stingray, baby


the 1963 ‘fuel injected’ corvette stingray: the most perfect corvette design ever.

the introduction of the 1963 corvette stingray was a seismic event in the sports car world. the first all-new corvette since the two-seater’s debut ten years earlier, the 1963 stingray was both an engineering triumph and a design milestone. the car incorporated a boat-tail taper that was common to sporting roadsters of the 1930s.

the back featured a bugatti atlantique and bertone BAT inspired split rear window. this styling was replaced in 1964 with a single piece because of drivers complaining about visibility problems. the headlights were concealed in the front and would ‘pop’ out when in use.


this was the very first time a corvette was available as a hardtop coupe model as well as the traditional convertible. the wheelbase was shortened by four inches to .98 of an inch. this, along with independent rear suspension, improved the handling and maneuverability.

influenced by bill mitchell’s racing stingray and the Q corvette designs from 1957, the new body was an absolute sensation. elements of the Q corvette and the stingray special racer were incorporated into an experimental project called xp-720, which was the design program that led directly to the production of the 1963 corvette stingray.

the new styling was a big hit; its angular body with a minimum of bright work and a distinctive split rear window on the coupe version. this was the first year that corvette offered both convertible and coupe body forms, and nonfunctional vents were featured on both the sides and the hood and it was the only year for the split window.

there are fewer split window models today compared to how many were originally produced, because many owners who found the look controversial removed the split and installed a one-piece, 1964 rear window.

models such as the one seen above have auctioned at over $200,000.  by dd