According to the build sheet, Starling did indeed have his big-block "air" car, but he had also found a car that had come off the old St. Louis assembly line with a host of other options. Almost all '67s came with an AM/FM radio (97 percent) and a Positraction rear (89 percent, and geared at 3.36:1 in this case). About half came with tinted glass (49 percent) and the M21 close-ratio four-speed (48 percent). A quarter of the '67 production run came with transistorized ignition and power steering (25 percent each). Twenty-one percent came with power brakes. Starling's '67 has all of them, and we're just getting started. Side exhausts (18 percent), electric windows (17 percent), and the object of the quest, air conditioning (also 17 percent) were also included, and all plentiful compared to the rest of the options this mid-year sports.
A speed warning indicator only made it into 9 percent, as did one of the most striking features in this ride (if you look under the hood): RPO L68, the 427/400hp Tri-power big-block. The rest of the options, though rare, are very noticeable. The Teal Blue interior sports headrests, standard today but then found on only 8 percent of Corvettes. The same goes for the shoulder harnesses, which only made it into 6 percent of Corvettes. Topping it all off is a color that only 1,096 '67 Corvettes sported: Elkhart Blue, complemented with even rarer bolt-on aluminum wheels.
Ray Starling was an active participant in the restoration, visiting the Corvette Center everyday, if not twice a day, and certainly feels that the total is more than the sum of its parts. He's got his air-conditioned big-block to be sure, and an impressive array of rare options. He's got a prize winner (as in awards at last year's Denver Super Chevy Show and this year's Vettes on the Rockies), and a mid-year that others find desirable (Starling recently turned down a high five-figure offer). His Vette is correct, and although the NCRS "dings" him for the dressed-up engine and powdercoated frame, even they are impressed. Starling likes to talk about two judges who looked at this black and chrome engine and said, "Oh my God," then walked away saying "what a beautiful car."
And it's ok with Ray Starling that his mid-year doesn't pass this particular test. Since he'll never sell it, total correctness isn't an issue. There's no guilt about hitting the road in the old Sting Ray, which the Starlings do for in-state events. He's got the car he's always wanted, upgraded with the options he's long desired. And he even sums it up better than we can: "I like my car...can you tell?" So do we, Ray, so do we.