Chevy Corvette Sting Ray

This Amer­i­can icon is a rel­a­tive bar­gain com­pared with an E-type of the same age and con­di­tion, ar­gues V8 fan Paul Hardi­man

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This sharp four-speed man­ual ex­am­ple, from the sec­ond year of C2 pro­duc­tion, came to the UK in 1978 and was orig­i­nally fuel-in­jected as the flank badges still say. Pre­sum­ably after prob­lems, ev­i­denced by sev­eral bills for di­ag­nos­tic runs which showed plug foul­ing, it was con­verted to car­bu­ret­tor in 2015 us­ing a 600cfm four-bar­rel Edel­brock with pan­cake fil­ter. That was at 71,473 miles, fewer than 1400 miles ago. Old Mots con­firm the mileage at 57,651 in 1980.

Fur­ther op­tions are the hard­top, leather seats, power win­dows and AM/FM ra­dio – a whop­ping-for-1964 $176.50, though 94 per cent of ’Vettes had it.

The car was re­painted and re­trimmed in 2012 at a cost of £12,000, which in­cluded new carpets and soft-top (white vinyl) to go along with the fac­tory glass­fi­bre hard­top which is easy for two peo­ple to lift off. The paint is hold­ing up well, with just a few small cracks and blem­ishes at the front, no­tably from the top cor­ner of the left head­light aper­ture, though it’s only 5mm long. Head­lights line up, which they of­ten don’t on C2s, and lift and re­tract per­fectly. The orig­i­nal bumpers were rechromed be­cause they fit bet­ter than re­pros. Fronts are ex­cel­lent, the right rear is get­ting a lit­tle speck­led. Wheel trims are all good, save for a small ding in the left rear, and tyres are Nex­ens that were new in 2007 and still show lit­tle wear. The ex­haust is a cus­tom Vor­tex stain­less sys­tem fit­ted in 2013 along with new Ko­nis.

The mo­tor has been rather crudely brush-painted and should have a less shiny fin­ish. As well as the new carb there’s a new fan, vis­cous coupling and wa­ter pump. Coolant is full and blue-green, oil dark and topped up to the max mark.

In­side, seat leather is just start­ing to crease lightly and the carpets are un­worn. Noth­ing is miss­ing from the dash, and the stock push-but­ton Delco ra­dio still works.

It starts from cold after a bit of a churn and fairly barks into life through the fruity stain­less sys­tem, be­fore set­tling to a very un­tem­per­a­men­tal idle. It’s equally straight­for­ward to op­er­ate. The clutch and gearchange are easy, there’s plenty of go as you might ex­pect, and the ex­haust sounds fab­u­lous from what you can hear of its wake, top down. The all-drum brakes pull to the left a bit, but the car hasn’t been driven much in re­cent years so may well im­prove with some miles. ’Vette steer­ing of this vin­tage is low-geared and vague, but they all do that, sir. Oil pres­sure is 50psi when driv­ing, 40psi at idle, warm, and tem­per­a­ture sits steady un­der 90 de­grees. Ev­ery­thing works in­clud­ing elec­tric win­dows, ex­cept the warn­ing lights for gen­er­a­tor and oil pres­sure, and the clock.

This Corvette is be­ing sold with a de­cent his­tory file in­clud­ing hand­writ­ten notes from a pre­vi­ous owner go­ing back to 1984, and a new MOT. Sadly the orig­i­nal Rochester in­jec­tion kit is no longer with the car for po­ten­tial fu­ture re­fit­ting, but at less half the price of an E-type of com­pa­ra­ble year, con­di­tion and per­for­mance, this ’Vette is worth a look.

Re­painted and re­trimmed six years ago for £12,000

Some warn­ing lights aren’t work­ing

The engine has been brightly hand-painted

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