Even though great changes were missing from this model because of successive releases, this car fulfilled what it set out to achieve and brought significant improvements in few crucial aspects that were criticized earlier. This release came long after its due because Chevrolet had already begun to lose its hold in the automobile arena.
What’s the story?
One of the reasons why the models prior to the 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible received criticism is because many claimed that the only thing that the models could offer was a decent drag strip performance. There was nothing else that it could provide as there was a severe lack of ability to corner properly and come to a halt. Since the release in 1954, this model received many refinements until 1959, but the criticisms only kept mounting because Chevrolet was not sure what the engineers were collectively doing wrong. It wasn’t until 1960 that this model was released and put an end to all criticism, making way for a path to create history all over again.
Compared to the releases that happened in the 50s, 1961 Corvette convertible had a rather distinctive appearance characterized by sharp lines on its body and clear-cut corners. The previous models looked rather “plain” if they were placed side-by-side with this model as they were built for an era that apparently passed long before General Motors had realized. This distinctive body design helped to pull the crowd’s attention, as the rear end of this model became a showstopper because of its uniqueness that had been derived from the Sting Ray, which was a Corvette model meant for racing. This model is visually appealing and had shown great promise of reviving the ailing series.
Exterior visuals and changes
1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible boasted of a few more changes on its outer body apart from the aggressive and sharp detailing elements. Front fascia of this model practically remained unchanged, but new rear bumpers that were added, blended exquisitely with the overall body design; not to forget the exhaust tips were placed under this car’s body instead of the tip of the bumpers like in the previous version. This move had made the car highly fashionable while retaining its classic Corvette visuals that people had come to love over the years.
The body was made of fiberglass and had a smooth finish that would appeal to every sports car lover. Overall, this model indeed looked very impressive.
Cabin design and other features
The interior of 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible didn’t receive many changes and looked quite similar to the past versions. However, feeling wise, seats were very comfortable and designed quite remarkably for maximum style. The idea behind most minor touchups in the cabin space was Motorama Touch that brought the best driving and passenger experience possible. The instrument cluster was prominent and easy to read as it came with a speedometer, temperature gauge, gas gauge, ammeter, and oil pressure gauge. Other features contributed to the interior package by being hits and misses; they are as follows:
• Fully functional parking brake light that warned the driver if parking brake was on
Seats with 33 inch aft and fro movement, making for enough legroom for passengers
High-quality radio with fantastic sound
Clutch operation was smooth at all times regardless of the speed of the car
Hardtop gives great vision from inside the vehicle
Red colored upholstery to give a luxurious feeling inside
The radio was placed far inside the instrument panel, making it difficult to reach
Awkwardly positioned clock on the console
Some wind noise was felt if the windows were rolled down
Engine and performance
1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible five engine variants, each capable of producing different horsepower. These engines were made to satisfy the requirements of car lovers who want to use this vehicle for their own purposes.
1. The Standard engine came with a single 4-barrel carburetor and with the capability of producing 230 hp.
2. The next engine offered 245 hp with an engine with twin 4-barrels
3. Another engine delivered a maximum of 270 hp with a twin 4-barrel engine
4. Around 275 hp could be achieved with an engine, equipped with fuel injection technology
5. Final engine variant came with fuel injection as well and produced 315 hp
Along with the engines, this car also provided a choice in transmission systems as there were three types in total. 3-speed synchromesh, synchromesh of 4-speed, and last but not least Powerglide transmission. The five axle ratios in total were available; they were – 4.56:1, 3.70:1, 4.11: 1, 3.55:1, and lastly, 3.36:1. There is no doubt that the four-speed Corvette transmission was one of the best in the car market as it offered appropriate ratio to the driver along with tremendous cornering ability.
With better cornering ability than cars available in the market, 1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible indeed proved itself to be a vehicle worth cherishing. Breakthrough in engineering over the previous releases, this car once again brought the Corvette lineup into the mainstream and people started to buy it once again. There is simply no match for the Corvette as far as its value for money is concerned as this model offered great fuel economy that could go up to 11 mpg in city drive and 17 mpg on Highway. That’s not all, Corvette convertible had the power of going 0 to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds; talk about power! With accurate steering and solid brakes, this model offered a great flexibility to the riders to drive the car as they see fit. The engineers of General Motors had indeed done an excellent job in reviving one of America’s famous sports cars, which still holds the helm even in this generation.
Posted 03/15/2016 in Corvette
1961 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Denver]]>