1981 Corvette L81 Vette Registry - Production Facts

Below is a listing of Production facts and information for the 1981 L81 Corvette:

  • The 1981 Corvette was the first model year to be built simultaneously in two locations.The first Corvette was completed at the new Bowling Green , KY asssembly line on June 1, 1981. The last Corvette to be built at St. Louis was completed on August 1, 1981.
  • Although there were no engine options for 1981, the base 350 (190 hp) L81 engine was certified for the state of California, and was available in all states including California with both 4-speed manaul and automatic transmissions.
  • Exterior styling carried over from 1980, but emblems did change slightly.
  • The tubular stainless steel exhaust manifolds, used on 1980 Corvettes sold in California with the LG4 305 engine, were standard with the 1981 base engine.
  • Chevrolets computer command control used on 1980 Corvettes sold in California became standard equipment on all 1981 Corvettes. The system automatically adjusted ignition timing and fuel mixture.
  • Chevrolet introduced a fiberglass - reinforced monoleaf rear spring for 1981 Corvettes equipped with automatic transmissions and standard suspensions. The plasticspring weighed eight pounds compared to forty-four pounds for the steel unit it replaced.
  • The anti-theft alarm system was improved in 1981 by the addition of an ignition interrupt to prevent engine start.
  • All 1981 valve covers were magnesium for weight reduction
  • For improved fuel economy, auto transmissions had torque convertor clutches for second and third gears.
  • A detail change to the 1981 Corvette interior was the color keying of the headlamp and windshield wiper switch bezels to the interior color. In 1980, they were black regardless of interior color.
  • The 1981 Corvette was the last model to have a manual transmission available until well into the 1984 production year.
  • The St. Louis Corvette assembly plant continued to use lacquer paints through the end of the 1981 production in that facility. meanwhile in B.G., a new paint process was developed which used enamel basecoats followed by clearcoats.
  • A power driver seat was available for the first time in 1981 as RPO A42. It was not available for the passenger side.

The Corvette Action Center does not have the resources to validate or confirm information provided to and for this Registry. Information provided in this Registry is as accurate as the information provided to us. It is not the intent of the Corvette Action Center to document fraudulent data, nor do we have the expertise to question beyond reason, information provided. The Corvette Action Center does due diligence to accurately document the Corvettes listed in this Registry, but does not, nor will the Corvette Action Center advise, inspect or arbitrate information provided.