1961-1962 Corvette for Sale
1961 1962 Used Corvettes
The big styling news for the 1961 Corvette was the re-sculpted rear end. The chassis and all major dimensions were maintained from 1960, but the new look of the tail end was unmistakable. The smooth, curvy rear haunches from 1956-60 were sharpened with a new defining ridge at the top. In concert with this, a new belt line horizontal ridge was added. It followed the up-curve of the rear wheel well, then continued straight back and around the rear of the car. The resulting horizontal edge almost gave the impression that the rear was a two piece design with top and bottom halves meeting at a seam. Below this ridge were four new round tail lights. These were a decidedly new look for the Corvette, but one that would soon become a signature design element.
1961 1962 Classic Corvette History
Clearly the redesigned rear was intended to keep the Corvette look fresh and updated, but there was a more calculating reason that wouldn't be obvious until 1963. Chevrolet was already designing their all new body for 1963 and the 1961-62 rear end was a preview of the significant changes to come. Although not as drastic, the front grill also changed in 1961. The thick chrome cars of earlier models were replaced with a less flashy rectangular mesh. Above this on the nose were the letters CORVETTE and a simplified version of the crossed flags emblem. Head light bezels were painted body color instead of chrome; another example of the move away from the blinding chrome so prevalent in the 50's. These were also the last exposed head lights the Corvette would see for 43 years.