Lot Number

1961 Chevrolet Corvette

Sold For $71,500

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - AMELIA ISLAND 10 - 11 MARCH 2017 - A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

Chassis No.
  • Desirable “twin carb” engine and numerous original options
  • Iconic color combination
  • A powerhouse Corvette to drive and enjoy

270 hp, 283 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine with dual Carter four-barrel carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar; live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and trailing radius rods; and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

By the early 1960s, the Corvette was a common sight on main streets and highways throughout America, but that did nothing to diminish the car’s appeal. It was still widely adored by almost everyone, and parking a Corvette in your garage was a dream for many hard-working Americans. It was as much a symbol of success as it was a symbol of American design and engineering. Not only was it a desirable street machine, but the Corvette was also earning victories on race tracks both at home and abroad. In short, the ’Vette was finally coming into its own.

In terms of the first generation of Corvettes, 1961 saw a handful of important changes, with the most noticeable being the cars’ refreshed rear-end styling. It was much more angular than previous years, incorporating four taillights, and it was a design that would carry through to the second generation in 1963. The exhaust was relocated under the bumper rather than being integrated within it. The interior remained similar to Corvettes of years past, but the transmission tunnel was narrowed by 20 percent in an effort to provide more interior room. Not only would this be the final year for the Corvette’s now signature 283-cubic inch V-8 engine, but it would also be the last year for two-tone color combinations, which was a look that had come to define “America’s Sports Car” in years past.

The Corvette offered here was acquired by Stephanie Smith several years ago and has been one of her favorite automobiles in the collection since, memorably registered in Florida as “HIWAY 66.” Finished in Roman Red with white “coves,” a red vinyl interior, and a white soft top, it is equipped with the potent 270-horsepower 283 V-8 with dual Carter four-barrel carburetors and a 4-speed transmission, as well as a driver’s side mirror, Wonderbar radio with rear antenna, original “spinner” wheel covers, and seatbelts. The tires are Coker Classic whitewalls, of the same width as original, for a very authentic appearance. The engine compartment and under the hood show regular driving enjoyment, appropriate to the 47,015 miles recorded at the time of cataloguing.

Ideal for exploring Route 66 or any other romantic highway of one’s choice, this Corvette has undoubtedly miles of summer fun ahead of it in life – just like its new owner!

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