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Chevrolet Corvette C2 Sting Ray buying guide (1962-1967)

To many enthusiasts, only one truly credible sports car has ever come out of America, and that’s the Corvette. It’s not for us to say whether or not this is true (okay – it isn’t), but what we do know is that the Corvette is one of the most desirable classics around, for a whole raft of reasons.

Firstly there are those sensational looks; you’re not going to confuse the Corvette for anything else. Then there’s the performance; with all Corvettes packing V8 power, all variants are fast. But what swings it for many owners is the noise; at full chat a Corvette sets your spine tingling in the way that only an American V8 can.

There’s another aspect which isn’t immediately obvious, and that’s the Corvette’s size. While most American cars are generously proportioned – which can make garaging a problem here in the UK – the Corvette is no bigger than many contemporary European classics. As a result it’s more fun to drive, easier to store, but still plenty big enough for two.

Which one to buy?

There’s a bewildering array of Corvettes to choose from, because as well as coupé and convertible bodystyles there are model year changes to contend with along with colours, options and a slew of specifications too. There are also manual and automatic gearboxes; most Corvettes feature the former. As a result, no two Corvettes are identical.

Only you can decide whether you want an open car or a closed one and you’ll have your colour preferences too. When it comes to specifications, there were 5359cc V8s offered for the whole of C2 production (offering anywhere between 250bhp and 375bhp), while there were 6489cc and 6997cc V8s offered in later years. These big-block cars are now very collectible but the rarer, more collectible editions are easily faked, so tread carefully.

One of the real rarities from this generation of Corvette is the fuel-injected 377bhp Grand Sports. Just five were made in 1963, with twin-plug heads and an all-alloy small-block V8. Other than that, the 1963 split-window coupé is the holy grail of Sting Ray collectors, especially in Z06 form. The reality is that it’ll be a question of tracking down a really good car and buying it – your focus should be on condition rather than specification.

Performance and spec

Engine 5359cc, V8
Power 300bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 352lb ft @ 4000rpm
Top speed 130mph
0-60mph 7.8sec
Consumption 20mpg
Gearbox Four-speed manual

Common problems

• The Corvette’s glassfibre bodyshell is well-made but not always well-repaired during restoration or after an accident. So check for cracks and crazing, poorly blended in panels and paint that’s sunk, betraying poor preparation.

• The chassis is also well-made, but it does corrode and it can also be distorted through crash damage. Check in front of the rear wheelarch where the chassis kicks up, the base of the front suspension turrets and the lower wishbone mountings.

• Also check the radiator support frame along with the body support frame, which extends up each door pillar, around each door and across the bulkhead.

• The small-block V8 fitted to most Corvettes is tough, simple and cheaply rebuilt. You can even buy a new engine if you need one but if you’re a slave to originality beware of engine swaps, which aren’t unusual.

• A small-block V8 will take a couple of rebores before it’s had it and even when in good condition a bit of smoke on starting up should be expected. Once the valve stem seals have hardened with age though, expect more smoke – and a rebuild.

• Don’t be too keen to buy a Corvette with a big-block V8 as they’re over-burdened with power, cost a lot more to rebuild and you’ll pay a big premium to buy one in the first place.

• The Sting Ray was initially fitted with a three-speed manual gearbox as standard but most cars feature a four-speed unit. There was an auto offered too (a two-speed Powerglide), but these are unusual and not sought after. All gearboxes last well, but if a rebuild is needed the parts are available and the costs aren’t exorbitant.

• The suspension is durable but the bottom wishbones wear out; they’re cheaply and easily replaced though. Be wary of cars that have been fitted with stiffer suspension as this wrecks the dynamics and the chassis isn’t really strong enough to cope with the extra stress.

• The all-drum system of the earlier cars works fine unless you’re driving the car really hard. The all-disc system from 1965 is even better, but it seizes up on cars that are driven sparingly – although fixing this isn’t a difficult job.

Model history

1963: The Corvette C2 is launched in September with all-new styling, a new ladder-type chassis, independent rear suspension and an alternator. Power steering and air-con are optional extras, while power comes from a 327ci (5359cc) V8 in 250, 300, 340 and 360bhp forms. The most powerful cars feature Rochester fuel injection.
1964: There’s now less brightwork fitted, the coupé loses its split rear window, knock-off alloy wheels become optional and the Borg Warner manual gearbox is replaced by a GM-built Muncie unit.
1965: Side exhausts are now optional, comfier seats are fitted and a 425bhp 396ci (6489cc) big-block V8 is now offered. Ventilated discs replace the all-drum system previously fitted. A servo is also optional from here.
1966: Engine options are now 327ci (5359cc) 300 or 350bhp along with 427ci (6997cc) 390 or 425bhp.
1967: There are wider wheels, including optional bolt-on alloys, and reversing lights are added above the number plate.

Key clubs and websites

• www.corvetteclub.org.uk
• www.facebook.com/CorvetteClubUk
• www.chevroletownersclub.co.uk/corvette
• www.nationalcorvetteowners.com
• www.corvettesnccc.org
• www.corvettemuseum.org

Summary and prices

As there are so many different types of C2 Corvette, it’s sometimes difficult to put a value on them. In the UK you can spend between £10,000 for a project, to over £60,000 for a mint example. Split screen rear window cars can carry a 20 per cent premium, while the fuel injected and big-block 6.5-litre cars could be 30-50 per cent premium.

Words: Richard Dredge
Last updated: 27th Aug 2015
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Chevrolet Corvette cars for sale

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Chevrolet Corvette
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  • Chevrolet-Corvette C3 427ci-1968

    €47,000 - €61,100 est. (£41,905.20 - £54,476.76 est.) €47,000 - €61,100 est. (£41,905.20 - £54,476.76 est.)
    Online Auction
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Catawiki Auctions
  • Chevrolet Corvette

    €86,500(£77,123.40) €86,500(£77,123.40)

    Chevrolet Corvette C1, year 1958. Colour ‘pumpkin red with a red leatherette interior and a white soft-top. This magnificent Corvette was sold new in the USA. There the car was extensively and perfectly restored to top condition in the late 1990ies. (USD 1000.000,=). A very extensive photo reportage is present of the restoration and the overhaul of the components. Also available is a massive file folder with invoices and history. This Corvette is in superb top condition; concours. The 1958 model is the most sought after vintage Corvette with the four headlamps, the beautifully curved rear and the tachometer which reads up to 8000 rpm. Furthermore, this desirable machine features the admirable four-speed manual gearbox and air-conditioning! The 1950ies Chevrolet Corvette is the only American sports car with European qualities; the car is relatively light weight and compact featuring a GRP plastic body and magnificent styling. These virtues are combined with good road holding, a sporty ride, and a magnificent 270 bhp V8 engine! This is an American 1950ies ICON in top condition! We speak Dutch, English , German and French. Our cars can be delivered with Dutch, German or Belgium registration. We can assist with the French registration. Transport to your door is possible. We have our own workshop facility with 25 years experience with classic cars.

    • Year: 1958
    • Engine size: 4.6
    For sale
  • Corvette C1 Red '62

    €55,000(£49,038) €55,000(£49,038)

    The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the sports car by GM introduced late in the 1953 model year and produced through 1962. It is commonly referred to as the "solid-axle" generation, as the independent rear suspension didn't appear until the 1963 Sting Ray. The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car's early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course and Harley Earl and company would transform the Corvette into a true world-class sports car. During the last half of 1953, 300 Corvettes were to large degree hand-built on a makeshift assembly line that was installed in an old truck plant while a factory was being prepped for a full-scale 1954 production run. The outer body was made out of then-revolutionary fiberglass material, selected in part because of quotas, left over from the war, limited the availability of steel. Underneath the new body material were standard components from Chevrolet's r

    • Year: 1962
    For sale
  • Corvette C1 White '54

    €82,500(£73,557) €82,500(£73,557)

    Lowered price from €89.950 -> €82.500 The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the sports car by GM introduced late in the 1953 model year and produced through 1962. It is commonly referred to as the "solid-axle" generation, as the independent rear suspension didn't appear until the 1963 Sting Ray. The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car's early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course and Harley Earl and company would transform the Corvette into a true world-class sports car. During the last half of 1953, 300 Corvettes were to large degree hand-built on a makeshift assembly line that was installed in an old truck plant while a factory was being prepped for a full-scale 1954 production run. The outer body was made out of then-revolutionary fiberglass material, selected in part because of quotas, left over from the war, limited the availability of steel. Underneath the new body material were

    • Year: 1954
    For sale
  • Corvette C1 Black '54

    €90,000(£80,244) €90,000(£80,244)

    The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the sports car by GM introduced late in the 1953 model year and produced through 1962. It is commonly referred to as the "solid-axle" generation, as the independent rear suspension didn't appear until the 1963 Sting Ray. The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car's early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course and Harley Earl and company would transform the Corvette into a true world-class sports car. During the last half of 1953, 300 Corvettes were to large degree hand-built on a makeshift assembly line that was installed in an old truck plant while a factory was being prepped for a full-scale 1954 production run. The outer body was made out of then-revolutionary fiberglass material, selected in part because of quotas, left over from the war, limited the availability of steel. Underneath the new body material were standard components from Chevrolet's r

    • Year: 1954
    • Mileage: 89575 mi
    For sale
  • Corvette C1 Red '61

    €59,950(£53,451.42) €59,950(£53,451.42)

    Lowered price from €62.950 -> €59.950 Chassisnr. J58B108738 upgraded engine 1st registtration 01/1961 french papers The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors introduced late in the 1953 model year and produced through 1962. It is commonly referred to as the "solid-axle" generation, as the independent rear suspension didn't appear until the 1963 Sting Ray. The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car's early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course and Harley Earl and company would transform the Corvette into a true world-class sports car. General Motors hired designer Harley Earl who loved sports cars. GIs returning after serving overseas in the years following World War II were bringing home MGs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, and the like. In 1951, Nash Motors began selling an expensive two-seat sports car, the Nash-Healey, that was made in partn

    • Year: 1961
    For sale
  • 1990 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

    POA POA

    L98 350 cid V-8 Engine with 250hp Automatic Transmission Air Conditioning Fresh Paint Odometer Reads Believed 42,00 Original Miles Texas Title States Exempt Original Interior Original Floor Mats Removable Top New Tires Custom Wheels New Exhaust Manuals Clean AutoCheck

    • Year: 1990
    For sale
  • 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

    $139,500(£114,013.35) $139,500(£114,013.35)

    In the late 1950s, California-based hot rod shop Barris Kustoms was beginning to make waves in the custom car world. George Barris had been tweaking, customizing and restyling cars since early in the decade. After moving to Los Angeles to start his own shop, George and his brother Sam pioneered many of the techniques and styles that set the standard for the hot rodding world in the coming years. Along with other pro builders like Ed Roth, Dean Jeffries, Gene Winfield, the Barris Brothers helped to establish hot-rodding in mainstream American culture. Barris had been building cars for private clients since his high-school days. By the time Barris Kustoms was in full swing, they were getting commissions from television and film stars, musicians and Hollywood studios. In the mid-1960s, George was approached by Accessories International to build them a promotional vehicle that would be a show stopper used to highlight their parts. Accessories International supplied various bolt-on accessories such as wheel spinners, regulator covers and valve-cover dress up kits. Many Accessories International parts were sold with Barris Kustoms branding. For their promotional vehicle, they chose a 1958 Corvette that was purchased new by the company and handed it over to Barris to work his magic. George set to work heavily modifying the Corvette, using Bill Mitchell’s XP 700 as a source of inspiration. The GM XP 700 was a 1958 Corvette that was reworked by Mitchell (the Head of GM Styling from 1958-1977) as a GM Dream Car, which he also used as a daily driver for the first year of its life. The XP 700 had a pronounced, extended grille and double-headlight pods in the front, deeply sculpted side coves and lots of sweeps highlighted by crisp feature lines. It was revised in 1959, when Mitchell added a plexiglass bubble top that had been sprayed with vaporized aluminum to reflect the heat of the sun. The XP 700 was pilfered to make the XP 755 “Mako Shark” in 1961 which still survives to this day, though the XP 700 body has long since been destroyed. For Barris’ work on the Accessories International Corvette, he began with a dramatic restyling of the front end, extending the quad headlights outward on more pronounced “pods”. The grille drew directly from the XP 700, featuring a dramatic oval shaped affair with integrated side scoops. An additional hood scoop fed air to the carburetor, and the signature 1958 ‘Vette hood louvers and trim were smoothed out. In the rear, the heavy chrome trim was removed and smoothed, and sharp pronounced Jet Age fins were grafted to the tops of the quarters. A 1958 Impala roof vent was grafted into the hard top. The car was then painted in a lurid blue with silver coves and a silver painted hard top, again mimicking the aluminum-hued Plexiglas top on the original XP 700. It was then fitted with the whole range of Accessories International parts, from the wheels on up, and was soon touring the country, as the poster-child for AI accessories at custom car shows, trade shows and other special events. Today, the Barris Kustoms 1958 Corvette presents in very good condition with the original Barris modifications and AI parts still largely intact. It is a super cool and highly authentic period piece, down to the AAA whitewall bias ply tires mounted on genuine Ansen magnesium wheels outfitted with Accessories International spinners. The drivetrain consists of a 1960’s period 327/four-barrel mated to a four-speed manual ‘box with Hurst shifter. The cabin is also highly original, with black upholstered seats and a period wood-rimmed Grant steering wheel. All in, this is an interesting and totally unique piece of Kustom Car history that presents in very original, very well-preserved condition. Genuine Barris Kustoms cars are highly collectible pieces of Americana, and this particular car’s unique history and array of period parts add yet more layers of desirability. This 1958 Corvette is sure to be a hit at vintage hot-rod events, Good Guys cruises or any gathering of Kustom Kulture enthusiasts.

    For sale
  • 1981 Chevrolet Corvette

    $19,900(£16,264.27) $19,900(£16,264.27)

    The Classic Car Gallery is proud to offer this stunning low mileage 198 Chevrolet Corvette T-top Coupe with only 29,355 original miles. This is a collector grade car, that is in near showroom condition. The AUTUMN RED paint is excellent, with no scratches or dings. Her TAN interior is likewise in excellent condition. The sport buckets are in excellent condition, with almost no wear, the leather is supple, and shows as commensurate with its low mileage. The dash is perfect. The TAN carpets are excellent, as are the floor mats. The wheels are in great shape with NO curb rash and the tires are newer with plenty of remaining tread. All mechanical and electrical systems work as they should. She has been well maintained, and it shows. This is a great driving car. The 4-SPEED MANUAL transmission is a pleasure, and the dash gives that 80s retro feel. The car is fast, well sorted and rare; it offers a vintage feel with the driving ease of a modern car. She is COMPLETELY STOCK, and comes with all books, and manuals. This is a collector quality peace of Chevrolet history, and offers a very solid entry into the Corvette world. These cars are undervalued and low mileage examples are like unicor

    • Year: 1981
    • Mileage: 29000 mi
    For sale
  • 1968 Chevrolet Corvette 427, 4 speed Coupe

    $39,500(£32,283.35) $39,500(£32,283.35)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1968 Chevrolet Corvette T Top coupe in Le Mans Blue (076) with Medium Blue (414) interior. 427, #'s matching engine with 4 speed transmission. 91,503 miles, nicely optioned with:- power windows, telescopic steering wheel, power brakes and power windows. Very honest and original throughout, still has its smog pump connected. Very good straight body with older but still very presentable paint with a few nicks and chips, lovely original interior. Superb mechanically and a delight to drive, lots of power. Good shift, nice synchros and clutch. This is a great honest big block Corvette from before the big horse power loss of the early 70's. I think this represents great value. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and lic fees due if delivered in California. - Contact Chequered Flag at 310-827-8665 or sales@chequeredflag.com for more information. - Please see more inventory and photos at www.chequeredflag.com. - Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665 today to schedule your test drive.

    • Year: 1968
    For sale
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

    $72,500(£59,254.25) $72,500(£59,254.25)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible in Sunfire Yellow with Black leather interior and Black soft-top. Matching numbers. Very well optioned with automatic (J50) power brakes, power steering, power windows, telescopic steering column. leather seats, AM/FM radio, hard and soft tops, aluminum wheels and side exhausts. Completely restored 80 miles ago to a very high standard. All new paint, interior, top, etc. Engine and trans fully rebuilt, full repaint, full chassis and underside overhaul. New interior:- carpets, seats, trim and soft top, hard top restored. Even the radio has been refurbished. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California. Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665 today to schedule your test drive.

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
  • 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

    $76,500(£62,523.45) $76,500(£62,523.45)

    Chequered Flag International is pleased to offer this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster in Silver Pearl with Dark Blue interior. Black soft top and Silver hard top. 4 speed with positraction. Power steering and power brakes. Comprehensive frame off restoration in 2000 by its NCR judge owner with few miles since. Matching numbers. 327/300 horsepower. Five NCRS top flight awards:- '01, '05, '07, and two in 2011. Comes with a big photos documentation of the restoration. Documented ownership. A few thousand spent recently to keep it fresh. Partial tank sticker - see below. You couldn't buy a unrestored one and get close to a restoration like this at the price, let alone the 18 months it'd take to get it done. Inspections encouraged. All sales AS-IS. Sales tax and license fees due if delivered in California. Visit Chequered Flag International online at chequeredflag.com to see more pictures of this vehicle or call us at 310-827-8665 today to schedule your test drive.

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
  • 1993 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Coupe

    POA POA

    Aluminum LT5 350 cid V-8 Engine with 405hp Manual 6-Speed Transmission Fuel Injection Dual Targa Tops Four Wheel Disc Brakes 1 of 498 Car Built in 1992 Factory Lotus Designed All Aluminum Engine Overall Width Inches Wider than Standard C4 Corvette Coveted Due to Limited Production Factory Secondary Switch Ignites Full Engine Power Clean AutoCheck

    • Year: 1993
    For sale
  • 1966 Chevrolet Corvette

    $58,900(£48,138.97) $58,900(£48,138.97)

    The Classic Car Gallery is proud to offer this excellent driver quality 1966 427/390 hp Corvette Convertible. The car is an original 427 convertible, the engine was replaced at some point with a 1970 396 cid. We are not sure of its power output, but the car is strong. With the sidepipes, the car makes a great noise and a powerful statement. The engine clearly has a hotter cam, and makes a great noise. It is not a matching numbers car. The car is in wonderful condition, the Sunfire Yellow paint is excellent with good shine and deep luster. The Black interior is likewise in excellent condition, and has new leather seats and a teak wood steering wheel. The car is well sorted and drives well. All mechanical systems work as they should. The convertible top is new, and the top mechanism works as it should. The car comes with her correct, color matched, hardtop and is good condition; the rear plexiglass shows some checking. The car would make a great entre into the Corvette hobby.

    • Year: 1966
    For sale
  • Chevrolet Corvette 4,6 Cabriolet

    €67,600(£60,272.16) €67,600(£60,272.16)

    Chevrolet Corvette 4,6 Cabriolet Equipment: Meget fin stand særdeles velkørende original hardtop flot farvekombination skal ses ring for info

    • Year: 1960
    For sale
  • Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

    €29,800(£26,569.68) €29,800(£26,569.68)

    Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Equipment: Meget fin stand Servo Targa Tag Nyserviceret Skal ses ring for info sælges for kunde.

    • Year: 1972
    For sale
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