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Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale January 27th – 31st, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 16th Annual Scottsdale Arizona Auction. Please contact us for more information.
Launched in late 1962 for the 1963 model year, the second-generation Corvette Sting Ray stands as a massive landmark in the Corvette’s rapid development into a true world-beating sports car. Design work on the second-generation Corvette began during 1957 with the XP-84 “Q-Corvette” concept, which foreshadowed much of the new model’s styling cues. Bill Mitchell, the newly appointed successor to Harley Earl as head of GM design, took things a step further by obtaining approval to design and build a new racing car on his own time in collaboration with fast-rising GM stylist Larry Shinoda. Dubbed “Sting Ray,” Mitchell’s radical competition roadster hit the track in 1960 and took that year’s SCCA C-Modified championship with famed road racer Dick “The Flying Dentist” Thompson at the wheel. More importantly, Mitchell’s racer was a major evolutionary step on the road to the new-for-1963, second-generation Corvette Sting Ray.
Sleek, aggressive, and almost otherworldly in appearance, the production Sting Ray’s design work was led by Shinoda and was acclaimed as an instant classic. Underneath that gorgeous new bodywork, whether in convertible or coupe form, was a serious sports car, riding on a four-inch shorter wheelbase than before, equipped with a new ball-joint front suspension and a simple yet highly effective independent rear setup. The Corvette’s many engineering advances came, of course, from Zora Arkus-Duntov and his Corvette engineering team, which were tested and proven with his Corvette Engineering Research Vehicles, CERV I and CERV II.
Contemporary magazine road testers almost unanimously praised the new Sting Ray’s stylistic excellence, handling, and outstanding performance. Perhaps the most telling endorsement came from Zora Arkus-Duntov himself, who said “For the first time I now have a Corvette I can be proud to drive in Europe.” Corvette sales for 1963 reached an all-time high of 21,513 units including 10,594 coupes and 10,919 convertibles. Fierce demand made it necessary for Chevrolet to add a second shift at the Corvette’s St. Louis assembly plant, yet it still took some time to fulfill the tidal wave of new orders for the Sting Ray. Today, all surviving examples enjoy stronger-than-ever demand.
Restored to original condition with over $50,000 invested in the process, this highly striking 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible features an outstanding color combination of Riverside Red over a top-quality black Al Knoch interior. The optional removable hard top features a new headliner, the original bumpers are rechromed, and new window glass was fitted. Ample power is delivered by a rebuilt 300-horsepower 327 small-block V-8 engine topped by the matching numbers intake manifold, mated to a Muncie M20 four-speed manual transmission and Positraction rear end. Other highlights include upgraded suspension with modern shocks and polyurethane bushings, a rebuilt “Wonderbar” signal-seeking radio, and a photo album documenting the restoration. Simply put, this all-American high-performance sports car is a “must-have” example from the Sting Ray’s historic launch year.