1961 Chevrolet: Giving Auto Patrons What They Wanted
Chevrolet wanted to give auto patrons the types of cars they wanted and needed in 1961. So the models this year were trimmed in size and sported a simple, clean style. The 1961 Chevrolet was marked by features such as gently sloping pillars in the front and sleek rear pillars to support the roof line on sports models, an anodized aluminum grille, and clean lines.
The models for this year included three passenger cars, six Station Wagons, ten Corvair models, and a newly designed Corvette. Buyers could choose from three passenger car roof lines. The two- and four-door Sedan models all had a modern canopy roof. The Sport Sedan models featured wide rear pillars and a custom-formed roof, which added a touch of luxury. The models this year had many features to enhance comfort for the driver and passengers. They had wider doors for an easy entry and exit. Each model had more leg room in the front and more foot room in the rear compartment.
The trunk was deeper with more space for luggage. A deep well in the trunk provided room for tall luggage bags or other tall cargo. The spare tire was tucked away to give extra space. Passengers could sink into the luxurious foam cushion front seat with its bright colors and patterns and rich fabric. The instrument panel was compact with all instruments and control knobs within easy reach for the driver. 1961 Impala Series - Ultimate Chevrolet Luxury The 1961 Impala series included a Sport Sedan, a four-door Sedan, a Convertible, a Sport Coupe, and a two-door Sedan. As Chevrolet's most luxurious model, the Impala had an elegant design with standard luxury features such as back-up lights, an electric clock, a parking brake warning light, deluxe window cranks, rich carpeting of the deep-twist style, fingertip door releases, built-in safety reflectors, and extra long arm rests. The interiors could be one of six gorgeous color combinations.
The Impala Super Sport featured a choice of several V-8 engines with 305, 340, or 350 horsepower and a four-speed Synchro-Mesh Transmission. The 305-horsepower engine was available with a Powerglide transmission. Other features on the Super Sport included a padded instrument panel, an electric tachometer, a sports car assist bar, full wheel covers, SS identification, heavy-duty suspension components, and exclusive 8.00 x 14 narrow-band whitewall tires. 1961 Bel Air Series - Affordable with Great Features The Bel Air series once again became one of America's most popular models. It was priced for affordability and had a new slim size that made it easier than ever to drive and park. The Bel Air models included a Sport Coupe, a two-door Sedan, a four-door Sedan, and a Sport Sedan. Some features of the Bel Air were a glove box light, foam cushion seats for the front and rear, rubber floor mats, color-matched carpet, deluxe window cranks and door handles, a deluxe steering wheel with a thumb button horn, and twin rear ashtrays.
1961 Biscayne Series - Lowest Priced in the Full-Size Field The Biscayne series featured Chevrolet's low priced models for full size cars. They had solid quality with a Body by Fisher, with a rugged construction that could withstand all the bumps and jolts of everyday driving while keeping a quiet, comfortable ride. Some features were Safety-Master brakes, safety door locks, foam cushion front seats, two arm rests, a glove box lock, and dual sun visors. Biscayne models included a Utility Sedan, a two-door Sedan, and a four-door Sedan. There was also the Biscayne Fleetmaster series with a two-door Sedan and a four-door Sedan. The Fleetmaster was marketed for business purposes. 1961 Station Wagons The Station Wagon offerings all had four-door convenience, and could be ordered with six- or nine-passenger seating. The models included the Parkwood, the Brookwood, and the Nomad. Cargo space measured 97.5 cubic feet, and each model offered four wide doors. For extra storage, there was a new concealed compartment underneath the rear platform. These wagons also had a taller and wider tailgate, a rear-facing third seat, and special hinges. The Corvair Line-Up for 1961 The Corvair line featured ten models including two Greenbrier Sports Wagons and two new Station Wagons. Model classes were the Monza, the 500 Club Coupe, and the 700 four-door Sedan. The Corvair featured easy steering and braking, a large trunk measuring 12.6 cubic feet in the Sedans and Coupes, and a 14-gallon gasoline tank. The Lakewood Station Wagon had a key-locking front trunk and its engine in the rear. The Greenbrier Sports Wagon had an easy-to-remove second seat, a low, center-floor with 175.5 cubic feet of storage space, and double doors at the rear. 1961 Corvette for Sports Car Lovers The Corvette this year got a new design with rakish lines and a deep-chested engine. It featured bucket seats, custom trim, deep-twist carpeting, roll-up windows, a narrow transmission tunnel to provide more foot room up front, and alternate seating positions. Its engines ranged from a 230-horsepower up to a 315-horsepower Corvette V-8 engine with Ramjet Fuel Injection. Three transmissions were offered: a three-speed Synchro-Mesh, a four-speed Synchro-Mesh, and an automatic Powerglide. Power Teams for 1961 There were 24 possible power team combinations available this year for great performance and economy. The Hi-Thrift Six was economical with regular gasoline. It had a standard automatic choke for better cold engine starts along with advanced hydraulic valve lifters for quietness. The horsepower rating was 135 horsepower with a compression ratio of 8.25:1. There was a wide range of V-8 engines such as the Turbo-Fire V-8 with a displacement of 283 cubic inches and a full-flow oil filter. Its compression ratio was 8.5:1 with 230 horsepower. Other choices included the 348-cubic-inch Turbo-Thrust V-8 and the 348-cubic-inch Super Turbo-Thrust V-8. There were also five transmission choices: three-speed Synchro-Mesh, Overdrive, a four-speed Synchro-Mesh, Powerglide, and Turboglide. Options and Power Features Besides all the engine and transmission possibilities, buyers could opt for a number of extra-cost features such as power steering, power brakes, a six-way flexomatic power seat, air conditioning, a deluxe heater, or a positraction rear axle. Quality features that were standard on each model were Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer finish with deep-down luster, high-level ventilation, tyrex cord tires, a foot-operated parking brake, a Fisher body, a five-position ignition switch, clean-sweep windshield wipers, and a new defroster design.
Chevrolet made sure each model for 1961 was equipped with great features for added comfort and better driving and handling. Chevrolet buyers could pick and choose among the best no matter what their auto needs or budget.