1962 Chevrolet Corvette Big-Brake Fuelie: A Closer Look
Lets talk numbers here for a moment. The Chevrolet Corvette is one of the most popular American sportscars in both cache and sales numbers. So what constitutes rarity in such a popular car? One way to go about it is to look at one-year-only runs like the 1963 Corvette Split-Window Coupe, which Chevy changed to a full rear window after just one year. The year before that was the last for the first-generation C1 Corvette. In the time since the Corvette's beginnings in 1953, much had changed in the Vette' and by '62, it was a different animal entirely. The 1962 Corvette Big Brake Tanker before you is indeed a rare animal. Consider that while over 14,000 'Vettes were built in 1962, just 1,918 of them were sold with the available Rochester Ram-Jet fuel injection. When fitted to the 327 cubic inch (5.4L) V8, it put out 360 horsepower, which put it atop the GM performance pile.
Of these "Fuelies," only 246 came with heavy duty brakes, and just 65 were fitted with the large 24-gallon fuel tank. Its quite rare when you get a car that has any combination of these limited-run options, the car being sold by Mecum auctions here has the engine, the brakes, the fuel tank, and to top it all off, the RPO276 15X5.5-inch wheels, allegedly making this one of the rarest Corvettes out there.
It is being auctioned off at the Mecum Auctions in Kissimmee, FL, January 18-27. Mecum estimates the car will go for $275,000-$325,000. That may seem like a pretty penny, but it is chump change for what was perhaps the most perfect–but certainly most advanced– version of the C1 Corvette.