Growing up in the Midwest, you knew summer had arrived when the classic car migration started. And while vintage muscle cars aren’t uncommon sights on muggy nights, Chevrolet Corvettes are rarer birds, especially C1 models. As a result, though they’re not the most expensive ‘Vettes, they often cost more than a 2022 C8. But that’s not the case with the 1962 Chevrolet Corvette listed this week on Bring a Trailer.
The 1962 Chevrolet Corvette sent off the C1 with some unique styling and its biggest V8 yet
|1962 ‘C1’ Chevrolet Corvette|
|Engine||5.4-liter ‘327’ V8 with four-barrel carburetor or fuel injection|
|Horsepower (SAE gross)||Carbureted: 250 hp, 300 hp, or 340 hp|
Fuel-injected: 360 hp
|Torque (SAE gross)||Carbureted: 350 lb-ft, 360 lb-ft, or 344 lb-ft|
Fuel-injected: 358 lb-ft
|Curb weight||2925-3075 lbs|
|0-60 mph time||6.1 seconds (fuel-injected V8)|
From one perspective, the 1962 Chevrolet Corvette is a bit unlucky. It immediately preceded one of the most iconic Corvettes ever, the split-window 1963 C2. However, being the last of the C1 Corvettes gave the ’62 model some perks. And even compared to the earlier C1s, it has some special touches.
Firstly, the 1961 and 1962 Corvettes are the only C1s with wedge-tail aka boat-tail ends rather than curved ones. Secondly, compared to the other C1s, the 1962 model has less chrome trim. Furthermore, its side coves are body-colored, not contrast-colored, and have vents behind the front wheels. And, arguably most importantly, it’s more powerful than earlier C1s.
Seven years after Chevrolet first put a V8 in the Corvette, the 1962 model got the biggest one it had seen yet. Also, you could order it with fuel injection, which was still a novelty in those days. Sure, 360 gross horsepower doesn’t sound like a lot today, but making at least one horsepower per cubic inch was mind-blowing in 1962. And that still makes this 60-year-old, solid-rear-axle car as fast as a 2022 GTI. Not to mention twice as fast as the original C1 Corvette.
But as is the case today, the 1962 Corvette isn’t only fun in a drag race. Serious racers could order it without a heater or defroster to save weight, as well as order the Sebring Package. This added a front sway bar, beefier brakes and suspension parts, and a larger fuel tank. Or, for those more interested in cruising, you could get power windows and a radio.
Regardless of where you drive it, though, the 1962 Chevrolet Corvette still brings the style and sound.
A four-speed ’62 C1 with a replacement engine is available right now on Bring a Trailer
Numbers-matching purists, look away now because the 1962 Chevrolet Corvette currently listed on Bring a Trailer doesn’t have its original powertrain. A previous owner replaced the original engine and four-speed manual, though the ‘new’ engine is still a carbureted 5.4-liter V8. And those aren’t the only revitalized parts on this ’62 ‘Vette.
The fiberglass body, for example, was repaired and repainted by Olympia, Washington-based Classy Chassis Autobody. That shop also replaced the windshield and refurbished the chrome bumpers. In addition, earlier this month the owner changed the engine oil and replaced the carburetor fuel line, air cleaner base plate, and tires. And the receipts from this service are just a small portion of the tome of records included in the sale.
As I mentioned earlier, Chevrolet offered an AM radio as an option in 1962, which this Corvette has, as well as a retractable antenna. But it also has front disc brakes, KYB Gas-a-Just shocks, and a Hurst shifter. Plus, it has both a black soft-top and a body-colored hard-top. And you’ll find an analog clock and lap belts inside. However, while this Corvette has a dash-mounted rearview mirror, there’s only one external mirror, and it’s on the driver’s side.
This is a special chance to get a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette for way less than market value
As of this writing, this 1962 Chevrolet Corvette is listed at $15,000 with three days left in the auction. Keep in mind that even a fair-condition 1962 ‘Vette with all these features usually costs around $40K, Hagerty says. It’s likely the non-numbers-matching engine and transmission that are keeping the price low.
However, if you can get past that, you have a shining example of a solid 1962 Corvette. Admittedly, these aren’t the rarest models out there, but you’re still looking at well over a 50% discount on a classic Corvette. That’s one sweet summer deal.
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