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1961 technical stuff

harland

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Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
Hi, now that I know HOW to start a new thread, look out! as I have a billion questions! I am having my 61 re-restored and I am the latest guy without a proper ID tag on the column. I so appreciate all the explanations, advice, tongue in cheek humor, suggestions. Back East who repros these and is located in Grand Junction, CO charges $195. for the tag. Guess one charges what the traffic will bear. Suppose I could get a state vin plate but I am thinking that maybe Back Easts which I believe is virtually undetectable from original (other than looking 'new' versus 45 years old) that even a picky judge woudln't spot. I like the idea of the access plate on the floor with a cover plate to be protected against a zealous policeman insisting upon 'verification'. Again, I would appreciate input on the pros and cons of the state supplied Vin sticker or whatever it is.
Todays question: my friend who is helping me knows lots about Corvettes-has restored about 50-and he stated that in 1961 a person could order a Corvette with either a hard top or convertible top or pay additional for the hardtop. I don't see any reference to this 'option' on the list of items to add to your car. I know the hardtop was an extra cost and about 1/2 of 1961s came with this. But the 'either or' business confuses me. What do the friendly experts have to say to this.thanks, Harland in CO.
 
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Welcome aboard, Harland, and congratulations on beginning your first thread.

The later solid axle cars could be ordered with either top, or with both.

Please help me understand your statement........ "the access plate on the floor with a cover plate to be protected against a zealous policeman insisting upon 'verification'". Thanks.

:w
 

harland

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
re Access plate

a few writers to this forum suggested adding, I understand, an access hole with a neatly fabricated lid on the actual floor -under the seat I infer-so a demanding minion of the law could satisfy himself that the frame number matched the column tag. Some even go to the trouble to scrape the frame smooth there, highlight the numbers, then clear coat them for rust prevention and still be visible. I read about cars being confiscated, put in an impound, as all sorts of insane stuff, but I guess this potential is a 'reward' for owning a car with a high theft reputation--on that, once, many years ago, I read (I recall) that the number of Corvettes stolen actually equalled the total production to date--like 50,000. Clearly, some were stolen a number of times, others never, but that is a real interesting 'fact' if it was true. Harland
 

Tom Bryant

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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Hi Harland,

Welcome to the CAC. I can't answer your VIN plate questions other than to say that some states allow you to install a reproduction of the original and others insist that you use the state supplied plate that mounts where they want it. If you have a title to the car I'd simply install a repro of the original plate in the correct spot on the column and forget about it. I'd never tell any state official that I put a plate on where there wasn't one. That's just asking for loads of grief. Believe me, considering how much grief these bureaucrats can put you through that $195. may be the best money you ever spent. A worst case "what if" scenario would be that the police would impound the car until you can prove it isn't stolen. Not trying to scare you but this has happened before. I never saw an indoor impound lot either. Then you will most likely have attorney bills involved in getting it back. Put on the repro plate.What they don't know won't hurt them. If you don't want it looking newer that the rest of the car ask for a scrap of the stainless that the tag maker uses and experiment with some acids of abrasives to age the plate. I'm not saying that you should be decieving but if it will eliminate the possible hassles from that over zealous policeman then it is worth it. One of the things that us '59 and older owners have to deal with is the policemen that don't believe that the VIN plate was mounted with pan head sheet metal screws instead of rivets. We carry lots of documentation that anyone should be able to understand when we have our cars out.

As to the hardtop question the soft top was standard. You had the option of selecting the hardtop in place of the soft top at no charge or in addition to the soft top for $236.75. If you ordered the top in place of then the soft top latches were not installed on the deck lid. Also if you ordered soft top only then the hard top mounts were not installed.

I hope this helps you some. Again I'm not trying to scare you but just help you to avoid un-necessary grief.

Tom
 
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I'd be shocked if any police officer insisted on seeing the frame numbers on my car. :crazy

I imagine there'd be an interesting lawsuit forthcoming through my lawyer if my car were ever impounded because an officer was curious, and I was unwilling to cut a hole in my floor to satisfy his curiosity. ;)
 

Tom Bryant

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Edgerton, Ohio, United States
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1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
I agree with that also. The right VIN plate in the right location that matches the paper work should be all that you need. Since you are having the car restored again why not take several photos of the frame and put them with your registration in case the question should ever come up. It would take more than your average cop to even know that the C1s had a stamp on the frame since most cars don't.

A hole in the floor would devalue your car to a collector just as a non-original VIN tag would.

Tom
 

bossvette

Gone but not forgotten
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May 19, 2003
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3,233
Location
West Unity Ohio
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1968 1997
I was stopped on the Ohio turnpike a few years back and the first words the State Trooper said to me when I handed him my registration was "THIS is a Chevrolet?" ;LOL
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
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'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Again, I would appreciate input on the pros and cons of the state supplied Vin sticker or whatever it is.

Just get the repro VIN tag and move on. Although a state-assigned VIN is acceptable in judging, it's the "kiss of death" for resale value.

:beer
 

harland

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Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
vin tag

Hi fellows, thanks for the advice. all makes sense. I will spend the 2 big ones (might embarass the seller into splitting it since he had no business selling a car lacking a functional vin). I agree with the photo or tracing if I can manage that (car won't be coming off frame-that was restored in the early 80s) and forget about any access holes. I also appreciate the input about the soft top or hard top. I guess that even though it doesn't indicate this as being an either or, I guess back then the wish was to please the customer.
I have another question but will put it as a new post so it will be visible for someone not following this thread. thanks guys, Harland
 

Rowdy1

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Joined
Mar 26, 2001
Messages
1,180
Location
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
Corvette
1962 CORVETTE-SOLD 2004 Z16 Z06 CE
UMMmmmm............Bob?

I'd be shocked if any police officer insisted on seeing the frame numbers on my car. :crazy

I imagine there'd be an interesting lawsuit forthcoming through my lawyer if my car were ever impounded because an officer was curious, and I was unwilling to cut a hole in my floor to satisfy his curiosity. ;)
I guess you wouldn't consider a Canadian border guard a police officer then right? Because we BOTH know, THEY look at vin plates AND serial #'s:L ;LOL :rotfl
 
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Very true, Lou. ;)

In the case of importing a vehicle, I must offer proof of its legitimacy to get it across the border.

But, in the case of a vehicle already titled in this country, unless an officer can offer probable cause for suspecting that my car (or parts of it) is stolen, I suggest that my existing documentation, combined with the visible VIN tag, would be all that he/she could ask for. :D
 

wallyknoch

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Joined
Nov 9, 2002
Messages
457
Location
Dearborn
Corvette
One owner unrestored Black 1962 FI Corvette
This May Help!

About the tops, one came automatically with the Vette and the other or second was just a option. The two tone Vettes were less than 30% of the years run. Contra to todays belief of two tones on everything. :D Leave it solid beigh they look a hell of a lot nicer one color. :upthumbs

PS my invoice for the 61.

 

Gasman

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Joined
Sep 21, 2004
Messages
60
Location
texas
Corvette
'61 white fulie, '02 Z06
That sure is close to my number 2346.
But then I don't know any history.

rick
 

harland

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
color explanation

Hi again and thanks for the explanation. I am 'toying' with the idea of a darker version of fawn beige for the coves-could look sharp. I am trying to find a tan that actually harmonizes with the fawn beige--not easy, but I think it could look sharp. Regards, Harland
 
R

redonred

Guest
About the tops, one came automatically with the Vette and the other or second was just a option. The two tone Vettes were less than 30% of the years run. Contra to todays belief of two tones on everything. :D Leave it solid beigh they look a hell of a lot nicer one color. :upthumbs

PS my invoice for the 61.

Wally, Wish I had one. This is excellent and something that is rare to see.
 

harland

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
solid color

Yes, I agree that the fawn beige will look best without a white cove-especially with a top either black or a tan if I can find a truly complimentary color 'beige'-don't want a clashing color.
Please give me your thoughts on acquiring later model seats for greater comfort for daily driving. I would keep the originals as they are excellent-but are red and won't fit in with the black interior. Someone told me a C4 or C-5 seat will fit in easily and be a heck of a lot ore comfortable-and he said they don't bring huge money when you come across them. You have driven many miles in your car I am sure, what is your opinion about the comfort issue. thanks, Harland
 

harland

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2007
Messages
63
Location
colorado
Corvette
1961 fawn beige convertible
Vin tag cost, top issues

Hi, I wanted to clarify. The $195. for the stainless VIN tage from A.G. Backeast of Grand Junction, CO does include the raised letters as done at the factory. He creates two bumps to replicate the spot welding or whatever method was originally used. He explains I should use a strong two part epoxy adheasive so this one stays put! Interestingly, I recently looked at another 61 locally and it too lacked the VIN plate! I wonder if 1/4-1/3 of them have come off over the years-intentionally or accidentally.
Re soft top and hardtop. I truly am under the impression that those in northern climates could order a 1961 Corvette with a hardtop only--hence the scarcity of the soft tops today. I had assumed all of them came with the soft top and the hardtop was an extra cost option, but folks tell me you could have just a hardtop and not pay extra for it. Regards, Harland
 
Joined
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Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Re soft top and hardtop. I truly am under the impression that those in northern climates could order a 1961 Corvette with a hardtop only--hence the scarcity of the soft tops today. I had assumed all of them came with the soft top and the hardtop was an extra cost option, but folks tell me you could have just a hardtop and not pay extra for it. Regards, Harland

That's correct - you could have a soft-top only or a hardtop only for the same base price, and the soft top was standard equipment. If you ordered the standard soft-top car, the hardtop was optional at extra cost.

:beer
 

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