Contributed by Michael Dart, Coral Springs
Now famous, Corvette Artist Jeff Hayes and his team in Bloomington, Indiana finished assembly on this 1967 Sting Ray late in 2016 and placed it up for auction in January 2017, at Barrett Jackson's Scottsdale Arizona. The car was purchased and shipped to the first owner in Texas. He only put 161 miles on the odometer, before putting it up for auction at Mecum. The second owner in Virginia Beach, only drove it until the odometer hit 221 miles before consigning it with R.K. Motors in Charlotte N.C., where I found it, bought it, and had it shipped to south Florida.
Basically, this 1967 car is a brand-new Corvette assembled from brand new parts and materials. The only original part from ’67 is part of the bird cage with attached VIN tag. Jeff Hayes uses a chassis co-developed with Art Morrison and manufactured at Coffman Corvette in PA. There, new C5 generation front suspension and C6 generation rear suspension components along with Strange Engineering Coil-over shocks make for a very modern ride. Chevrolet Performance supplies a new LS376/525 engine and 4L70e transmission controlled by GM engine/transmission management computers. The engine is cooled by a Be Cool radiator with a puller electric fan. Holley fuel injection and close stainless headers have been added to give a few more ponies. A Dana 44 C4 ZR1 style differential controls the power to the rear tires. Speaking of tires, Toyo Proxes with Redlines in 275/35-19 out back and 235/40-18 up front. Stopping power is provided by factory C6 Corvette Z06 components with a Wilwood master cylinder. Wheels are styled from the C7 Z06 with C2 Knock off spinners added.
This body is fabricated from brand new C2 panels manufactured by a major company and is painted an original ’67 color of Silver Pearl. One of the two master interior workers from the team handcrafts the interior from top grade distressed leather and makes each car individual from others previously built by the team. Audio is provided by Antique Radio from Tampa FL and features Bluetooth and hands-free calling and still looks like the original Delco Corvette radio. The gauges were built by Auto Meter as part of their American Muscle collection. They fit perfectly in the original instrument cluster surrounded by fine carbon fiber. Power windows and seat frames and carpeting borrowed from the Mercedes designers make up the interior.
As built the Sting Ray weighs 2740 lbs., so it’s power to weight ratio is very impressive. When first delivered to my home, I was a little intimidated by its performance. I also have a C7 Z06, which is easy to drive, even when pushed hard, whereas this C2 is a handful! I truly believe that’s why the first two owners sold it quickly, as they were afraid of it. I have changed the torque converter from a 2200 rpm stall to a 3200 rpm model. This makes the car much more drivable with that big cam in the engine.
I have close to 5,600 miles on the car now as I drive it all over south Florida to dinner cruises, shows and other similar events listed on the FLACarShow web page. The paint is still perfect thanks to totally covering the body with Paint Protective Film Provided by SunTek Films and applied by Auto Supershield. I regularly converse with builder Jeff Hayes and he’s told me he’s really pleased to see I’m getting so much enjoyment from this car.