1963 – 1967 Corvette Stingray

Corvette Stingray

To American’s, it was the hottest Corvette ever built. To Chrysler and Ford, it was stiff competition. The 1963 to 1967 Corvette Stingray, the 2nd generation Corvette or C2, was the perfect combination of style and speed. Featuring a small, lightweight, sporty chassis and body, the Stingray was offered with many different engine options, all which made the Vette a prominent competitor in the stop light to stop light scene of the decade.

 1963 Corvette Stingray

The Corvette was completely restyled for 1963, and the new “Stringray” body style would go down in history as one of the most appealing and recognizable cars ever built. The only engine available in 1963 was the 327 cubic inch small block V-8. However, the engine was offered in four variations – 250 hp, 300 hp, 340 hp, and 360 hp. The 250 horsepower variant was standard, while the highest performing 360 hp engine featured a Rochester fuel injection system instead of the standard carburetor. For transmissions, a Powerglide 3 speed automatic and Borg Warner T-10 4 speed manual were offered; most buyers opted for the standard transmission. 21,513 Stingrays were sold in 1963, nearly 11,000 of which were convertibles, and approximately 10,500 of which were coupes.

 1964 Corvette Stingray

The 64 Stingray received minor styling changes and a more refined suspension system. Chevrolet was on a mission to transform the Corvette into a car that was suitable for everyday transportational needs without sacrificing performance or the cars “sporty” image. Only 3 engine options were available for 1964; the standard 250 hp 327 ci V-8, a solid lifter cammed 365 horsepower 327 w/ a 4 barrel Holley carburetor, and a 375 hp fuel injected 327. The Powerglide remained the available automatic transmission, while the T-10 was replaced by a stronger, wider ratio Muncie 4 speed. Sales continued to grow, with 22,229 units being sold.

 1965 Corvette Stingray

For 65, the Stingray again received further refinement in terms of aesthetic changes. The big news for 1965 was the mid-model year introduction of an optional 396 cubic inch big block V-8. The 396 was good for 425 horsepower and the option cost just under $300. The  327/250 hp engine was still standard, and the fuel injected 327/375 hp engine remained an option. Only 771 Corvettes were sold with the fuel injected 327, proving it had become obsolete in the wake of the big block introduction. As a result, it was discontinued for 1966. Of the 1965 model year changes, the most notable included smoothed hood lines, functional vents added to the front fenders, interior trim modifications, and a new 4 disc brake system, which were standard. Drum brakes could be ordered for a small credit on the purchase price, though only 316 cars were built with drum brakes. Transmission options did not change, and would not change for the 66 and 67 model years. A total of 23,562 Stingrays were sold for 1965.

 1966 Corvette Stingray

1966 was a big year for the Stingray, which received a 427 cubic inch big block V-8 option. The 300 hp 327 became standard, offered alongside a 350 hp 327, 390 hp 396, 425 hp 396, and new 430 hp 427. The 390 hp 396 V-8 was a 10.25:1 compression, tamed version of the 396 V-8. The 425 hp 396 had 11.1:1 compression, larger intake valves, a larger Holley 4 barrel carburetor, solid lifters, an aluminum intake, and 4 bolt mains. While the 427 and 425 hp 396′s rated horsepower were close, the 427 trumped the 396 in torque, producing 460 lb-ft and 415 lb-ft respectively. Slight tweaks to the body occurred for 1966 as well. In total, 22,720 units were built.

 1967 Corvette Stingray

1967 would mark the last year for the 2nd generation Corvette. The standard engine remained the 300 hp 327, and a 350 hp version of the 327 was also offered. The 396 was discontinued in favor of the 427 big block, which was offered in a total of 4 variations. The introductory 427 was rated at 390 horsepower. Two “Tri-Power” 427 engines were offered, with variants rated at 400 hp and the other at 435 hp. The “Tri-Power” engines featured three Holley 2 barrel carburetors for a total of 1282 cfm. The Crown Jewel of 1967 was the L88 – a race ready 427, modestly rated at 430 hp (actual horsepower has been determined to be in the 550 range). This engine featured 12.5:1 compression, a wild camshaft, aluminum radiator, big heads, and a single Holley 4 barrel carburetor. This option required the use of 103 octane race fuel and when purchased, a Positraction rear end, heavy duty suspension, and power brakes were also added. Additionally, the heater and radio were removed to discourage using the car on the street (though it was street legal). As a result, only 20 1967 Stingrays were ordered with this engine option. Sales dropped for 1967, to 22,940 cars.