In 1962, the Corvette underwent some subtle and not-so-subtle changes. The tried-and-true 283 was replaced by the new-and-improved 327 with an available entry-level horsepower range of 250 to 360. The styling still resembled that of the '61 model, except the cove edges on the sides were formed by the fiberglass lip, and were not accented by bright trim like the previous year. Consequently, the Corvette could not be ordered with painted coves.
When this '62 convertible was ordered new, it was outfitted with the standard features that filled most orders in 1962. However, RPO 276 sets this one aside: It gave the owner a set of wheels half an inch wider than stock that were outfitted with small hubcaps from a '60 passenger car. This upsizing was because of the larger brakes used under the RPO.
The current owner, Mark Stitzer of Greenwich, Connecticut, bought the car because he liked it, not because only 561 of them were ordered with RPO 276. This restored Ermine White gem, complete with the original-style Firestone Deluxe Champion tires and a beautifully detailed 300hp 327, is a testament to the end result of a proper restoration.
Mark also owns an equally gorgeous, Ermine White '63 split-window coupe. The '63's claim to fame is its factory-installed GM A/C. Air conditioning, or RPO C60, was ordered only on 278 cars during the production year. Just like the '62, the '63 sports the venerable 300hp 327 in front of the four-speed. The AM/FM radio lets you know this car is a late-production model, because early production cars were available with only an AM radio. With only 42,629 miles showing on the odometer, it's easy to see how this car was preserved so well.
Owning one Corvette is cool, and owning two is unbelievably cool, but if you put a third in your stable, the cool factor would be incomprehensible. For Mark, when the right one came along, he had to take advantage of the opportunity. The third ace in his collection is a '65 coupe Survivor. It has only 42,725 miles on the odometer, and one has to wonder where it's been hiding all these years. A Survivor car has never been restored; the paint may be a little faded or the interior worn, but overall it retains all of its original components.
The sound this Corvette emits through its factory original exhaust is like listening to your favorite CD with earphones. With a factory rating of 425 horses, the 396 solid-lifter engine exudes performance. Along with RPO L78, this rolling history lesson boasts other options such as RPO N32 (teakwood steering wheel), RPO F40 (special suspension, of which only 975 were shipped), and a Posi-traction rear with 4.11 gears. The factory window sticker lists the color as Medium Blue, and the cast wheels are wrapped in original pre-recall Firestone Super Sports with gold sidewalls.
With these three Corvettes, Mark has amassed a collection anyone would want to own. But don't worry-they're not for sale. After all, you gotta know when to hold 'em.
Fast Facts'62 Corvette SpecificationsTotal Production: 14,531
Fast Facts'63 Corvette SpecificationsTotal Production: 21,513 (10,594 coupes, 10,919 convertibles)
Fast Facts'65 Corvette SpecificationsTotal Production: 23,562 (8,186 coupes, 15,376 convertibles)