Somewhere in the second part of 1959, project XP-720 begins at GM Styling, to design a production Corvette based on Bill Mitchell’s Sting Ray racer. It would become known as the C2 or second generation Corvette. In October of that same year, a clay mock-up of project XP-720 is completed and put on display for General Motors’ management viewing. This early effort was essentially the Stingray Racer with a coupe top.
Some people believe the teardrop shape of the ’63 Sting Ray coupe’s rear is influenced by a one-off 1955 Alfa Romeo 3500 Disco Volante, built by Boano, the Italian coachbuilder, for Argentine dictator Juan Peron.
If you look closely at the two Sting Ray prototypes appearing behind the Stingray race car, you can see the simulated side vents on the doors, in front of the rear wheels. This photo was taken in 1960, two years before production of the Sting Ray was announced. The side vents made it into the production car, but were reversed and moved forward to the front fender.