The introduction of the Sting Ray in 1963 sent shockwaves through the North American sports car market, causing a sensation that far surpassed expectations. The overwhelming success of the model prompted the St Louis factory to implement a second shift, yet the demand for these cars remained insatiable. Crafted under the design expertise of Bill Mitchell in General Motors’ Art and Colour Studio, the new Corvette not only showcased revolutionary styling inspired by Mitchell’s triumphant Stingray sports-racer but also marked the inclusion of a Gran Turismo coupé in the lineup.
Beneath its exterior, the Sting Ray featured a groundbreaking all-new ladder-frame chassis with independent rear suspension. This innovation, masterminded by Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, led to a significantly lowered center of gravity, enhancing both roadholding and ride quality. Contrary to the incremental development approach of the previous generation (1956-62) Corvettes, the ’63 model underwent significant changes.
All ’63 Corvettes were powered by Chevrolet’s 5.4-liter V8 engine, available in four different stages of tune. With just over 21,000 Sting Rays produced in 1963, evenly split between coupé and convertible variants, the model’s popularity soared. Offering a myriad of factory options, the Corvette allowed buyers to create unique configurations, contributing to the individuality of each car.