Category Archives: 1961 Cars

1961 Covair

1961 Corvair Lakewood
1961 Corvair Lakewood

The rear-engined Corvair received several updates as well as two new station wagon models in 1961.The luggage compartments on the sedans and coups were enlarged by moving the front panels forward, changing the shape of the gas tank and moving the spare tire to the engine compartment in the rear.

11961 Corvair Rear engine
Relocating the tire to the engine compartment

To make that possible the the tall, single air cleaner in the centre was replaced with two lower on the engine. The Gasoline heater was replaced by a built-in, forced hot-air system with a  booster blower.

1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1961 Corvair Greenbrier

Engine warm-up was improved due to new re-circulation of air in the engine compartment. The Lakewood, four-door station wagon placed the engine beneath the rear cargo deck.

1961 Corvair Greenbrier rear
1961 Corvair Greenbrier rear
1961 Corvair Greenbrier
1961 Corvair Greenbrier

1961 Mercury had new Bodies

1961 Mercury copy four door hardtop
1961 Mercury copy four door hardtop

Like many other auto makers at the start of the 60’s Mercury reduced its wheelbase from 126 inches to 120 inches and over all length reduced from 219 to 214 while interior room increased. Entrance and exit were improved due to the rear doors on the four door models being enlarged, the 61 Windshield did not wrap into the front door opening. Starting in 61 Mercury became available with a six-cylinder engine (the same 223-cubic-inch,145 hp unit used by Ford), standard was  V-8 292 cubic-inch or 352 cubic-inch, with a special 390 cubic-inch option. The 61 Mercury ride was improved by means of unique “cushion links” at the front pivot of the lower front suspension control arm and at the front of the rear springs.

1961 Mercury Wagon
1961 Mercury Wagon

1961 Pontiac had a “NEW” Shape

1961 Pontiac Shadow-box grillework
1961 Pontiac Shadow-box grillework

The “senior” Pontiac’s had restyled bodies, but managed to retain a distinct “Pontiac” flavor. All models were shortened by four inches and narrowed by 21/2 inches, wheelbases got cut from 122 to 119 on the Catalina, and Ventura series, Star Chiefs and Bonnevilles were 123 inches down from 124.

1961 Pontiac Knife-edged roof line
1961 Pontiac Knife-edged roof line

Widening the frame dropped the floors for a better seat height and two inches more headroom, also a two-section driveshaft with double centre universal joint reduced the tunnel height inside.  They installed a new front suspension, rear coil spring suspension with four rubber-bushed links.