1981 Corvette Stingray Specs

This website is dedicated to everything related to the 1968 - 1982 Corvette Stingray. We have build numbers, specs, fun facts, interesting information, pictures, and videos of the classic Corvette Stingray.


81 Corvette Stingray Facts

Find specs, facts and figures, build numbers, and related information on the 1981 Corvette Stingray below:

81 Corvette

Total Production: 40,606
Base price: $16,258
Built in: St. Louis, Missouri and Bowling Green, Kentucky
Engine: V8 350 c.i.
Horsepower: 190
Notes: Opening of Bowling Green factory, closure of St. Louis factory, last year for a manual transmission C3, first year for composite rear spring

Probably the most significant change this year was hidden from view. Corvettes with Turbo HydraMatic had a new fiberglass-reinforced monoleaf rear spring that weighed just eight pounds (33 pounds less than the multi-leaf steel spring it replaced). The new spring eliminated interleaf friction.

Manual-shift models kept the old spring, as did those with optional Gymkhana suspension. Side door glass was made even thinner again, in a further attempt to cut overall car weight.

A new L81 version of the 350-cid V-8 arrived this year. It was rated for 190 hp, with lightweight magnesium rocker arm covers. New stainless-steel free-flowing exhaust manifolds weighed 14 pounds less than the previous cast iron manifolds. A new thermostatically-controlled auxiliary electric fan boosted cooling and allowed use of a smaller main fan. The engine air cleaner had a new chrome cover. A new Computer Command Control system controlled fuel metering, as well as the torque converter lock-up clutch that operated in second and third gears. Manual transmission was available in all 50 states.It was the first time in several years that buyers of Corvettes sold in California could order a stick shift. A quartz crystal clock was now standard. The Corvette's standard anti-theft alarm added a starter-interrupt device. Joining the option list was a six-way power seat. Electronic-tuning radios could have built-in cassette or 8-track tape players or a CB transceiver.

The Corvette's standard equipment list included:

  • either four-speed manual or automatic transmission (same price)
  • four-wheel power disc brakes
  • limited-slip differential
  • power steering
  • tinted glass
  • twin remote-control sport mirrors
  • concealed two-speed wipers
  • halogen high-beam retractable headlamps
  • air conditioning
  • power windows
  • a tilt-telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • a tachometer
  • an AM/FM radio
  • a trip odometer
  • courtesy lights
  • a luggage compartment security shade

All two-tone cars were painted at the new plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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  81 Corvette Options    
Price # Description Quantity Price $
1YY87 Base Corvette Sport Coupe 40,606 16,258
AU3 Power Door Locks 36,322 145
A42 Power Driver Seat 29,200 183
CC1 Removable Glass Roof Panels 29,095 414
C49 Rear Window Defogger 36,893 119
DG7 Electric Sport Mirrors 13,567 117
D84 Two Tone Paint (coupe) 5,352 399
FE7 Gymkhana Suspension 7,803 57
F51 Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers 1,128 37
G92 Performance Axle Ratio 2,400 20
K35 Cruise Control 32,522 155
MM4 4-Speed Manual Transmission 5,757 0
N90 Aluminum Wheels 36,485 428
QGR White Letter SBR P225/70R15 Tires 21,939 72
QXH White Letter SBR P255/60R15 Tires 18,004 492
UL5 Radio Delete 315 -118
UM4 AM-FM Stereo with 8-Track 8,262 386
UM5 AM-FM Stereo with 8-Track/CB 792 712
UM6 AM-FM Stereo with Cassette 22,892 423
UN5 AM-FM Stereo with Cassette/CB 2,349 750
U58 AM-FM Stereo Radio 5,145 95
U75 Power Antenna 32,903 55
V54 Roof Panel Carrier 3,303 135
YF5 California Emission Certification 4,951 46
ZN1 Trailer Package 916 110

1981 Corvette Stingray Body Color Choiceses

Code Body Color Quantity
10 White 7,780
13 Silver 4,341
19 Black 7,250
28 Dark Blue 4,135
47 Dark Brown 2,300
52 Yellow 2,077
58 Dark Green 844
59 Frost Beige 3,070
76 Dark Claret 3,451
83 Red 5,714

1981 Corvette Stingray Interior Color Choices

* n/a =  Build Numbers Not Available

Code Interior Color Quantity
12C Oyster Cloth n/a
122 Oyster Leather n/a
192 Black Leather n/a
29C Dark Blue Cloth n/a
292 Dark Blue Leather n/a
59C Doeskin Cloth n/a
592 Doeskin Leather n/a
722 Red Leather n/a
79C Claret loth n/a
792 Claret Leather n/a