1964 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Competition Coupé Registration no. not UK registered Chassis no. 40837S112243
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.
Introduced for 1963, the spectacular Corvette C2 Sting Ray became an instant design icon and is considered to be one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. Radically different from its predecessor, the Sting Ray sported a totally new ladder-type chassis featuring independent rear suspension, the latter a rarity on American cars at this time, and for the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupé in the range.
As had been the case with the previous (1956-1962) generation of Corvettes, development proceeded slowly, being characterised by annual facelifts and few engineering changes of note. On the latter front, the long-overdue arrival of four-wheel disc brakes was the most significant development for 1965.
By the end of the 1950s, Corvettes had begun to establish an enviable competition record for the marque. Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov was a big fan of auto racing and it was he that was responsible for unlocking the car's innate potential and developing it into a genuine race-winner. At the same time the Corvette began to establish a reputation outside of the USA. In 1960 Briggs Cunningham entered eight Corvettes in that year's Le Mans 24-Hour race, the car driven by Fitch/Grossman winning the over-4,000cc GT class on its way to 8th overall. These racing successes repaid Chevrolet's investment with interest: Corvette sales improved significantly, ensuring the car's survival and enabling it to go on to become the world's best-selling and longest-lived sports car.
This particular Corvette Sting Ray was imported into France in 1993 and professionally restored by a well-known racer/collector. The current owner acquired the Corvette in 2009 and further upgraded the car to its current outstanding cosmetic and competitive level. An extensive and detailed list of the works carried out in the Netherlands by Tachyon Motorsport is on file. No expense was spared, and all detailed worksheets are present. In 2012, world-renowned specialists APP Racing Engines of the Netherlands built a new homologated 402ci (6.6-litre) Big Block engine that produces 545bhp and 501lb/ft of torque (dynamometer printout on file). Since then the car has only completed the Liège-Rome-Liège Rally and one circuit race at Dijon. A brand new ATL fuel cell was installed in 2017 (certificate on file) and the new FIA HTP is valid until January 2027.
In the right hands this Corvette is capable of winning races in the popular Pre-'66 GT class. As the car is road registered and retains its fully functional interior, it can also be entered in high-profile events like the '100 Ore di Modena', any other FIA or FIVA-sanctioned event, or indeed any road or circuit event for Pre-'66 GT cars.