| Home | Here are the Reviews | GT2 Racing Guide | GT3 Racing Guide | GT4 Racing Guide | GT5 Racing Guide | GT6 Racing Guide | Links to other GT sites
1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

red_62corvette.jpg

STATS

Years Represented: 1963-1967 ```````````````````````````````` Type: Sports Car

Country: USA ``````````````````````````````````````````````` Host: GT1, GT2 & GT4


Price: $64,750 (GT2) // $84,890 (GT4)

Construction: fiberglass body, steel chassis/frame
Length: 175.1" // Width: 69.6" // Height: 49.8"
Wheelbase: 98"
Overhang: 77.1"
Front Track: 56.8" // Rear Track: 57.6"
Ground Clearance: 6.29"
Weight: 3,020 (GT4-'63) 3,395 lbs. (GT2-'67)
Tires: 7.75 X 15 front & rear
Brakes: drums ('63) solid discs ('67)  
F. Suspension: A-arms, coils, tube-shocks, stabilizers
R. Suspension: transverse leaves, tube-shocks, half struts, radial rods

GT1 & 2 Engine: 427 cu.-inch OHV V8

GT4 Engine: 327 cu.-inch OHV V8

Construction: iron block
Aspiration: natural
````````````````````````427 cid``````````````````````327 cid```
Tested HP: ```440 @ 5,900 rpm       249 @ 4,400 rpm
Tstd Torque:
481 @ 4,000 rpm       350 @ 2,200 rpm
 
Credits per HP: $147.15                    $340.92
Lbs. per HP:     7.71                          12.13
HP per LIter:    62.8                           46.5
 
Fuel system: 3 2-barrel carbs.          1 4-barrel carb
Valves per Cyl: 2
Bore x Stroke: 4.25 x 3.76                  4.00 x 3.25"
Compression: 11.0:1?                         11.25:1

GT2 Redline: 5,500 rpm // RPM Limit: 6,000
GT4 Idle: 750 // Redline: 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000 
 
Layout: Front Engine-Rear Drive

Transmission: 4-speed manual ('67, GT1 & 2) 3-speed manual ('63-GT4)
Differential: open

``````````````````GT2 (427 cid)``````````````````GT4 (327 cid)
0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds                   7.166 seconds
0-100mph: 11.578                         15.733 seconds
 
400 M: 13.654 @ 114 mph            15.178 @ 99 mph
1 Kilom:
25.349 @ 121 mph          26.546 @ 128 mph
 
Test Track: 2:03.461                             2:39.724

100-zero mph: no test                         3.90 seconds
Top Gear RPM @ 60 mph:                     2,550

GT2 Top Speed (427 cid) 
1st: 44 mph @ 5,700 rpm
2nd: 70 mph
3rd: 92 mph
4th: 123.51 mph @ 6,000 rpm

GT4 Top Speed at Redline (327 cid)
1st: 61 mph
2nd: 101 mph
3rd: 146.26 mph @ 6,300 rpm
 
 

 
----------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY-------------------

The Corvette Stingray has been in every Gran Turismo except GT3, which makes it a must-have for any car-reviews site featuring Gran Turismo. Actually, as far as I know, www.GTCarReviews.com is the only car-reviews site featuring Gran Turismo vehicles! We even had a Stingray in GT1, but the only way to get it from Arcade to Simulation mode was to Shark the darn thing, or we could slog thru Arcade mode 'till it was unlocked.

This car comes from the C2 era of Corvettes. What does C2 represent? It represents the second generation of Corvettes. C2s were only produced from 1963 till 1967. Corvettes prior to this era started in 1953 with handsome European looks, and grew steadily more gaudy as the years rolled on. By the time C2s were in production, Chevrolet was no longer trying to mask the Corvette's appearance with European-inspired bodywork; they wanted them looking racy, outrageous, and unique. For sure, this short era of Stingrays produced the most distinctive cars in Corvette history.

Unfortunately, the C2 never shined very brightly as a race car. At the tracks, Ford/Shelby simply blew the Corvette (and just about everyone else, for that matter) away with their Cobras during the C2's short life as a factory-sponsored racing car; and then the AMA placed a ban on production car sponsorship of racing. After this, GM gave up on racing for awhile. 

Also, these Corvettes may have been visual stunners, selling in record numbers, but they were too heavy and had some major blind-spots. In the first year of the C2, Chevy gave the first Stingrays a dual rear-window with a long split down the middle. These were only produced during the first year of the Stingray's life. Some say that Stingrays from this year are the only true Stingrays, the cars after 1963 were not. That split in that rear window was said to be the long, poisonous tail, mimicking the aquatic animal stingray.  Problem was, the split window design limited vision, which is the main reason Chevy had to get rid of it. After 1963, the split window was replaced with a one-piece rear window. 


What is most unique about Corvettes is their fiberglass bodywork. Sure, many other models in the '60s were constructed of fiberglass, but most of them were small European sports cars, and a fair percentage actually began their lives as kits. Fiberglass tears and breaks, but will not rust or crumple. It's supposedly lighter than steel, so we can assume that a lot of the Corvette's 3,000 + pounds are coming from massive engine, drivetrain, and chassis.

As I said, this car can be bought in GT2 or GT4, but can only be raced in GT1's arcade mode (unless you have a gameshark and are able to release it from its Arcade prison). Go to the dealer, and there's a mouth-watering assortment of colors to pick from. Those guys at GM may have had some questionable approaches to car-building for the masses, but they sure knew how to make a good-looking sports car. Almost all of these paint schemes are sexy. Can't I have all of them? Yes, you can. At $64,000 (GT2) or $84,900 (GT4), the Corvette is costly, but affordable to those who stick with the game for awhile.

Now is it worth buying as a race car?
 
 

green_63vette.jpg

-------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN-------------

Over the years (in real-life), the Corvette Sting Ray was offered with several engines, transmissions, carburetors, fuel-injection, and other miscellaneous options (paint, interior, etc.); making each of the tens of thousands of C2s extremely customizable and perhaps unique from other C2s. The earlier '63 Sting Ray in GT4 has a small-block 327, but by 1967, the public was hungry for something more, so the 427 cubic inch (7 liter!) monster in the GT1/GT2 car was introduced, which was top-of-the-line for its day.

There were apparently four horsepower options one could buy in 1963 if they got the 327. Three were fed by a single 4-barrel carburetor, and the fourth was a fuel-injected version. These engine options ranged in power from 250 horses to about 360, which means we get the weakest of the weak in GT4! Bah! In 1963, there were also three transmissions offered: a 3-speed manual, a "Power-Glide" automatic, and a 4-speed "TorqueFlite" box. The Sting Ray in our game is therefore slow, and hasn't got the best shifting scenario imaginable; although the 4-speed probably was a closer-ratio box designed for quarter-mile stints, which means it may not have been able to get much over 130 mph (if that).
 
But notice the 327 has peak torque at 2,800 rpms, peak power at 4,400 rpms, and a 6,500 rpm redline. This means: even though it is low-powered, it gets moving right away. Useful torque starts very low in its range of revs. As we get several hundred rpms past peak horsepower area, you'll notice speed starts to slow waaay down, and it eventually takes awhile for the tach needle to get to redline. The engine has past its prime. For this reason, it's best to use a manual (rather than an automatic), and it's also best to shift early.

Towards 1967, there were still four horsepower options offered at a relatively low price (by today's standards), but of course, things had become alot more radical as big blocks were introduced. To top the public's desire, even the Corvette's small blocks weren't as weak as they were when the C2 generation was introduced. 

The 435 hp L71 big block V8 in GT2's auto came with triple 2-barrel carbs, solid lifters, hi-performance cams, and had a high 11.0:1 compression ratio..all for just $437. A total number of 9,707 big-block engines were sold, though most of them were not L71s, and therefore had less power. Still, that means about 43% of all Corvettes for '67 had big blocks! And the government was worried about pot smokers and draft dodgers...

Notice that the dealer quotes this engine at 434 hp. This is pretty close to real-life, which rated 435. The game trackometer tells us there's actually 440 available. The 249 horses GT4's Sting Ray begins its life with seem wimpy in comparison. But the advantage: this lack of power makes it more accessable to players with less experience, tho the C2 in this game isn't necessarily easy to drive. This lack of power is also accurate. Polyphony Digital makes so many small mistakes (and some big ones) with car modeling, I expected a 427 in the '63 as I visited the Chevy classic dealer, not a 327. So good job guys!

Though the C2 Corvette was a popular car back in the day, it quickly became a treasure as its era ended. People who bought & maintained C2s knew they had something that would perhaps never be replicated again, so nowadays half of these Sting Rays spend their life sitting in garages; except on days they're fortunate enough to be displayed at a car show somewhere (...“yep, she's got original paint, the original wheels, bla bla bla...”) so it's fun to race one in a game simulation.

At the 400 meter track test, the Sting Ray 427 of GT2 gets down to business. It's cruising at 100 mph even before 300 meters pass by, and zooms thru the ¼ mile in just over 13 seconds. Real-life 0-60 mph and ¼ mile tests also reflect these figures...almost exactly. Throttle response is touchy (you can't floor this car in 1st gear without losing speed as the rev-limiter knocks the tach around) but consistent.

Now we go to the 1000 meter test. Same thing happens off the line...ZOOOOM!! the car flys ...flys ...wind rushing...unpaid bills forgotten....

....then the ‘suck’ factor kicks in.

I got about half way thru the Kilometer test and the car maxed out in 4th gear so I reached for the R1 button.... and I kept forgetting....THERE IS NO 5TH GEAR! But how? WHY?

Back in those days, the ¼ mile was everything. Drag racing was where it was at; road racing was rather secondary in America. The movie "American Graffiti" captures this atmosphere perfectly.  Similarly, when I did the Max Speed test, the 'Ray struggled all the way around the Test Track oval...RRRRRRM *hitch* RRRRRRM *hitch*.

Real-life '67 Vettes were offered with several different transmissions including: a 3-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic, an optional wide-ratio 4-speed manual, and a couple of close-ratio manual gearboxes. I'm guessing that the GT2 car has one of the close-ratio ones (probably the $237 'Heavy-Duty' close box). So before you race this car, get the full-custom racing tranny! This will add a 5th gear which we can fully modify for extra speed...or you can substitute really tall gears and keep it a 4-speed. Either way, this car finally can do what it wants and be what it wants to be. No more sub-124 mph nonsense!

Also mandatory (in both GT2 and GT4) will be a limited-slip differential. If you're not familiar with what these do, take the 'vette for a spin. Notice that in some turns (particulary the longer ones) there'll be tire smoke coming from the inside rear wheel as the car tries to accelerate. This Corvette has a heavy front-end, and without an LSD unit, it will lose a bit of traction (and therefore, speed) even in higher gears, as its rear-end turns to marshmallows. 

There are 3 tuning levels for the Vette in GT2, 4, and 5 (unfortunately, the car in GT1's Arcade mode doesn't get such luxury), and engine balancing adds much-needed extra redline area. The GT4 car also gets a supercharger. But good luck (in GT2) trying to control it with full 630 hp tuning. In fact, good luck trying to control this car with NO tuning...
 

-------------CHASSIS / HANDLING---------------

The Corvette was the first American sports coupe with all-wheel disc brakes and a fully independant suspension, but do these parts do the car justice racing in videogames? Now, we're going to award it a PhD in suckage!

Mostly, the tires are to blame. Real-life 'vettes from this era had extremely narrow boots attached (for a sports car). Nowadays, we see Corvettes riding around on low-profile tires with a tread-width suitable for fast (but safer) driving--but back in the day, this is as good as it got, apparently.

GT1
Dang. I never drove one of these in the first game.


GT2
So it doesn't matter if you've got racing slicks and a full-custom suspension: the C2 will disappoint again and again if you're not prepared. See that wall? Your Vette sees it too, and if you're not braking a bit earlier than you would in your Silvia, you'll soon be slamming into it! Fully-modifyable brakes, suspension parts, and limited-slips are highly-recommended, but won't solve any problems unless you know some things about tuning and also are adept at navigating such a beast.

An unmodified C2 Stingray will constantly lose speed as you find yourself already cruising at zero throttle more than you'd prefer,...and still understeering. Even longer turns like ones at Apricot Hill and Mid-field are suspect. With slicks, extra braking power, and better suspension, there is more got control, but don't get lazy. And if power is raised, we're back to sucking again!

Still, for an enthusiast such as myself, it's all about the challenge. This car is a challenge, and the reward is its awesome drifting capabilities, mixed in with that semi-bassy engine blasting away. 


GT4
I have a process I typically go thru (almost a ritual at this point) after I buy a car in this game. After the purchase, I often like to drive cars completely stock, on N2 or N3 tires, as a sort of test. Then I'll upgrade to sport tires, a better suspension, and so on. When driven in that first stage (N tires), the '63 Sting Ray feels much the same way a tadpole must feel before it develops into a frog. It has many of the same capabilities (balance and command) as other sports cars from its day, but these capabilites feel as though they're in a very primitive stage. This means we can't take fuller advantage of things like we could in...say...an Alfa Romeo Spider or Lotus Elan from the '60s.

The tadpole has a long tail, longer than its pod-shaped head. This long tail is all it has to wiggle itself and maneuever around. Sometime during the transformation from tadpole to frog, this amphibian finally gets more control over its destiny, yet is still a very clumsy animal overall. Sure it can hop around and stuff, but frogs haven't got much control of where they're apt to land once they're in the air!

The '63 Sting Ray also manages to get around okay. Driving it around Nurburgring on crappy tires, keeping things steady requires (obviously) that the Sting Ray is kept under strict control. Otherwise, it'll sting the driver with its incompetence, and not in a good way.

Understeer of all kinds, and long, sometimes beautiful moments of oversteer show up once the 'Ray is let out of its pool. But it's possible to at least control this earlier '63 Sting Ray to some degree while it's as close to real-life stock as we're gonna get. This car actually feels somewhat balanced. We can see that if Chevrolet had improved the Corvette's suspension in grand steps (instead of focusing mainly on horsepower), had they been able to find proper tires for this beast, Chevy certainly would have wound up selling a fine-handling car towards 1967, instead of the mess we've experienced. 
 
It's possible to feel the difference between the '67 of GT2 and the '63 of GT4. The '67 gives us 100% power with about 5% control, while the latter car offers less power, but more overall control. Having a smaller engine in our '63 up front no-doubt helps, but don't mistake these words for praise. The '63 is still very problematic, though it has small merits here and there. Let's start with the biggest of them.

The brakes in this car are unrealistically good, even on N tires. The '63 is also somewhat tossable. It changes direction quickly (once tuned), but has trouble keeping itself going in said direction in the long run. The C2 isn't nearly the acrobatic gymnast that the Corvette C1 (which also appears in GT4) is. The C1 feels much more nimble and easy to throw into corners than the C2. Not realistic at all. I'd say Polyphony Digital did a better, more realisitic job modeling the C2, even though it's the lesser car in the handling department.

Of course most everything gets better with parts, right? And settings. The '63 Sting Ray is no exception. Here, it starts to feel like it's leaving its "tadpole" stage; transforming into a more capable (but still clumsy) frog. Both understeer & oversteer can be diminished with a sports or semi-racing suspension & sport tires, but we'll never truely get rid of all this car's negatives.

On the plus side, for those who have been waiting for a drift-maven, totally bored with understeering auto after understeering auto, these folks may have just stepped into drift-heaven once they discover the Sting Ray. The C2 Corvette complies here, even in GT4. The rear steps out easily, of course. Once it's there, this car happens to be one of the easier ones to use for maintaining drifts; although (once again) only those skilled will survive.
 
GT5
Yeeeah. Um ... if you thought the C2 was an abominable mess in GT2 and GT4, just wait'll you try it in 5. Was that a threat, or a warning? Consider it both.
 
It all starts with those moments when it's realized ABS can be turned off in this game. Driving this car in GT4 (for instance) was highly unrealistic in my opinion, mostly because this car felt incredibly stable while braking. Well, now we can throw away those silly notions, go right on ahead. In GT5 get ready to experience this car the way it really was.
 
Frogs and tadpoles?  Forget that discussion. Now we're in an actual stingray, folks. The aquatic stingray (the animal which actually swims around) begins its life as a uterus carried around with 10 to 15 other baby stingrays inside its mother. After about 9 months, the mama stingray then gives birth to these stingrays, and from Day 1 they've got their trademarked poisonous tail 'just in case'. Some other facts: their eyesight is poor (mm hmm), they use camouflage to survive (rather than going around stinging everything that bothers them), and are graceful swimmers, especially as they grow to full adulthood. They are also very malleable as they move about, gliding along one minute, but with the ability to change direction with just a swoop of their wings.
 
In comparison, the '63 Corvette also seems to have poor eyesight (visibility is cramped if the driver's using the in-car view), it's not very good with camouflage, and its ability to maneuver?  Pssh!
 
With these words in mind, let's take a test drive in this mess. Yes, it really is a mess now. I drove and then raced one in the Classic Musclecar race at Monza. It's a Corvette, so I assumed it's gotta at least have better handling than a lot of the other monsters in this race. Wrong. With hard sport tires in place initially, understeer has not gone away, braking can always turn disasterous, and oversteer .. Ha! Oversteer! Yeaaah. I described 'long beautiful moments' of oversteer in GT4; well there's rarely any beauty here in 5!  Here it's all about tearing up some roads, leaving long, curvy skid marks on that tarmac! ...and basically hanging on for hellishly fun (but dangerous) ride. I'd hate to see what would happen if PD had included the '67 in this game, with its bigger engine. The 327 happens to be plenty to handle, right out of the box with its 250-ish horsepower.
 
It all begins with braking. Even while braking in a perfectly straight line it's possible to iiirrrrrrr! ...hear those rears trying to lock up. Forget about trail-braking. Just forget about it, especially from high speed. Best way to slow this car is to (of course) start super-early, and in a straight line. Full-force braking can be tried until the car's slowed enough, but (like I said) chances are those rear brakes will start to lock. From here on, hopefully you've got some leeway as the actual turn approaches. If the car's still not going slow enough, yet the car still needs to be turned-in, it's best to start 'feathering' those brakes. Release them, jab them, release, jab, etc. And if you're still not going slow enough, it's best to not use full stabs anymore, half or three-quarter plops on that brake pedal will do.
 
Mid-turn is tiptoeing time for this vehicle, and here the Stingray is nothing like the seafaring fishes which inspired it. Like a true musclecar, steering must be delicately tried, and it's usually a guarantee the front-end will begin to push. But then (finally!) the exit is before us. NOW the stingray lives up to its name, as we can often SLAM that throttle with little discretion. ARRRARRRARRRA!! Goes the rear, as its barbed, poisonous tail begins to weave and threaten. Unlike earlier games, the Stingray in GT5 will often gain massive amounts of speed, even as its rear is smoking up like xxx at a cigar convention. The Stingray of GT5 will often get to 'sting' other A-spec cars at these moments, as they can't help be wonder why they don't get to turn off their traction controls!
 
Summary
It's a sports car, but also very much a musclecar as well; only difference is it has 2 seats instead of 4. In any of the above games, Drivers Beware, and if you've got to have one of these, keep its poisonous side leashed up tight, until the Stingray is ready to strike.
   

PROS

1). The C2 Sting Ray is one sexy machine. 2-tone paint jobs and functional hood scoops rock. Agreed? whatever.

2). Engine is ready for action from day 1 (tho the car in GT4 happens to be slower). Sounds pretty good, too.

3). 3 levels of tuning are available aftermarket in case you need 'em. GT4 adds a supercharger.

4). Excellent drifting possibilities are in your near future...smooth as surf if you can control it, but dangerous to your ego if you can't. Those that can't can still have fun with this Burnout King.

5). The historical factor is pro #4. I would have to start writing petitions to Gran Turismo if this car hadn't been included in GT2 & GT4, after the teasing Sting Ray of GT1, which could only be raced in Arcade mode.

6). Race kit available in GT2, which brings  weight down to a respectable 2,899 pounds. The '63 Sting Ray of GT4 starts off lighter, with a lighter front-end.

CONS

1). The tires....really....SUCK!!

2). Understeer..lots and lots of understeer, the kind of understeer a mule-plow would appreciate.

3). Uncontrollable oversteer happens too, in both 327 and 427 models. 

4). Top speed maxes out waaaay earlier than expected in the 4-speed 427 of GT2. Racing gearbox is a necessary buy before anything else. The GT4 car only has a 3-speed, and again, the full-custom tranny is a great idea for many scenarios.

5). über-short redline area for the 427 engine. The rev limiter will not be our best friend if we don't have engine balancing and a full-customized tranny.

6). Engine power at max is almost a joke. There's no way to not crash or slide or lose partial control at least once during most races, unless you've been touched by GT god or something.

7). Novice and intermediate users will have trouble of all kinds, even before engine gets modified. Tuning skills (and driving skills) needed.

8). Basically, the Corvette C2 wasn't designed for cornering and circuit racing. It's possible to spend well over $100,000 in parts before the car is remotely controllable. We'll never typically be able to rely on the engine alone; except for quarter-mile runs.

9). GT4: poor gas mileage.

10). GT4 again: wheels can't be changed.

11). GT1: the only way to race a Corvette C2 in this game happens if one slugs thru Arcade mode, or owns a GameShark or other such device.  
 

  
Originally Published: sometime in 2004
Edited for GT4 content: several times in March & April 2009

CLICK HERE FOR MORE CAR REVIEWS