C2 Second Generation Corvette circa 1963-1967

The second generation of the Corvette, referred to as mid-year's, was designed by Larry Shinoda with major inspiration from a previous concept design called the "Q Corvette" by Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlmann under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell. The design had several inspirations. The first was the contemporary Jaguar E-Type, one of which Bill Mitchell owned and enjoyed driving frequently. Mitchell also sponsored a car known as the "Mitchell Sting Ray" in 1959 because Chevrolet no longer participated in factory racing. This vehicle had the largest impact on the styling of this generation, although it had no top and did not give away what the coupe would look like. The third inspiration was a Mako Shark that Mitchell had caught while deep-sea fishing.
Production started for the 1963 model year and ended in 1967. Introducing a new name, Sting Ray, the 1963 model was the first year for a coupe and featured a distinctive split rear window, non-functional hood vents, and independent rear suspension. Duntov never liked the split rear window because it blocked rear vision, but Bill Mitchell thought it to be a key part of the entire design. The split rear windows were combined into one for the 1964 model and the decorative hood vents were also eliminated for '64. Maximum power for 1963 was 360 bhp (270 kW) and was raised to 375 bhp (280 kW) in 1964.

Four-wheel disc brakes were introduced in 1965, as was a "big block" engine option (the [[Chevrolet Big-Block engine#Generation 2: Mark IV Series|396 cu in (6.49 L)) V8). Side exhaust pipes were also optional in 1965 and continued through 1967. The introduction of the 425 bhp (317 kW) 396 cu in (6.49 L) big block in 1965 spelled the beginning of the end for the Rochester fuel injection system. The 396 cu in (6.49 L) option cost US$292.70 while the fuel injected 327 cu in (5.36 L) engine cost US$538.00. Few people could justify spending US$245.00 more for 50 bhp (37 kW) less. With only 771 fuel-injected cars built in 1965, Chevrolet discontinued the option the following year. Chevrolet would up the ante in 1966 with the introduction of an even larger 427 cu in (7.00 L) Big-Block version, creating what would be one of the most collectible Corvettes ever. Other options available on the C2 included the Wonderbar auto-tuning AM radio, AM-FM radio (mid 1963), air conditioning (late 1963), a telescopic steering wheel (1965) and headrests (1966).

The C3 generation was originally intended to be introduced in 1967; however, quality issues delayed its introduction until 1968. Instead, the 1967 Corvette had less ornamentation and restyled fender vents. 1967 was the first year for the L-88 engine option which was rated at 430 bhp (320 kW), but unofficial estimates place the actual output at 560 bhp (420 kW) or more.[2] Only twenty such engines were installed at the factory. From 1967 to 1969, the Holley triple two-barrel carburetor, or Tri-Power, was available on the 427.

Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov came up with a lightweight version of the C2 in 1962. Concerned about Ford and what they were doing with the Shelby Cobra, GM planned 100 Grand Sport Corvettes but only five were built. They were driven by historic drivers such as Roger Penske, A. J. Foyt, Jim Hall, and Dick Guldstrand among others. Today the cars 001-005 are all held by private owners, and are among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built.

Search Our Store


    Search title & description

Sponsored Links