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1981 Chevrolet Corvette C3
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1981 Corvette Specs

Body Specs

Wheelbase 98.0 inches
Overhand (Front) 42.4 inches
Overhang (Rear) 44.9 inches
Front Track 58.7 inches
Rear Track 59.5 inches
Length 185.3 inches
Ground Clearance
Differential to Ground
12.9 inches
Ground Clearance
Front Bumper to Ground
9.4 inches
Ground Clearance
Rear Bumper to Ground
11.4 inches
Ground Clearance
Rear Axle to Ground
12.9 inches
Minimum Ground Clearance 4.1 inches
(Measured at Catalytic Converter)
Overall Height 48.1 inches
Rocker Panel to Ground (Front) 8.0 inches
Rocker Panel to Ground (Rear) 7.7 inches
Luggage Capacity 8.4 Cubic Feet
Cowl Height 35.4 inches
Windshield Slope Angle 57.0°
Effective Head Room 36.2 inches
Shoulder Room 47.5 inches
Hip Room 49.9 inches
Tire Size P225/70R15
Recommended Tire Inflation 35 PSI Front; 35 PSI Rear
Wheels, Regular Production Size: 15 x 8
Synchronization All Forward Gears
Turbo Hydra-Matic (Automatic) Transmission 1st Gear 2.52:1
2nd Gear 1.52:1
3rd Gear 1.00:1
Reverse Gear 1.93:1
Four Speed Transmission 1st Gear 2.88:1
2nd Gear 1.91:1
3rd Gear 1.33:1
4th Gear 1.00:1
Reverse Gear 2.78:1
Transmission Lubricant Type GL-5 Gear Lubricant
80W or 80W-90
Lubricant Capacity Four Speed Manual: 3.4 Quarts
Differential Lubricant Type GL-5
SAE 80W-90
Axle Ratio Automatic, Four Speed Manual
2.72:1, 2.87:1
Transmission Synchromesh All Four Gears
Standard Fuel Tank Capacity 24 Gallons (Approximately)
Steering Ratio 16.1:1
Steering Wheel Diameter 14.5 inches
Wheel Turns 2.58
Turning Diameters 40.4 feet (Curb to Curb)
41.3 feet (Wall to Wall)

EPA Fuel Economy

49 State 15 mpg (Automatic)
14 mpg (Manual)
California 15 mpg (Automatic)
14 mpg (Manual)


Model 1YY87 Sport Coupe (Curb)
Front: 1,594 lb.
Rear: 1,713 lb.
Total: 3,307 lb.
Total: 3,179 lb.
Curb Weight: The calculated weight of a vehicle with standard equipment, only as designed with the additional load of oils, lubes coolants and fuel all filled to capacity.
Shipping Weight: Same as base curb weight except 3 gallons of gasoline.

Weight Differentials
Standard Engine
With Turbo Hydra Matic Transmission
+38.2 lb.
(+22.4 lb. Front; +15.8 lb. Rear)
Radio, AM/FM Stereophonic
(RPO U58)
+10 lb.
(+6 lb. Front; +4 lb. Rear)
Radio, AM/FM Stereo With CB,
8 Track Tape Player
+1.2 lb.
(+.8 lb. Front; +.4 lb. Rear)
Radio, AM/FM Stereophonic
With Cassette Tape Player
+1.2 lb.
(+.8 lb. Front; +.4 lb. Rear)
Radio, AM/FM Stereophonic
With 8 Track Tape Player
+2.8 lb.
(+1.4 lb. Front; +1.4 lb. Rear)
Radio, AM/FM Stereophonic
With CB, Cassette Tape Player
+1.2 lb.
(+.8 lb. Front; +.4 lb. Rear)
Gymkhana Suspension
+37.0 lb.
(+5.2 lb. Front; +31.8 lb. Rear)
Power Antenna
All Radios Except Citizen's Band
(RPO U75)
+3.6 lb.
(-0.8 lb. Front; +4.4 lb. Rear)
Aluminum Wheels
(RPO N90)
-47.1 lb.
(-23.8 lb. Front; -23.3 lb. Rear)
Glass Roof Panels
+14.6 lb.
(+4.4 lb. Front; +10.2 lb. Rear)
Carrier-Roof Panel
(RPO K30)
+7.0 lb.
(-1.8 lb. Front; +8.8 lb. Rear)

Engine Specs

Type: V8
Valve Location: In Head
Bore / Stroke: 4.00" / 3.48"
Displacement: 350 Cubic Inches
(5.7 Liters)
Compression Ratio: 8.2:1
Cylinder Head Material: High Chrome Cast Alloy Iron
Cylinder Block Material: Cast Alloy Iron
Oil Pump Type: Gear
Crankcase Oil Capacity 4.0 Quarts, Less Filter
Recommended Oil Grade Above 20°F: SAE 20W-20, SAE 10W-30, 10W-40
20W-40, 20W-50
0°F to 60°F: SAE 10W, 5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40
Below 20°F: SAE 5W-20, 5W-30
Fuel Filter Mesh Strainer in Gasoline Tank and
Paper Filter Element in Carburetor Inlet.
Fuel Pump Mechanical
Fuel Pressure 7.5 - 9.0 PSI
Cooling System Capacity 21.6 Quarts
Radiator Cap Relief Pressure 15 PSI
Battery 12 volt - 115 Minute Reserve Capacity

Type Caliper Disc, Four Wheel Hydraulic
Gross Lining Area 86.30 Square Inches
Swept Area 498.30 Square Inches
Disc Vented

Standard Engine (350 cubic inch) 190 hp @ 4,200 RPM;
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

Ignition System
Ignition Timing Centrifugal Advance Does Not Apply
Ignition Timing Vacuum Advance Does Not Apply
Initial Timing Distributor | 1103443 | Base Engine
6° BTC
Manual / Automatic
Spark Plug R45TS
Spark Plug Thread 14 mm.
Spark Plug Gap .045 inch
Firing Order 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2
Idle Standard Engine, Manual Transmission:
700 RPM (In Neutral)
Standard Engine, Automatic Transmission:
500 RPM (In Drive)

1981 Corvette Options

RPO Description Production Price