Live Auctions

Worthwhile Project? 1961 Chevrolet Corvette

This 1961 Chevrolet Corvette is listed as “Stripped” on the Copart auction site for salvage vehicles. This is a strange site indeed, as this generation Corvette is typically coveted by collectors and rarely seen in anything other than concours condition. There are some exceptions, such as cars that were drag-raced in period and continue to do so today. But if it’s a stock example, it’s generally a car that gets showered with affection, not dumped at the local Copart lot. This one is a mystery, but there are some signs it’s a restoration project whose time ran out shortly before being sold to Copart. Find the Corvette here on Copart with no bidding action yet.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Desmond G. for the find. I had probably my most in-depth experience with Copart a few months ago, when I registered to bid on a car I thought no one else would want due to having a salvage title and “Biohazard” written all over the windows due to a mice infestation. To my surprise, the car went for double what I thought I’d pay if I were seriously considering a roll of the dice that the rodent hotel had long since vacated the car. In a nutshell, it showed me that for all the YouTube superstars claiming to find incredible deals at Copart, that’s not reality – and this ’61 Corvette likely isn’t going to go cheaply.

So what happened here? The Corvette appears to have a good body, despite the mismatched paint. There are numerous parts missing, which is a crucial part of the mystery as to how this Corvette ended up here. “Stripped” usually indicates a car found on a loading dock in New Jersey somewhere, but Copart isn’t exactly scientific when describing their vintage vehicle collection. I suspect that adjective in this instance refers to a car that had parts removed for a restoration project that never commenced. The bigger question is whether it was forcefully repossessed or taken in when an older owner passed away and there were no heirs to settle the estate. The windscreen is seen sitting on the front seat.

The trunk holds other treasures, namely a grill, bumpers, and other chrome or stainless steel trim. To me, the trunk shot tells me beyond a shadow of a doubt that this Corvette was someone’s long-term restoration project not too long ago that either hit hard times or was left unfinished after the caretaker passed away. For someone with the right skills and patience, this 1961 Corvette represents a potentially excellent opportunity to get into C1 ownership for a far lower price than normal. The big question is the condition of the frame and other bits underneath, but that’s what Copart’s on-site inspectors are for.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    This must be a whole lot of nothing for a whole lot of money week.

    Like 11
  2. KC

    Hurricane Harvey flood car. Many, many collector cars were trashed, only to be sold thru Copart

    Like 2
    • art randall

      yes it might have been but it should sell upward of 15k just the way it sits

  3. KC

    There should be a mark, somewhere on the exterior, of how far up the flood water went on the car.

    Like 6
  4. Steve Clinton

    Posted on ‘Copart’…it should have been posted on ‘Kaput’.

    Like 4
  5. Fred W

    Always wondered what the “Biohazard” label meant at Copart. If it can get the label from having once had mice…well, I should have been dead a long time ago considering the infestations I’ve dealt with.

    Like 1
    • michael kelly

      Mouse droppings, excrement, rotting food/excessive trash, or blood.

      Like 1
    • stillrunners stillrunners Member

      Means a lot more than rodents…..the yard I visit just had over a dozen released from the insurance companies. Freaky as it has the diseased name listed on the front card.

      Like 1
  6. Matt

    Not really sure what the other commenters are talking about, but that Vette is a bargain for the current bid price of $6,800 – especially if the fiberglass work was done right and all the chrome trim is present. If the frame is good then it’s a prime candidate for a restoration, but if not there are several companies out there that offer full frames with modern independent suspensions and motor mounts already set up for an LS1. A decent C1 driver goes for $45-50, this one even with the work it needs is a buy anything south of $20.

    Like 4
  7. V12MECH

    If still has a tag, do a vin search, copart s- title means zilch.

  8. Les

    Any body notice the speedo cluster ive had a dozen c1 s
    Never saw that configuration
    But it wasnt there by accident
    Like to know the story here

  9. Bunky

    1) This car was not sold to Copart- it is being sold by Copart.
    2) A salvage vehicle auction is a reasonable choice for a venue to sell an incomplete or damaged vehicle.
    3) The buyer will receive clear ownership to the vehicle.
    With all due respect, the author of the article should have had a basic understanding of the situation before writing the article.

  10. dogwater

    It looks to be a good project for someone that wants to do it themselves

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