Chevrolet Corvette Second Generation the Mid Years

The Chevy ‘vette is coming of age; it’s a survivor and it’s thriving in its mid years from 1963 until 1967. The second generation Corvette styling is based on three things: an earlier concept car the “Q” Corvette, a Mako Shark, and a Sting Ray. The 1963 model of this generation was given the moniker “Corvette Sting Ray” and featured a split rear window. The Sting Ray name stayed for four years but the split rear window only lasted for the one year. A coupe is produced for the first time and the ’63 also features a tapered rear deck, non-functional l hood vents. The largest engine choice developed 360 BHP (270 kW) at maximum R.P.M.


The only visible option for this year was a Delco electronic ignition. Not many changes in ’64 the decorative hood vents disappeared as did the split rear window due to visibility issues. The largest power option in 1964 was the same motor with the BHP kicked up a notch – to 375(280 kW). A rare option on both years is the “Z06” competition option with stiffer leaf springs multi-segment lined brakes with finned drums. Only a couple of hundred “Z06” cars were purchased for the coupe style but only ONE convertible exists with this factory installed option. Both years the headlights remained hidden.


The rarest and most valuable Corvette was made during these years: The “Grand Sport Corvette” made a brief appearance in 1963; an original plan called for one hundred of them to be built but only five made it of the assembly line. Those five cars numbered from 001 to 005 are still around today and in private collections.


In 1965 four- wheel disks brakes came on-line as well as a “big block” engine option. The “big block” engine is 396 cu in (6.49 L) and develops 425 BHP (317 kW).This engine was an available option until 1967 and could have been ordered with side pipes as an additional option. The ‘65 big block 396 was equipped with Rochester fuel injection. This was the last full year for that option. In 1966 a cheaper big block 396 cu in became available in the middle of the year that developed the same BHP as the ’65 version and sold 2,000 units in just a couple of months. In 1966 the most powerful big block engine option was a 427 cu in (7.0 L). Other options for that year included a “Wonderbar” auto-tuning am/fm radio, air conditioning, a telescopic steering wheel and head rests.


The last of the C2 generation of Corvette is 1967 sporting restyled fender vents. The ‘67 ‘vette had less chrome and ornamentation than previous models. The back-up lights became rectangular and moved towards the center of the car. The two tail lights are now four all red tail lights and would stay that way through 1968. There were twenty “L88” engines factory installed between 1967 and 1969 which were officially rated at 430 BHP but unofficial reports say it actually developed 560 BHP or even slightly higher than that. The “L89” or 427 cu in featured a Holly triple two barrel carburetor or Tri-power and was the highest power option available.

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Ross Mills

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