- Chevrolet Corvette C2
name = Corvette C2
production = 1963–1967
Chevrolet Corvette C1
Chevrolet Corvette C3
St. Louis, Missouri
body_style = 2-door
Corvette Stingray (Concept car) Corvette Mako Shark (Concept car)Infobox Automobile generation
name = Base model
production = 1963–1967
engine = 327 in³ "Small-Block"
V8Infobox Automobile generation
name = Fuel injection
production = 1963–1965
engine = 327 in³ "Small-Block" FI
V8Infobox Automobile generation
name = Big block
production = 1965–1967
engine = 396 in³ "Big-Block"
427 in³ "Big-Block"
:For an outline of all the Chevrolet Corvette generations see main|Chevrolet Corvette
The Chevrolet Corvette C2 is a
sports cardesigned by Larry Shinodaunder the styling direction of Bill Mitchell, and was produced between 1963 and 1967 at the St. Louis assembly plant. It is commonly referred to as the second generation or "mid-year" Chevrolet Corvettebuilt and marketed by Chevrolet.
1963 would see the introduction of the new Corvette Sting Ray
coupéwith its distinctive split rear window and fake hood ventsas well as an independent rear suspension. The split rear window was discontinued in 1964 due to safety concerns. Because they made the design too busy, the hood vents were also cut. Power for 1963 was at 360 hp (272 kW) hitting 375 hp (280 kW) in 1964.
disc brakes were introduced in 1965, as well as a "Big Block" engine option: the 396 in³ (6.5 L) V8. Side exhaust pipes appeared on the 1965 Sting Ray. Chevrolet would up the ante in 1966 with the introduction of an even larger 427 in³ (7 L) V8version of the "Big Block," creating what would be one of the most collectible Corvettes ever. 1967 saw an L88 version of the 427 introduced, which was rated at 430 hp (321 kW), although unofficial estimates place the actual output at 550 hp (410 kW) or more. Only twenty such engines were placed in the 1967 Corvette, and the cars can fetch US$600,000 or more at auction today. From 1967-1969, the 1282 cfm Holley triple two-barrel carburetor, or Tri-Power, was available on the 427. The 1967 model was originally intended to debut the C3 generation Corvette, however due to delays, the C3 had to be put off until 1968; as such, the C2 carried over for an additional model year. Other early options available on the C2 included AM-FM radio (mid 1963), air conditioning (1963), leather upholstery (1963), telescopic wheel (1965), head rests, presumably to prevent whiplash (1966).
The 1965 introduction of the 425 hp 396 c.i. "Big Block" was ultimately the harbinger of doom for the Rochester fuel injection system. The 396/425 hp option cost $292.70 whereas the 327/375 hp "fuelie" option cost $538.00; few people could find a way to justify spending $245 more and receiving convert|50|hp|abbr=on less. When only 771 "fuelie" cars were built in 1965, Chevy discontinued the program in what some believe was a display of short-sightedness. Chevy was way ahead of its time in offering a fuel-injected sports car, and had they continued the option, every car that now touts Lucas or Bosch fuel injection may have instead been using Rochester. Indeed, as of this writing GM does not offer any carbureted vehicles.
In 2004, "
Sports Car International" named the Sting Ray number five on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.
The design of this generation had several inspirations. The first was the contemporary
Jaguar E-Type, one of which Mitchell owned and enjoyed driving frequently. Bill Mitchell also sponsored a car known as the "Mitchell Stingray" 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 didn't give away what the coupe would look like. The third inspiration came from nature: a mako sharkthat Mitchell caught while deep-sea fishing.
In 1962 Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov initiated a program to produce a lightweight version based on a prototype that mirrored the new 1963 Corvette. [ Friedman and Paddock 1989, p. 16.] Concerned about Ford and what they were doing with the
Shelby Cobra, Duntov's program included plans to build 125 Grand Sport Corvettes to make them eligible for international Grand Touring races. After the GM executives learned of the secret project, the program was stopped, and only five cars were built. All five cars have survived and are in private collections. They are among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built, not because of what they accomplished, but because of what "might have been."
The cars were driven by famed contemporary race drivers such as
Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt, Jim Hall, and Dick Guldstrandamong others. The Grand Sports, however, were never fully developed; poor aerodynamics caused high speed handling problems that were alleviated by a number of modifications but never completely solved. Dick Thompsonwas the first driver to win a race in the Grand Sport 004. He won a 1963 Sports Car Club of Americarace at Watkins Glen on August 24, 1963. [Friedman and Paddock 1989, p. 36.]
The Corvette Grand Sports were raced with several different engines, but the most serious factory engine actually used was a 377 cubic inch displacement, all-aluminum, small block with four Weber side-draft carburetors, rated convert|550|hp|abbr=on at 6400 rpm. Body panels were made of thinner fiberglass to reduce weight and the frame was constructed of amazingly light steel tubes.
Zora Arkus-Duntov began work on the CERV II in 1963, which was completed in 1964. This vehicle and CERV I were later donated to Briggs Cunningham Museum, in Costa Mesa, California.
Based on the 1963 Corvette C2 chassis, the Corvette 'Rondine' (Ron-di-nay) concept car was built for the 1963
Paris Auto Show, designed by Tom Tjaardaof Pininfarina. [http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/1094/Chevrolet-Corvette-Rondine-Pininfarina-Coupe.html] [http://www.gizmag.com/go/8257/]
Sold at Barrett-Jackson 2008 for $1,600,000.00
Corvette Mako Shark (Concept car)
Corvette Stingray (Concept car)
* Friedman, Dave and Paddock, Lowell C. "Corvette Grand Sport: Photographic Race Log of the Magnificent Chevrolet Corvette Factory Specials 1962-1967". St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Co., 1989. ISBN 0-87938-382-8.
* Mueller, Mike. "Corvette Milestones". St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing Co., 1996. ISBN 0-7603-0095-X.
* Nichols, Richard. "Corvette: 1953 to the Present". London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN 0-86124-218-1.
* [http://web-cars.com/corvette/1963.php 1963 Corvette] - C2 Corvette history and technical development
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