1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Split Window Coupé Registration no. BGS 863A Chassis no. 30837S101928 Engine no. CPE837
To say that the Sting Ray's arrival for 1963 caused a sensation would be grossly understating its impact on the North American sports car market. Such was its runaway success that the St Louis factory hired a second shift but still could not build cars fast enough to meet demand. Designed by Art & Colour Studio chief Bill Mitchell, the new Corvette featured radical styling pioneered on Mitchell's successful Stingray sports-racer by designer Larry Shinoda, and for the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupé in the range. Beneath the skin was an all-new ladder-frame chassis with independent rear suspension, the work of Chevrolet Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, the adoption of which enabled the centre of gravity to be significantly lowered, improving both roadholding and ride. Controversial at the time, the coupe's divided rear screen would last for one year only; many cars were subsequently converted to one-piece glass, making the survivors with this feature, such as that offered here, the most collectible of all 1963-67 Corvettes. Other notable firsts for the '63 Corvette included optional leather upholstery, air conditioning and knock-off wheels. A little over 21,000 Sting Rays were made in 1963, the production split being roughly 50/50 coupé/convertible. Left-hand drive, as were all Corvettes at this time, this first-year Sting Ray was first registered in the UK on 13th July 1989 and was acquired by the current vendor in November 2002. The accompanying Swansea V5C document states that there have been three former keepers since date of first registration in this country, the immediately preceding being Mr David McMillan of Romford, Essex who acquired the car in February 2000. Finished in blue with matching leather interior, 'BGS 863A' currently displays a total of 73,315 kilometres on the odometer and is described as in generally good condition. The car is offered with Corvette owners guide, current MoT certificate and Swansea V5C registration document.