1964 CHEVY CORVETTE STYLING CHANGES
The visual changes between the 1964 Corvette and the 1963 model were fairly minor. The most obvious, on the Coupes at least, was the elimination of the rear “Split Window”, the thin section of body running lengthwise, splitting the rear window into 2 symmetrical side-by-side sections. There were just too many customer and media gripes about poor rearward visibility. So it was replaced by a huge, compound-curved one-piece rear window for the 1964 model year. Another very obvious change, one both Coupes and Convertibles, was the elimination of the faux vents on the hood. The recesses in the hood where they were placed on the 1963 remained intact, making this hood a unique 1964-only item. A new rocker panel trim was added and the door release knobs were now chromed instead of painted. On the subject of paint, there was a new paint color, Satin Silver, which was RPO 940.
IMPROVEMENTS & UPGRADES
There were a number of other mechanical and functional changes to the ’64 Corvette. The shock absorbers and the front and rear springs were redesigned to improve ride and handling. The body received more insulation, and on the Couple, the vent on the left-rear B-pillar (formerly non-functional) now became functional and was used to help move fresh air through the cabin, with the help of a new 3-speed electric blower motor. This greatly improved the Coupe’s ventilation. The transmission mounts were improved as was the shift linkage. It was clear that Chevrolet’s intention was not only to improve the straight-line performance and handling of the Corvette, but also to make it quieter, more comfortable, as easier to live with.
1964 Chevy Corvette CONVERTIBLE TOPS
1964 Chevy Corvette COUPE
1964 Chevy Corvette INTERIORS
ABOVE: This well-equipped Corvette Roadster had a 2-speed Powerglide, the only automatic transmission available. It also had power windows.
BELOW: The radio would only fit in the narrow center stack if placed on its side.
1964 Chevy Corvette ENGINES
1964 CHEVY CORVETTE ENGINE UPGRADES
The same basic 4 engines carried over from the 1963 lineup, basically three 327s with single 4-barrels, and a “Fuelie”, or fuel-injected 327. However, the top two 327s got a horsepower injection. The base engine was the same 250hp 327 V8 as before, and the next engine up was the 300hp single 4-barrel 327. But the top carbureted engine, which last year produced 340hp, was boosted this year to 365hp at 6,200rpm. And the top-line fuel injected 327 went from 365hp to 375hp at 6,200rpm. Interestingly, all four engines produced almost identical torque, ranging from 350 to 360 lb-ft. The 375hp Fuelie could go from zero-to-sixty in 5.6 seconds, and cover the quarter mile in 14.2 seconds at 100mph. Not bad for 1964 technology.
ABOVE: Factory air conditioning is a high-value option today. Corvettes with it are called “Air Cars”.
ABOVE: This new F.I. was larger than the old system, to accommodate the bigger breathing needs of the new 327 over the 283. It also capitalized on the lessons learned with the first system. Here you can see the enormous throttle body on the left of the big airbox. Note the large cylindrical air filter on the lower-right. This houses a conical air filter element, and breathes cold air through a hole behind the grille.
BELOW: They were a bear to tune, but once you got them right, they were killers on the street! When in proper tune, they were very drivable, got good mileage (for the times), gave you more power, but also gave you a few more rpm than you could get out of a carburated car.
ABOVE: The older Rochester F.I. was introduced in 1957 on the 283hp 283 V8, the first production engine ever to produce 1 horsepower per cubic inch. Actually it made more like 300, but Chevy thought 283 sounded better. When the standard Corvette engine went from the 283 to the 327 in ’62, Chevy began working on a larger version, which was introduced in the ’63 Corvette, and continued through the 1965 model year. For ’64, horsepower bumped up from 360hp to 375hp, where it would remain. Fuel injection was always an expensive option (that’s why they’re so rare today), and by this point it became obvious that it was cheaper to get more power by dropping in a big block.
BELOW: The entire high-pressure fuel system ran off of a pump at the back of the fuel meter (on this side of the airbox), which was powered by a short speedometer-type cable that ran off of the distributor. You can see it bending almost 90-degrees from the distributor to the pump. The Corvettes of the day had mechanical tachometers which were cable-driven off of the left side of the distributor. On Fuelie cars, this cable drive continued through to the right side of the distributor as well, allowing a speedo cable to be hooked up to both ends, one for the tach, and one for the F.I. Caution if you own one: Keep it lubed. With that tight bend, if it goes dry it will snap, then the car is dead. I know, it happened to me. Would’t be a bad idea to carry a spare.