Looking back on the nearly 70 years of the Chevrolet Corvette, each generation generally followed the same formula – kicking off with dramatic new styling and underpinnings, a mid-cycle refresh, and continual, minor improvements to keep America’s sports car at the cutting edge. For the Corvette’s first generation, colloquially known as the C1, Chevrolet was still trying to figure out what worked and what didn’t. As sales ebbed and flowed, the Corvette engineering team, led by Zora Arkus-Duntov, fought tooth and nail to keep the project off the chopping block. Between 1953 and 1962, the C1 underwent myriad changes to the styling and mechanical spec to bolster sales. Common among all C1s was the steel ladder chassis, derived from Chevrolet’s passenger car line and featuring independent front suspension with a solid rear axle. From 1955, V8 engines were the preferred choice, as Chevy axed the six-cylinder by the end of that year. A new body arrived in 1956, which grew more ornate and flashy to keep up with contemporary trends. The 1961 Corvette had yet another significant styling change, adopting the crisp and modern “boat-tail” design that hinted at the C2, set to debut in 1963. The final year of the C1 was 1962, which saw the addition of Chevy’s newest small-block V8 to the Corvette chassis. The new 327 cubic-inch unit (up from 283) made 250 horsepower in standard form, with options including 300hp and 340hp carbureted versions or a 360hp version with Rochester fuel injection. The powerful new engine range made the 1962 Corvette the quickest of the C1 generation, and it laid the foundation for the C2’s undeniable success.
Our featured 1962 Corvette is well-kept and desirably-equipped example attractively finished in Roman Red over a red interior. This car was built on August 23, 1961, and came equipped with the optional 300-horsepower V8 engine, a four-speed manual gearbox, 3.36 rear axle, and “Wonderbar” signal-seeking AM radio. It spent 30 years with one owner in Florida, quietly tucked in dry storage. It was acquired by an enthusiast who subsequently performed a mechanical restoration to recommission the car for the road.
After coming into current ownership in 2012, a marque expert and NCRS judge performed additional cosmetic restoration work and extensive detailing approximately a decade ago, ensuring it is authentically and correctly detailed throughout. It retains its numbers matching engine fitted with proper date-coded components throughout the drivetrain. All 1962 Corvettes featured single-tone paint, as Chevy dropped the contrasting “cove” option, and this car’s Roman Red paintwork suits the shape brilliantly, with black-wall tires and correct “spinner” wheel covers enhancing the tough, purposeful look. Overall, the finish quality is very good, with a few imperfections in the fiberglass noted on inspection. Exterior brightwork is in good order, with excellent chrome bumpers and polished trim.
The Corvette’s cockpit was completely re-trimmed as part of the restoration, using correct vinyl upholstery supplied by Al Knoch interiors on the seats and door cards, proper nylon loop carpet, restored original seat belts, and a pinpoint vinyl convertible top. There’s a matching Goodyear 6.70-15 spare in the trunk on a correct steel wheel, with the factory lug wrench and jack handle stowed alongside. Switches, controls, and gauges are in excellent order, making for an inviting and enjoyable place to spend an afternoon of motoring.
Beneath the hood is the original, numbers-matching 327 V8, in optional 300 horsepower spec. It was authentically detailed as part of the restoration and has been kept in very good order, with a tidy, honest character coming from regular driving enjoyment. It features the correct chrome air cleaner and ignition shielding, proper hose clamps, and the appropriate decals and labels. Component date codes have been documented. It runs well and benefits from regular maintenance and use while in the care of the most recent owner.
As the last of the line for the solid-axle C1, the 1962 Corvette is a highly collectible and significant piece of Corvette history. It has been much-loved by its most recent custodian, who oversaw the well-detailed restoration and subsequently enjoyed the car to the fullest. This example is ideally suited for classic rallies and driving events where this American icon’s power, performance, and unmistakable style can be on full display.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7117
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