The 1961 Chevrolet Corvette was one year removed from a major update to the rear end, swapping out the curvy rear end for the “wedge tail.” The ’61 and ’62 are the only C1 Corvettes to have this rear end, which would go on to lay the groundwork for the C2 Stingray.
What sets the ’62 apart from the ’61 is the paint within the scalloped side sections, or “coves.” Previous years featured white and other colors to contrast with the body color, but this was exchanged for a matching color scheme. The chrome border was also removed, and a vent now appeared behind the front wheel.
Color choices included Tuxedo Black, Fawn Beige, Roman Red, Ermine White, Almond Beige, Sateen Silver, and Honduras Maroon. Wheels could also be ordered as body color, continuing the march away from the chrome and fins of previous models.
Under the hood, the small-block Chevy V-8 engine’s displacement was increased to 327 cid, and offerings simplified to just four. There were three carbureted versions as well as one fuel injected. The carburetor engines made 240, 300 or 340 hp, respectively, while the fuel injected model put out an impressive 360 hp. GM also simplified the transmission offerings, providing either a Powerglide automatic or 4-speed manual transmission.
Seatbelts were standard from the factory, as were a heater and defroster. The heater/defroster could be deleted, however, to save weight.
The rarity for this year is any Corvette with the “Sebring Package.” Designed for racing, this package included hood louvers, headlight covers, front anti-sway bar, a massive 37-gallon fiberglass fuel tank and other performance mods.
General Motors built 14,531 examples of the 1962 Chevrolet Corvette, marking the post popular model year for the first-generation C1 ‘Vette.