Facts & History
The C2 (1963-1967)
The 1963 Corvette was a stunning car. A coupe was available for the first time. A centered ridge divided the rear glass window thus creating a “split window” which was unique to this year. Design chief Bill Mitchell faced opposition regarding the center spine but insisted on the split window. Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov had built a new chassis. He shortened the wheelbase and designed a new independent rear suspension. The 1963 Corvette was impressive visually and mechanically. Also, it was the first car since the 1942 DeSoto to feature hidden headlights.
The 327ci engine carried over from 1962. Most of the 1963 Corvettes had a four-speed manual transmission, and the base engine had 250hp. The fuel injected Corvette was rated at 360hp and went from 0 to 60mph in 5.8 seconds. For the first time, total sales topped 20,000 in a year with 10,594 coupes and 10,919 convertibles sold. In 1964 the split window in the coupes was eliminated, making the rear glass one piece. The fuel injected 327ci engine had a rating of 375hp.
In 1965 four-wheel disc brakes became standard, and a big-block (396ci) engine option was introduced. The "L78" 396ci engine generated a massive 425hp, and with the arrival of the big-block, this was the last year for the fuel-injected 327ci engine. The 396ci engine was produced for one year and then replaced by the 427ci big-block engine in 1966. The 327ci engine was standard, or buyers could purchase the 427ci engine rated at either 390 or 425hp.
In 1967 the engine options included an “L68” 427ci engine rated at 400hp and the “L71” 427ci engine rated at 435hp featuring three two-barrel carburetors (“tri-power”). The 1967 Corvette was the last of the “mid-years” which started in 1963. GM was preparing for a controversial new design which debuted in 1968.