Worthwhile Project? 1961 Chevrolet Corvette


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I’m sure one of the first things you noticed about the Corvette in the picture above is that it’s nose-high, implying there’s no engine in there. You’d be right, but surprise, an engine is included for the car! It’s located in Columbia Station, Ohio and is up for auction here on eBay, where bidding has yet to meet the reserve.


I happen to like the American Racing wheels, but I know originality enthusiasts would rather see original wheels. I was also intrigued by the hardtop; apparently this car was delivered only with the hardtop. However, one thing to consider is that without all the original components, this car should sell for a lot less, and it does give you the freedom to change things a little when working on the car without offending too many of the Corvette folks.


But wait, there’s less! Thankfully, this seller has shown closeups of the issues they call out about the frame. I’m really impressed with the honesty here; I think this is a seller I could trust. As you can see, there are some frame issues; lots of folks don’t think about rust in a fiberglass car, but you’re going to need some major repairs or a replacement frame here. Certainly the body will have to come off the frame, making this a pretty long project to consider.


I’m not really sure why some of the interior appears to have been painted an unusual shade of yellow; I thought it was a primer, but apparently the car was originally delivered with a Fawn Beige interior–does a knowledgeable reader know whether that’s the shade or not? Again, the blue seats are obviously originally from another car, and parts of the rest of the interior don’t even exist yet, such as the door and kick panels.


On the left, where the engine will end up; on the right, we have a 3789935 casting 283 engine that would look very nice in that engine compartment once it was rebuilt! What do you think, readers; is it worth the effort to restore or refurbish? And which one would you choose if you did?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. MH

    This car will be saved for sure. To bad it would take 100K to get it to be a stock show car. Personally I would rather buy one I can drive now and not in 5 years when it’s done.

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  2. Bill

    By the time a fortune is spent and countless man hours invested, you can buy one all ready to go for a lot less. This would be a true labor of love

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  3. TLouisJ

    In a previous post I mentioned growing up in Eastern Oregon in the 60’s. Gary’s folks bought him a new ’63 SS 409 Impala. His car before that? A ’61 Corvette. It was almost new (1962), and after a few months he traded it for the 409 Impala. A couple of years later he traded the 409 Impala for a ’65 Corvette Stingray roadster 327 fuelie. Those were the days….. :-) Terry J

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  4. ydnar

    This appears to have been a parts car, looking at his other auctions. 17K for this?
    Not me, but there is a buyer out there somewhere.

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  5. Jim

    I agree with ydar this seems to have been someone’s parts car that has been pieced together to resemble a project. The body has potential but I think it would be a mistake to spend $20k+ on a restoration without replacing that chassis. BTW not that he claimed that was the original motor but without the front motor mount bracket between the water pump and the block it was never in a 62 or older Vette.

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  6. JACKinNWPA jackMember

    A tad bit too much money for me but it wouldn’t take me long to start making a gasser.

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  7. Rick

    I coulda bought a driver ’61 Vette with new red & white paint, very presentable numbers matching 4 speed, but neither top was present, this was around 1994-95 and the price was $16,000. Shoulda bought it

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    • ydnar

      Yep, us car guys have buckets full of shoulda, coulda, woulda’s.

      In the end it’s all just “stuff”, and you can’t take it with you.

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  8. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    ydnar, maybe you CAN take it with you….a year or two back, a Columbus funeral director mounted a dead guy up on his Harley inside a big Plexiglas box. The guy was dressed up in his biker gear (with helmet on, if that makes any sense), and the hearse towed the box down the road to the cemetery, where the entire box, bike, dead guy and all was planted in the ground. Weird, eh?

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    • Woodie Man

      On a similar note………like Kirk Douglas in The Vikings………I would prefer arrows on fire shot into my Woodie ( the one you drive) as it rolls down the open road….of course my relatives probably wouldn’t.

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      • ydnar

        The one you drive, with 4 tires and wheels, correct?

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  9. Jim

    Love the styling of these, 4 headlamps and contrasting color coves.

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    • Jim

      You guys caught me, yes I meant a vette with wheels! Lol I meant the early vettes with 4 headlamps instead of two always appealed to me more, they look more aggressive.

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  10. skibum2

    Interesting… worked in a body shop in Seattle in 1970..we rebuilt corvettes.. used to go to abandon car auctions on Saturday.. I would buy corvettes for no more than $125.00… ahhh… We had an original cheeta in our shop and what a rocket.. Ahh, the older I get, the better I was.. enjoy this labor of love.

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    • Jim

      I believe you can still buy copies if the original Cheetah body. Hell, if your credit card can reach deep enough you can buy anything.

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  11. Jim

    I like the styling if the Cheetah, I’d think about it if they came in adult size! The last one I saw was at Hershey PA, I’m being kind saying it was a wrecked POS but it sold, no chassis, rollbar, drivetrain, although it had aluminum interior, gauges, seats and a set of 12″ wide steel wheels. The guy was asking 10k and someone chewed him down to 8.5k, I just hope its back together and being thrashed at Limerock or Watkins Glen, I’d hate to see it wrapped in blankets in a garage.

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  12. Rob

    In the condition it is and the increasing popularity of “gassers” and modified sports drag cars, I would find good used frame, slick up the body, drop in a blown 327, the wheels are already there, put on multiple coats of Kandy Apple Red paint, and put in a minimum interior. Set it up for the street and drive it until the wheels fell off.

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    • Jim

      It’s perfect!

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  13. Scott

    This is Fawn Beige….

    Like 1

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