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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 5th – 7th, 2015 at Russo and Steele’s 3rd Annual Newport Beach, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Of all the great classic sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s, none can possibly compare to the first-generation, solid-axle Corvette “Fuelie” for its historic status and race-bred engineering. Delivering stunning performance, which grew by leaps and bounds thanks to the tireless efforts of Zora Arkus-Duntov and his engineering team, the first-generation Corvette had truly matured by 1957 into a serious performer capable of taking on the world’s best and beating them, a point proven by the Team Cunningham Corvette’s class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960. For 1961 and 1962, the final model years of the “C1” first-generation Corvette, styling also benefited from subtle updates, a refreshing break from the gimmicks of the 1950s, and a new rear treatment that predicted that of the upcoming Corvette Sting Ray.
A California car with desirable “black plates” to match, this 1961 Corvette is a matching numbers, fuel-injected example in top 315-horsepower tune. Showing beautifully, it clearly benefits from a professional and respectful “nut and bolt,” body-off restoration performed to NCRS standards. The matching numbers “CS” code 315-horsepower engine, correct and original Rochester fuel-injection unit, and 4-speed manual transmission were all rebuilt. The Corvette’s other highly desirable features include a Positraction rear end, courtesy lights, a heater, sun shades, and a Wonderbar signal-seeking radio.
According to the Consignor, the Corvette’s body is in very good condition with the doors, hood, deck and trunk lid all displaying good fit and finish. The chrome bumpers are in excellent condition and the trunk compartment contains the original jack, tools, and spare. The trunk board is original, while the trunk liner and mat are replacement items. The Corvette is equipped with a new exhaust system, all gauges work well, and the wipers, head- and taillights, and turn signals work.
Remaining virtually flawless as now offered at auction, the Corvette’s paint finish is deep and stunning, complemented by a new black convertible top and a newly redone black hard top. All exterior glass shows a correct date code and all four headlights are correct “T3” units. The chrome bumpers are in excellent condition as well with a recent finish. New weather stripping reveals the expense and work lavished on this Corvette’s restoration. Correct hubcaps and steel wheels are in excellent condition, with the Corvette riding on a set of period-style BF Goodrich bias-ply tires. The fresh red interior is in excellent condition, matching the rest of the car, with brand new items including the seat covers, door panels, sill plates, gauges, carpet, dash pads, hardware, seat belts, and the steering wheel. Ticking all the boxes for an outstanding classic Corvette find, this “Fuelie” from 1961 is an unqualified Corvette icon that no serious high-performance collection can be without.