Performance Bookends of the Shortest Generation Corvette, the C2 Mid-Year Dateline: 6.23.17 – The difference between a 1962 and 1963 Corvette is staggering. In 1963, the new Sting Ray looks like the sports car from another planet! The only carryover components used for the new Corvette were the base and optional engines. Everything else (body, interior, suspension, and frame) was all-new. The C1’s basic structure was created in 1952, and over the years was given slight tweaks, such that by the late 1950s, the Corvette was holding on against the European cars. But the new Sting Ray was a game-changer. We’re going to look back at the first and last “performance” Corvettes – the 1963 Fuelie and the 1967 L71 427/435. The Sting Ray had an all-new parameter frame that would ultimately serve as the foundation of the Corvette up to 1982! The new C2 frame allowed the passenger seats to be located “down and inside” the frame rails, unlike the C1’s frame that located the seats “on top” of the frame, thus allowing the overall design to be lower and more slender. Although the shape looked “aerodynamic, it suffered from severe “lift” at high speeds. The lift issue was a combination of the body shape, and the rear suspension “squat” upon hard acceleration – and was never really solved, just dealt with.The independent rear suspension and updated front suspension made the 1963 Corvette the only American car with four-wheel, independent suspension. This was a very BIG deal then. The new interior was just beautiful. The dash had double-arches with a perfectly laid out array of the proper sports car gauges. From 1953 to 1962, the Corvette was a convertible with an optional bolt-on hardtop. The new Sting Ray was a production of Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Stingray Racer – a beautiful car with big aerodynamic problems. Instead of a convertible-only version, there was a coupe version with the now classic “stinger” design. The hidden headlights were show-car-like, and rotated horizontally along the front leading edge when the lights were turned on.
The rear glass had a split down the middle so that the crease that started at the front edge of the roof could run uninterrupted back to the end of the car. This was the infamous “split-window” that was a love-it, or hate-it detail and was Bill Mitchell’s pet design element. The split-window was gone after 1963 – making the 1963 coupes a rarity. 1963 convertibles outsold coupes, 10,919 to 10,594. Some coupe owners replaced their split-window with a 1964-1967-style rear glass! Continue reading “
Al Paer and his 1967 427 Corvette prove that it can be worth getting good grades in high school!
Dateline: 8-29-15 – There is a handful of cars that endear themselves to their owners;Corvettes, Mustangs, Shelbys, GTOs, and several others. But what makes Al Paer’s story so sweet is that Al has owned his 1967 427/435 Corvette roadster since he was in high school! Because Al was getting good grades in school, his Dad let him drive his ’62 Pontiac Tempest. In 1967, Al’s Dad let Al trade in the Tempest for a new ’67 427/435 Corvette Roadster. WHAT’A DAD!
Al has made the ’67 Roadster his own. He has added Hooker Header side pipes, L88 aluminum heads, performance camshaft, aftermarket chrome wheels, a front chin spoiler, Continue reading “
Long Term Corvette Relationship, Al Paer still owns the 1967 427 Corvette he bought in high school!” →
Dateline: 7.28.2011 Was This The Best C2 Sting Ray?
In March of ‘65 GM’s styling VP, Bill Mitchell blew everyone away with his Mako Shark II concept car. The new shark just had to be the next Corvette. Management was so excited, they tried to get the rebodied Sting Ray completed as a ‘67 model – a totally unrealistic goal. When it was obvious that the new design wouldn’t make it in time to be a ‘67 model, stylists were tasked to give the existing Sting Ray one last pass.
The stylists came back with subtle changes that made the ‘67 Corvette totally unique. Most obvious was the new five-louver front fender vents and the 15×6-inch steel rally wheels with their beauty rings and caps, the backup light was relocated just above the license plates, and a closer look revealed that the fender badges were gone. Since ‘65, big-block Vettes could easily be spotted by the domed hood. Big-block ‘67 Corvettes received the new “Stinger” hood scoop, which is arguably the most popular performance car hood scoop of all time. While not functional, except for the L88 racing version, it just flat-out looks great! The interior had slightly revised seat patterns and door panels, the passenger-side dash grab bar was gone and a center-mounted parking brake added. The suspension and drive train was unchanged, however, the Kelsey-Hayes knock-off cast-aluminum wheels were redesigned for a regular 5-lug pattern. Knock-offs and spinners were deemed unsafe by the government.