1961 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
A change in GM leadership delayed the next-generation Corvette, but in 1961 'Vette buyers got a preview of the C2 generation in the form of a redesigned rear treatment, hearkening what would become the Sting Ray design language. The car that won Mitchell's contest was a coupe penned by Peter Brock (who would leave GM in 1960 and eventually design the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe.) That car would become the Q Corvette coupe, a design prototype built with lightness in mind, using a Corvair transaxle and independent rear.
For consignment a 1961 version that is a pre cursor to the future as it retains its dual open headlights loses its toothy grille and goes with an egg crate grille. but when we move to the rear of the car we are looking at the Sting Ray back and taillight configuration. A meticulously restored engine with every part reworked, cleaned, bored, balanced and refitted all numbers matching and all original parts were restored and then put back on. Wrap all this in Tuxedo Black and you now have the belle of the ball.
Not unlike a beautiful debutante descending a staircase for her coming out party, this 'Vette is all dressed in Tuxedo Black which presents well but is showing its age in spots. Bejeweled with beautiful chrome, the side coves with spears, and a new grille design it is ready for its debut on the streets. Old style front configuration, and the new Sting Ray rear, it is all straight unmarred fiberglass and chrome. A presumed original convertible top is on the head of this car and has a few rips that go through to the inside. It has a plastic rear window which is fogged with a wonderful tan discolored patina. 15-inch knockoff style wheel covers and thin whites complete the exterior outfit.
Awesome original door panels in black vinyl with horizontal ribbed aluminum which houses the window crank and knobbed door latch openers all excellent and shiny. Squeezing inside past the wrap around windshield, and the restored but original dash with its large curved eyebrow which houses the gauges, and oversized steering wheel, we get comfortable in the black vinyl bomber style buckets. The passenger bucket has a few tape over repairs to what we assume are cracks in the vinyl. Black carpet in good condition floods the floors and has a shiny gearshift bezel complete with the essential ashtray. The center of the dash houses a nifty aluminum plate that has airflow levers, a large clock and Chevrolet badging in your grandmother's handwriting. On the passenger side of the dash is the coved Jesus bar in black and white, ready to be grabbed when the driver goes into the turn.
Copious notes accompany this car as to exactly what was done to the engine, and I can tell you it was a meticulous rebuild which included the likes of extensive cleaning, sonic studies for cracks, micro polishing and resurfacing extensively. All this work is wrapped up in a numbers matching 283ci V8 complete with the correct distributor, correct intake manifold, and just immaculate painting and detailing. Atop is a single Carter 4-barrel carburetor and a T10 4-speed manual transmission on the back of this beautiful mill. Power to the wheels comes by way of a 3.70 posi-traction rear.
Surface rust only on numerous parts and the X frame, but never a doubt as to structural integrity. Floor pans are excellent, and engine bottom end looks just beautiful in the Chevrolet orange paint. Independent coil springs in front and leaf springs all rebuilt are on the rear of this car. 4-wheel drum brakes are also noted.
Excellent starter and smooth runner, there is plenty of power in this gal. Handling would best be described as sweet, and ride very comfortable. All interior functions performed well.
Save for a few faults which tend to come with something that retains much of its originality, this car presents beautifully. With a totally rebuilt engine, good paint, nice chrome, and a convertible, your date awaits you to sweep you up and take you out for a night on the town, going nowhere but certainly turning many heads on your way. I think I'm in love.