1961 C1 Corvette

1961 Corvette Performance & Specifications

Powertrain, Steering, Brakes, Dimensions, & Suspension

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Chevrolet Introduced the Corvette in 1953

By the late 1950s, the infrastructure of the automotive industry had begun a transformation from the monopolistic business of a few, large, corporate giants to a much more competitive and highly segmented marketplace.

For more: 1961 Corvette Research Guide

1961 Corvette Specifications

1961 Corvette Main Specs

MODEL: 1961 Chevrolet Corvette
BODY STYLE: Two-door convertible, front engine, rear wheel drive
MANUFACTURING LOCATION: St. Louis, Missouri
CONSTRUCTION: Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP or “fiberglass”) body, steel frame with steel and chrome structural & chassis components.
VEHICLE NUMBERS (VIN): 10867S100001 – 10867S110939
VIN PREFIX: CQ: 4-BARREL CARBURETOR, 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HP, MANUAL TRANS
CR: FUEL INJECTION, 283 CUBIC INCH, 275 HP, MANUAL TRANS
CS: FUEL INJECTION & SPECIAL CAMSHAFT, 283 CUBIC INCH, 315 HP, MANUAL TRANS
CT: 2×4-BARREL CARBURETOR, 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, MANUAL TRANS
CU: 2×4-BARREL CARBURETOR & SPECIAL CAM, 283 CUBIC INCH, 270 HP, MANUAL TRANS
DG: POWERGLIDE & 4-BARREL CARB, 283 CUBIC INCH, 230 HORS, AUTOMATIC TRANS
DJ: POWERGLIDE & 2×4 BARREL CARB, 283 CUBIC INCH, 245 HP, AUTOMATIC TRANS
ENGINE BLOCK NUMBER: 3756519, 3789935 (LATE PRODUCTION)
HEAD NUMBER: 3774692:283 CUBIC INCH, 230HP, 245HP, 270HP
3782461: 283 CUBIC INCH, 275HP, 315HP
CARBURETOR NUMBERS: CARTER 2613S #3741089: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, FRONT CARBURETOR, FIRST DESIGN
CARTER 2614S #3741090: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, REAR CARBURETOR
CARTER 2626S #3744002: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245HP, FRONT CARBURETOR, FIRST DESIGN
CARTER 2627S #3744004: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245HP, REAR CARBURETOR
CARTER 3059S #3779178: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230HP
CARTER 3181S #3785554: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245HP, FRONT CARBURETOR, SECOND DESIGN
CARTER 3182S #3779178: 283 CUBIC INCH, 270HP, FRONT CARBURETOR, SECOND DESIGN
FUEL INJECTION NUMBER: ROCHESTER 7017310: 283 CUBIC INCH, 275HP
ROCHESTER 7017320: 283 CUBIC INCH, 315HP
DISTRIBUTOR NUMBER: 1110891: 283 CUBIC INCH, 245HP, 270HP
1110914: 283 CUBIC INCH, 315HP
1110915: 283 CUBIC INCH, 275HP
1110946: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230HP
GENERATOR NUMBER: 1102043: 283 CUBIC INCH, 230HP, 245HP, 270HP, 275HP
1102173: 283 CUBIC INCH, 315HP, FIRST DESIGN
1102268: 283 CUBIC INCH, 315HP, SECOND DESIGN
AXLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AC: 3-SPD MANUAL TRANSMISSION, (3.36:1 RATIO)
AE: POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, (3.55:1 RATIO)
AF: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, (3.36:1 RATIO)
AH: 4-SPD MANUAL TRANSMISSION, (3.70:1 RATIO)
AN: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, (3.70:1 RATIO)
AP: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, (4.11:1 RATIO)
AQ: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, (4.56:1 RATIO)
AS: 3-SPD MANUAL TRANSMISSION, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (3.70:1 RATIO)
AT: POWERGLIDE AUTOMATIC TRANS., HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (4.11:1 RATIO)
AU: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (4.56:1 RATIO)
FJ: 4-SPD MANUAL TRANSMISSION, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (3.70:1 RATIO)
FK: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (3.70:1 RATIO)
FL: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES, (4.11:1 RATIO)
FM: LIMITED SLIP DIFFERENTIAL, HEAVY DUTY SUSPENSION AND BRAKES (4.56:1 RATIO)
PRODUCTION ENDING VEHICLE: SEP. 1960: 101052, OCT. 1960: 102301, NOV. 1960: 103355, DEC. 1960:104306, JAN. 1961: 105203, FEB. 1961: 105966, MAR. 1961: 106889, APR. 1961: 107804, MAY 1961: 108960, JUN. 1961: 110160, JUL. 1961: 110939

1961 C1 Corvette

 

1961 Corvette Powertrain Specifications

Description 4-barrel Carb Dual 4-barrel Carburetor Dual Carb w. Special Cam Fuel Injection
Fuel Inj w. Special Cam
Name Standard RPO 469 RPO 469C RPO 579 RPO 579D
Type: 90 V 90 V 90 V 90 V 90 V
Number of Cylinders 8 8 8 8 8
Displacement (cid): 283 283 283 283 283
Horsepower (gross @ rpm): 230hp @ 4,800 245hp @ 5,000 270hp @ 6,000 275hp @ 5,200 315hp @ 6,200
Torque (lbs.-ft. @ rpm): 300 @ 3,000 300 @ 3,800 285 @ 4,200 305 @ 4,400 295 @ 4,700
Bore Spacing (C/L to C/L) 4.4 inches 4.4 inches 4.4 inches 4.4 inches 4.4 inches
Bore x stroke (in.): 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00 3.875 x 3.00
Redline (rpm):
Compression ratio: 9.5:1 9.5:1 9.5:1 11.0:1 11.0:1
Idle Speed (RPM) 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed 475 in neutral w/3-speed
Engine Weight (Dry);  –
Automatic 785 775 775
3 Speed Manual 670 655 655 673 673
4 Speed Manual 677 665 665 685 685
Firing Order: 18436572 18436572 18436572 18436572 18436572
Cylinder Number System;
Left Bank: 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7 1-3-5-7
Right Bank: 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8 2-4-6-8
Recommended Fuel: 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane 94-96 Premium Octane
EPA Powerglide -14 City / 18 Hwy
EPA 4 Speed 13 City / 19 Hwy 11 City / 17 Hwy

Fuelie (Fuel Injected) Engine Component Specifications

Description (RPO 579 275hp) (RPO 579D 315hp)
Upper Compression Ring:
Material Cast alloy iron Cast alloy iron
Width .184 -.194 .184 – .194
Thickness 0770 – .0780 0770 – .0780
Gap .010 – 0.020 .010 – 0.020
Ring Clearance .0012 – .0017 .0012 – .0017
Valve Springs:
Length & Pressure
Valve closed [email protected] 69 — 79 lb [email protected] 69 — 79 lb
Valve open [email protected] 159 — 169 lb. [email protected] 159 — 169 lb.
Free length 2.08 2.08
Damper:
-Number of coils 3.874 — 4.12 3.874 — 4.12
-Free length 2.00 2.00
Tappets:
Type Hydraulic Hydraulic
Material Steel Steel
Manifold assembly, inlet:
Material Cast aluminum Cast aluminum
Fuel:
System Fuel Injection Fuel Injection
Make Rochester Products Rochester Products
Fuel Filter:
Make AC AC
Model GF43 GF43
Location Mounted on engine top cover Mounted on engine top cover
Camshaft:
Ramp inlet
-Opening .00474, 10° long .00474, 10° long
-Closing .00670, 15° long .00670, 15° long
Ramp exhaust  –
-Opening .00474, 10° long  .0107, 29° long
-Closing .00670, 15° long .0107, 29° long
Tappet Lift
-Inlet .26581 .2625
-Exhaust .26581 .2625
Valve Lift
-Inlet .3987 .39375
-Exhaust .3987 .39375
Valve lash (normal driving)
-Inlet Zero .008 hot
-Exhaust Zero .018 hot
Timing Diagram Data:
Inlet
-Opens (theoretical) 12° 30′ BTC 35° BTC
-Closes (theoretical) 57° 30′ ABC 72° ABC
Exhaust
-Opens (theoretical) 54° 30′ BBC 76° BBC
-Closes (theoretical) 15° 30′ ATC 31° ATC
Air Cleaner:
Make AC AC
Type Dry Dry
Filter Element Paper Paper
Oil Filter:
Make AC, Full flow AC, Full flow
Capacity (Quartz) 1 1
Dual Exhaust System:
Muffler Type Diffusion & resonance, reverse flow Straight thru
Body Size  24×4.06
Manifold Center take down each branch serving two cylinders
-Exhaust Pipe Size O.D 2.0
-Tall Pipe I.D 1.87
-Suspension Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Fuel System:
Fuel Tank Two stamped pans seam welded Two stamped pans seam welded
Capacity (gallons) 16.4 16.4
Mounting   Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat
Filler In body left side, to rear of driver’s door In body left side, to rear of driver’s door
Cooling System:
Radiator core
-Make Harrison Harrison
-Type Aluminum cross flow Aluminum cross flow
Frontal Area (sq. in) 315.4 315.4
Capacity 16.5 qts. with heater 16.5 qts. with heater

Carburetor Engine Component Specifications

Description Standard 230hp RPO 469 245hp RPO 469C 270hp
Upper Compression Ring:
Material Cast alloy iron Cast alloy iron Cast alloy iron
Width .184 — .194 .184 — .194 .184 — .194
Thickness .0775 — .0780 .0775 — .0780 .0775 — .0780
Gap .010 — .020 .010 — .020 .010 — .020
Ring Clearance .0012 — .0017 .0012 — .0017 .0012 — .0017
Valve Springs:
Length & Pressure
Valve closed [email protected] 69 — 79 lb. [email protected] 69 — 79 lb. [email protected] 69 — 79 lb.
Valve open [email protected] 159 — 169 lb. [email protected] 159 — 169 lb. [email protected] 159 — 169 lb.
Free length 2.08 2.08 2.08
Damper:
Number of coils 3.874 — 4.12 3.874 — 4.12 3.874 — 4.12
Free length 2.00 2.00 2.00
Tappets:
Type Hydraulic Hydraulic Hydraulic
Material Steel Steel Steel
Carburetor:  –
Make Carter Carter Carter
Model 3779178  –
-front 3744002 or 3785554 3741089 or 3779178
-rear 3744004 3741090
Type 4 barrel, down-draft 4 barrel 4 barrel
Choke Automatic Automatic Automatic
Camshaft:
Ramp inlet
-Opening .00474, 10° long .00474, 10° long .0067, 18° long
-Closing .00670, 15° long .00670, 15° long .0067, 18° long
Ramp exhaust
-Opening .00474, 10° long .00474, 10° long .0107, 29° long
-Closing .00670, 15° long .00670, 15° long .0107, 29° long
Tappet Lift
-Inlet .26581 .26581 .2625
-Exhaust .26581 .26581 .2625
Valve lift
-Inlet  0.3987 0.3987 0.39375
-Exhaust  0.3987 0.3987 0.39375
Valve lash (normal driving)  –
-Inlet Zero Zero .012 hot
-Exhaust Zero Zero .018 hot
Timing Diagram Data:
Inlet
-Opens (theoretical) 12° 30′ BTC 12° 30′ BTC 35° BTC
-Closes (theoretical) 57° 30′ ABC 57° 30′ ABC 72° ABC
Exhaust
-Opens (theoretical) 54° 30′ BBC 54° 30′ BBC 76° BBC
-Closes (theoretical) 15° 30′ ATC 15° 30′ ATC 31° ATC
Type Semi-centrifugal Semi-centrifugal Semi-centrifugal
Air Cleaner:
Make and Type AC oil wetted AC oil wetted AC oil wetted
Capacity  –  –  –
Filter Element Foam Plastic Foam Plastic Foam Plastic
Oil Filter:
Make AC, Full flow AC, Full flow AC, Full flow
Capacity (Quartz) 1 1 1
Dual Exhaust System:
Muffler Type Diffusion & resonance,
reverse flow
Diffusion & resonance,
reverse flow
 Diffusion & resonance,
reverse flow
Body Size 24×4.06 24×4.06 24×4.06
Manifold Center take down each branch serving two cylinders Center take down each branch serving two cylinders Center take down each branch serving two cylinders
Exhaust Pipe Size O.D 2.0 2.0 2.0
Tall Pipe I.D 1.87 1.87 1.87
Suspension Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Individual, rubber insulated
mountings.
Fuel System:
Fuel Tank Two stamped pans
seam welded
Two stamped pans
seam welded
Two stamped pans
seam welded
Capacity (gallons) 16.4 16.4 16.4
Mounting   Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat Support by two straps attached to underbody behind seat
Filler In body left side, to rear of driver’s door In body left side, to rear of driver’s door In body left side, to rear of driver’s door
Cooling System:
Radiator core
Make Harrison Harrison Harrison
Type Aluminum cross flow Aluminum cross flow Aluminum cross flow
Frontal Area (sq. in) 315.4 315.4 315.4
Capacity 16.5 qts. with heater 16.5 qts. with heater 16.5 qts. with heater

Manual Transmission / Gear Ratios

Gear 3-Speed Close Ratio 4-Speed (RPO 685)
1st Gear: 2.47:1 2.20:1
2nd Gear: 1.53:1 1.66:1
3rd Gear: 1.00:1 1.31:1
4th Gear: N/A 1.00:1
Reverse: 2.80:1 2.26:1

 

Clutch Stats
Type semi-centrifugal, coil spring
Number of coil springs 9
Spring Pressure (lbs) 1620 initial
Drive Lug
Lining area (sq. in.) 90.72
Rated Torque capacity (lb. ft) 326

Powerglide Automatic Transmission RPO 313/ Gear Ratios

Drive 1.82-1.00:1
Low 1.82:1
Reverse 1.82:1

1961 C1 Corvette

1961 Corvette Exterior Dimensions

1961 Corvette Dimensions Hardtop

Exterior Dimensions Hardtop
Wheelbase: 102 Inches
Overall Length: 176.7 Inches
Total Body Width: 70.4 Inches
Overall Height: 52.1 Inches
Front Track Width: 57 Inches
Rear Track Width: 59 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 6.7 Inches

 

Interior Dimensions Hardtop
Headroom: 36.9 Inches
Shoulder Room: 49.4 Inches
Hip Room: 59.6 Inches
Leg Room: 46.4 Inches

1961 Corvette Dimensions Softtop

Exterior Dimensions Softtop
Wheelbase: 102 Inches
Overall Length: 176.7 Inches
Total Body Width: 70.4 Inches
Overall Height: 52.2 Inches
Front Track Width: 57 Inches
Rear Track Width: 59 Inches
Min. Ground Clearance 6.7 Inches

 

Interior Dimensions Softtop
Headroom: 37.1 Inches
Shoulder Room: 49.4 Inches
Hip Room: 59.6 Inches
Leg Room: 46.4 Inches

 

Capacities Specs
Passenger Capacity: 2 Passengers
Curb Weight (LBS/KG):
-Manual 3,035 (3-speed)
-Automatic 3,135
Interior Passenger Volume (cu.ft):
Interior Trunk Volume (cu. ft): 12.09
Fuel Capacity (gallons): 16.4 (24 with RPO 1625)
Engine Oil Capacity (qts.): 5 (capacity of crankcase less filter – refill)
Coolant Capacity (qts.): 16.5 (with heater)
Battery: 12 volt, 54-plate, 53AH, Delco 1980458

1961 Corvette Brakes, Wheels & Suspension

Suspension – Front

Unitized, Independant, Short and Long Arm

Front Springs: Chevrolet, coil
  Make & Type Chrome alloy steel .547 — .550
  Material & Gauges Total 9.75; active 7.94
  Number of Coils Outside 4.30; pitch 3.752
  Diameter Free 13.45; working [email protected] 1245 lb.
  Height 9.72
  Height Under Curb Weight 800 lb.
Capacity At Ground
Deflection Rate
-At Spring 300 lb.
-At Wheel 110 lb.
Front Shock Absorbers:
Make & Type Delco, direct double acting
Mounting Vertically from lower control arm through coil spring to front suspension crossmember
Model Number 538F
Valve Code 3.5G6/axr/P 1.25
Piston Diameter and Travel 1.00×4.68

Suspension – Rear

Outrigger mounted semi-elliptical leaf springs

Rear Springs: Specs
Make & Type Chevrolet, semi-elliptic
Material Alloy steel
Length & Width 51×2.0
Spring Slips Clinch type = 3, Bolt type = 1, Total = 4
Number of Leaves 4
Leaf Thickness Number 1 & 3 = .282, Number 2 = .313, Number 4 = .262, Total = 1.159
Capacity At pad = 575 lb., At ground = 725 lb.
Rear Shock Absorbers: Specs
Make & Type Delco, direct double acting
Mounting Stem attached to slotted holes in flanged “U” shaped rear crossmember, eye attached at bottom to an anchor bolt on rear spring “U” bolt and shock absorber anchor bolt plate
Model Number 560P
Valve Code 4D6/oxh/j 1.25
Piston Diameter and Travel 1.0 x 7.44

 

 

Brakes: Specs
Type: Servo – 4 Wheel Hydraulic (Heavy Duty, RPO 687)
Power brake type: None
Drum diameter, front (in.): 11
Drum diameter, rear (in.): 11
Effective area (sq. in.): 157 (Heavy Duty 114.6)

 

Wheels/Tires Specs
Wheel Type (Standard): Short Spoke Disk, Pressed Steel
Tire Size 6.70 — 15 — 4 Ply Tubeless (standard), 6.70 — 15 — 4 Ply Whitewall
Front & Rear Wheels: 15″
Tires, type: Rayon Cord
Revolutions at 30mph: 760
Inflation (cold) 24 lbs. Front & Rear

 

Steering Specs
Type: Semi-reversible worm and ball bearing sector
Make: Saginaw
Ratio: 16.0:1
Wheel Diameter (in): 17
Turns, Stop to Start 3.7
Turn Diameter (curb to curb) 36.5 ft. right — 37 ft. left (outside front), 38.5 ft. right — 39 ft. left (outside front)

1961 C1 Corvette

1961 Corvette Performance

Performance Results Standard RPO 469 RPO 469C RPO 579 RPO 579
3-Speed Transmission
Performance weight (lbs.) 3335 3320 3320 3340 3340
Pounds/gross horsepower 14.50 13.55 12.30 12.15 10.60
Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement 11.78 11.73 11.73 11.80 11.80
 Gross horsepower/cu.in. displacement .813 .866 .954 .972 1.113
 Power displacement (cu.ft./mile) 230.3 230.3 230.3 230.3 230.3
Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile) 290.1 209.1 209.1 209.1 209.1
 0 – 60 mph (seconds)
 Top Speed (mph)
Powerglide Transmission
 Performance weight (lbs.) 3435 3420
 Pounds/gross horsepower 14.93 13.96
 Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement 12.14 12.09
 Gross horsepower/cu.in. displacement .813 .866
 Power displacement (cu.ft./mile) 220.9 220.9
 Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile) 128.6 129.2
 0 – 60 mph (seconds) 7.7
 Top Speed (mph) 109
 4-Speed Transmission
Performance weight (lbs.) 3350 3335 3335 3335 3335
Pounds/gross horsepower 14.57 13.61 12.35 12.20 10.65
Pounds/cu.in. piston displacement 11.84 11.78 11.78 11.86 11.86
Gross horsepower/cu.in. displacement .813 .866 .954 .972 1.113
Power displacement (cu.ft./mile) 230.3 230.3 230.3 230.3 230.3
 Displacement factor (cu.ft./mile) 137.5 138.1 138.1 137.3 137.3
 0 – 60 mph (seconds) 5.9 5.5
Top Speed (mph) 131 128

See Also 

C1 ’53 54 ’55 ’56 ’57 ’58 ’59 ’60 ’61 ’62
Gen C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7