Chevrolet Corvette 427/435

The introduction of the Sting Ray Corvette for 1963 signaled a drastic change in American’s sports car. Named for its dramatic shape, it was the work of GM styling vice president Bill Mitchell. Retaining the 1962 Corvette’s uplifted tail, Mitchell styled a lovely fastback coupe accented by a split rear window. Hidden headlamps, the first on an American car since the 1942 DeSoto, were located in the leading edge of the nose. The convertible retained a more conventional profile, but incorporated all the other Sting Ray features.

Aside from the engine, the new Corvette was a clean-sheet-of-paper design. It featured independent rear suspension designed by engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. A chassis-mounted differential drove halfshafts, their hubs suspended with a transverse leaf spring. The front suspension retained the unequal length control arms of earlier Corvettes and the recirculating ball steering gear. New options included air conditioning, power brakes and leather upholstery.

The coupe’s split window was replaced by a single pane in 1964, for greater visibility. For 1965, Chevy added the big block “Mark IV” engine to the options list, a 396 cubic inch V8 rated at 425 bhp. For 1966, the big block became a 427, offered in two stages of tune: 390 or 425 bhp. With the 427 came the new “power bulge” hood. Big block cars had stiffer suspension, a heavy-duty clutch and a better cooling system. Acceleration was phenomenal: zero-to-sixty in under five seconds.

For 1967, the Corvette’s styling became cleaner; indeed, many consider it the best-looking of the first generation Sting Ray cars. The most powerful regular production engine was now the L-71 version, developing 435 bhp with three Holley two-barrel carburetors and 11.0-to-1 compression.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

435 bhp, 427 cu. in. overhead valve V8 engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent coil spring front and rear suspension, four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 96".

Source: RM Auctions and Mecum Auctions

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