The best way to describe the ’64 Sting Ray: a sports car with a dual personality. Last year’s classic was dubbed a designer’s coup for the way its fused Corvette performance with penthouse luxury. And Corvette for ’64 outdoes its predecessor with dual personality plus. Both Sport Coupe and Convertible feature better-than-ever ride qualities, higher horsepower ratings for the two top engines, refined styling and interior comfort. Here’s some insight into the side of Sting Ray’s doubly pleasing makeup. Sting Ray’s ride improved on multiple fronts, including advanced engineering features such as 4-wheel independent suspension, short-wheelbase chassis and rearward weight bias. Front and rear, new variable-rate springs size up bumps as they take them on. This means they flex softly for wee bumps and offer more resistance to big ones. In addition, all shock absorbers have been re-calibrated, and noise has been cut to a minimum by a host of innovations designed to reduce and isolate vibration. The end result is a firm but smooth, quieter ride for plying across town, plus improved open-road handling and performance characteristics.
But a sports car can be aesthetically pleasing, too. As a look at the refined countenance of the ’64 Stingray Sport Coupe will prove. It’s enough to puff up the pride of the most design-conscious enthusiast. A subtle belt-line crest remains unchanged, sweeps three-sixty around the aerodynamic design. The gentle contour of the body is underlined by tasteful new rocker moldings. New, too is the one-piece rear window with its slimline molding. Up front, power-operated retractable headlamps blend smoothly into the sculptured hood. The hood is newly styled with clean, uncluttered surfaces. Sting Ray Sport Coupe’s uniquely designed doors still extend well beyond the roof line for easy in and outs.
Maybe you have a yen for open-air going (and who doesn’t?). Then shift your attention to the sweet lines of the new Sting Ray Convertible. Fore and aft, note the trim wraparound bumpers and full-length windsplits on the hood and rear deck. Observe, also, the subdued aluminum grille, distinctive new wheel covers with simulated knock-off hubs and the refreshing absence of needless chrome and other useless doodads. Next, add your finishing touch by selecting a neat soft top or removable hardtop. A tough choice- but no one will hit the roof if you order both, the hardtop at modest extra cost. Top down for taking sun or top up for taking weather, the ’64 Sting Ray Convertible promises great times, sparkling performance. And with things like Ball-Race steering and a power team from a quartet of restless V8’s and versatile transmissions, a Corvette delivers what it promises.
HERE’S THE WAY STING RAY GETS ITS NEW GO… CASUALLY CONQUERS THE CORNERS AND TURNS
This is the tech side of the ’64 Corvette, truly a tiger to be tamed. All four versions of the Corvette’s celebrated V8 engine have a 327-cubic-inch displacement, 4″ bore and 2.35″ stroke. The 250-hp standard engine features a single 4- barrel carb, 10.5:1 compression ratio, hydraulic valve lifters and a dual exhaust system. The 300-hp power plant adds a large 4-barrel carburetor and larger intake valves. Both the new 365-hp V8 and 375-hp Fuel Injection V8 have a special camshaft, new cylinder heads with extra-large valves, domed aluminum pistons, an 11:25.1 compression ratio, a high-speed valve system with special valves, mechanical valve lifters, ribbed aluminum rocker covers and a 5-quart oil capacity (4-quart capacity on the 250- and 300-hp engines).
The standard transmission is 3-Speed Synchro-Mesh. Ratios: 2.58:1 first; 1.48:1 second; 1:1 third; and 2.58:1 reverse. For a variety of engine and rear axle combinations, 4-Speed Synchro-Mesh is the answer. Ratios with 250- and 300-hp V8’s: 2.56:1 first; 1.91:1 second; 1.48:1 third; 1:1 fourth; and 2.64:1 reverse. Closer ratios with the 365-hp and 375-hp engines: 2.20:1 first; 1.64:1 second; 1.28:1 third; 1:1 fourth; and 2.27:1 reverse. With both 3- and 4- Speed Synchro-Mesh, there’s a 10″ semi-centrifugal diaphragm spring clutch with a lighter aluminum 360- degree clutch housing. And the floor-mounted shift for 4-Speed transmissions has a mechanism on the shift lever to prevent unintentional reverse engagement. The automatic Power-glide transmission, available with two engines, offers truly effortless driving. And you can select the Positraction axle ratio best suited to your choice of power teams.
Corvette Sting Ray for ’64 features an improved ride-smooth but firm. It adds up to softer and quieter driving on normal in-town roads and flatter cornering for true sports car performance. Here’s a rundown on the innovations that make the new ride possible, plus a description of Corvette’s chassis and suspension.
New variable-rate front coil springs and variable-rate rear spring. Amount of deflection decreases in proportion to the severity of the road shock encountered. Re-calibrated front and rear shock absorbers. New rubber jounce bumpers, front and rear, provide nearly vertical wheel movement. One new multi-leaf transverse spring with varied leaf camber is bolted to the differential carrier and extends from rear wheel to rear wheel. It takes only vertical suspension loads. Braking, acceleration and lateral forces are transmitted by the radius arms, axles and control rods to the differential and the frame. The differential assembly is attached to the frame by a rubber cushioned bolted-in cross-member. Small movements of the differential are taken up by universal joints on the one-piece propeller shaft. For increased torsional rigidity and beam strength, the Convertible has a steel framework virtually surrounding the passenger compartment, while the Sport Coupe has overhead steel roof members as well.
You can add to tire and handling stability with Corvette’s optional wide-rim aluminum wheels. Vented-fin design for cooling; knock off hubs for easy wheel and tire changing.
MORE ON THE STING RAY FOR ’64
Engines- All engines have independent mechanism for each valve; temperature-controlled fan; precision-machined forged steel crankshaft; premium aluminum main bearings ; full-pressure lubrication system; full flow oil filter; automatic choke; and a 12-volt electrical system. Oil-wetted polyurethane air cleaner element. All-aluminum cross-flow radiator. Positive closed-type crankcase ventilation.
Chassis- Direct double-acting freon-bag shock absorbers. Balanced steering linkage with 19.6:1 overall ratio can be reset to 17:1 (standard with power steering). Hydraulic 11-inch brakes with fade-resistant bonded linings. Hand-operated parking brake. Black 6.70 x 15″ tires standard. Optional 6.70 x 15″ nylon blackwalls or rayon whitewalls.
Exterior Features- Fiber glass reinforced plastic body with Magic-Mirror acrylic lacquer finish in seven solid colors. Convertible tops are available in white, black, or beige. Doors have push-button handles and key locks.
Additional Optional Equipment- Back-up lights, sintered-metallic brake linings. Cast aluminum wheels with 6″ rims and knock-off hubs. 36.5-gallon fuel tank (Sport Coupe only). Off-road exhaust system. Full-transistor ignition system (available only on 365- and 375-hp engines). Special performance equipment grouping (with 375-hp engine, 4-Speed transmission and Positraction) offers: special power brakes with finned drums, built in cooling fans, front brake air scoops, special sintered-metallic linings, and forward-driving self-adjusting feature; dual-circuit brake master cylinder; heavy-duty stabilizer bar; heavy-duty front and rear springs and shock absorbers.
Dimensions- Wheelbase, 98″. Overall length, 175.3″ Overall height: Convertible with soft top up, 49.8″; Convertible with hardtop, 49.3″; Sport Coupe, 49.8″. Cowl height to ground, 34.9″. Door opening height to ground: Convertible, 45.6″; Sport Coupe, 46.8″. Road clearance, 5.0″. Overall width, 69.6″. Tread: front, 56.8″; rear 57.6″.