12-14 August 2010
1963 Chevrolet Corvette "Pilot Line" Sting Ray Roadster
Sold for $104,500
- From an important private collection
- A real “pilot line” car, one of four believed to exist
- From the landmark introductory year of the Sting Ray
- Equipped with “fuelie” 327/360 V8
- Desirable open bodywork and color combination
Penned by GM stylist Larry Shinoda under Bill Mitchell, the all-new 1963 Corvette Sting Ray introduced the aerodynamic styling and superb engineering that created an instant classic. Underneath that gorgeous new bodywork was a serious sports car, riding on a four-inch shorter wheelbase than before and equipped with a simple yet effective independent rear suspension courtesy of Zora Arkus-Duntov.
Of the four 327-cubic inch engine options, the L84 360-horsepower variant propelled the Corvette to 60 mph in under six seconds. Contemporary magazines unanimously praised the new Sting Ray’s handling and performance, with Motor Trend testers remarking, “We thought the old model cornered darn well, but there’s no comparing it to this new one.” Perhaps the most telling endorsement came from Zora Arkus-Duntov, who said, “For the first time I now have a Corvette I can be proud to drive in Europe.”
Both the 1963 Sting Ray and the fuel-injected models, in particular, remain design and engineering benchmarks. This example is particularly remarkable as Sting Ray number 15, being a real "pilot line" or pre-production car for 1963 and believed to be one of approximately four such cars known to exist today. According to a recent inspection, the Corvette shows just 15 miles since it received a body-off-frame restoration. Today, the paint, door fit and interior are good, the brightwork is driver quality, the engine bay is clean and proper but not over-restored, and the undercarriage remains show-quality in presentation. However, as this Corvette has been on display as part of a private collection, we recommend a thorough service prior to extensive road use.
The Corvette includes a four-speed manual transmission, an AM radio, “knock off” turbine-style wheels and power windows. With its desirable color combination, high-performance powertrain, sheer rarity and historical significance, the offering of this fuel-injected 1963 Sting Ray is truly a rare opportunity that cannot be missed by serious Corvette collectors and enthusiasts.
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