Sales Rebound Nicely with the 1981 Corvette
Because of the increasing Federal regulations being brought down on the entire auto industry, the boys at the GM plant had to once again gear up and make some changes in order to ensure that the 1981 Corvette would be as good as previous years past. Once again the engineering department did not disappoint and though the car went to a one engine only model, it still performed the way that only a Corvette could.
For the 1981 Corvette, Chevy retired the two previous 350 V-8s and made way for a one engine car that was a reworked V-8 dubbed the L81. The new engine featured lighter components and also had an auxiliary electric cooling fan which allowed for a smaller engine driven fan and the end result was a great reduction in noise and an output of power almost identical to the previous engine.
The biggest news for the 1981 Corvette came by the way of Computer Command Control, or CCC. CCC reduced smog and fuel consumption by using electronics to integrate both the emissions and the fuel system. It also tied in with the automatic transmission’s clutch converter which provided a direct mechanical link between the porshaft and flywheel in both the second and third gear at pacing speeds which eliminated gas losing friction that usually occurred through the converter.
Many changes adorned the interior of the 1981 Corvette which seemed to be the plushest Corvette to that date ever offered. Electric tuning for the radios now came with ever Vette sold as did a six way power seat that for the first time actually reclined.
However the boldest news shock came later in the year when it as announced that the Corvette was to move its operations of assembly to a new plant that was built in Bowling Green, thus leaving St. Louis far behind. This lead to the wild rumors that the new plant meant that the next generation Corvette was just around the corner. As it turns out the Corvette faithful were right and although a few snags here and there would keep the C4 from coming out when GM wanted it to, the new generation of the Corvette was closer than anyone could imagine.
Perhaps the most unwelcomed news for the 1981 Corvette was the ever rising price that now saw the base model starting at just above $15,000. While this price seemed to be astronomical for the times, it still couldn’t keep enthusiasts away and the buying frenzy was on in 1981. Though not a record by any means, the sales for the 1981 Corvette were strong at 45,631 units, which was a nice and welcomed rebound from a down year prior. Thought the new decade of the 80s seemed to start off with a bit of a hick-up it also seemed that Chevy was getting a handle on all of the nuances that would have to be dealt with now thanks to the Federal government’s ever tightening grip. With the advent of the C4 just three short years away, those in the know knew that the Corvette was blazing towards some stellar years ahead.