Production began in June of the same year with the standard six-cylinder 160 bhp engine, but by 1956 this had grown into a V8 of 265 ci, developing between 180 and 220 bhp according to the state of tune. A high-quality fiberglass body was fitted from the start, the light weight of which allowed even the earliest cars to reach 105 mph, compared to the Ford Thunderbird's 115 mph, but the Corvette had superior acceleration and handled better.
By the early 1960's Ford's Thunderbird had become an overweight behemoth, leaving Chevrolet's Corvette as America's only true sports car.
With engine developments power continued to climb, and even by modern standards, the 1961 'Vette is a fast car, as evinced by "Road & Track's" road test data, showing 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds and a maximum speed of 128 mph. 1960 saw a team of three fuel-injected cars entered for the classic Le Mans 24 Hour race, which one of them actually led on the first lap, and another finished in eighth place overall.
1961 Chevrolet CorvetteMonday, 30 June 1997 16:00 Written by Sports Car Market
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