1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray ‘Split Window’

In its second generation (C2) the Corvette stood out just as much as it did when the radical project was launched in 1953. The car’s striking styling solidified it as an American icon, but left the competition department struggling to make amends.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray ‘Split Window’


Inspiration for the car’s styling came from the shortfin mako shark which was mounted in miniature in Bill Mitchell’s office. He was the head of GM Design and had concept cars designed by Larry Shinoda that became the XP-720 4-Seater and XP-755 Mako Shark. These provided a basis for the C2 corvette which was named the Sting Ray.

With his bold new direction, Bill Mitchell made moves with the Corvette that caused much dismay in Chevrolet’s competition department. Zora Arkus-Duntov, who was considered the savior of Corvette performance, had to work around the styling which less than ideal for racing.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe | F188 | Kissimmee 2021

When the Sting Ray was launched in 1963, the distinction between road and race cars was growing. Duntov did what he could with the road-gong design and created the Corvette Z06 which featured a competition upgrades that were good enough to immediately help race teams take the Sting Ray to the track. Success was initially limited to a few of the very first races until the much more purpose built Shelby Cobra came along and started winning everything.

As a road car, Bill Mitchell’s design was an overwhelming success. For the first time, the Corvette was offered as a coupe and featured a split rear window that caught almost everyone’s attention. Realistically, this styling cue was a mistake as it impeded rearward vision and had to be later removed in 1964.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe | F183 | Kissimmee 2021

Both coupes and convertibles featured the same specification that included a fiberglass body supported by a steel ladder frame chassis. The rear end was upgraded by Duntov to include an independently sprung suspension by half shafts and a transverse leaf spring. This design was initially developed in the CERV I Concept. The front suspension was almost unchanged from the C1 generation, using unequal A-Arms and a standard anti-roll bar. Braking was provided by 11-inch drums which were replaced in 1965 with discs.

Almost all of the Sting Ray’s details could be optioned and some of the greatest-such as L88, Z06 or COPO427-became later known for their rarity and performance. Because so many engines, transmissions and differentials were available, most Corvettes had different performance potential. Less popular options included a leather interior, Kelsey-Hayes cast aluminum wheels, air conditioning and power brakes.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe | S241 | Kissimmee 2016

Like all Corvettes since 1955, the ’63 was powered by a V8 engine that steadily grew as the years progressed. The 327 was offered in four states of tune including a $480 fuel injected version that offered 360 bhp. These were attached to either a three-speed manual, Powerglide automatic or a Borg-Warner manual four-speed on request. Even the 360 bhp engine was virtually replaced in 1965 by the big block 396 Turbo Jet. Eventually, a 427 was offered, and produced around 600 bhp in 1967 with the potent L88 option.

With incredible style, brute power and a well appointed interior with power everything the Sting Ray was an instant success. It had a base price of $4,037 USD for the convertible and $4,257 for the coupe. Initial sales were tremendous and the St. Louis factory couldn’t keep up with demand. Production for 1963 alone was up 50 percent from the previous year at almost 22 000 units.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Split Window Stock # 155905 for sale near Lisle, IL | IL Chevrolet Dealer

Sting Rays were produced up to 1967 when the third generation Corvette (C3) was released.

Related Posts

Beholding the Mesmerizing ‘Eye of the Earth’: A Surreal Beauty of Water Lake

The deep emerald water lake emerges amidst a beautifully surreal, untouched landscape. Known as The Eye of the Earth, or the Cetina Lake, it is a magnificent natural wonder gifted…

Read more


Artificial Intelligence is the current fad affecting virtually all walks of life, and how one can employ it to do things smartly, determines how productive one will be. While there are…

Read more

Revving Up: Pontiаc Gгаnd Pгix Retuгns аs а Muscle Cаг Icon foг 2023

Pontiаc’s GTO wаs tҺe fiгst muscle cаг, but tҺe 400-Һp Gгаnd Pгix beаt it by 2 yeагs – Һeгe it гetuгns witҺ new looks аnd new poweг in а fгesҺ…

Read more

1954 Chevy Pick Up – Making the magic happen…

Lee and his partner (soon to be wife) Elenor came to us for some work on their Chevy truck. Lee initially met us at a car show, and followed us…

Read more

FLYBYARTIST’s Stunning AI-Generated Imagery of Bugatti Automobiles

Bugatti automobiles stand out for their exceptional design, captivating proportions, curves, and edgy lines. Yet to date, the brand has only ventured into hypercar territory. How incredible would it be if…

Read more

Supercar Blondie Takes The Fastest Accelerating Production Car Out For A Spin

Alex Hirschi shows us the McMurtry Spéirling and explains how it can go froм 0-60 мph in an insanely fast 1.4 seconds. It’s Ƅeen oʋer 4 decades since Gordon Murray’s BT46…

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *