Say hello to the boat tail! Largely unchanged since 1958, the 1961 Corvette marked another drastic change in the Corvette design. An updated front fascia with a shrunken grille combined with a sleek rear gave the Corvette a clean, modern appearance. Also new for 1961, the taillights were arrayed in a set of four below the trunk-line, in a design that has manifested itself in every Corvette since.
Vehicle occupants also received more space in the 1961 model due to a narrower transmission tunnel. Coupled with several courtesy features like windshield washer, courtesy light, parking brake alarm, and sun visors included in the base price, driving a base model 1961 Corvette was a very pleasant experience.
Also new for 1961 was a relocation of the exhaust ports. In earlier models, Corvette vented exhaust through openings in the back of the body, but in 1961, designers moved the exhaust ports to right behind the rear wheels. The same powerplant as previous years was included in the base price, but the fuel injected engines both received significant performance boosts.
Chevrolet set the base price of the ’61 Corvette at $3,934, and for the second year in a row, sold over 10,000 cars: 10,939 to be precise. Today, the 1961 Corvette, depending on the engine, sells for an average of anywhere between $47,000 and $88,000.