The Earliest Known 1963 Corvette Sting Ray
Back in 2006 and 2007 ProTeam Corvette Sales purchased, restored, and sold the last 1967 Corvette produced. The Last Sting Ray fetched $660,000 at the 2007 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction and was the subject of a series on SPEED.
Proteam has an article on their website about the very first Corvette Sting Ray, a silver 1963 coupe built under a Shop Order in 1962. The has car spent its entire life in Europe and has been rarely seen. Its last 30 years have been spent in a private collection. Click past the jump to see how this piece of Corvette history came to be.
According to ProTeam’s site the car was delivered to GM Styling as a body and frame which had no numbers on it. Documents dated as early as May 1962 show that it was assigned Shop Order #10271. It was described as 63 Corvette Custom.
Shop Order 10271 has numerous unique preproduction features. The floor pan, inner wing panels, lower front panel, doorsills, and spare tire tub are all hand formed. The exterior was finished in primer at this time. There are many locating holes for emblem location experimentation. The interior was swathed in silver leather with a matching silver steering wheel. Also on the inside are one-off items like hand formed brass moldings which were then chrome plated and 1 piece rear window moldings (the one piece moldings were also used on the prototype 4 seat Corvette coupe). The car still retains all of the original interior panels which are marked with the Shop Order number on the back.
Under the hood is a rare hand assembled Flint “Dyne Lab” engine – a 1959 283/290hp lump with 3758584 heads. Inspection letters were hand stamped on to the engine. The red engine wears various handmade, chromed, GM engineering bits. The copper radiator sports a brass tag with “SO T1” on it. The transmission wears “Mitchell Blue” paint and has no stampings on it. The bell housing shows casting number 3788421, but has no casting date. To this date, no one truly knows what kind of internals reside inside the motor.
Some other milestones in this car’s history include:
June 28th, 1962: Painted brilliant high metal flake Airframe silver; interior re-trimmed in black hand stitched leather. Today the trim tag shows Trim: BLK COLOR: PRIME
July 1962: car relisted on drawings as S.0. #10271 “LONDON SHOW COUPE” requested by GM Canada. Also added at this time were chrome door locks, chromed plates in the door jambs, unique front side emblems. All the new baubles have the S.O number engraved on them. Some of them are even initialed and dated. The dash instruments are stamped “Show Job” initialed and dated July 16th, 1962.
August 27th, 1962: trim tag stamped; Body given #13 and pilot line VIN Tag #23 attached.
September 1962: show transmission was installed; car left GM Warren Tech Center for England en route to the London Motor Show taking place during the 2nd week of October. 2 days prior to “Press Day” it was discovered that the car did not have the 360hp fuel injection motor in it (it still had the 1959 motor) and it was promptly replaced by (likely) the Turin Show car. Then S.O. #10271 was stored under a cover in a basement garage in central London for several months. It was first registered for the road in January 1963 possibly to GM as a company vehicle. The car remained in the UK since.
A barn find back in 1982, it has remained in a private collection in London for thirty years.
It was shown at Goodwood in 2003 and at LeMans in 2006 where it ran in the Drivers Parade and made a full parade lap of the LeMans circuit.
This car is potentially the most significant C2 out there. ProTeam states that it’s the “only ’63 Styling buck”. It is the earliest, fully documented “Sting Ray”. It is also the earliest C2 S.O. car and the only 63 Show coupe in existence.
For more information you can check out ProTeam’s website here and here.
ProTeam Corvette Sales