1961 Chevrolet Corvette Big Brake Fuelie

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In 1961 design changes for the Corvette introduced the four-taillight arrangement, establishing an identifying feature that is still seen on Corvettes nearly five decades later. The bulky teeth that Corvettes had employed up front for years disappeared, replaced with a subtle rectangular mesh set deep in the oval opening. But Chevrolet wanted to take the Corvette racing, and in 1961 the Big Brake Fuelie was the weapon of choice. It featured a solid-lifter 315-horsepower fuel-injected engine with the Big-Brake package (RPO 687), stiff shocks, big brakes with front and rear cooling air scoops and finned drums, wide steel wheels, and a quick-steering adapter. The Big-Brake option could be ordered only with the solid-lifter engines (either with fuel injection or dual with four-barrel carbs) and also required the Positraction rear axle. The styling gave little indication of what the car was capable of. Corvettes did very well racing in the early Sixties; in 1961 they swept their class at the 12 hours of Sebring.

This car will be offered at the Mecum Auction in Louisville, Kentucky September 8-10, 2016.

---- Specifications ----
Price -- Production --
Engine 4.6 liter V8 Weight --
Aspiration mechanical fuel injection Torque --
HP 315 HP HP/Weight --
HP/Liter 68.5 HP/Liter Range --
0-62 mph -- Top Speed --
from Chevrolet Press Release
  • 1 of 233 produced with RPO 687 heavy duty brakes and steering
  • The front air scoops and duct work are intact
  • Fuel injected 283/315 HP engine
  • 4-speed transmission
  • Radio and heater delete model
  • Owner history back to 1974 verified by CA pink slip
  • California pink slip copy from 1986 last titled owner
  • Meticulous period restoration by a retired police officer in Pasadena, California to judging specifications
  • Highly desirable Triple Black color combination
  • Owned by prominent collector and recently traded for a 1963 Z06 Tanker
  • Currently equipped with street shoes for more reliable braking

If racing was your goal in 1961, this was the Corvette for you. The new-look 1961 Corvette was highly anticipated by anyone who had seen either the Sting Ray racer piloted by Dr. Dick Thompson or the space-age XP-700 show car that shared the Sting Ray's knife-edged rear styling. The new ducktail added slightly more storage space and the front end was cosmetically overhauled. Some optional features in the 1960 model were made standard for 1961, most significantly the aluminum radiator and viscous-drive cooling fan, but two very special options returned, both included in this highly desirable triple-black convertible. It was produced as a radio- and heater-delete model with the RPO 687 heavy-duty brakes and steering package composed of special front and rear shock absorbers, air scoops to feed cool air to the brakes, metallic brake linings, special finned drums with internal cooling fans and a quick steering adapter. Because this brake package needed to be completely warmed up to work properly, the car is currently equipped with non-metallic brake shoes for more reliable and predictable operation. Power comes from the competition-ready 283 CI engine combining Rochester fuel injection, 11:1 compression, the Duntov solid-lifter cam and high-speed valvetrain for a factory rating of 315 HP at 6,000 RPM. Teamed with a Borg Warner T-10 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction, this was the most potent Corvette available in 1961, one ready to defeat any competition in B/Production SCCA or FIA GT racing. It was meticulously restored by a retired police officer in Pasadena, California, and comes with documentation that includes ownership history from 1974.