Throughout its 60 year history, the Chevrolet Corvette has produced a lot of ultimates. I think it’s safe to say the current ZR1 is the ultimate Corvette performance car. The 1958 C1 probably takes the cake when it comes to ultimate Corvette style. And the C4 ZR-1 was probably the ultimate example of Corvette refinement. But ask any cross-flag fan to name the ultimate combination of raw muscle and visual sizzle, and 9 out of 10 of them will probably say the 1967 Sting Ray. At what other point in this car’s storied history could you get a lightweight fiberglass body which featured a design that was unencumbered by safety legislation, an all-American big block V8 that was free of any emissions equipment, and a purpose-built jet inspired cockpit which focused on driving above all else? This awesome 1967 Sting Ray roadster is an NCRS Top Flight award winner that wraps a numbers matching Tri-Power 427 and a Richmond Super T10 4-speed transmission in one of the best color combinations in Corvette history.
Before we go any further, I’ll provide some background on this top notch Vette by decoding both its VIN and trim tag.
* 1: Chevrolet
* 9: Corvette
* 4: V8
* 67: Convertible
* 7: 1967 model year
* S: Assembled at GM’s St. Louis, Missouri manufacturing facility
* 117503: Production sequence number
* J01: Assembled on May 1st of 1967
* 67: 1967 model year
* 467: Convertible
* 420: Saddle vinyl interior
* BA: Base unit ECL code
* S: Assembled at GM’s St. Louis, Missouri manufacturing facility
* 5690: Production sequence number
* 983AA: Goodwood Green Metallic exterior paint
Unlike other sports cars, which shall remain nameless, all Corvettes are NOT red. And that’s a very good thing because if they were, we’d be missing out on stunning colors like this slick Sting Ray roadster’s correct GM code 983 Goodwood Green Metallic. That metallic hue is especially vibrant and glossy thanks to a first rate basecoat/clearcoat paint job which is light years ahead of the flat finish enamel that originally adorned the car. And naturally under paint this nice, panel alignment is precise, there are no bonding seams visible from any angle; and a close look at the body indicates someone invested a lot of time and money ensuring all of its surfaces create one smooth canvas which casts virtually perfect reflections. Further examination of the details reveals headlight doors which fit well, lines that are crisp, and razor-sharp creases which are perfectly complemented by aggressive ‘shark fin’ fenders that haven’t been abused by an overzealous sander. And the overall result is one top notch C2 which looks much better than the day it rolled out of a Chevrolet showroom, and presents an award winning appearance perfectly worthy of its exceptional design, world beating performance and an NCRS Top Flight certification.
Thanks to a renewed dedication to motorsports and a heavy influence from the original Mako Shark concept car, the second generation Corvette benefits from a much more sporty and striking presence than its predecessor. Up front, a body-width stainless grille sits inside of show worthy stainless trim which is bordered by two chrome trimmed parking lights and a mirror-like chrome bumper. Above that bumper, a red, white and black Corvette C2 cross flag emblem rides in front of a 1967-exclusive stinger hood which has been detailed with chrome trim, a bright white stripe and black inlayed “427” emblems. Behind that hood, stainless windshield wipers clear like-new glass which is framed by well-maintained stainless trim, a pristine chrome driver’s mirror and either a white soft top or Goodwood Green Metallic hard top. At the sides of the car, 1967-exclusive heat extractors ride in front of correct chrome door handles and polished stainless side pipes which are equipped with traditional finned heat shields. And at the back of the car, a chrome trimmed Corvette fuel filler sits above a fresh black and chrome “Corvette Sting Ray” emblem, two centered reverse lamps, four traditional Corvette tail lights and two pristine razor blade style bumpers.
Tip this Corvette’s metallic hood forward and you’ll find a fully detailed 427 cubic inch Tri-Power V8 which is branded with a 1967-exclusive 3904351 casting number and stamped with both a correct 117503 partial VIN and a “JE” special high performance, manual transmission suffix code. Introduced as the ultimate option for street prowling Stingrays, Chevrolet’s Tri-Power L71 utilizes a high performance camshaft and large port heads to turn a stout 11 to 1 compression ratio into 435 horsepower. At the top of the engine, a correctly decaled chrome air filter sends air into three Holley 2-barrel carburetors which ride on top of an aluminum Winter intake. At the back of the engine, a chrome capped points distributor sends spark from an MSD coil to AC Delco Packard Delcore II suppression wires which snake around correct exhaust manifolds; and at the front of the engine, a correctly shrouded radiator sends coolant through new hoses and correct tower clamps. Whoever performed the restoration on this Corvette did an excellent job of creating an award winning, reliable engine bay which is every bit as detailed as the rest of the car. Bright Chevy Orange paint covers the block from its oil pan to its valve covers and, as always, looks great against a fully finished hood and satin black inner fenders. Correct decals and tags are present and accounted for; and niceties such as a fresh alternator, a correct Delco Remy ignition module, a reproduction Delco Energizer battery and a rebuilt Delco master cylinder ensure that this ‘all GM’ Corvette runs just as good as it looks.
Flip this big block Vette upside down and you’ll find a rugged Richmond Super T10 4-speed manual transmission which delivers the neck snapping launches and potent acceleration Corvettes are famous for. At the ends of the car, a fully restored double A-arm front and independent rear suspension is completely detailed from its correct front sway bar down to its five leaf transverse rear spring and factory paint markings. And at the corners of the car, standard equipment manual disc brakes combine with a manual steering rack to provide both weighted turns and quick stops. Above that rebuilt suspension, pristine fiberglass floor tubs, which look factory fresh in every way, are bolted to a straight and clean satin black frame. And below that suspension, power flows to the ground through classic 15 inch rally wheels which spin a fresh set of 7.75x15 BF Goodrich Silvertown redlines around dent-free trim rings and mirror-like center caps. Everything from this Corvettes fuel tank and new stainless lines to its Chevrolet Orange bell housing and correctly chambered side pipes is fully sorted and ready to hit the show field.
Swing open the car’s lightweight fiberglass doors and you’ll find a spectacular GM code 420 Saddle vinyl interior which is stylish enough to adorn most of the OEM offerings at this year’s New York International Auto Show. The foam underneath the seat covers has seen just enough low speed boulevard passes to both keep its composure and feel comfortable; and the like-new carpet, which is protected by clear rubber floor mats, still features a bright, fade-free sheen. At the front of the car, stylish aircraft-inspired gauges, which appear to be rebuilt originals, look fantastic next to the brushed metal panels on the glove box and center console. And at the sides of the car, great looking stainless trimmed door panels hold chrome handles for the doors and windows above perfectly placed armrests. Between the seats, the dash flows into what is commonly called a waterfall design which begins at a continuous motion clock and cascades through a correct AM/FM radio to the base of a fully functional chrome shifter. In front of the driver, a nicely restored Corvette Rally wheel props glowing satin finished spokes and a slick wood rim around a pristine C2 Corvette cross flag horn button. And behind the seats, a fully carpeted storage compartment shows no signs of use at all.
The sale of this stunning C2 includes documentation for its NCRS Top Flight award.
L71 Corvettes are about as collectible as 60s muscle can get. They’re spectacular cars to drive, and despite their relatively plentiful supply and high survival rate, they remain top-notch performers that continue to show market increases year after year. When you show up at an event with a legendary 427/435, you are well and truly the man; and when the time comes to make a little profit, there will always be more buyers than sellers. If you’ve been looking for a solid C2 Corvette that you can show with pride or keep for a while and make a nice return on, your search is over!