Then and Now, the 1967 Corvette Stingray Meets a 2015 Corvette Stingray
Our story begins in 1959 when General Motors unveiled the Corvette Stingray concept, taken largely from the first-generation Q-Corvette of 1957 and Mitchell's racing Sting Ray of that same year. When the 1963 Corvette Stingray was introduced, it was a wholly new idea for the Corvette line and became the most iconic build for the car and its most popular collector's version. From 1963 to 1967, the Stingray held this body style and design before the third-generation of the car was introduced for the 1968 model year.
Most collectors consider the 1967 model year to be the best of the bunch in the second-generation. It's set apart by the smaller front fender vents ("gills"), which number five instead of the larger three of before. Flat rockers lowered the stance and six-inch Rally wheels became the norm while lug nuts were concealed behind chrome caps only used for that year. Another mark of the 1967 Stingray are dual tail lamps versus the previous singles.
Several engine options were available in 1967. A Small Block 327 V8, a 427 Big Block V8, and for 1967 only, a 427 Big Block Tri-Power V8. These produced from 300 to 435 horsepower. Transmissions included a Powerglide automatic and a four-speed manual (in three configurations). About 23,000 Stingrays were made in 1967.
Fast-forward to our day in the sun. I had received a 2015 Corvette Stingray as a press loan and took a friend of mine, a ranch hand from South Africa named Jason, for a ride. He mentioned that a mutual friend, Matt, loved Corvettes. He called Matt, who is the son of the rancher James works for, and we then learned that Jack, Matt's father, had a 1967 Corvette Stingray squirreled away in a barn. James and Matt conspired to get the old 'Vette out so the two cars could meet.
On a bright, sunny day in Wyoming, a Tuxedo Black 1967 Corvette Stingray edged to the curb in front of my house where a 2015 Stingray was enjoying the sunshine with its top down. We took the cars to the park where they sat nose-to-nose and got to know one another. The photo above shows them in quiet, rumble-and-putter conversation.
By 2015, the 327ci, 300 horsepower engine of the 1967 had given way to the 6.2-liter V8 with exhaust tuning to produce 460 horsepower. Yet the curves, stance, and general body dimensions of the cars were still almost identical. The lineage is apparent in the strong fenders, evolved but still similar V-shaped dual flags of the Corvette logo, and the sleek, sports car styling that has always set the Corvette apart from other American speedsters.
Driving either car, I became aware that while the new 'Vette is exceedingly powerful and fast, both the old and the new are really in love with the long, open highway. Although their paces might be different, with the 1967 enjoying a more matronly speed and the 2015 wanting the energetic instant-gratification pace of today, both Corvettes were happy to reach their preferred highway happy point and float there; as all well-made cars will.
That afternoon, I found that although the quaint 1960s black-and-white plaid interior and putt-putt-go engine sound had given way to the 2015's Kalahari leather and low growl turning to a roar, both the old and the new Corvette Stingray held a distinct lineage through the generations. It was an afternoon I'll not soon forget and I'd like to think that the two Stingrays will likewise appreciate the rare chance for old and new to come together for a day at the park.