The Internet, back when it used to be the information highway and not the advertising detour it is today, used to be a great source for researching car features. We got a fresh reminder of how much the Internet has deteriorated while trying to learn everything we could about this ’67 Corvette Sting Ray coupe owned by James Dipersia.
The good news was when James bought his ’67 Corvette around 12 years ago it came with an extensive paper trail (provenance) including the Protect-O-Plate, order copy and original window sticker. The original owner was Steven D. Szany and the selling dealer was McClintock Chevrolet in Chardon, Ohio, but from this point Internet records couldn’t be found.
The McClintock cardboard dealer’s plate included with the ’67’s provenance claimed, “Since 1940,” but that isn’t exactly true. Research revealed McCahan Chevrolet became Frank Chevrolet in 1958, followed by McClintock in 1965, and then the trail disappeared.
Every automotive journalist has his or her own unique process when it comes to writing a car feature. After an exhaustive Internet search about the car, the next step was to find out about James Dipersia before calling him. James wrote on Vette’s tech questionnaire that he was a retired furniture designer, and that proved to be an understatement. James was at the top of his game when he retired.
A brief biography. James is a past President of the American Society of Furniture Designers, founder of Disegno by James Dipersia high-end contemporary furniture located at the New York Design Center, and the recipient of many design achievement awards. Among the most renown of furniture designers in the world, James Dipersia designed for high-end furniture companies and celebrities alike. We thought it was neat that Danny DeVito was on his client list.
The flaw in studying a person’s biography before speaking with them is it can be intimidating. A humble description of his 30-year design career and then James spoke about the first time how as a kid he saw a brand-new split-window Corvette and it made his knees buckle. This was the instant when young James decided he’d get a Corvette Sting Ray someday.
James’ father handcrafted fine cabinetry and after learning the trade James went on to an advanced formal education in furniture design. It was 1980 when James bought his first Corvette, and he went on to own several more Sting Rays before he located the ’67 seen here. It took a lot of searching, and feeling inside the nose, and everywhere else a Sting Ray can have hidden body damage before he found this car. They were all butchered in one way or another.
The second owner painted it bright red with a black stinger, but everything else about the ’67 was true to its window sticker. James found a painter working at a Kearny, New Jersey, Porsche dealer that as a side job stripped the crimson color down to the gelcoat and refinished it back to its 1 of 1,381 code 2977AA Lynndale Blue. It’s likely the Porsche painter two-staged it in Glasurit brand urethane.
Another prerequisite; James wanted the base model 390hp 427 because of its mild-mannered nature, yet with a lot of grunt. The last entry on the ’67’s window sticker printed with 13 options is a 2L36AA 390 HP V8 Turbojet for $200.15. In addition to being 1 of 3,754 ’67 Corvettes equipped with the L36 big-block engine this car is 1 of 5,759 with 2K66DA (K66) transistor ignition at $73.75 and 1 of 4,209 with 2N14AB (N14) side dual exhaust for $132.65.
Whether it was Steven Szany, the original owner, or a sales manager at McClintock Chevrolet, someone checked all of the right boxes while ordering. To go compatibly with the 390hp L36 427 they selected a 2M21AA (M21) Muncie close-ratio four-speed transmission for $184.35 and a 3.70-geared 2G81NA (G81) positract axle 370R for $42.15. At 20,308 units, almost every ’67 Corvette produced came optioned with G81 Positraction, and combining wide-ratio and close-ratio Muncie four-speed transmission numbers together the total was 20,172.
James’ ’67 is 1 of 1,601 interiors trimmed with 2402AA black leather at $79.00 and was 1 of 1,762 fitted with 2A82AA headrests for an additional $42.15. Not the correct terminology for the age, but the sound system is 1 of 22,193 U69 AM/FM radios installed for $172.75. Other interior options include $57.95 A31 power windows with 4,036 produced, and 11,331 ’67 Corvettes were manufactured with A01 Soft Ray tinted glass in all windows for $15.80.
One might notice all of the options mentioned so far are not particularly rare. That’s because grouped together they were a popular choice to create a totally compatible sports car. The rarest and most expensive option on James’ ’67 Sting Ray is the 1 of 720 N89 cast-aluminum bolt-on wheels for $263.30. The Q81 775x15 four-ply red stripe tires found on 4,230 ’67 Corvettes cost an additional $46.65. Just one more option for $198.05 and this ’67 coupe could have been the rarest of the rare with a one-of-two made N03 36-gallon fuel tank, but someone didn’t check the box. Vette
Photos by Bill Erdman