We recently took a look at the 1963-1971 Mercedes SL Roadster. Now we turn the attention to an American top-down classic – the 1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette (Sting Ray) Convertible.
When this Corvette came on to the automotive scene, Road & Track said, “In its nice, shiny new concept it ought to be nearly unbeatable.” And these words do indeed ring true!
So what does the car have to offer?
The engine includes a 327 cubic-inch small block with horsepower ranging from 250 to 375. Also, there are 396 and 427 big block V8s with power ranging from 390 to 435 horsepower. Furthermore, a L88 option (aluminum heads) 425 cubic-inch motor reportedly delivers 560 hp.
The transmissions include a four-speed manual gearbox and a two or three-speed automatic. Depending on the engine and transmission combination, the Corvette’s 0-60 mph time is in 5.4 to 8 seconds.
On the exterior the 63-67 Corvette Convertible looks sharp and sporty from all angles.
At the front this classic Chevrolet’s windshield is fairly upright. The hood is long and sits lower than the car’s curved front fenders. There is a raised strip running down the center of the hood that contains the iconic red and black-white racing flags. The dual round headlights on each side are housed in fold away units. A thin chrome bumper is positioned just below the headlights. Two thin air intakes are located on each side of the license plate holder. The turn signals are small round chromed ringed amber pieces at the corners. The lower part of the fenders are rounded and fit well with the turn signals.
From the side the upper middle area of this Chevrolet is quite flat. The front fender curves up and then down. The rear fender slopes up but then curves down a bit more than at the front. There is a character line just below the door handle that runs the length of the car. The door handle is an all chrome push button piece. The mirror is also chrome.
At the rear this Corvette has a fairly long trunk lid that curves down in the back. The rear fenders crest a bit above the trunk. There is a distinctive raised center cut line in the trunk. Additionally, there is a chrome antenna on the left and chrome Corvette writing on the right of the trunk. The edge of the trunk extends out slightly from the metal below and the line extends into the rear fenders. The chromed ringed taillights consist of two simple but clean round lamps on each side. The two piece bumper wraps around into the rear fenders. Dual exhausts at the corners complete the sporty look.
On the interior this roadster is a classic all the way. The car’s dash includes an open dome for the instrument cluster and a dome above the semi-circle glove box. There is a small flat dash area (about the width of the center console) located in between the outer raised domes. The gauges include two large circles with the speedometer on the left and speedometer on the right. Smaller round gauges on the far left provide fuel and battery readings. On the far right the water temperature and oil pressure readings are given. The wood steering wheel with its three chrome spokes at the center is large by today’s standard. The front bucket seats are comfortable but have limited side bolstering. The center console includes chrome around the shift lever and a round chrome ringed numerical clock at the top. As this Chevrolet is a two seat sports car, the front legroom is good.
The brakes are discs at the front and drums at the rear for the 63-64 models. In 1965 the car gained discs at all four corners (10 inch front and 9 inch rear). The tires are 7.75 by 15 inches
The front suspension includes unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, tube shock absorbers and an anti-roll bar. At the rear the suspension consists of transverse leaf springs, transverse struts, trailing arms, and tube shock absorbers.
The 63-67 Corvette Convertible is available with many options including heavy duty suspensions, fuel injection, automatic and manual transmissions, power steering and extra chrome.
The fuel rating for this Chevrolet Corvette Convertible is 23 mpg on the highway.
Parts for this classic including carburetors, fuel pumps, and water pumps are available at most any auto parts store. As a matter of fact, no American drivetrain is more common!
The 63-67 Corvettes are fast, handle quite well, and provide much interior room for two. Good looks including much detail and chrome are part of the car’s appeal.
If you want an American sports car convertible that is handsome, comfortable and V8 powered, the 63-67 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible could well be the classic car for you!