1961 Chevrolet Corvette - Second-Chance '61

A few years back, Robert McNerney went to the Atlantic City Classic Car Auction in hopes of finding a C1 that he could buy as a weekend driver. He missed this gem the first time around.

>>> DATA FILE::: '61 Chevrolet Corvette
Owned by Robert McNerney, Mahwah, New Jersey
Total '61 Corvette production: 10,939
Built: July 1961 at Chevrolet's St. Louis (MO) Assembly Plant, in the last month of the '61 model year production.

>> BODY
Production '61 Corvette fiberglass body
Modifications: None
Options: Two-tone paint (RPO 440)
Color: Fawn Beige with Ermine White coves, one of 358 '61 Corvettes painted this way
Paint: Original DuPont acrylic lacquer
Top: White convertible top (original), body not equipped for optional hardtop

>> CHASSIS
Production '61 Corvette
Modifications: None
Suspension: Front: stock C1 Corvette coil springs and Delco shocks; Rear: stock C1 Corvette leaf springs and Delco shocks
Steering: Original GM/Saginaw Gear recirculating ball, 16:1 ratio, nonpower-assisted
Brakes: Original GM/Chevrolet drum-and-shoe brakes all around, nonpower-assisted
Wheels: Stock 15x5.5-inch steel, with standard chrome full-wheel cover
Tires: Reproductions of original-style 6.70-15 whitewalls (RPO 290) all around (1961 was the last year for OEM "wide band" whitewall tires, industry-wide)

>> ENGINE
Chevrolet overhead-valve V-8, Gen I small-block (RPO 469)
Displacement: 283 ci
Compression: 9.5:1
Induction: Two Carter four-barrel carburetors: Front: Carter 3181S No. 3785554; Rear: Carter 2627S No. 3744004
Camshaft: Stock Chevrolet, hydraulic lifters (per RPO 469)
Block: Stock Chevrolet cast iron, casting No. 3789935
Heads: Stock Chevrolet cast iron, casting No. 3774692
Radiator: Original GM/Harrison crossflow aluminum with aluminum expansion tank and temperature-controlled fan (new for 1961)
Modifications: None, other than factory 2x4 carburetor option and stock finned aluminum valve covers
Horsepower: 245 (Chevrolet factory rating)
Torque: 300 at 3,800 rpm (Chevrolet factory rating)

>> TRANSMISSION
Original Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual (RPO 685), with new-for-'61 aluminum case and original shifter with reverse lock-out
Clutch: Original
Rearend: Stock C1 rearend with Posi-traction differential (RPO 675), 3.70:1 rear gear ratio

>> INTERIOR
Original production '61 Corvette
New features for '61: Narrower transmission tunnel for more interior room. Windshield washers, sun shades, and parking-brake courtesy light made standard for 1961
Seats: Production '61 Corvette bucket seats, upholstered in beige vinyl
Gauges: Production '61 Corvette, with 0-160 mph speedometer and 0-7,000 rpm tachometer (5,500 rpm redline), plus gauges for fuel level, battery (ammeter), engine temperature, and oil pressure
Sound system: Optional GM Delco signal-seeking pushbutton AM radio (RPO 102)
Other options: Heater (RPO 101)

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