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1962 Corvette Art Prints
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Laser-Etched Illustrated Corvette Series-II No. 171
1962 Corvette - The Best of the C1 Corvettes?

11x17 Laser-Etched Print / $49.95 + $8.00 S&H


Illustrated Corvette Series No. 171
1962 Corvette
The Best of the C1 Corvettes?
Here's the story...

Illustrated Corvette Series-II No. 171
1962 Corvette
The Best of the C1 Corvettes?
11x17 Parchment Paper Print
$24.95 + $6.95 S&H

11x17 Parchment Paper Print
$24.95 + $6.95 S&H


Illustrated Corvette Series No. 17
1962 Corvette

Illustrated Corvette Series No. 153
Gulf One 1962 Corvette Racer
Here's the story...
11x17 Parchment Paper Print
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11x17 Parchment Paper Print
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Illustrated Corvette Series II
No. 17 - 1962 Corvette

Illustrated Corvette Series-II No. 153
Gulf One 1962 Corvette Racer
11x17 Parchment Paper Print
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11x17 Parchment Paper Print
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Laser-Etched
Illustrated Corvette Series II
No. 17 - 1962 Corvette

Laser-Etched
llustrated Corvette Series-II No. 153
Gulf One 1962 Corvette Racer
11x17 Laser-Etched Print
$49.95 + $8.00 S&H

11x17 Laser-Etched Print
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Illustrated Corvette Series No. 16
1962 CERV I

1962 Corvette Profile
11x17 Parchment Paper Print
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11x17 Parchment Paper Print
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Laser-Etched Fuel Injected
283 Fuelie Engine

Fuel Injected
283 Corvette Engine
11x17 Laser-Etched Print
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1962 Corvette Art

Illustrated Corvette Series No. 171 - 1962 Corvette "The Best of the C1 Corvettes?" Here's the story...

No matter how well received a performance car is, the day will come when the decision is made, “Let’s build a new version!” For the first generation Corvette, that day arrived in late 1959. Two years before, Ed Cole was driving his Q-Chevrolet project that would have put a transaxle in every Chevrolet car, including the Corvette, by 1960. Chief of GM styling, Bill Mitchell attended the Turin Motor Show in ‘57 and especially liked the humps over the wheels and the unique tapered roof of the Pininfarina and Boano cars. So he instructed his designers to come up with something based on those ideas. Penned mostly by Bob Veryzer and Pete Brock, the new shape is unmistakably the genesis of the Sting Ray.

While the Q-project was quickly shelved, Mitchell couldn’t let go of the Q-Corvette shape. Early in ‘59, Bill made a deal to buy the mule chassis from the Corvette SS racing project for $1. Designer Larry Shinoda was charged with designing a roadster version of the Q-Corvette for the Corvette SS chassis. On his own, Mitchell successfully raced his Sting Ray for two reasons. First, he wanted to go racing, and second, to test the public’s response to the new design. It didn’t take long before it was obvious - the Sting Ray had to be the next Corvette. Late in ‘59, the decision was made to start work on the XP-720, which would eventually become the ‘63 Corvette Sting Ray.

Meanwhile, over in Engineering, Duntov was still smarting from the corporate spanking he’d received for his Corvette SS exploits. The command was stern, “We will adhere to the 1957 AMA ban on racing!” Fortunately, the Corvette SS and the mule chassis were not sent to the crusher. Ever the fox, late in ‘59 Zora explained the Corvette’s mechanical philosophy as such in , “Give the Corvette buyer as much of both worlds, touring and racing, as we could. To use our racing experience to combine in one automobile the comfort of a tourer and the ability of a racer.” For an American car company in the late ‘50s, this was a radical idea.

So with work under way for the first all-new Corvette, product planners had an interesting challenge. How to make the car fresh and interesting enough to keep sales going up. Bolstered by racing success and excellent reviews, sales steadily increased from ‘56. The first move in the direction of the new Sting Ray came in ‘61 with the boat-tail design that increased trunk space and definitely freshened up the overall look. The ‘62 model offered minor trim upgrades and an injection of cubic-inches and horsepower. Sales went from 10,939 in ‘61 to 14,531 for the ‘62 model, the best sales year for the Corvette to date. Demand was so high that a second shift was added to the St. Louis assembly plant.

The best news was under the hood. The 283 small-block was bored and stroked to 327 cubic-inches. The base engine picked up 20-HP to 250. And for only $107, customers could order the 340-HP RPO-396, equipped with a single 4-BBL carb, solid-lifters, big-valve heads, 11.25:1 compression, and stronger pistons. This was the most popular optional engine with 4,412 units sold in ‘62. The top dog was the famous 360-HP Fuelie, up from 315-HP in ‘61, for a hefty $484. It’s interesting to note that the Fuelie’s price remained the same from its first year in ‘57 through to ‘62.

New on the exterior were the polished aluminum side rocker panels, a grille insert that replaced the three spears on the side coves, and the elimination of the chrome cove trim and optional cove paint. The classic wide-whitewall tires were replaced with narrow white wall tires and the front grille was blacked out. The interior received several minor improvements, including slightly revised door panels, seat upholstery, and the heater was now standard, instead of a $102 option,. The Powerglide automatic transmission case was now aluminum and the T-10 4-speed manual transmission was available in either a close-ratio or wide-ratio. “Off-road” straight-through mufflers were available at no charge. The previous copper-core radiator was replaced with a larger capacity aluminum unit with an aluminum expansion tank. And all ‘62 Corvettes used the distributer-driven tachometers that had previously only been used on the Fuelie cars.

So, was the ‘62 Corvette the “best” of the first generation Corvettes? Even though the automotive press had been clamoring for a new Corvette since ‘60, 14,531 customers ponyed up for the first Corvette with a base price of over $4,000. A loaded ‘62 street Corvette cost almost $5,000 and a racer kit-equipped Fuelie cost around $5,200. It’s too bad that there wasn’t a special “collectors edition” option. Now that would have been sweet!


Illustrated Corvette Series No. 153 - Gulf Oil '62 Corvette Racer "The Most Successful C1 Racer?" Here's the story...

After years of watching limited-production high-performance Corvettes sell at auction for hundreds of thousands of dollars, we're now seeing old Corvette race cars take off where the exotic street Vettes peaked. Last month, we talked about the Grady Davis '63 Z06 racer that sold for $1,113,000. As amazing as that figure was, sellers were expecting more, in part because the Gulf Oil '62 featured here had gone for $1,485,000 a few months earlier. While low-volume performance vehicles can be quite distinctive, there's nothing like the one-of-a-kind status of a successful race car.

While the Gulf Oil '62 doesn't have the high profile of many other racing Vettes, it is arguably the most successful single Corvette race car ever. In 1962, the car competed in the SCCA's A/Production class with Dr. Dick Thompson behind the wheel and won 12 out of 14 races-an 85.7 percent win rate. We're not slighting the success of the C5-R or C6.R Corvettes. Corvette Racing's best season was actually 2004, with a 100 percent win rate, but those victories were achieved by a two-car team, with each car winning five races.

It's amazing how close this car is to a street Corvette. When Gulf Oil executive Grady Davis ordered it, he specified four options that formed the foundation for a competitive racer. RPO 582 got him the 327/360hp fuelie engine, while RPO 685 added a Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed transmission. RPO 687 added the heavy-duty (racing) brakes and special steering, and RPO 675 brought a Positraction rear. The total cost for a car such as this was around $5,300-a lot of money in '62. After the car was assembled in St. Louis, it was driven to Yenko Chevrolet for race prep. It was quite common back then for cars such as this to be picked up at the factory and then driven to an owner's shop. Don Yenko's team was experienced in turning Corvettes into race cars, so the car was well prepared. Almost all of the prep work was bolted on and easily removable, as we'll see later.

Davis' Corvette got the standard prep treatment. The front and rear bumpers were removed, and vents and a deflector were added to the hood. A 37-gallon fuel tank was added, and the rear glass was modified to accommodated a quick-fill gas cap. Plexiglas replaced the side windows, and an aluminum racing seat was installed in place of the stock bucket. A full complement of Stewart-Warner gauges were added, along with a Motorola two-way radio. A roll bar was installed, and the interior carpeting was replaced with rubber mats. Chromed-steel lift bars were added to the front and rear to assist in pit stops. The engine was essentially stock, with the factory cast-iron exhaust manifolds connected to 2-1/4-in exhaust pipes that exited just ahead of the rear wheels. Koni shocks were used, and Goodyear Blue Streak 7.00-15 tires were mounted on the stock steel wheels. FIA-required marker lights were added to the roof and passenger side, and the stock Ermine White body was treated to a blue racing stripe that ran over the center of the car, from front to back. The side coves were painted with the same blue paint. From there, it was off to the races.

At its first race, at Daytona in January, the Gulf Oil Corvette came in Second. The next month, the car took First Place at the Daytona Continental. In March, the team took another First Place win at Sebring. At the Washington Marlboro Governor's race, the car did not finish. Then, from the Virginia International President's Cup race in April to the final race of the season at the Watkins Glen Grand Prix, the Gulf Oil '62 fuelie won every time to take the A/Production Championship.

With the arrival of the much-improved C2 Corvette, Davis sold his champion '62 fuelie to Tony Denman in favor of a new Z06. But the '62 was still potent enough to take the pole position at Daytona in January of 1963. Denman raced the car a few times, then converted it back to a street car and sold it as a big-brake '62 fuelie. For the next 16 years, the car's owners didn't have a clue that they were driving a former A/Production champion. That is, until Reverend Mike Ernst bought the Vette off of a used-car lot for $3,500 in 1979. Ernst noticed a few unusual things about the car, researched its past, and discovered what he'd purchased. Fortunately for Ernst, Tony Denman had saved most of the race-car parts, and he was willing to sell them so Ernst could restore the car to its former glory.

Since then, the car has had several owners and a few restorations. In August 2008, at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the Gulf Oil '62 Corvette sold for $1,485,000. It's worth noting that Davis actually purchased two identical Corvettes in 1962 and raced both. The second car was not as successful, but, like its more famous sibling, it was ultimately converted back to a street Vette. So where is that car today? No one knows. - KST


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