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Corvette Of The Day: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Z06

The first Z06 was actually an option package first offered with the 1963 Corvette.  The package was developed by Corvette’s legendary lead engineer and racing advocate Z0ra Arkus-Duntov.  The Z06 option was designed to allow consumers to bolster the 1963 “Split-Window” Corvettes performance and handling capabilities for use on the race track headlined by the fuel-injected L84 solid-lifter 327/360 HP small-block V-8 engine.

The Z06 package upgrades include a thicker front stabilizer bar, larger-diameter shocks, higher-rate springs, and upgraded brakes with sintered metallic linings, a dual-circuit master cylinder, and vacuum booster.

Initially priced at $1,818.45, the RPO Z06 option came in at nearly half the cost of a base Corvette. For the1963 model year, the Z06 was exclusively available for coupes but was later offered for Corvette convertibles at a lower price. Although stylish cast-aluminum knock-off wheels were an option, most RPO Z06 vehicles were equipped with steel wheels.

A 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction limited-slip rear end were obligatory choices with RPO Z06. Apart from roll bars and fire extinguishers, Z06 Corvettes could be driven to the track, prepped, raced, and then driven back home.

Photos by Theodore W. Pieper courtesy of RM Sotheby’s