2 You're 10
Aug 23, 2010
Southcentral Ontario
1967 BBC coupe
How special was 1963 in the long line of Corvette achievement? Well, pretty much every car-lover is aware of the split window coupe, but there's so much more....so much more. Let's review:

- only year for split window coupe
- first year ever for a coupe body
- first year for hidden headlights
- first year for Sting Ray name
- first year for independent rear suspension
- first year for the now famous Z-06 option *
- first year for the Grand Sport Corvette **

* A special performance option was designed for the new 1963 Sting Ray (coupe only) to offer the closest thing to a real race car that the public could buy. Known as the Z-06, the option included unique dual circuit power brakes which included much larger (and sintered) metallic linings, vented backing plates, larger finned brake drums, cooling fans in the drums, and self-adjusters that work "going forward" instead of when backing up like the standard drum brakes.


Suspension modifications included heavy-duty rear transverse spring (seven leaves rather than the stock nine leaves), heavy-duty front springs and specially calibrated shock absorbers all around. A 36-gallon (U.S.) fibreglass fuel tank took up most of the area behind the seats and was covered by a carpet that sat just under the driver's shoulder height. In the early days, aluminum knock-offs were required as part of the package but they were removed from the Z-06 option list in January of 1963.

The buyer was also required to order the 360hp fuel-injected 327, a four-speed and a positraction differential. The total price was nearly $7,000 in 1963. The package was cancelled after 1963 with only 199 Z06 cars built.


** Where to start with the 1963 Grand Sport? This was Duntov's outrageous attempt at pushing General Motors into the forefront of GT racing and he almost got away with it. He only managed to build five in the back shop, and somehow got them into the hands of real racers, but he had plans for many, many more.

For those who think of 1996 (at the end of the C4 run) as the beginning of the Grand Sport, take a detour here and be amazed - Corvette Grand Sport

For the rest of you, just run your eyeballs over these cars (some are kits), and imagine yourself behind the wheel.


Since we have permission from the boss to post from Corvette News, watch for the 5-page article that goes with this cover, right here, when the freezing rain starts. :D

Replica built by JohnZ...




Drivers: Dick Thompson and Dick Guldstrand


And if you think fender flares were an aftermarket invention for C2 Corvettes, you didn't look closely enough at the photos. ;)

Where would we be without Duntov? That's easy....we'd all be driving Toyota Corollas. :rofl:
interesting stuff, really heady days. did they use a 3.75" stroke to arrive at 377ci. ? it would have to have been a special grind seeing as that crank was still 7 years away from being a production item, no ? this would have to be the earliest example of that displacement in a 4" bore block.
interesting stuff, really heady days. did they use a 3.75" stroke to arrive at 377ci. ? it would have to have been a special grind seeing as that crank was still 7 years away from being a production item, no ? this would have to be the earliest example of that displacement in a 4" bore block.

Well aside from an amazing aluminum block (this was way back in 1963 after all), they used a 4" bore by 3.75" stroke to achieve 377 c.i. which, as you know, never made it to production.


When you see this coming up on your rear view mirror, slide right.

torque almost like a big block with that stroker.

And it was all-aluminum...in 1963. And the car ran 4-wheel disc brakes...in 1963. You know those early Cobras that we all ohhhhh and ahhhh over? The Grand Sports destroyed them.

Thank you, Zora.

One was offered at auction by RM in 2009. Bidding got to $4,900,000.00 Didn't meet the reserve.

So, by now, I trust many of you are thinking, "Yeah, 1963 really was something".

But, knowing there are some drag racing aficionados out there, let's examine Chevrolet and 1963 a little more closely. Everyone knows that Chevy had a vehicle for everyone; from the Corvair and Chevy II to the Corvette, and everything in between.

While Corvette looked after sportscar lovers, the big Chevy was chasing the new musclecar madness.

Hmmmm. What's that under the hood?

Sure looks like a 348, or maybe a 409, doesn't it? But wait! Someone by the name of Zora Arkus-Duntov roamed the back corridors and inner sanctums of Chevrolet engineering. No, not a 348. Not a 409. That would be too easy.

This, my friends, was the monster Z-11 of 1963....the brand new W-series, first ever Chevy 427 (a bored out 409). Zora brought it all to drag racing too, just not with the Corvette.

There are two 4-barrels under that cowl induction breather. The amazing story awaits here - Vintage and other photos of the dream car - the incredible 1963 Impala Z-11.

Now, if you think that Zora must have run out of ideas by this point, you don't know Zora...but you're starting to. ;)

They built a big block car for NASCAR too.....but it was an entirely different engine. And also in 1963. Damn!

More later.

ah yes, the mystery motor. good shots of a classic match up there too - z11 vs thunderbolt. those big chevy's always seemed to hook up quite well, better than the t-bolts. i remember an interview with phil bonner about the ford, he said if it wasn't hooking he'd just stand it up and put on a show. that z11 put out some big power considering those old W cyl. heads.
A different "Z" will appear this afternoon when I return from Newmarket.

Well, I'm back and here's the first part of the next "Z" story.

This is what a '63 Biscayne, with radio block-off plate, looks like on the inside. Wait'll you see what's under the hood.

More in a few minutes. I've got a couple of very important messages to deal with that just can't wait. ;)
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