The big news for 1981 was a venue change, as Corvette assembly moved from St. Louis MO to Bowling
Green KY. The original St. Louis plant was designed for 10,000 cars a year and Corvette production had been over 40,000 /
year since 1976. The new Bowling Green plant would also feature more modern production capabilities. The last St. Louis Corvettes
were built on August 1, 1981 and on June 1, 1981 Bowling Green production started so for a couple of months Corvettes were
built in two different places simultaneously.
Engine bays had been getting crowded for some time as a myriad of plumbing and assorted paraphernalia
was added to meet anti-pollution requirements. For the first time since 1954, there was only one engine available. Automatic
and four speed manual transmissions were possible and the price was the same for either. A "computer command control" which
in 1980 had been part of California bound Corvettes was installed in all Corvettes. The system controlled ignition timing
and air-fuel mixture, a necessity for tailpipe emissions compliance. The 350 cu. in. 190 hp L81 was, along with both the automatic
and four speed manual transmissions, legal in all 50 states.
The transverse rear spring material was upgraded to fiberglass, saving 36 pounds in automatic transmission
Corvettes. Weight saving magnesium valve covers were introduced. A driver's side power seat was an option.