Who can forget the Sting Ray? Certainly not the army of enthusiasts who regard it as the most desirable Corvette ever built … a styling showpiece, and an engineering masterpiece – The Great Book of Sports Cars.
The Corvette Sting Ray, introduced in 1963, was an entirely new car with a new chassis frame, a shorter wheelbase and independent rear suspension designed by former works Allard and Porsche driver, Zora Arkus-Duntov. It was an all-American car, but the engineering was by a man who had won his class at Le Mans and had a clear idea what a sports car should be. With minor modifications, later Corvettes used this classic layout until 1984.
The Sting Ray (it became ‘Stingray’ in 1969) was an improvement over earlier Corvettes in every department, but it was the body which caught the attention because it owed nothing to any other car and key styling cues can still be seen on today’s Corvettes.
In the 1960s American manufacturers engaged in a horse power race and by 1966 the 5.3 litre engine delivered 350bhp @ 5,800rpm backed by a mighty 360lb/ft torque @3,000rpm. With that sort of muscle, its two-speed automatic gearbox is more than adequate, and it is fitted with disc brakes on all four wheels. It can hold its own in any company.
These 1973 examples signalled Corvette’s transformation from muscle to impressive touring sports car. It was noted that these amazing cars received major improvements to its body as well as to its cosmetics and a Chevrolet advertisement headlined “We gave it radials, a quieter ride, guard beams and nose job.” Indeed, redesigned body mounts and radial tires did improve Corvette’s ride, and interior sound levels were reduced by 40%.
Provided with its original owner’s manual, this fine example is finished in white with nicely preserved and mostly original, black leather interior, and has only 55,600 recorded miles. The Stingray we have for sale today is a prime example of how the Chevrolet Corvette heroically succeeded in moving from American muscle, to a leading touring sports car whilst maintaining all of its character and charm.