Everything You Want to Know About the 1981 Corvette, All in One Place.
The 1981 model year marked a significant milestone in the history of the Corvette. While the car itself would primarily be a carryover from the previous model year, it was announced that Corvette production would move from the old St. Louis plant to a brand-new, high-tech facility located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Although originally developed as an air-conditioning plant, the new manufacturing facility was fully refurbished by General Motors, and would be dedicated solely to the production of Y-body Chevy Corvettes. It would utilize the latest automated manufacturing processes, thereby improving quality control. The new manufacturing plant would include an up-to-date paint shop that would utilize more automated paint processing standards, allowing Chevrolet to apply more durable enamels to the Corvette, as well as a new clear coat finishing process.
Interestingly, rumors of a move to a larger, more modern manufacturing plant began circulating as early as 1973 – especially amongst the communities along the Mississippi River that drew their livelihood from GM’s St. Louis Manufacturing plant. Reportedly, the talk was the result of “bad blood” between the plant laborers and management. General Motors vehemently denied the rumors that began to propagate.