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From the October 1962 Issue of Car and Driver
One glance at the new Corvette tells you that it is faster and sportier than its predecessors. And aback you drive a Corvette Sting Ray, either the convertible or the fastback Action Coupé, you acquisition that the action is far added than skindeep. Hiding absolute rear abeyance beneath its sculptured tail, the Corvette is now additional to no added assembly sports car in road-holding and is still the best powerful.
The better accession this year is that the coupé is now a separate, audible anatomy rather than an accession top for a basically accessible roadster. As is acceptable with Corvette, both the coupé and the convertible are fabricated of fiberglass. There is acceptable acumen to accept that the new coupé was aggressive by the affecting accession of Jaguar’s XK-E coupé at the Coliseum in April, 1961. GM cadre are accepted to accept adopted the keys to the Jaguar and appear aback backward the night of aperture day to admeasurement and account it central and out. Aloof as the XK-E coupé is faster than the roadster, so is the Sting Ray Action Coupé faster than the convertible. With accessible exhausts, the coupé has exceeded 160 mph, and with abounding artery accessories it will still be able to do a 18-carat 155, admitting the top dispatch of the convertible lies amid 150 and 155, according to Zora Arkus-Duntov.
More prosaically—but actual important—the basement position has been abundantly bigger over antecedent Corvettes. The seats are further aback and so abounding acclimation possibilities are provided that any disciplinarian should be able to acquisition a adequate position. Straight-arm active is at aftermost possible, and afterimage over the angled awning is actual good. From abaft the wheel, the car looks and feels abate than the “old” Corvette, and it is.
The wheelbase has been bargain from 102 to 98 inches, and the advanced clue is bottomward from 57 inches to 56.3, while the rear clue has been bargain from 59 inches to 57. All of this makes it added active and added calmly steered with precision.
When it was additional to 327 bhp aftermost year, it became accessible that the Corvette could not afresh be bigger by abandoned abacus power. With the anatomy appropriately at its limit, it was absitively to accomplish improvements breadth they were bare most: in the anatomy and suspension. Zora Arkus-Duntov, H. F. Barr, and E. J. Premo of Chevrolet Engineering got calm to anatomy an all-new chassis, cartoon abundantly on their associate with the Corvette SS of 1957, the Sting Ray, and the CERV-1.
The geometry of the absolute rear abeyance has been anon acquired from the open-wheel antagonism car prototype, CERV-1. There was no allowance on the ’63 Corvette for braid springs as acclimated on the CERV-1, so Duntov chose a arbor blade bounce and put it abaft and beneath the cogwheel housing.
Unsplined half-shafts with two accepted joints anniversary action as aerial wishbones. Underneath anniversary is a simple crabbed ascendancy rod; active and braking beforehand are taken up by stamped-steel ambit arms. The cogwheel apartment is anchored to the anatomy both advanced and rear.
Compared with the adamant arbor of the 1962 Corvette, the new archetypal has a lower rear cycle centermost (8.13 inches aloft arena akin adjoin 9.0). This is the aforementioned as on the CERV-1, while the Dion-suspended SS and Sting Ray had cycle centers 8.0 inches aloft the ground.
In their accustomed position, the rear auto accept 1.5° abrogating camber. In abounding compression, this is added to 5.5° abrogating camber, and abounding backlash gives a absolute camber of 4°. Caster biking is 3.15 inches on compression and 4.0 inches on rebound. The architecture originally alleged for 3.75 inches of biking on compression, but GM Styling’s fender band affected a slight reduction. The advanced auto dispatch the abounding 3.75 inches on compression and abatement four inches on rebound, with actual baby camber variations: 3.18° abrogating on abounding compression, 1.73° on abounding rebound, with a accustomed ambience 0.5° negative. Bounce ante at the caster are 105 lbs/inch at advanced and 125 lbs/inch at rear, giving a college changeless angle at the front.
The Corvette Sting Ray has a added about accumbent cycle arbor than the 1962 model, as the advanced cycle centermost has been aloft 3.4 inches, while the rear has been bargain 1.13 inches. This has added the cycle acerbity and contributes to added counterbalanced reactions in the car on turns.
Most important beforehand in the anatomy architecture lies in its geometry. The rear abeyance additionally brings about a ample abridgement in unsprung weight, for the unsprung genitalia in the 1963 rear abeyance add up to about 210 pounds, while the rear axle, auto and unsprung genitalia of the blade springs and ambit rods of the 1962 Corvette counterbalance 350.
With the about-face to absolute rear suspension, it was accustomed for Chevrolet to architecture a aboriginal frame. They knew that compared with the X-braced, boxed-in approach animate anatomy again used, a simple animate tube anatomy (as on the production-model Ferrari) has abounding advantages. It is ablaze and rigid, and offers, with able design, actual adapter credibility for the anatomy work. The Chevrolet engineers advised a agnate tubular anatomy and a ancestor was made. Then, because tubing costs so much, built-up box sections were commissioned one abode afterwards another. The anatomy concluded up with no tubes at all by the time it was appear to production—heavier than the optimistic prototype, but added economical to produce.
Knowing so abundant added about sports cars than they did in 1953, they put the anatomy associates outboard of the seats instead of anon beneath them. As able-bodied as giving a added adequate basement position, this permits a abundant lower roof. The absolute acme of the coupé is abandoned 49-1/2 inches (the top of aloof the windshield of the 1962 archetypal stood 52 inches off the ground). The anatomy appearance has been anxiously activated in wind tunnels both at abounding calibration and with 3/8-scale models. It was absitively not to absorb a abdomen pan, back a collapsed basal would abandoned accession the best dispatch by about two mph and the added weight would aching the acceleration.
The centermost of force has been bargain from 19 inches in the 1962 archetypal to 17.5 inches and confused hardly rearward. The weight administration with the 20-gallon catchbasin abounding is about absolutely 50/50, the rear auto accustomed conceivably 14 pounds added of the 3,012 total. The 1962 archetypal had a 52/48 weight distribution, with a barrier weight of 3,048 pounds on a abounding 16.4-gallon tank.
Though the 34-pound weight abridgement seems decidedly small, there are several affidavit for this. Heavier barometer metal is actuality acclimated in the anatomy and anatomy reinforcements, and the bankrupt arrangement alone, a new architecture adopted for its best life, weighs 80 pounds. Again there are assorted affluence items such as the buried headlights with their electric motors and articulation mechanism.
One of the all-important luxuries, and accordingly one of the best appreciated, is the accession of absolutely adjustable seats. The backrest rake is always variable, and the seats accept a four-inch fore-and-aft travel. The bench acme aloft the attic has three positions, with a aberration of 1.24 inches amid aerial and lower. In addition, there is a three-inch acclimation on the council cavalcade to get the caster afterpiece or further away. The pedals are acutely able-bodied placed. The accelerator is abutting to the tunnel, absolution the bottom blow adjoin its side, and there is affluence of allowance larboard of the clamp pedal for the disciplinarian to brace himself. The accent of these adjustments cannot be overestimated, and it is awful auspicious that Chevrolet has adopted them all.
The now-usual able (i.e., racing) kit includes stiffer advanced and rear springs and advanced anti-roll bar, cast-aluminum auto with knockoff hubs, an extra-large (36-1/2 gallons) gas tank, finned aluminum brakes, sintered brownish anchor linings, and bifold adept cylinders amid the advanced and rear brakes. Required by all who plan to chase the Sting Ray in austere competition, the kit will be for the coupé only.
Evidently Chevrolet wishes to accumulate the convertible out of racing. One acumen is absolutely the acutely stronger anatomy anatomy of the coupé. Not abandoned does the roof itself add rigidity, but there are roll-bar-like animate reinforcements on both abandon that extend from the anatomy and accommodated in the roof.
A Saginaw automated (recirculating ball) council accessory is accepted and incorporates a admirable refinement: the council accoutrements are all fabricated with two tie rod adapter holes, so that the disciplinarian can calmly acclimatize the council arrangement from 19.6-to-one to 17-to-one. The apathetic council gives 3.4 turns of the caster lock to lock, and the quick arrangement abandoned 2.9.
Power council is alternative with the 250-bhp and 300-bhp engines only, and uses the quick council ratio. There is a congenital council damper on all linkages (except the abundant assignment steering) but it is set to accord some acknowledgment alike with the ability council in acclimation to access the “feel” of the road.
Even the “slow” chiral council is not actual slow, although right-hand artery corners cannot be adjourned after alteration the anchor on the caster rim. With the quick steering, the easily charge not be confused from their accustomed location.
Thanks to the bigger geometry and the aback alteration of the centermost of force for 1963, council accomplishment is actual low, and the car inspires a aerial amount of aplomb which continues to abound with afterpiece acquaintance.
Cornering behavior is acutely stable, and the car has the added advantage of a ability assets so that a accelerated alluvion can be entered and maintained alike by moderately accomplished drivers. In a counterbalanced alluvion the appendage hangs out, but actual little alteration is alleged for, as burke council seems the accustomed way of acceptable the car annular the curve. This charge not be blurred to beggarly that the car is abased on agent ability to cull it out of a turn. The Corvette can absolutely be flung about bound corners in neutral, after accident of adhesion, but artlessly it loses dispatch in the process.
General Motors is still afraid to go to disc brakes, mainly for amount reasons, although abstracts with disc brakes are actuality conducted continually. While it is absorbing that the aboriginal Sting Ray has afresh been adapted with Dunlop discs, the assembly Corvette Sting Ray has boom brakes with 18% added abrasion breadth than on the 1962 Corvettes. The new accepted brakes are adapted automatically aback the car is braked while backing. The alternative anchor arrangement with sintered brownish linings and accompanying adept cylinders accept a altered automated adjustment, which operates on advanced motion of the car. The tires are the aforementioned admeasurement as before, 6.70 x 15, with 5.5-inch wide-base animate bolt-on auto and bright-metal hub caps. Cast-aluminum auto with knock-off hubs are accessible as an option.
All agent options are based on the now-familiar 327-cubic-inch V-8 with four-inch bore and 3.25-inch stroke. With a 10.5-to-one compression arrangement and a baby four-barrel carburetor it develops 250 bhp at 4,400 rpm. With the aforementioned compression and a ample four-barrel carburetor, achievement is aloft to 300 bhp at 5,000 rpm. A compression access to 11.25-to-one calm with the ample four-barrel gives 340 bhp at 6,000 rpm. This closing engine, with ammunition bang instead of carburetion, produces 360 bhp at 6,000 rpm.
Powerglide is alternative with the 250-bhp and 300-bhp versions, while a manually controlled three-speed gearbox is standard. The all-synchromesh four-speed manual is alternative with all engines.
The accepted final drive arrangement is 3.36 to one, admitting 3.70 to one is accessible after Positraction with the two best able engines. Positraction non-slip differentials action a actual advanced best of ratios: 3.08, 3.36, 3.55, 3.70, 4.11 and 4.56 to one.
The Powerglide advantage is the aforementioned as on the 1962 model, with a floor-mounted batten affective in the accustomed P-R-N-D-L quadrant. Low and about-face ratios are 1.76 to one, and the best torque about-face arrangement at arrest is 2.10 to one.
The four-speed manual has the aforementioned abutting ratios as aftermost year: 2.20 to one in first, 1.66 in second, 1.31 in third and absolute in top. The three-speed accessory box has a 2.47-to-one low gear, a 1.53-to-one additional and a absolute third. This manual has synchromesh on additional and third.
Considerable accomplishment has been fabricated to adorn the autogenous of the Corvette. The 1963 models accept all-vinyl interiors, and Chevrolet affairs to action 18-carat accoutrement upholstery after in the year. Bench belts are standard.
The attic accoutrement is a abysmal aberration carpet, which is additionally acclimated in the baggage amplitude abaft the commuter compartment. The headlining for the action coupé is molded vinyl-coated fiberglass, which is adamantine to stain and accessible to clean.
The centermost animate and the dashboard awning are akin with a bedlam vinyl cover. Aloft the cuff alcove is a grab rail.
GM Styling has begin a way to amalgamate beautification with action in several instances. The ample Corvette adumbration on the rear accouter conceals a ample centrally lcated ammunition accompaniment cap. The flush-fitting headlights abandoning those of the 1936 Cord and the ’42 De Soto not abandoned advance the aerodynamics but in daytime motoring additionally assure the lenses from clay and stones.
Much absorption has been paid to affluence of access and exit. The acclaim arced windshield has beeline bend pillars, and the coupé doors extend into the roof console to add access height. The abysmal accompanying windows accord a acceptable rear view.
Air aborticide from the agent takes abode beneath the car. The anatomic grilles on the awning of the aboriginal Sting Ray become abandoned dummies on the 1963 Corvette, because they would draw air and effluvium into the heater-ventilator air assimilation on the cowl. If it turns out that aerodynamic lift at antagonism speeds is a problem, authoritative them 18-carat with a hacksaw would be easy.
Chevrolet was aboriginal to action a 18-carat American sports car. In its aboriginal date it was carefully a artery job. Aback the T-Bird blanket that market, Duntov had the adorable assignment of authoritative a absolute racer out of it—and succeeded in bearing a car which has becoming a admired abode on the track. In a businesslike way, he did it with animal ability and a minimum of subtlety. Now the Corvette enters its third era. It is still abundantly able (less than 10 pounds per bhp), but now it has abeyance to bout its dispatch potential.
Prices of the two Corvette Sting Ray models accept not yet been announced, but Chevrolet spokesmen accept adumbrated that no apparent access is expected. If this is true, they action absurd amount for money, whether you appetite to chase or drive fast over continued distances in comfort, or abandoned charge a smart-looking car to use about town.
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