Part 2 of Scott Teeters’ excellent Corvette history series dives deep into Zora Arkus-Duntov’s finest moments, starting with the iconic split-window Sting Ray.
When the ‘63 Sting Ray made its public debut in September 1962, it was a total, “WOW!” And it wasn’t just the Corvette’s stunning new looks; it was the all-new CORVETTE: CHASSIS THAT ZORA BUILT. By late 1959, Zora Arkus-Duntov, http://www.corvettereport.com/founding-fathers-pt-4-corvette-godfather-zora-arkus-duntov/ was in charge of Corvette engineering. When Bill Mitchell’s design team started work on project XP-720 (the all-new Sting Ray), Duntov was called in to set the parameters for an all-new chassis. The completed Sting Ray looked like the sportscar from another planet and the chassis had everything except four-wheel disc brakes. Today the running chassis looks like a buggy compared to the stout aluminum, steel, and magnesium chassis’ of the C5, C6, C7 and C8 Corvettes. But in 1963, the top-performing L84 Fuelie engine only had 360 “gross” horsepower and 352 pound-feet of torque, putting power-to-the-ground with 6.70×15 bias-ply tires. That’s not much twisting on the chassis, so the chassis was more than adequate.