige came in at #4 in terms of production numbers (1,363).  The majority of Corvettes were painted Ermine White (3,178) while the least produced color was Sateen Silver (747).

“Hey, check out my huge bicep in the mirror!”  I’m always entertained by Craigslist photos where the seller unknowingly takes a selfie.  Of the twenty-three photos displayed in the ad, unfortunately only two of them are interior shots and oddly, both were taken while the seller was seated in the driver seat.  Other than a view of the instrument cluster and the seller’s knees, there isn’t much to see.  The seller claims the interior is in excellent condition with no rips or tears in the seats.  From the little that can be seen it appears the interior was also optioned in Fawn Beige.

According to the seller, the original 283 and Powerglide transmission were rebuilt nearly 25 years ago (at 92,300 miles) by Dick Randall at Corvette Specialties in Glendora, California.  The car now has 98,200 miles and is reported to run flawlessly with no mechanical issues whatsoever.  A new fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel lines were installed in 2017.  The seller mentions the presence of the 2-speed Powerglide transmission makes this car rare. Chevy produced 1,458 Vettes with this option vs. 5,328 4-speed manuals, according to VetteFacts.com.  Certainly and for good reason, the 4-speed manual was a much more popular option in 1961.  If you were to invest in a collectible like this would the presence of the 2-speed Powerglide be a deterrent or, as the seller suggests, would it be attractive as a rare option?  Hopefully, some Corvette enthusiasts are willing to share their opinions in the comments section!

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Comments

  1. macvaugh

    Certainly, whomever installed that black radio should be shot :) I am of the mind that these cars are being collected as a snapshot of the times in which they were bought, so the auto transmission makes it desirable to me.

    I would need an up close inspection before I would buy any of the claims made in the advertisement. That paint appears to have held up far better than on any example I have seen. California is great, but not that great.

    Like 4
  2. Joe Machado

    This Vette looks so familiar. I lived off Western near the Pines. Went to Narbonne. Is the name Huckabee familiar to the owner?

    • OhU8one2

      Having a powerglide transmission is just like having a benchseat in an early Mustang. Yeah they’re rare, because nobody really wanted them in the first place.

      Like 9
      • ken tilly Member

        Or a 2 speed automatic. Love the colour scheme.

        Like 3
      • triumph1954

        ???

  3. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Sorry but I don’t think a powerglide is “that rare”. Happens I was at the MSRA show last weekend and saw several 61’s and there were multiple automatics in the group. It’s a nice looking car overall but not as rare as the seller wants to imply IMO. I saw some nice C1’s, some for sale with lower prices and some with higher.
    If you want it and have the money, check it out. If not, it’s not the only one out there with or without automatics.

    Like 3
    • Pat

      Nice car just think that the term all original is used a little to loosely these days
      Probably not original top that came with car and definitely not original radio and it has 1967 valve covers

  4. ccrvtt

    I vividly remember my PDL (pre-driver’s license) days and walking by hot cars like this. I’d peer into the window to see that magical H + reverse pattern next to the shifter. Corvettes and Galaxie 500XLs with the shift pattern etched into the knob & the all important t-handle reverse lockout – it was all just so Cool.

    While this is indeed a beautiful car the Powerglide just doesn’t get it for me.

    Like 7
  5. Andre

    Ehhh fawn beige, power glide, base motor, single top… Original as it may be it doesn’t offer a lot of sex appeal for a C1.

    I’m sure someone will love it.

    Like 4
  6. ruxvette

    Powerglide rare? Roughly 1500 out of 11,000 so, yeah, rare. Not necessarily desirable, but rare. Find the right radio and radiator cap, perhaps buy a replacement grab bar (stash the original) and call it good. I’ll be Buz, you be Tod and let’s hit Route 66.

    Like 1
  7. Billieg

    In the late 70’s I helped a friend restore a 62. It took 2 years and everything was rebuilt. He drove it a few times as well as me and we both agreed it rode like a Mack truck and wouldn’t get out of it’s own way. Nice toy but totally unusable.

    Like 4
  8. Mike

    You can’t say “ORIGINAL and UNMOLESTED” in caps and have that out of place radio in there.

    Like 6
  9. gbvette62

    Though I do like the 61-62 Fawn interior, I have no love for the Fawn exterior.

    The seller says it’s a hardtop only car, but unless someone painted the top white, it can’t be the original hardtop. Corvette removable hardtops were always body colored.

    To me, the narrow white walls don’t look right on 61’s. 62 was the first year for the narrow white walls, 61’s came with 2 3/4″ wide whites, and I think 61’s look better with them.

    Automatics aren’t the deal killer they once where in Corvettes. The hobby’s getting older, and a lot of today’s older buyers have bad knees, hips, etc, and others just don’t want to be bothered with shifting. Also, there are a lot of buyers these days, that don’t know how to drive a manual.

    It looks like a pretty nice 61, but I think the price maybe just a little strong for a Fawn Beige, base motor, Powerglide, hardtop only car.

    Like 4
    • ruxvette

      I’m not aware that hardtops were body colored. Is that because there was not an auxiliary hard top color RPO? I’m not sure what the two-tone exterior included beyond cove paint.

  10. Joe Haska

    I can’t even picture in my mind ,someone putting the radio in that car. I think if you got caught, that would be jail-time for sure.

  11. Jack Quantrill

    You must admire someone who could hang on to this for so long. I regret selling my cars too soon.

  12. bob

    Ditto on the not that rare part. And the part that no one really wanted them. I suppose it your buying one to park in the garage and sit in it after diner and just look at it, not drive it, them go for it. Over priced, yea.

    Like 3
  13. ROGER

    if the vehicle is so original, why did the owner put a set of skinny white wall tires instead of the original wide whites that should had came from the chevrolet dealer ?

    Like 1
  14. Dusty

    I love this body style in a Corvette – but an automatic is a real downer.

    Like 1

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