1981 Chevrolet Corvette User Reviews

1981 Chevrolet Corvette Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 19 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: 4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars4.6 out of 5 stars 4.6 / 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 19 1981 Chevrolet Corvette reviews.

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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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Pros

Looks. Performance. Reliability.

Cons

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

MaxPowerdjx
165

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.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.
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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Review
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Pros

Simple and easy to work on.  Gets looks and compliments everywhere.  Handles great and is very fast.

Cons

Rattles a lot.  Some electrical issues.

55

I Love Love Love My Shiny Red Vette — I bought this car for $4,000 a couple of years ago. It had been in a minor accident and needed a little body work up front, needed paint, and the automatic transmission was slipping. But under the hood was a very strong 383 stroker motor with Elderbrock intake, Holley 750 carb, and long tube headers. I spent a couple of weekends fixing the body work - using fiberglass body filler bought at Wal-Mart. Had the car painted at Econo-Bake for $500 and it looks darn good for what I've got in it. I bought a rebuilt TH350 transmission out of a wrecked Malibu for $125 and installed myself. I added a B&M shift improver kit ($30) to the transmission, bought the side pipes for $200 from Summit Racing and the car is perfect for me. She will smoke the tires as long as you hold the gas pedal down, looks great, and gets compliments everywhere. I absolutely love my Corvette but a car like this is not for everyone. You need the time, place, and tools to tinker and tune on this car.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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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.

65

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.)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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Fuel Economy:
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Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
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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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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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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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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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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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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
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Pros

Its really fun to drive

Cons

Nohing

65

Good — 430 HP 450 ft/lbs of torque. This car overall has a good build quality and is reliable (if stock). It doesn't have the best gas mileage but it is also is corvette not a prius. Very fun car to drive.

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Review
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Pros

classic

Cons

once you break the body its trash

45

Very Nice Looking Car — fast car, the A/C doesnt work. has T tops. sticks right to the road on fast corners. my mom has had it sense 85. does great donuts and surges =p ha great to pass cars also. shouldnt be made out of pexi-glass

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

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Power and handling.

Cons

Gas guzzler!

135

Get One If You Can Afford One Now. — Classic Power, handling, and torque. Limited capaciity and leg room, but a "Chick magnet"! One of Chevy's best models for the time. Best value for price. Definately a fun can to drive and comfortable for the driver and one passenger.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

9 of 10 people found this review helpful.
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1981 Chevrolet Corvette Review
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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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Displaying 1 - 10 of 19 1981 Chevrolet Corvette reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

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2013 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

Great By kennethford

I love everthing about my vette,stylethree color black the yellow brack pads and i put the car in a show an win a best in show for the frist, time and i`m 65 yours young and love it when i take it out... Read More

Best Car! By Denny

I love the ride, looks and handling! With the top down in the evenings, there is nothing like it! This is the perfect car for the Carolina's, drive year round! This is my 7th Corvette, but the first c... Read More

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2012 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

I Love It, I Really Do, The Siblings Love It, So Im A Keeping It! By SHELBYFORLIFE

This car is a very fun car, it may be expensive, but she is my other women! she has always been there, she has always let me process my anger threw her pedals, and her gears. Her name is Treasure, for... Read More

I Am Extremely Impressed With The Car. By wilscaal

If looking for a performance car that is also a great daily driver, you can't beat this car. For a car with 430HP the mileage of 19-24MPG is excellent. Outstanding cargo capacity with the hatch rea... Read More

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2011 Chevrolet Corvette Reviews

Best Non Aspirated Corvette By TooFast

What can I say, I really cannot say enough. This Z06/Z07 is equipped the same as the Carbon Edition with subtle differences in paint scheme and interior trim, however from a performance perspective th... Read More

Only Drivin To Car Shows By tashkentzoo

This is an outstanding example of a Grand Sport. The color which is Supersonic Blue draws your attention. In fact, I've been told it's one of the most attractive colors of that model year. I get a lot... Read More

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