Another of the popular corrals at the 2016 Bloomington Gold event held at Indianapolis Raceway Park the home of the famed Indy track is the C2 and C3 Corvettes, which takes in the years 1963 through 1982. From the use of the name “Sting Ray” as two words to “Stingray” as one word there was a lot more in the offering and it revolved around the heyday to the lowest of days of performance.
The 1963 Corvette meant so many things to so many performance fans as well as the general motoring public and, of course, the automotive press. The split-window coupe was an amazing leap for Corvette styling but with the advent of the Z06 brake package (debuted at Riverside Raceway in October of ’62 and the rivalry with the Shelby Cobra began in earnest) it meant the Corvette had moved in the direction of improved braking to go along with the horsepower gains visible from the 375hp Ram Jet fuelie Sting Ray. From here came disc brakes, mid-year change in 1965 to the 396 big-bock packing 375hp, to the monster 427 and then the 454 with both a single four-barrel and Tri-Power these were monsters of their era. But then things began to change and by the early ‘70s the Corvette lost the potent big-block (1965 to 1974). From the mid-1970s until 1982 the small-block came back but it was an anemic powerplant…resulting from corporate edicts and emission standards that were coming into full force. By 1982 the Corvette had no optional engines and the one 350 cube produced a disappointing 200hp. It was time for one era to come to an end and another to begin. The last C3 was produced on July 31, 1981, a beige coupe.
Sit back and take a look at arguably the glory and the lost performance years from 1963 to 1982 that saw everything from small-blocks to big blocks and back, mechanical fuel injection to twin throttle bodies and the iconic of all Corvettes the Grand Sport race car.