Left hand drive 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Convertible Registration no. GNB 817D Chassis no. 65122638
'The Sting Ray hit the American sports car market like a thunderclap, reminiscent of the knock-'em-dead debut of the Jaguar E-Type two years previously; comparisons were not slow to materialise. For the first time in history the Corvette was a sell-out success.' Richard M Langworth, The Complete Book Of The Corvette.
To say that the Sting Ray's arrival caused a sensation would be grossly understating its impact on the North American sports car market. Indeed, 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. Styled in General Motors' Art and Colour Studio under Bill Mitchell, the new Corvette featured radical styling pioneered on Mitchell's successful Stingray sports-racer, 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 adoption of which enabled the centre of gravity to be significantly lowered, improving both roadholding and ride. This new frame was the work of Corvette Chief Engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov who said: 'For the first time I have a Corvette which I am proud to use in Europe.' Now recognised as representing a 'golden age' for the Corvette, the Sting Ray was manufactured from 1963 to 1967 and has since gone on to become a highly collectible modern classic.
This manual transmission Sting Ray was first registered in the UK in 1986 and in 1989 featured in the November edition of Car Investor & Collector magazine (copy on file). The car was sold that same year by Claremont Corvette and for 18 years belonged to a London-based Italian private collector, who offered it for sale in April 2010 at Bonhams' RAF Museum, Hendon auction (Lot 344) where it was purchased by the current vendor. There are invoices on file totalling £9,500 for various works including repair of the rear axle/differential (by Claremont), replacement of the wiring loom, a new battery, relined clutch and fitting of a correct tachometer (supplied by US Corvette parts specialist, Ecklers). Fully serviced, tuned and said to be running well, the car is described as in generally good un-restored condition, though capable of benefiting from further sympathetic improvement. Finished in blue with black interior, 'GNB 817D' is offered with the aforementioned invoices, current road fund licence, MoT to June 2013 and Swansea V5C document.