To say that the Sting Ray's arrival caused a sensation would be grossly understating its impact on the North American sports car market. Styled in General Motors' Art and Colour Studio under Bill Mitchell, the new Corvette featured radical styling pioneered on Mitchell's successful Stingray sports-racer, and for the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupé in the range. Beneath the skin was an all-new ladder-frame chassis with independent rear suspension, the adoption of which enabled the centre of gravity to be significantly lowered, improving both roadholding and ride. As had been the case with the previous (1956-62) 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 in 1965 was the most significant development.
Five years after the Sting Ray's arrival, a total restyle ushered in the 'Stingray' era, though the latter name was not officially applied to the model until 1969. Based on GM's 1965 Mako Shark II show car, the new-for-'68 Corvette coupé became a 'notchback' with removable rear window and detachable, two-piece 'T-top' (Targa) roof, while the roadster, or convertible, version could be ordered with an optional hardtop. The previous generation's recessed pop-up headlights were retained while the windshield wipers were now concealed beneath a vacuum-operated panel, the latter feature being inherited from the Mako Shark II. Beneath the skin the chassis remained fundamentally unchanged.
This Stingray dates from 1974, the first year of the revised, spoiler-less, body-coloured rear end incorporating the now mandatory energy-absorbing bumper. Supplied new in the UK, the car has the 454ci (7½-litre), 270bhp 'big block' engine and automatic transmission, and is finished in Mille Miglia Red with black leather interior. 'GNT 49M' has covered a warranted 65,000 miles from new and comes with a large and comprehensive file detailing its service history. The Corvette has formed part of a collection of supercars for the last eight years and is described by the vendor as 'excellent for year' in all respects, with gleaming engine bay, excellent interior and amazing paintwork. Representing a rare opportunity to acquire a top quality example of an American sports car legend, UK-registered from new, this beautiful Corvette is offered with current MoT, V5 registration document and various magazine articles about the car.