“America’s sports car. Designed for personal sports car comfort. Engineered in the finest sports car tradition.” 1960 Corvette sales brochure
- Maximum performance was boosted to 315 horsepower.
- For the first time in the car’s history, more than 10,000 Corvettes were built in 1960.
- A Corvette was featured in the 1960 premiere of a television show called “Route 66” that helped widen the car’s exposure in America.
Much like 1959 had been, 1960 was very much a carryover year, particularly as far as visuals for the car were concerned. However, there were still quite a few tricks up Chevy’s sleeve that improved the car. This was a trend that had been developed since the earliest days of the Corvette: even if the styling stays essentially the same, continue improving specific parts of the car. The continuing rise of sales numbers would show that this plan was working.
Perhaps the most notable change was the top engine performance level, which was a fuel-injected 283 CID V8 that was rated at 315 horsepower, up from 290 the year before. And there were four more options Corvette drivers could choose to put under the hood. All were 283 CID V8s, and the other fuel-injected motor now produced 275 horsepower, as opposed to its 250 rating the previous year.
These power gains were achieved using solid lifters and a higher 11.0:1 compression. Because of these horsepower gains, the two-speed automatic transmission was no longer offered for Corvettes with fuel-infected engines. Buyers chose from either a three- or four- speed manual transmission.
There were also two versions of a 2×4-barrel engine: one rated at 245 horsepower and the other rated at 270. The base engine was a 4-barrel 283 that was rated at 230 horsepower.
Another big story this year was the addition of a rear anti-sway bar. This significantly helped the handling of the solid rear axle. New aluminum clutch housings were used for the first time in 1960, which reduced the overall weight of the car.
1960 Corvette Convertible
As mentioned before, total production was finally over 10,000, and 10,261 were produced. About 600 more Corvettes were built in 1960 than had been built the previous year. The base price for the 1960 models was $3,875, which was exactly the same as it had been the year before.
When the Corvette was introduced in 1953, buyers had few if any options to choose from to customize their car. In fact, even some features listed as options on sales literature at that time were actually a mandatory choice. So it was a relief that by the time the 1960s rolled around, Corvette-buyers did have a few more options – most notably that top performing engine.
The 315 horsepower engine added $484.20 to the price of the car. The four-speed transmission cost $188.30 more than the three-speed version, and Positraction added $43.05 to the price of the car. Metallic brake linings added $26.90 to the car, and one of the cheapest options was to choose 6.7×15-inch black wall tires over the standard 5.5×15-inch whitewall tires. This swap added $15.75.
Comparison to the 1959 and 1961 Corvette Models
The new models introduced the following year still had the overall look of the 1960 models, but continued to update the look, much as the 1958 cars had done from their predecessors. One notable update would be the first use of the Corvette’s now legendary quad taillight setup.
Performance options would main exactly the same in 1961. But that would all change with the 1962 Corvette.
|V8||283ci||Rochester Fuel Injection||315 hp @ 6200 rpm|
|V8||283ci||Rochester Fuel Injection||275 hp|
|V8||283ci||1x4bbl||230 hp @ 4800 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||Quarter Mile||Engine||Source|
|8.4 sec||16.1 sec @ 89.0 mph||283ci/230hp||Motor Trand Jul 60|