Brand Development, Growth & Expansion
The Chevrolet Corvette C2 sports car, known as the Stingray, was manufactured from 1963 to 1967. The 1963 Corvette was offered as a 2-door coupe or convertible with a split rear window and faux hood vents. The C2 was fashioned after an unmanufactured design called the Q Corvette, the Jaguar E-Type, and a Mako shark that was caught by designer Larry Shinoda’s boss, Bill Mitchell.
Zora Arkus-Duntov was the brainchild behind a lighter version
of the Corvette C2, the Grand Sport Corvette – meant to compete against
the Ford Shelby Cobra. The Grand Sport Corvette is still the most
valuable Vette ever manufactured with only five built. 117,964 Corvette C2’s were assembled at the Chevrolet plant in St. Louis, Missouri.
Design & Technology
1963 Corvette was designed with even more emphasis on style and
performance than its predecessors. For the first time the Corvette
built independent rear suspension into its line. From 1963 to 1967 the
Corvette was offered with a 327 inch small-block V8 with 250, 300, 340,
350, or 365 hp or a 327 inch small-block FI V8 engine with 360 or 375
hp. In 1965, the Corvette C2 was sold with a 396 inch big-block V8
engine producing 425 hp. In 1966 and 1967 Chevrolet sold a 427 inch
big-block V8 engine with 390 or 425 hp. And the last C2 sported a 427
inch big-block, tri-power V8 engine with either 400 or 435 hp.
in the 1963 Corvette included a telescopic steering wheel, air
conditioning, headrests, and an AM/FM radio. In 2004, Sports Car
International awarded the C2 Corvette Stingray fifth on the list of Top
Sports Cars of the 1960’s.
In 1963, the Corvette got a new coupe
body style with a split rear window. In 1964, due to safety concerns,
the rear split window became a single pane and the faux hood vents
removed. The 1965 Corvette saw the last year of fuel injection until
1982, meanwhile a side-discharge exhaust, four-wheel disc brakes, and
the big-block V8 were introduced. A bulging hood for the 427 inch
big-block was introduced in 1966 and the 300 hp, 327-inch small-block
V8 engine became standard. The big-block hood bulge was redesigned as a
scoop, the parking brake was changed to a center-mounted lever and
five-louver fenders were added in 1967, which was originally slated to
be the first of the C3 line of Corvettes. The 1967 Corvette tri-power
427 became the most popular Corvette in history and has been sold for
$1,000,000 at auction.