Chevrolet Corvette C2 427/435 L71 Convertible

Car producer : 

Chevrolet

Model:

Corvette C2 427/435 L71 Convertible

Year:

1967

Type:

Roadster



The second generation (C2) Corvette, which introduced Sting Ray to the model, continued with fiberglass body panels, and overall, was smaller than the first generation. The C2 was later referred to as mid-years. The car was designed by Larry Shinoda with major inspiration from a previous concept design called the "Q Corvette," which was created by Peter Brock and Chuck Pohlmann under the styling direction of Bill Mitchell. Earlier, Mitchell had 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 final version of the C2 would look like. The third inspiration was a Mako Shark 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 Corvette coupé and it featured a distinctive tapering rear deck (a feature that later reappeared on the 1971 "Boattail" Buick Riviera) with, for 1963 only, a split rear window. The Sting Ray featured hidden headlamps, non-functional hood vents, and an independent rear suspension. Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov never liked the split rear window because it blocked rear vision, but Mitchell thought it to be a key part of the entire design. Maximum power for 1963 was 360 bhp (270 kW) and was raised to 375 bhp (280 kW) in 1964. Options included electronic ignition, the breakerless magnetic pulse-triggered Delcotronic first offered on some 1963 Pontiac models. On 1964 models the decorative hood vents were eliminated and Duntov, the Corvette's chief engineer, got his way with the split rear window changed to a full width window.

Four-wheel disc brakes were introduced in 1965, as was a "big block" engine option: the 396 cu in (6.49 L) V8. Side exhaust pipes were also optionally available in 1965, and continued to be offered 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, even though FI could deliver over 20 mpg on the highway and would keep delivering fuel despite high G-loading in corners taken at racing speeds.

After almost a decade of developing the Chevrolet Corvette into a dominant force in SCCA Production racing, the introduction of the revolutionary new 1963 Sting Ray gave Chief Engineer Zora Arkus Duntov the opportunity he had been waiting for: to take the production Corvette’s race-readiness to a whole new level. In the past, customers assembled various optional components to equip the car with the power and durability needed for competition. With the new Regular production Option Z06, it all came together in a single package from 1962 to 1963. The only choice of engine in the Z06 was the mighty little L84 327/360 HP small block with Rochester fuel injection, the famous Duntov-spec solid lifter cam and forged rotating assembly, backed by a Muncie M20 4-speed and Positraction rear end. The Z06 also featured stiffer front and rear springs, heavy duty stabilizer bar and shock absorbers; special large drum brakes with vented backing plates, finned brake drums, internal cooling fans and a dual-circuit master cylinder, and in early production models a long-distance 36-gallon fuel tank and finned aluminum knock-off wheels., only a couple hundred coupes and ONE convertible were factory-equipped this way in 1963.

With only 771 fuel-injected cars built in 1965, Chevrolet discontinued the option at the end of the '65 production, having introduced a less-expensive big block 396 engine rated at 425 hp in the middle of the production year and selling over 2,000 in just a few months.

For 1966, Chevrolet introduced an even larger 427 cu in (7.00 L) Big Block version. 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 Sting Ray's independent rear suspension was successfully adapted for the new-for-1965 Chevrolet Corvair, which solved the quirky handling problems of that unique rear-engine compact.

1967 was the final year for the C2 generation. The 1967 model featured restyled fender vents, less ornamentation, and back-up lamps which were now rectangular and centrally located. The first use of all four taillights in red also occurred in the 1967 model; this all-four red taillight treatment continued on the first C3 in 1968 only and later returned on the first C4 in 1984, continuing on all Corvettes since.

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