• Price: Ask a price!
  • Item location: West Townsend, Massachusetts, United States
  • Make: Chevrolet
  • Model: Bel Air hard top
  • Type: Coupe
  • Trim: Bubble Top Sport Cpe.
  • Year: 1961
  • Mileage: N/A
  • VIN: 11637J222XXX
  • Color: Gold
  • Engine size: 327
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: White
  • Vehicle Title: Clear

Chevrolet Bel Air hard top 1961 Description

Vintage Bubble Top NASCAR:
1961 Chevy Bel Air sports coupe. This might be the last remaining 61 vintage Chevy Bel Air NASCAR left. It still has a VIN as all "GRAND NATIONALS" i.e. NASCARs back in that era. Checked the Vin. Was built in Wisconsin and a verified original V8 sport cpe. All stock cars then were made from real cars. I believe they made less than 200 of these Bel Airs because the Impala sport cpe was not much more. But these Bel Airs were lighter and less chrome. They were also cheaper for GM to hand out.
The 409 did not appear until late 61. In 62 of course the 409 Bel Air sport cpe became hot. Rex hated the 409 and ran his beloved 348. As you know those cars were stock back then.
Folk law has it is that this was Rex White's NASCAR Championship runner up car to Ned Jarrett in 1961. Rex won the Championship in 1960. Rex has signed this car. He is still alive and lives in GA. He is in his 90s. Ned Jarrett drove a 61 Bel Air as did Johnny Beauchamp who crashed his at Daytona flying out of the track with Lee Petty. You have seen those pictures. In subsequent years African American driver Wendell Scott picked up his only win and that of an African American in a 61 Bel Air he competed with.
We know Rex had at least two Bel Airs in 61. We think he had three. One was made as a "zipper car". They would take the top off to enter what was then the convertible NASCAR series, then weld it back.
Rex won 7 races in 1961. Rex has seen this car but can not confirm or deny it was his. It is signed by him! We know that the vintage fabrication work is period correct. The car is very primitive. We did find what we feel is the "smoking gun". We found a panel pop riveted closed on the right front foot well. This was the correct area where they used a pulley to pull up floor hatch to check the tire wear on the right front tire at speed. It was activated by cables from the driver. No one noticed it prior.
Now this Chevy has been updated for show and track exhibitions. It has a modern racing removable steering wheel and updated seat belts and seat. It has disc brakes all around and a fuel cell inside the trunk. They used to fill the 61 NASCARs through the filler in the back of the deck lid. Very dangerous back then....What could possibly go wrong? .....!
You will see the underneath has a racing "patina" with period fixes and repairs from racing shunts. A couple small pin/holes exist underneath corner on the back rails but not at major issue. It has a 3 speed which might have been the correct H.D. GM pick up truck unit before they went to a 4 spd. It has a super strong 327 now (Rex ran a 348). It has 5 lug hubs to accommodate disc brakes and Rex was one of the last drivers to go from 6 lug truck hubs to 5 lug. They can be changed back out. It also has an aluminum radiator rather than what would have been a GM Harrison unit.
Being as primitive as this construction is and some of the pieces that have escaped the changes of time, we feel this is a real vintage 61 NASCAR Bel Air. There is good reason to believe it also might have been Rex White's. One of the top "forensic" experts on Vintage Race Cars on the west coast has seen the car and verified "if it is not the car, it is one of the cars", as the car spent some time on the west coast. Of course it went through many hands and drivers after the fact before the recent restoration. "IF" this was one of Whites' Bubble Tops, the value of this car is compelling. We believe it is but have to price it to be fair.
The car is beautiful and brutish at the same time. The main attraction at every car show and has won award over Vettes, street rods, high dollar Mustangs, GTO's even Ferraris and all.
It does not have a Title but E-Bay does not have a listing for Bill of Sale. Selling on B of S but has a VIN and could be titled (?) perhaps if one wanted to. It is a race car. Title is not applicable in this auction.
This car belongs to be in a Museum or valuable race car collection rather than my garage. How much is any 61 Bubble Top worth?
This car is available for sale locally and may be removed from auction at my discretion.
Any questions please call John 978 597 3433

You may also like these classic cars for sale