Chevrolet Corvette (C2) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

14 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Chevrolet Corvette (C2) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette

(C2)

327#160;cu#160;in (5.4#160;L) Small-Block V8 (1963–1965)

327#160;cu#160;in (5.4#160;L) L75 Small-Block V8

327#160;cu#160;in (5.4#160;L) L76 Small-Block V8 (1963–1965)

327#160;cu#160;in (5.4#160;L) L79 Small-Block V8 (1965-1967)

327#160;cu#160;in (5.4#160;L) L84 Small-Block FI V8 (1963–1965)

Origin and development [ edit ]

The 1959 Corvette Stingray concept and 1960 XP-700 show car in the front and the 1963 Corvette convertible and fastback in the back.

The 1963 Sting Ray production car’s lineage can be traced to two separate GM projects: the Q-Corvette, ­and perhaps more directly, Mitchell’s racing Stingray. The Q-Corvette, initiated in 1957, envisioned a smaller, more advanced Corvette as a coupe-only model, boasting a rear transaxle. independent rear suspension. and four-wheel disc brakes. with the rear brakes mounted inboard. Exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, a long nose, and a short, bobbed tail.

Meanwhile, Zora Arkus-Duntov and other GM engineers had become fascinated with mid and rear-engine designs. It was during the Corvair’s development that Duntov took the mid/rear-engine layout to its limits in the CERV I concept. The Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicle was a lightweight, open-wheel single-seat racer.

A rear-engined Corvette was briefly considered during 1958-60, progressing as far as a full-scale mock-up designed around the Corvair’s entire rear-mounted power package, including its complicated air-cooled flat-six as an alternative to the Corvette’s usual water-cooled V-8. By the fall of 1959, elements of the Q-Corvette and the Stingray Special racer would be incorporated into experimental project XP-720, which was the design program that led directly to the production 1963 Corvette Sting Ray. The XP-720 sought to deliver improved passenger accommodation, more luggage space, and superior ride and handling over previous Corvettes.

While Duntov was developing an innovative new chassis for the 1963 Corvette, designers were adapting and refining the basic look of the racing Stingray for the production model. A fully functional space buck (a wooden mock-up created to work out interior dimensions) was completed by early 1960, production coupe styling was locked up for the most part by April, and the interior, instrument panel included was in place by November.

Only in the fall of 1960 did the designers turn their creative attention to a new version of the traditional Corvette convertible and, still later, its detachable hardtop. For the first time in the Corvette’s history, wind tunnel testing helped refine the final shape, as did practical matters like interior space, windshield curvatures, and tooling limitations. Both body styles were extensively evaluated as production-ready 3/8-scale models at the Cal Tech wind tunnel.

The vehicle’s inner structure received as much attention as the aerodynamics of its exterior. Fiberglass outer panels were retained, but the Sting Ray emerged with nearly twice as much steel support in its central structure as the 1958-62 Corvette. The resulting extra weight was balanced by a reduction in fiberglass thickness, so the finished product actually weighed a bit less than the old roadster. Passenger room was as good as before despite the tighter wheelbase. and the reinforcing steel girder made the cockpit both stronger and safer. [ 5 ]

Design and engineering [ edit ]

Chevrolet Corvette

1963 Corvette Sting Ray Convertible Coupe

The independent rear suspension Duntov created for Sting Ray was essentially a frame-mounted differential with U-jointed half-shafts tied together by a transverse leaf spring – a design derived from the CERV I concept. Rubber-cushioned struts carried the differential, which reduced ride harshness while improving tire adhesion, especially on rougher roads. The transverse spring was bolted to the rear of the differential case.

A control arm extended laterally and slightly forward from each side of the case to a hub carrier, with a trailing radius rod mounted behind it. The half-shafts functioned like upper control arms. The lower arms controlled vertical wheel motion, while the trailing rods took care of fore/aft wheel motion and transferred braking torque to the frame.

Shock absorbers were conventional twin-tube units. Considerably lighter than the old solid axle. the new rear suspension array delivered a significant reduction in unsprung weight. which was important since the 1963 model would retain the previous generation’s outboard rear brakes. The new model’s front suspension would be much as before, with unequal-length upper and lower A-arms on coil springs concentric with the shocks, plus a standard anti-roll bar.

Steering remained the conventional recirculating-ball steering design, but it was geared at a higher 19.6:1 overall ratio (previously 21.0:1). Bolted to the frame rail at one end and to the relay rod at the other was a new hydraulic steering damper (essentially a shock absorber), which helped soak up bumps before they reached the steering wheel. What’s more, hydraulically assisted steering would be offered as optional equipment for the first time on a Corvette – except on cars with the two most powerful engines -and offer a faster 17.1:1 ratio, which reduced lock-to-lock turns from 3.4 to just 2.9.

Drivetrains were carried over from the previous generation, comprising four small block 327 V8s, three transmissions, and six axle ratios. Carbureted engines came in 250, 300, and 340-horsepower versions. As before, the base and optional units employed hydraulic lifters, a mild camshaft. forged-steel crankshaft. 10.5:1 compression, single-point distributor. and dual exhausts.

The 300-bhp engine produced its extra power via a larger four-barrel carburetor (Carter AFB instead of the 250’s Carter WCFB), plus larger intake valves and exhaust manifold. Again topping the performance chart was a 360-bhp fuel-injected V8. available for an extra $430.40.

The car’s standard transmission remained the familiar three-speed manual, though the preferred gearbox continued to be the Borg-Warner manual four-speed, delivered with wide-ratio gears when teamed with the base and 300-bhp engines, and close-ratio gearing with the top two powerplants. Standard axle ratio for the three-speed manual or Powerglide automatic was 3.36:1. The four-speed gearbox came with a 3.70:1 final drive, but 3.08:1, 3.55:1, 4.11:1, and 4.56:1 gearsets were available. The last was quite rare in production, however. [ 5 ]

Corvette’s designers and engineers – Ed Cole. Zora Arkus-Duntov, Bill Mitchell, and others knew that after 10 years in its basic form, albeit much improved, it was time to move on. By decade’s end, the machinery would be put into motion to fashion a fitting successor to debut for the 1963 model year.

After years of tinkering with the basic package, Bill Mitchell and his crew would finally break the mold of Harley Earl ‘s original design once and for all. He would dub the Corvette’s second generation Sting Ray after the earlier race car of the same name (but now spelled out in separate words).

The C2 was designed by Larry Shinoda under the direction of GM chief stylist Bill Mitchell. Inspiration was drawn from several sources: the contemporary Jaguar E-Type. one of which Mitchell owned and enjoyed driving frequently; the radical Stingray Racer Mitchell designed in 1959 as Chevrolet no longer participated in factory racing; and a Mako shark Mitchell caught while deep-sea fishing. Zora Arkus-Duntov (father of the Corvette) disliked the split rear window (which also raised safety concerns due to reduced visibility) [ 6 ] and it was discontinued in 1964, as were the fake hood vents.

Model year changes [ edit ]

The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray not only had a new design, but also newfound handling prowess. The Sting Ray was also a somewhat lighter Corvette, so acceleration improved despite unchanged horsepower. 21,513 units would be built for the 1963 model year, which was up 50 percent from the record-setting 1962 version.

Production was divided almost evenly between the convertible and the new coupe – 10,919 and 10,594, respectively – and more than half the convertibles were ordered with the optional lift-off hardtop. Nevertheless, the coupe wouldn’t sell as well again throughout the Sting Ray years.

In fact, not until 1969 (by which time the coupe came with removable T-tops) did the closed Corvette sell better than the open one. [ 7 ] Equipment installations for 1963 began reflecting the market’s demand for more civility in sporting cars. – the power brake option went into 15 percent of production, power steering into 12 percent. On the other hand, only 278 buyers specified the $421.80 air conditioning; leather upholstery – a mere $80.70 – was ordered on only about 400 cars.

The beautiful cast aluminum knock-off wheels, manufactured for Chevy by Kelsey-Hayes, cost $322.80 a set, but few buyers checked off that option. However, almost 18,000 Sting Rays left St. Louis with the four-speed manual gearbox – better than four out of every five. [ 8 ]

All 1963 cars had 327cid engines, which made 250#160;hp (186#160;kW) standard, with optional variants that made 300#160;hp (224#160;kW), 340#160;hp (254#160;kW) and 360#160;hp (268#160;kW). The most powerful engine was the Rochester fuel injected 327cid V8, which made 360#160;hp (272#160;kW). Options available on the C2 included AM-FM radio (mid 1963), air conditioning and leather upholstery. New for the 1963 model year was an optional electronic ignition. the breakerless magnetic pulse-triggered Delcotronic, first offered by Pontiac on some 1963 models. [ 9 ]

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