Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 1963


Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 1963


Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 1963

  • Origin United States of America
  • Engine 5,360 cc, V8
  • Top speed 147 mph (237 km/h)

A dramatic 1963 restyling gave the Corvette a new, aerodynamic profile, with the headlights hidden behind electrically operated panels. For the first time it was offered as a hardtop coupe as well as a convertible. Chevrolet had seen its sales rise remarkably in the past year and wanted to continue that success going forward. With some outstanding new product, they were able to accomplish that goal.

Part of that success lay in the fact that Chevrolet was able to introduce a new model, or a totally redesigned existing model, every year throughout the sixties. This year it was the Corvette's turn. The all-new, aerodynamic looking Corvette came in a new coupe body style to accompany the convertible model. The fiberglass sports car rode on a four inch shorter wheelbase, although the overall length was nearly the same. This provided better sports car handling capabilities, while new suspension geometry improved the ride. Power under the hood came from the same engines offered in prior years. The never before offered Sting Ray Sport Coupe model featured a center body crease that ran lengthwise through the louvered hood, through the fastback style roof, down the one-yearonly split back window, and down the rear deck (there was no trunk lid) to meet the rear body panel. This new Corvette was definitely a big improvement over previous Corvettes.

Full-size Chevrolet models received the same overhaul other big GM cars were given. This included the new rooflines and greenhouse areas for certain 2-door and 4-door models. Frontal design was highlighted by a v-shaped front fender line that complemented the full width grille of similar shape. Two full-length body side character lines were featured: One began at the point of the "V" of the front fender and continued the entire vehicle length to a complementary "V" at the rear quarter.

The second line ran from the mid-point of the trailing front wheel opening edge, across the top of the rear wheel opening, to the top of the rear bumper. Rear styling continued the two or three taillamp configurations (depending upon model) started in 1958, dropped in 1959, then resumed for 1960. The only model change was the dropping of the BelAir 2-Door Hardtop, as this line continued to become a more spartan offering following the success of the more upscale Impala.

The 6-cylinder engine standard in most models was given an overhaul this year. It now displaced 230 cubic inches and developed more horsepower at 140. Also the popular Powerglide automatic transmission was redesigned for better performance. The compact Chevys, the Corvair and Chevy II, received new grilles, or in the Corvair's case, a new front panel trim piece. Otherwise these lines were little changed. The Corvair Lakewood wagon was discontinued after a short two-year lifespan, but the Chevy II wagon proved far more popular with buyers. Also, the Chevy II Nova 400 2-Door Sedan was discontinued as most Nova 2-Door buyers were opting for the Hardtop version.