The original Sting Ray

Nineteen sixty-three marked the Corvette’s 10th anniversary, and something special was needed to celebrate the occasion. Penned by GM stylist Larry Shinoda under the guidance of Bill Mitchell, the ’63 Sting Ray brought the C2 era to life and introduced all-new aerodynamic styling and superb mechanical engineering. Underneath that gorgeous wind-tunnel-tuned body was a serious performance car and the first Corvette to bear the vaunted Sting Ray moniker.

The ultra-stiff fibreglass body rode on a four-inch-shorter wheelbase than previous offerings, but overall length was nearly the same. For 1963 the Sting Ray featured aggressive yet handsome hidden headlights. A new ladder-type chassis replaced the X-type frame, which lowered the centre of gravity while also improving handling by stiffening the car. And, of course, the distinctive split window at the rear distinguished the 1963 models from all other Sting Rays thereafter, making it a highly important and desirable feature.

This beautiful example of a split window ‘63 Sting Ray is powered by a period 327-cubic-inch V8 fitted with fuel injection and will be part of RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale next week. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: Robin Adams ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.