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1968 first coupe

CORVETTE 1968



PRODUCTION 28,566 with 18,630 convertibles, 9,936 coupes
BASE PRICE $4,663 (coupe), $4,320 (convertible)
BASE STYLES Sport Coupe, Convertible
BASE ENGINE 327 cubic inches, 300 horsepower
ENGINE OPTIONS 327/350, 427/390, 427/400, 427/435 Big Block Tri-Power
COLOR CHOICES Rally Red, Tuxedo Black, Polar White, Corvette Bronze, LeMans Blue, International Blue, Cordovan Maroon, Silverstone Silver, British Green, Safari Yellow
POPULAR OPTIONS AM-FM radio, all tinted glass, positraction
SERIAL NUMBERS Body & Chasis Convertible 194678S400001--19468S428566
Body & Chasis Coupe 194378S400001--19438S428566




Corvette history: The 1st year for the new C3 shark body style. Gone were side vent windows making some very hot rides. New for the coupe were a removable back window and the 2 piece detachable T-Tops. Convertibles had an optional hard top available. The optional side exhaust pipes were significally different than those found on 1965-1967 vettes.
 

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1963 First Coupe

837 Base Corvette Sport Coupe 10,594 $4,257
867 Base Corvette Convertible 10,919 4,037
898 Genuine Leather Seats 1,114 80.70
941 Sebring Silver Exterior Paint 3,516 80.70
A01 Soft Ray Tinted Glass, All Windows 629 16.15
A02 Soft Ray Tinted Glass, Windshield 470 10.80
A31 Power Windows 3,742 59.20
C07 Auxiliary Hardtop (Convertible) 5,739 236.75
C48 Heater/Defroster Delete 124 -100.00
C60 Air Conditioning 278 421.80
G81 Positraction Rear Axle 17,554 43.05
G91 Special Highway Axle Ratio 3.08:1 211 2.20
J50 Power Brakes 3,336 43.05
J65 Sintered Metallic Brakes 5,310 37.70
L75 327ci 300hp Engine 8,033 53.80
L76 327ci 340hp Engine 6,978 107.60
L84 327ci 360hp Engine - Fuel Injection 2,610 430.40
M20 4 Speed Manual Transmission 17,983 188.30
M35 Powerglide Automatic Transmission 2,621 199.10
N03 36 Gallon Fuel Tank Coupe Only 63 202.30
N11 Offroad Exhaust System Unknown 37.70
N34 Woodgrained Plastic Steering Wheel 130 16.15
N40 Power Steering 3,063 75.35
P48 Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheels Unknown 322.80
P91 Blackwall Tires 670x15 Nylon Cord 412 15.70
P92 Blackwall Tires 670x15 Rayon Cord 19,383 31.55
T86 Backup Lamps 318 10.80
U65 AM Radio 11,368 137.75
U69 AM/FM Radio 9,178 174.35
Z06 Special Performance Equipment 199 1,818.45

Serial Numbers: 30837S100001 through 30837S121513

Suffix:

RC: 327ci, 250hp MT RF: 327ci 360hp MT
RD: 327ci, 300hp MT SC: 327ci, 250hp AT
RE: 327ci, 340hp MT SD: 327ci, 300hp AT

MT=Manual Trans, AT=Automatic Trans, PS=Power Steering, AC=Air Conditioning,

Base Engine: 327ci V8 250hp



Colors:

RPO Exterior Quantity Soft Top Wheels Interior
900 Tuxedo Black - Bk/W/Bg Black BK/S/R
912 Silver Blue - Bk/W/Bg Black/White/Silver BK/F/R
916 Daytona Blue 3,475 Bk/W/Bg Black/Db Bk/F
923 Riverside Red 4,612 Bk/W/Bg Black/Red BK/R/S
932 Saddle Tan - Bk/W/Bg Black BK/R/S
936 Ermine White - Bk/W/Bg Black BK/Db/R/S
941 Sebring Silver 3,516 Bk/W/Bg Black/Silver BK/Db/R/S

Abbreviations:

AB=Almond Beige, Bk=Black, Bg=Beige, C=Charcoal, Db=Dark Blue,

F=Fawn, S=Saddle, Si=Silver, W=White, R=Red, Bl=Blue, Tq=Turquoise

Operation Mongoose, which produced the Corvette Grand Sport, designed as the Cobra Killer, is cancelled when GM top executives find out about the project. However, three Corvette Grand Sports with 550 hp engines decidedly beat the Ford Cobras at Nassau.

Since the inception of the Corvette in 1953, it was no secret that many within General Motors and even within Chevrolet had conspired to do away with the fiberglass bodied sports car. The car was low volume, and lacked the profitability to which GM was accustomed. But the Corvette had a strong image. Ed Cole, Zora Arkus-Duntov and Bill Mitchell formed the team that would become Corvette's salvation. Bill Mitchell, who replace Harley Earl as GM's design chief in 1958 was a major proponent of the Corvette. Ed Cole was the primary player in keeping Corvette alive despite a growing number of detractors, was promoted to Chevrolet general manager in 1956. Zora Arkus-Duntov became Corvettes top engineer in 1957. With this group a talent forming the core, development began in earnest on an all new Corvette in the late 1950's and becoming quite focused in the early 1960's. A name had to be selected for the new automobile, and Bill Mitchell, an avid fisherman and lover of sharks, and deep sea creatures selected "Sting Ray". Zora's comment was, "It's a dumb fish!" but Mitchell prevailed.
Without the aid of computers, wind tunnel testing, and such modern "necessities", Zora and his team of talented engineers, and Bill Mitchell's young Japanese-American designer, Larry Shinoda (the primary stylist who designed the XP-755 Mako Shark for Bill Mitchell in 1961) came up with what was indeed an all new Corvette. One look at the sleek design made you long for the open road, and the advanced engineering proved up to the task. The 1963 Corvette "Sting Ray" was an instant success. Initial demand for the attractive Sting Ray was so great, the adding an extra shift at the St. Louis plant couldn't even help keep up. Sales soared by 50% to 21,513 up more than 6000 units over the previous year. 1962 proved to be the last year Corvette sales would drop below 20,000 and the last year Corvette would not have a coupe in the model lineup.

New features introduced in 1963 included four-wheel independent suspension, retractable headlamps, and a "Split-Window" on the rear of the coupe. (Zora and Mitchell had another argument over this one… Zora maintained that the pillar would limit the drivers visibility, but Mitchell liked the design. The "Split" was on the 1963, but Zora won out and it was dropped for 1964). Also new was the "cockpit style" interior, and a host of new options, including the Z06 performance package (360hp fuel injected engine, knock off wheels, 36 gallon fuel tank, Positraction, four speed manual transmission, heavy duty brakes, dual master cylinder, sintered metallic brake linings, front brake air scoops, heavy duty stabilizer, and heavy duty springs and shocks front and rear), air conditioning, and the Muncie four-speed transmission. There was a beefed up frame, quicker steering, self adjusting brakes with an 18 percent increase in lining area, steel reinforcing for the fiberglass body, a lower stance, and the new model was also shorter and narrower. Only 199 buyers chose the Z06 option package in 1963.

The Z06 Sting Ray was not the "meanest" Corvette built for 1963 however, that title when to the Grand Sport, a purpose built race car looking a lot like the ill-fated Corvette SS of 1957. The Grand Sport project began in 1962 with Duntov's engineers fashioning a special lightweight Corvette, based on a tubular steel, ladder-type frame. Using various aluminum components, a special hand made fiberglass body with super thin panels, and magnesium Halibrand knock-off wheels also saved weight. Brakes were large 11.75 inch disks at all four wheels. Initial plans called for a 377ci small-block engine with four Weber carburetors for the Grand Sport. But neither became a reality. The first Grand Sport was fitted with and aluminum 327 fuelie while awaiting the 377 V-8 still in development. Before the 377 could be finished, GM announced a racing ban, instructing all divisions in January 1963 to cease racing projects immediately. Only five of the 125 planned Grand Sports were produced before that order came down. All five underwent various mechanical and exterior modifications, taking on a varied succession of scoops, flares and engines. Both small and big blocks were used over the years and two of the GS coupes were later converted into roadsters for competition at Daytona in February 1964. After a second racing ban (Corvette engineering was clearly still supporting the five Grand Sports) the five Grand Sports were sold off, and like the SS and the SR2's before them, all five Grand Sports are today in collectors hands.

Chevrolet was proud of the 1963 Sting Ray, and rightfully so. Car Life awarded it's "Engineering Excellence" award to the new Corvette, Motor Trend described the new Corvette as being "far in advance in both ride and handling of anything now being built in the United States", and Car and Driver stated "Steering effort is very low, cornering behavior is extremely stable, and the car inspires a high degree of confidence." The new Corvette even impressed Road & Track.. .. Just a few of the things the normally import oriented publication liked were: The curved side glass, redesigned windshield, improve heater, spare tire mounted in it's own housing underneath the car, better weight distribution with 48% front and 52% rear, the front crossmember, welded rather than bolted to the frame, and the all new options. Zora Arkus-Duntov was quoted as saying, "For the first time I now have a Corvette I can be proud to drive in Europe."
 
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