1981 Chevrolet Corvette User Reviews

1981 Chevrolet Corvette Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 20 reviews

  • Performance:4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 / 5
  • Appearance:4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 / 5
  • Build Quality:3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars3.9 out of 5 stars 3.9 / 5
  • Overall: 4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"ride" 7 reviews
"power" 4 reviews
"reliable car" 3 reviews
"part" 3 reviews
"speed" 3 reviews
CONS
"fuel economy" 4 reviews
"ride" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 20 1981 Chevrolet Corvette reviews.

inhops writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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5

Pros

Our 1981 Chevrolet Corvette has great power (as do all Corvettes).  The engine has a wonderful sound.  You get noticed when you drive this car.

Cons

Our only complaint with this car is having to manually remove & put on the glass t-tops.  The t-tops are valuable so you don't want to leave them in the car when it is parked, but you don't want to leave them at home if you will be out for any length of time (in case it rains).

inhops
0

Beautiful, Powerful, Classic Corvette — We always wanted to own and drive a Corvette. For an older classic car, we found there was VERY little work that needed to be done. We didn't put many miles on it each summer and stored it every winter, so the only maintenance was oil & filter each year. We did have to replace the power antenna once. This car is a joy to drive - especially on a sunny day with the T-tops off.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

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johnguy81 writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Cargo Capacity:
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4

Pros

Obviously good looks. Fun to drive. Nice sound

Cons

Very low, avoid speedbumps, sharp inclines

johnguy81
95

Fun To Drive. Looks Great — I do enjoy driving this car, and the way it handles and looks. I have not owned this car too long but I plan on driving it in the summer lots and taking it to some local shows. It does seem to handle quite well.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Rob2736 writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

She's just so sleak!

Cons

She's a bit short on power.

135

81 Corvette — Performance - I love that it's carb... but it's a bit low on acceleration. Build Quality - Most are pretty impressed with how it rides. Appearance - Nothing beats the 81 look. Gas Mileage - It's a Corvette.. are you really worried about gas mileage? Is this car FUN? It's a Corvette... DAMN STRAIGHT IT IS!!!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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dpanzerman writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Review
Appearance:
Performance:
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Overall:
5

Pros

Beatiful curves, timeless styling....she'll be your best friend

Cons

Don't drive if you are shy, and don't want to talk to people or be stared at longingly!

dpanzerman
215

1981 Corvette — Sharks are the BEST! Cost of ownership is low, these cars are reliable...and every single nut and bolt is available Fun factor is off the charts, you get more stares and longling glances is a Shark...that you will ever get in 99% of the cars out there. Quality of the car itself matters...anything between $17000- 25000 these cars wont let you down...buy a $4000 beater...well its gonna be expensive, but gorgeous when you restore it. Performance...stock not so great....good news...its a chevy small block.....it's cheap and easy to make it stupid fast. Also, the chassis and engine bay was designed for a big block...yeah you can go that route too! A multitude of performance parts are available, race tuned suspensions, upgrade brakes, everything. The only cars with more tuning stuff available (and then its a tie) are Camaros and Mustangs.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful.
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jkontur writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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3

Pros

everything is original

Cons

everything is original

jkontur
35

Fast And Stylish — I love the t-top but I have a family of 5 and I don't get to drive it much. Everything is original so the hoses need replace and it needs some TLC. I don't feel safe in this car any longer, I would like to know how much I should sell this car for.

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

1 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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MaxPowerdjx writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
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5

Pros

Looks. Performance. Reliability.

Cons

Gas Mileage.  Cheap Interior. Cabin Noise(with T-Tops On)

MaxPowerdjx
145

The Penultimate Shark! — The last time I owned a C3 was 1985. It was a Red on Oyster 4 speed. I was 27 and had owned the car since new but thought it was a good idea to trade it for the new fuel injected 1985 Corvette. Bad idea. Like all 85 Vettes, it was terrible. So recently I got the fever and decided to get a 3rd Generation one more time before I die. So I started searching until I found one at a reasonable price in decent condition. And I did luck out. 81 one is the Penultimate Shark, and in my opinion the last year of the C3 to buy. 82 with the "Cease Fire Injection" system should be avoided unless a previous owner has replaced the engine. 81 has only the ignition timing controlled by a computer system. It's still a Carb system so you can replace the Rochester with a Holley or other choice. Nothing looks like the C3. The best looking car in American history I say. The 3rd gens ride isn't for anyone who is opposed to feeling every pebble on the road. The interior isn't the quietest either. And the interior is also pretty cheap material, although I do love the deep dish seats. And in 81 the driver's seat was power adjustable! The car while a VERY thirsty beast is very reliable. The engine if you change the oil regularly and do all the other normal maintenance will run forever. Chevy small block 350's are that good. The Transmissions on the Vettes of this era(say 78-81) are also durable and reliable. Mine is a automatic. Sticks are a tough find since of the 40 plus thousand made only one in about 8 in 81 were manuals. Only one in 10 of the nearly 42 thousand in 1980. It is listed at 190HP, but it seems to have much more. I had a Grand Prix GTP previous and it's 230HP was not nearly this quick or fast. It's pure FUN and even the most jaded ass wipes in their BMWs and Benz will stare at you with envious eyes. In this you are not a Sheep in the flock or just another Lemming packed into a shinny metal box. No way. You is wrapped in fiberglass!! Parts are easy to find and reasonable in price(although these days what is reasonable can be debated). So if you want to have fun driving again. Reconnect with your lost youth. Feed your mid life crisis. Or just want to dare to be different, find ye an 81, or a 1980, 79 even. The Sharks from 79-81 were the best. and from 80 - 81 the "Coke Bottle" Vette as they became known have it all. I would not lie to you. May tease you from time to time but I try not to lie on such serious Corvette matters.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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LeRoy1706 writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4
LeRoy1706
45

After 41 Years, I Finally Got One! — I have wanted a Corvette since I was 18 years old. Finally, two weeks ago, I found one. I am very satisfied with it so far and have put 350 miles on it so far. It has 66,000 actual miles and runs pretty good, but needs some work. I already replaced the air conditioner compressor and am awaiting parts to repair the vaccum headlights. I understand that It is a common problem. I think I will be happy with the 350 engine because I have done a little "shade tree" mechanics on them in the past. I got some rough idling problems, but believe it is a result of the vaccum leaks in the emission control system that someone attemted to bypass. Hopefully, I will be able to get these minor problems corrected.

Owner for 0 years, 1 months

Miles Driven per Year:1,000

1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Moe writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5
Moe
155

My First And Not My Last Corvette — After wrecking up my dependable 1991 Miata I decided to buy a newer and larger car. That promise lasted until I saw this beautiful 1981 Corvette. It was all yellow (one of only a few thousand made that year) it had a stick and looked almost new. I bought it a few days later and I still find reasons to drive it every day. It has been in ths shop often however. I warn all new buyers 'origional parts' may sound good in the sales speach but when you are buying an old car that means parts means some slouch didn't bother with regular service and saftey issues. All of those nice origional parts will be worn and will need replacing quickly. For me it was u joints, front and rear brakes and a master cyl. The power window motor is shot, that is small but pricey. The shocks are qustionable and I have a leak in my windsheild and the idol races between stall speed and light speed and nowhere in between. But as each repair gets done we all know I am getting one step closer to having a collecter's car that could still out race the new Mustangs and could out shine any car built today. It is my first Vette and if I ever do get rid of it I know it won't be my ast Vette. It's a beauty eh?

Owner for 1 years, 3 months

Miles Driven per Year:2,000

12 of 12 people found this review helpful.
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Chuck writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
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Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
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Overall:
5

Pros

Looks is what sets it apart from all others. I have never been morre noticed in my life while driving this car. From grownups to little kids they all know what it is and probably wish they were driving it. Everytime I stop somewhere I get compliments about it and people walk up and look it over. I know 190 HP doesn't sound like much but if not careful you can loose control of this car easily by getting on the gas too quickly or too hard while turning. If the tires brake loose spinning the ass trys to pass. But it sure is fun. It's like an adult only go kart but with STYLE.

Cons

Uncomfortable on longer rides. Need to get out and stretch every couple hrs.

55

I Love It And I Don't Miss My Harley That I Traded For It. — The cost of maintaining the Paint is expensive. They want 5,000.00 to paint the car the same Red color. Otherwise it's not bad at all as all the parts are available and priced right. It's easy to work on and uses american tools, NOT METRIC,

Primary Use: Sport/fun (spirited driving, track racing, off-roading, etc.)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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mike7171956 writes:
1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

fun to drive

mike7171956
75

Na — i love my vet it is in great shape never seen the rain runs like a clock. it is white with red int. wish it was a 4 speed but had to get auto so my wife can drive it too. we have alot of fun in the summer with it.

Primary Use: Family transportation

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 20 1981 Chevrolet Corvette reviews.

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1954 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

Old But Strong By Jacob

sometimes unreliable starter (solonoid problems). easy clutch (3 speed-converted). beautiful though Read More

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1955 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

The Rarest Corvette Left Of Any Year By copper55

My is one of 15 copper colors sold, a driver and top flight, having both after market tops, plasticon & bubble top. %100 original. We've driven it all around the country 116,000 miles on it and loved ... Read More

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1957 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

Fun Driver And Gets Lots Of Looks. By Bruce

The performance was way better than from factory as the engine was a 283 bored to 301 and it had 2 four barrels. Also the bumpers and top were off most of the time. I never got beat from light to ligh... Read More

Great Classic, Now Expsive, Make Sure It's Restored By Greg

dad bought it in early 90's from a collector in scranton, broke down all the time right after purchase, had it restored and works great now Read More

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1958 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

A Dream Com True By Aaron

She was a short track racer that had been hit in the front right corner. the old man that owed it lost his eye sight and could't race any more. he advertised it as a race car only, but i reconized it... Read More

One Vette In The Works By Brad

This pic of the Corvette is not one of mine. This is what mine is bound to look like though. My dad and I are fixing it up and plan to put a 383 stroker in it and possibly nos later on. The car i know... Read More

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1959 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

Flashy Car, I Liked It Very Much. By Sandune

LIKES - Good looking, Girls liked riding in it ! In shop once to have shifter stalk welded up so it quit sliding around when shifting. Jeez I was cool then ! The fit and finish was ok for those year... Read More

Gorgeous!!!! By Erin

Handles like a dream. Read More

Read all 3 1959 Chevrolet Corvette reviews

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