Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Corvette Stingray When Bill Mitchell, General Motors Vice President of styling asked their youngest designer Peter Brock to work on a secretive concept car project, no one could hardly assume they will create a part of American automotive history.

The Corvette Stingray racer concept car was privately funded project under Mitchell's direct guidance. Why was it a secret back in the day? Simply put a classic Corvette had its future planned out to the last detail and any type of similar new model would be in direct conflict with top management's directive.

In 1957 the entire Corvette program as the America's first modern sports car was in doubt since the sales failed to reach goals. Thus the entire development happened in the Research Studio B instead of the main Chevrolet studio.

Bill Mitchell bought the chassis of the Corvette SS racecar $500, upon which designs for completely new body were developed.

Featuring a 92 inch wheelbase, weighing 2,200 pounds Corvette Stingray was exceptionally light vehicle. Equipped with a 283 cu in fuel injected small block V8 engine capable of generating 315 horsepower, Stingray was demonstrating strong performance on the road.

The original car was built to test handling ease and performance, which it did admirably by winning an SCCA National Championship in 1960. Prototype was often used experiments with numerous technical developments such as four speed manual transmission and rear suspension tests. Even though Corvette Stingray was eventually retired, it shaped the solid foundation for the iconic second generation.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

Ordinary Americans barely adjusted to new futuristic Stingray racer concept, when Chevrolet decided to introduce the fantastic production Corvette Sting Ray in 1963. Zora Arkus-Duntov and other General Motors engineers developed an innovative new chassis, while the designers adapted and refined the basic look of a production model.

A fiberglass body on a shorter frame, made the two-seat Sting Ray quite popular among the car lovers. Independent rear suspension installed within was revolutionary for the era, guaranteeing superior ride and handling. A 327 cu in V8 engine producing 360 horsepower was a piece of standard equipment. To lower down the overall cost, big drum brakes were used instead of advanced disc brakes.

Bill Mitchell oversaw the development and insisted that Sting Ray model has retractable headlights with covers in order to mimic his original race car. Despite a tight budget, joined efforts resulted with a reasonable price. Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray was available as a convertible and a coupe.

Mitchell insisted that a coupe has a unique vertically split rear window, even though Arkus-Duntov was strongly opposed since the bar hindered vision. As a result the 1963 split window Corvette Sting Ray coupe is considered quite rare and a prime collector's item. Additional options included power steering, power brakes, AM/FM radio, air conditioning and leather upholstery.

Chevrolet made a beautiful, speedy and advanced car model that made sales soar to 21,513 units. With convertible priced at $4,141 and coupe costing $4,353 most of hard working families were able to buy the vehicle. Sting Ray model was continually perfected for the next five years, when Chevrolet made the decision to discontinue production to make room for the new Corvette model.

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