1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931

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Lot 320
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Convertible

Sold for £ 55,200 (US$ 76,640) inc. premium
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Convertible
Registration no. BOF 52A
Chassis no. 308675105931
*Formerly part of the Mecum Collection
*Matching numbers
*Four-speed manual transmission
*Restored condition

Footnotes

  • Back in 1953, Chevrolet's launch of a two-seater sports car was a radical departure for a marque hitherto associated almost exclusively with sensible family transport. Based on the 1952 EX-122 show car, the Corvette made use of existing GM running gear and a shortened chassis frame, around which was wrapped striking Harley Earl-styled glassfibre coachwork. Motive power came from Chevrolet's 235.5ci (3.8-litre) overhead-valve straight six and, unusually for a sports car, there was automatic transmission, a feature that attracted much adverse criticism at the time.

    Intended as competition for the T-Series MG, the Corvette cost way above the target figure, ending up in Jaguar XK120 territory but with an inferior performance. Sales were sluggish initially and the model came close to being axed, surviving thanks to Chevrolet's need to compete with Ford's Thunderbird. A V8 engine for 1955 and a radical re-style for '56 had consolidated the 'Vette's position in the market before arrival of the heavily revised 'Sting Ray' version.

    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 coupé's divided rear screen would last for one year only. 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.

    This first-year Sting Ray convertible was purchased by the immediately preceding owner directly from the USA where it had formed part of Dana Mecum's celebrated private collection. A matching numbers example, the car has been restored to the highest standards and to completely original specification, with new parts used only where necessary. It retains its original 327ci (5.4-litre) V8 engine, which has been completely rebuilt and runs on a premium fuel, while the 340 horsepower on tap is transmitted via the original four-speed manual gearbox (an extra cost option) to the 3.36:1-ratio rear axle.

    The car is finished in Daytona Blue with tan upholstery and a new cream soft-top. The superb interior has been professionally restored, boasting new seat covers, new inner door panels, new carpets, new headlining, new glove box door, and new sill covers. All instruments are correct and have been fully reconditioned, while the radio has been replaced with Custom Autosound AM/FM unit of period-correct appearance. Relatively few miles have been covered since the restoration's completion a few years ago, and the Corvette remains in generally excellent condition.

    The current vendor purchased the car at a UK auction in 2014, since when it has been maintained by his in-house mechanic. Freshly MoT'd prior to sale and presented in good running order, this landmark Corvette convertible is offered with a UK V5C registration document. Truly fabulous.

Saleroom notices

  • Please be advised that the chassis number is incorrect and should read: 30867S105931.
Contacts
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
1963 Chevrolet Corvette  Sting Ray Convertible  Chassis no. 308675105931
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