This 1961 race-spec Corvette was auctioned at the Mecum Auctions event in late January in Kissimmee, Florida, and the results say a lot about the collector car market. The car itself carries the top-level 315-horsepower, fuel-injected 283ci V8, of which fewer than 1,500 were built. Envisioned from the beginning as a production race car, it also includes the Heavy Duty Brakes and Steering option, making it one of just 283 cars so built that year.
Despite its uniqueness, what the car lacks – according to CorvetteBlogger – is significant pedigree. While it has been raced by former Corvette Race Engineer Bob Clift at a Sebring Historic event, there is little fame attached to the car. At the high end of 1961 Corvettes auctioned in the past couple of years, lower spec, road going cars have sold for $80K or more.
This car has been through a number of conscientious owners and is certainly in great shape for its history. It was raced for a while with a different engine and the original was put back in. After running in the 1996 Rolex Legends of Daytona vintage event, the car was thoroughly rebuilt and put back to its original configuration. The engine was rebuilt and strengthened, but retains the original fuel injection hardware.
Someone took home a very nice example of the C1 generation for a fair price. This example does represent what the brass at Chevrolet wanted the Corvette to be known for and it has carried that mantle well through its fifty years. CorvetteBlogger was at the Florida event and grabbed this video of the auction action.