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Chevrolet Corvette



History

Second Generation

1963-1967



Click to see fullsize image



Introduction: The Second Generation (C2) Corvettes took performance to a new level, as first powerful fuel injected small block and later true race big block engines would propel them to faster and faster speeds.


1963 Chevrolet Corvette




Comments: The second generation Corvette was launched in 1963 and saw the debut of the gorgeous Sting Ray body. A two passenger coupe body style joined the convertible for the first time and featured a split rear-window design. The Corvette featured an independent rear suspension (replacing the previous version's straight axle), fuel-injection, and knock off wheels. It even had a racing option, the Z-06. The Z-06 was created by Zora Arkus-Duntoz as a purpose built (through non-descript) racer, although its thunder was stolen by the superior Shelby Cobra. Nevertheless, the Z-06 option consisted of a fuel-injected 327 cid V8, 36.5 gallon fuel tank, heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and knock-off wheels. The heavy-duty brakes consisted of drums with sintered metallic linings, power assisted and backed by a dual circuit master cylinder. "Elephant ear" scoops rammed fresh air to the drums and cooling fans spun with the hub. The 36.5 gallon fuel tank (coded N03), just fit in the back of the coupe body style and helped the Corvette better compete in long distance endurance racing events, such as Daytona. About 60 of the 199 Z-06 Corvettes had the N03, and those Corvettes included inner wheel well housings modified to fit larger-than-stock tires. The knock off wheels, which became synonymous with the 1963 split window Corvette, actually leaded due to porosity of the aluminum and poor sealing at the rims, and no more than a dozen coupes and roadsters got them. Luxury options such as power steering, air conditioning, and leather seats were available for the first time on Corvettes.

Production: 21,314
Coupe: 10,594
Z06 Coupe: 199
Convertible: 10,919

Engines:
327 V8 250 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
L75 327 V8 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
L76 327 V8 340 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 344 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
L84 327 ("fuelie") V8 360 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 352 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
327/370: 0-60 in 5.9 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.9 seconds.


1964 Chevrolet Corvette




Comments: The 1964 Corvette featured several improvements such as higher horsepower "fuelie" engine options, a smoother ride, and better insulation. The hardtop lost its split rear-window design in favor of a more conventional single-piece rear window, because owners of 1963 Corvettes complained about rear visibility.

Production: 22,229
Coupe: 8,304
Convertible: 13,925

Engines:
327 V8 250 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
L75 327 V8 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
L79 327 V8 350 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
L76 327 V8 365 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
L84 327 ("fuelie") V8 375 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1965 Chevrolet Corvette




Comments: 1965 saw several changes to the Corvette. The big news was the addition of standard four-wheel disc brakes. Styling changes were at a minimum, with functional front fender louvers, new wheel covers, and a restyled grille. The hood had no depressions or trim, and thus was not interchangeable with the '63 or '64 Corvettes. Inside, newly styled bucket seats were offered and genuine leather seating surfaces were optional. Options few European cars could match included power steering, power brakes, power windows, air conditioning, AM-FM radio, telescopic steering column, and a wood-rimmed steering wheel. Under the hood, the Corvette offered a wide range of engines. Standard was Chevy's tried-and-true 327 cid Turbo Fire V8 rated at 250 bhp. Next up was a 300 bhp version of the 327 and new for 1965 was the precursor to the famous LT1, a 327 rated at 350 bhp. At the top, was the most powerful carbureted 327, rated at 365 bhp. For true performance buyers, the Ram-Jet Fuel-Injected 327 made its last appearance in 1965. At $538, fuel injection was an expensive option, but it made 327 a 375 bhp stormer. It was the ultimate small block V8. But the introduction in April 1965, of the 396 cid big block MK IV V8 marked the beginning of a new era for the Corvette. Rated at 425 bhp and priced at only $292.70, the 396 V8 big block was a direct descendant of the 427 cid MK II engine that dominated NASCAR in 1963, and made the 327 "fuelie" seem superfluous in an era of cheap, high octane gasoline. A special bulging hood was included when the 396 was ordered. Interestingly, this would be the only year for the 396 V8. Although the 327 "fuelie" was still available through the 1965 model year, it was quietly dropped when the 1966 Corvettes was introduced. Introduced at the same time as the 396 were new side-mounted exhausts, a $134.50 option. 1965 was a unique and mememorable year for the Corvette. It was the only year that you could buy a fuel-injected, disc-braked Sting Ray. It was the first year for the big block and side-mounted exhausts. And with prices starting at $4,106, the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray was quite a bargin. No wonder that sales reached a record 23,652 units.

Production: 23,652
Coupe: 8,186
Convertible: 15,376

Engines:
327 V8 250 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
L75 327 V8 300 bhp @ 5000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
L79 327 V8 350 bhp @ 5500 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
L76 327 V8 365 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
L84 327 ("fuelie") V8 375 bhp @ 6200 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm.
L78 396 V8 425 bhp @ 6400 rpm, 415 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
396/425: 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.1 seconds @ 103 mph.


1966 Chevrolet Corvette




Comments: The 1966 Corvette featured a new eggcrate grille and functional engine compartment cooling vents. The previous year's 396 V8 was dropped. In its place, a new muscle Corvette was introduced, the "427" with its own funnel-shaped, power bulge on the hood. There were two of these big blocks at first. RPO L36, priced at $181, was rated at 390 bhp. RPO L72, with a $312 price tag, was rated at 425 bhp. Both engines were related to the "mystery" 427 and the production Turbo Jet 396. The 427/425 bhp Corvette convertible could hit 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, and the quarter mile in 14 seconds. It boasted a power-to-weight ratio of just 7.7 lbs per horsepower. "427 Turbo Jet" crossed racing flag emblems appeared above the cooling vents. Three four speed gearboxes -- wide ratio, close-ratio, and heavy-duty close ratio were optional. Side-mounted exhuast pipes were optional. A total of 5,116 L36s and 5,258 L72s were built, therefore 38% of the 1966 Corvettes were 427s.

Production: 27,720
Coupe: 9,958
Convertible: 17,762

Engines:
L79 327 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
L36 427 V8 390 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
L72 427 V8 425 bhp.

Performance:
427/425: 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14 seconds.


1967 Chevrolet Corvette




Comments: For 1967, the Corvette got additional engine cooling vents, and 427s got a different "power bulge" hood and more top horsepower. The new hood had a large, forward facing air scoop, usually with engine call-outs on both sides. The standard engine was a 327 V8 rated at 300 bhp. But for performance fans, there were four versions of the 427 available. The first version, the L36, cost just $200 more and featured a single four barrel carb, 10.25:1 compression and hydraulic lifters. It was rated at a stout 390 bhp. Next up was the L68 for $305 which featured triple two-barrel Holley carbs (a first for Corvette) and was good for 400 bhp. At the top was the L71 with triple two-barrel Holley carbs, solid lifters, special performance cams, and 11:1 compression which was conservatively rated at 435 bhp. Extremely rare (only 20 were built) was the top of the line L88 for $948 more. The L88 featured new aluminum heads, 12.5:1 compression, and a single Holley four barrel carb rated at 850 cfm that sat on an aluminum intake manifold with a special raised plenum chamber. In addition, you got a transistor ignition and Positraction differential but didn't get a fan shroud, heater, nor defroster. Chevrolet was reluctant about revealing the engine's true potential and officially rated at only 430 bhp, but most experts believed that it in fact developed close to 600 bhp! In all, 9,707 big-blocks were built, meaning that 42.31% of all 1967 Corvettes were 427s. Transmission choices were relatively simple. With the L36 and L68, buyers could choose between the wide-ratio ($184) or close-ratio ($184) four-speed manuals, or Powerglide automatic transmission ($194). The L71 came only with the close-ratio four-speed. Rear end gear ratios ranged from 3.08 to 4.11. Other options included side-mounted exhausts at $132, cast aluminum bolt-on wheels at $263 and detachable hardtop for the convertible for $232.

Production: 22,940
Coupe: 14,436
Convertible: 8,504

Engines:
L79 327 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
L36 427 V8 390 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.
L68 427 V8 400 bhp @ 5400 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
L71 427 V8 435 bhp @ 5800 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
L88 427 V8 430 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 460 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
N/A








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