Left hand drive 1969 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible Registration no. WVO 717G Chassis no. 194679S734222 Engine no. TBA
To say that the Sting Ray's arrival caused a sensation would be grossly understating its impact on the North American sports car market. 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.
Five years after the Sting Ray's arrival, a total restyle ushered in the 'Stingray' era, though the latter name was not officially applied to the model until 1969. Based on GM's 1965 Mako Shark II show car, the new-for-'68 Corvette coupé became a 'notch back' with removable rear window and detachable, two-piece 'T-top' (Targa) roof, while the roadster, or convertible, version could be ordered with optional hardtop. The previous generation's recessed pop-up headlights were retained while the windshield wipers were now concealed beneath a vacuum-operated panel, the latter feature being inherited from the Mako Shark II. Beneath the skin the chassis remained fundamentally unchanged.
The Stingray customer could take his or her pick from an extensive range of factory options, with the result that seldom are two cars exactly alike. Completed on 10th June 1969, this particular Stingray was delivered incorporating some of the most desirable options on offer, including the high-performance L46 version of the 350ci (5.7-litre) V8 engine producing 350bhp, which is delivered via the four-speed, close-ratio manual transmission and Positraction limited-slip differential. Other noteworthy features included power assisted steering, audio alarm and whitewall tyres.
The car is finished in eye-catching Riverside Gold (one of only 873 in that colour) with standard black vinyl interior featuring an AM/FM pushbutton radio, while the detachable hardtop is black also. Copy photographs in the accompanying history file indicate that the car underwent a body-off restoration around 2003, since when it has been driven a mere 1,000-or-so miles. Now UK registered, the Stingray is being sold complete with a framed copy of the original order form, reprinted 1969 Corvette owner's manual, current MoT/tax and Swansea V5C document.