1981 Corvette Production and Performance Numbers

Below is a complete listing of 1981 Corvette RPO codes, production and performance numbers.

Model Year Highlights

  • The 1981 Corvette was built in both St. Louis, MO and the new Bowling Green, KY facility at the same time.
  • The 1981 Corvette was the last model year to offer a manual transmission until the reappearance of the Doug Nash 4+3 manual transmission in 1984.
  • The St. Louis assembly plant used lacquer based paints while the Bowling Green, KY plant used enamel under clear coat paints.

Available Options
RPO Description Price Production
1YY87 Base Coupe $16,258.52 40,606
A42 Power Driver Seat $183 29,200
AU3 Power Door Locks $145 36,322
CC1 Removable Glass Roof Panels $414 29,095
C49 Rear Window Defogger $119 36,893
DG7 Electric Sport Mirrors $117 13,567
D84 Two-Tone Paint $399 5,352
F51 Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers $37 1,128
FE7 Gymkhana Suspension $57 7,803
G92 Performance Axle Ratio $20 2,400
K35 Cruise Control $155 32,522
MM4 4-Speed Manual Transmission $0.00 5,575
MX1 4-Speed Automatic Transmission $0.00 NA
N90 Aluminum Wheels $428 36,485
NA5 Standard Emissions Equipment $0 NA
QGQ White Letter Steel Belted Blackwall Tires, P225/70R15 $0.00 NA
QGR White Letter Steel Belted Radial Tires, P225/70R15 $72 21,939
QXH White Letter Steel Belted Radial Tires, P255/60R15 $491.92 18,004
UL5 Radio Delete $-118 315
UM4 AM/FM Radio, ETR stereo w/ 8-track $386 8,262
UM5 AM/FM Radio, ETR stereo w/ 8-track/CB $712 792
UM6 AM/FM Radio, ETR stereo w/ cassette $423 22,892
UN5 AM/FM Radio, ETR stereo w/ cassette/CB $750 2,349
U58 AM-FM Radio Stereo $95 5,145
U75 Power Antenna $55 32,903
V54 Roof Panel Carrier $135 3,303
YF5 California Emissions Certification $46 4,951
ZN1 Trailer Package $110 916
Total Production (all coupes): 40,606

Color Options
RPO Exterior Interior Production Facility
01 Primer Gray NA 1 St. Louis
06 Mahogany Metallic CM/DR 1,092 St. Louis
10 White B-CH-CM-DB-DR-MR-SG 6,387 St. Louis
13 Silver Metallic B-CH-DB-MR-SG 2,590 St. Louis
19 Black B-CH-CM-DR-MR-SG 4,712 St. Louis
24 Bright Blue Metallic CH-CM-DB-SG 1 St. Louis
28 Dark Blue Metallic CM-DB-MR-SG 2,522 St. Louis
33 Silver Metallic CH-DB-DR-SG 3,369 B. Green
38 Dark Blue Metallic CM-DB-SG 496 B. Green
39 Charcoal Metallic CH-DR-SG 613 B. Green
50 Beige CH-CM-DB-DR 2,239 B. Green
52 Yellow B-CH-CM 1,031 St. Louis
59 Beige CM-DB-DR-MR 3,842 St. Louis
74 Dark Bronze CH-CM 432 B. Green
75 Red B-CH-CM-MR-SG 4,310 St. Louis
79 Maroon Metallic B-CH-CM-MR-SG 1,618 St. Louis
80 Autumn Red CH-CM-DR-SG 1,505 B. Green
84 Charcoal Metallic B-CH-CM-MR-SG 3,485 St. Louis
98 Dark Claret Metallic CM-DR-SG NA B. Green
33/38 Silver/Dark Blue DM-SG NA B. Green
33/39 Silver/Charcoal CH-SG NA B. Green
50/74 Beige/Dark Bronze CM NA B. Green
80/98 Autumn Red/Dark Claret DR-SG NA B. Green
NA White Pearlescent * NA 3 B. Green
According to Gordon Killebrew who worked at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant and the original Corvette Action Center at the Assembly Plant, three White Pearlescent 1981 Corvettes were built that carried the paint code of "White". He heard one was totaled which leaves only two possibly in existence.
Abbreviations:  B=Black, C=Cloth, CH=Charcoal, CM=Camel, CIN=Cinnabar, DB=Dark Blue, DR=Dark Red, L=Leather, MR=Medium Red, SG=Silver Gray

The following information is from a Chevrolet Dealer Service Information Bulletin released in 1981:

In anticipation of the 19811/2 model year plant start-up at GMAD Bowling Green in June of 1981, a paint pilot program has been initiated at St. Louis to evaluate production application of each color released. There will be approximately 80 pilot vehicles finished in a two-tone acrylic ENAMEL with a selection of the following color combinations:

Autumn Red Metallic E80   Dark Claret Metallic E98
Silver Metallic E33   Dark Blue Metallic E38
Silver Metallic E33   Charcoal Metallic E39
Beige E50   Dark Bronze E74

(Note: The special "E" paint codes will be stamped on the body ID plate.)

The acrylic enamel color topcoat is a thermosetting material used to provide a durable, attractive, lustrous finish over the exterior surfaces of the vehicle. In addition, all metallic colors will have a "clear coat" finish available in the automotive industry. The front and rear bumper covers, or facias, will also be base coat/clear coat, but will be of a type of flexible paint as is currently used. Refinish (repair) colors may not be available until 1981.

Interior Color Codes
RPO Color Production
132 SG/L NA
152 SG/L NA
182 CH/L NA
192 B/L NA
292 DB/L NA
642 CM/L NA
672 CIN/L NA
742 DR/L NA
752 MR/L NA
Abbreviations:  B=Black, C=Cloth, CH=Charcoal, CM=Camel, CIN=Cinnabar, DB=Dark Blue, DR=Dark Red, L=Leather, MR=Medium Red, SG=Silver Gray

Performance Review
Magazine GM Spec. RT CD
Pub. Date   1982 Dec. 1981
Transmission   4-sp man. NA
0-30 mph (sec) NA 2.6 NA
0-40 mph NA NA NA
0-50 mph NA NA NA
0-60 mph NA 7.7 7.2
0-70 mph NA NA NA
0-80 mph NA NA NA
0-90 mph NA NA NA
0-100 mph NA 22.2 19.7
0-110 mph NA NA NA
0-120 mph NA NA NA
0-130 mph NA NA NA
1/4 Mile (sec/mph) NA 16.0 / 86.5 15.4 /91
Top Speed (mph) NA NA 130
Braking (ft.) NA 130 ft. (60 - 0 mph)
268 ft. (80 - 0 mph)
198 ft. (70 - 0 mph)
Lateral Accel. NA 0.790 0.79
CD = Car & Driver  RT = Road & Track