1966 Corvette Sting Ray £66,000

This is a fine ex­am­ple that’s been looked af­ter in the UK for 30 years, 20 of them by the dealer who’s sell­ing it, says Rob Scorah

Classic Cars (UK) - - Ads On Test -

With its sharp colour com­bi­na­tion of Tuxedo Black over red vinyl, this later pro­duc­tion ‘Mid Years’ Sting Ray man­ages to strike a bal­ance be­tween guile and brash display. That body in that colour is cer­tainly a state­ment and those who in­spect the car will note that all the pan­els still fit to­gether nicely; no de­pressed head­lights or warped bon­net, and those curves and blade-like edges all match up. The doors shut with a con­fi­dent snap and there’s no af­ter­shock of rat­tling trim.

Over­all, the tell-all black re­tains a good shine with no pol­ish­ing swirl marks. There are some blem­ishes – a small blis­ter in the paint above the near­side head­light, and chips to the fin­ish around the door-top edges of win­dows and where the hood is stowed. The vinyl hood it­self is in good or­der – sup­ple and clean. Its mech­a­nism works smoothly and it stows eas­ily. There are no cracks in its rear win­dow.

Badges and sill cov­ers look equally good, and those alu­minium knock-offs are a nice fea­ture. Ev­ery­thing is where it should be, though chips might re­veal them­selves to the clos­est in­spec­tion.

To a Corvette purist, the big­gest cos­metic crit­i­cism will be the mir­rors. Af­ter­mar­ket units by Vi­taloni Cal­i­for­nian, they have a resto-mod vibe. Like the one or two steel braided hoses un­der the bon­net they’re eas­ily re­placed, but the next owner could be happy with the ‘work­ing clas­sic’ feel.

The in­te­rior re­mains as in­tended and has a gently lived-in patina. It’s also rat­tle­free on the move. The colours re­main strong and the seats re­tain their sup­port and shape. New car­pets were fit­ted some ten years ago. The Corvette has led a largely seden­tary life for the past 20 years, owned by the dealer and looked af­ter by his work­shop. Its his­tory file traces its life in the UK back to when it was im­ported in 1988. It was also fea­tured in Quentin Will­son’s book The Ul­ti­mate Clas­sic Car.

The ’Vette’s 300bhp small-block fires up read­ily at the first turn of the key. There is a slight shunt as the two-speed auto con­nects mo­tor and driv­e­train, but the car moves off smoothly and changes gear seam­lessly as you ac­cel­er­ate away.

There are no un­to­ward whines from the trans­mis­sion and the en­gine makes the typ­i­cally the­atri­cal au­di­ble re­sponses of an Amer­i­can V8. De­spite its flour­ish­ing snarls, the mo­tor never really needs to move out of the 1500-2700rpm range to dole out enough power to keep the car pro­gress­ing smartly. It kept its cool in stop-start and coun­try lane mo­tor­ing.

The steer­ing could be a lit­tle more ex­act around the straight-ahead po­si­tion and the brakes a bit more com­mand­ing, but nei­ther lies out­side the norm. Even so, we’re told the car will get a me­chan­i­cal fet­tling be­fore leav­ing the garage.

Not many years ago, £66k was strong money for one of th­ese, but the show­stop­pers are climb­ing to­wards £90k. If your taste is for a real-world car, this feels gently lived in and whole lot of fun to live with.

Tuxedo Black suits the ‘Vette – all the pan­els fit well too

En­gine snarls nicely, but keeps its cool

In­te­rior has gen­tle patina

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.