Classic Car History – 1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray

1963-67 Corvette Sting Ray Specifications

Engine: OHV 90 degree V-8, 327 cid, 396 cid, 427 cid

Construction: Cast iron block and heads, single cam, push rods

Compression ratio: 11: 1

Induction: Rochester fuel injection or one or two four-barrel Carter carbs

Maximum power: 250-375 bhp (327 cid) 390-435 (427 cid)

Top speed: 152 mph

0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds, 427 cid

Transmission: four-speed synchromesh manual, optional three-speed manual, or Powerglide automatic

Body / Chassis: Steel ladder frame with two-door coupe or convertible fiberglass body

Wheels: Five-bolt steel (removable aluminum optional) 6 in. x 15 in.

Tires: 6.7 in. x 15 in. Firestone Super Sport 170

Brakes: drums until 1965, then four-wheel discs

Front suspension: double wishbone, coil springs, stabilizer bar

Rear suspension: Semi-trailed arms, semi-axles and transverse links with transverse leaf spring

Wheelbase: 98 inches

Length: 175.3 inches

Height: 49.8 inches

Weight: 3150 pounds

Quarter Mile Performance: 12.8 @ 112

Fuel mileage: 9-16 mpg.

Production: 118,964 including 1963-67

Price: $ 4240 for 1967 Convertible

The 1963-1967 Corvette Sting Ray

The second-generation Corvette was the 1963-1967 Sting Ray, not to be confused with the 1968-82 third-generation Stingray (1 word). Styling was the expression of many of GM’s new style chief styling ideas, Bill Mitchell. The interior implemented a crew cab similar to previous Corvettes, but updated for the Sting Ray. Starting in 1963, the first hardtop coupe was offered, featuring a two-piece hatchback design. Bill Mitchell intended it to form a visual connection to the raised center sections of the hood. The feature was removed in 1964 because it limited rear visibility. However, the 1963 Sting Ray coupe is now the most sought-after model of second-generation Corvettes.

Like all Corvettes, the Sting Ray’s body is constructed of fiberglass panels mounted on a steel ladder frame. Another new feature was the hidden pop-up twin headlights, which not only added style, but also aided in aerodynamic efficiency. Other styling cues from the Sting Ray include an optional side exhaust, an electric hood bulge (this was wider for Corvettes that had the big-block engine), and the absence of a trunk lid (access is from behind the seats). Plus, the Corvette’s convertible top folds flat when not in use and is stored under a fiberglass panel that fits flush behind the driver. There was also an optional hardtop. Sting Ray models from different years can often be differentiated by their side vent designs, for example the 1967 had 5 side vents, the 1965 and 1966 models had triple side vents, the 1963-64 had horizontal double vents.

The Sting Rays came in three engine sizes, the 327 cid, the 396 cid, and the 427 cid. Horsepower ranged from 250 to 435 hp. The 396 engine was only offered in 1965, and fell in 1966 in favor of the 427. The 1967 L88 427 cid V8 marked the pinnacle of performance for the second generation Corvette. V8 engines power the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission or a three-speed automatic. The Sting Ray also had an alloy clutch housing and an alloy-cased gearbox to help with weight reduction and distribution. The 1963 Sting Ray was the first Corvette to have an independent suspension. 1965 was the first to have 4-wheel disc brakes.

The 63 Corvette also had a racing option, the Z-06. The Z-06 was created by Zora Arkus-Duntoz as a specially designed racer. The Z-06 option consisted of a fuel-injected 327-cid V8 engine, a 36.5-gallon fuel tank, heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and knockoff wheels. The heavy-duty brakes consisted of power-assisted, sintered metal-lined drums backed by a dual-circuit master cylinder. The “elephant ear” blades pushed cool air into the drums and the cooling fans rotated with the shaft.

By 1967, there were four versions of the 427 available. The first version, the L36, cost just $ 200 more and featured a single four-barrel carburetor, 10.25: 1 compression, and hydraulic lifters. It had a power of 390 hp. Next up was the $ 305 L68 that featured triple two-barrel Holley carbs (a first for Corvette) and was good for 400 bhp. At the top was the L71 with two-barrel triple Holley carbs, solid risers, special performance cams, and 11: 1 compression that was conservatively rated at 435 bhp. Extremely rare (only 20 were built) was the top-of-the-line L88 for $ 948 more. The L88 featured new aluminum heads, 12.5: 1 compression, and a single Holley four-barrel carburetor rated 850 cfm that was housed in an aluminum intake manifold with a special raised plenum chamber. Also, you got a transistor start and a Positraction differential, but you didn’t get a fan cover, heater, or defroster. Chevrolet was reluctant to reveal the true potential of the engine and had an official rating of only 430 bhp, but most experts believed that it was, in fact, developing close to 600 bhp! In all, 9,707 large blocks were built, meaning 42.31% of all 1967 Corvettes were 427. Transmission options were relatively simple. With the L36 and L68, buyers could choose between the wide-ratio ($ 184) or close-ratio ($ 184) four-speed manuals, or the Powerglide automatic transmission ($ 194). The L71 came only with the close-ratio four-speed. The rear gear ratios ranged from 3.08 to 4.11. Other options included side exhausts for $ 132, bolt-on cast aluminum wheels for $ 263 and a removable hardtop for the convertible for $ 232.

Statistics by year:

1963

Production: 21,314

Fit: 10.594

Z06 Cup: 199

Convertible: 10,919

Engines:
327 V8 250 hp at 4400 rpm, 350 foot-pounds at 2800 rpm.

L75 327 V8 300 hp at 5000 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3200 rpm.

L76 327 V8 340 hp at 6000 rpm, 344 foot-pounds at 4000 rpm.

L84 327 (“fuelie”) V8 360 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 352 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
327/370: 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.9 seconds.

1964

Production: 22,229

Cut: 8,304

Convertible: 13,925

Engines:
327 V8 250 hp at 4400 rpm, 350 foot-pounds at 2800 rpm.

L75 327 V8 300 hp at 5000 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3200 rpm.

L79 327 V8 350 hp at 5500 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3600 rpm.

L76 327 V8 365 hp at 6200 rpm, 350 pound-feet at 3400 rpm.

L84 327 (“fuelie”) V8 375 hp at 6200 rpm, 350 foot-pounds at 4600 rpm.

Performance:
N / A

1965

Production: 23,652

Cut: 8.186

Convertible: 15,376

Engines:
327 V8 250 hp at 4400 rpm, 350 foot-pounds at 2800 rpm.

L75 327 V8 300 hp at 5000 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3200 rpm.

L79 327 V8 350 hp at 5500 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3600 rpm.

L76 327 V8 365 hp at 6200 rpm, 350 pound-feet at 3400 rpm.

L84 327 (“fuelie”) V8 375 hp at 6200 rpm, 350 foot-pounds at 4600 rpm.

L78 396 V8 425 hp at 6400 rpm, 415 foot-pounds at 4000 rpm.

Performance:
396/425: 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.1 seconds at 103 mph.

1966

Production: 27,720

Fit: 9.958

Convertible: 17,762

Engines:
L79 327 V8 300 hp at 4800 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3400 rpm.

L36 427 V8 390 hp at 5400 rpm, 460 pound-feet at 3600 rpm.

L72 427 V8 425 CV.

Performance:
427/425: 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14 seconds.

1967

Production: 22,940

Fit: 14.436

Convertible: 8,504

Engines:
L79 327 V8 300 hp at 4800 rpm, 360 foot-pounds at 3400 rpm.

L36 427 V8 390 hp at 5400 rpm, 460 pound-feet at 3600 rpm.

L68 427 V8 400 hp at 5400 rpm, 460 pound-feet at 4000 rpm.

L71 427 V8 435 hp at 5800 rpm, 460 pound-feet at 4000 rpm.

L88 427 V8 430 hp at 5200 rpm, 460 foot-pounds at 4000 rpm.

Performance:
L88: 1/4 mile in 12.8 seconds at 112 mph.