Though the Last of the Generation, Many Feel that the 1962 Corvette was the best of Class
With the making of the 1962 Corvette so too came the end of an American legend’s first generation. With the first total redesign of the storied car’s life to come just one year later the 1962 Corvette represented all that a Corvette was meant to be.
Thanks to a new engine under the hood the 1962 Corvette would scream down the road at a blistering pace never before seen by a Vette. The last year C1 sported a 283 that was bored and stroked to bring the cylinder to a 4.00x 3.25 dimension which made the displacement rise to 327 cid. This small block would continue to dominate what went under the hoods of the Corvette until 1965 and there was no shortage of power in this beast. Even the base model put out 250 bhp but that could easily be upgraded to 340 bhp by going with the best motor of the bunch that had all the bells and whistles.
The 1962 Corvette also made other changes to the car itself and some of the more notable changes were:
- Refined body side covers: Gone was the most obvious flaw from the past as the 1962 Corvette had done away with the chrome along the body side covers. These accents lost their triple chromed spears and made way for ribbed aluminum that was finished off in black.
- Refined grill: The grill was also changed on the 1962 Corvette to make its flanking cutouts finished in black as opposed to the chrome that usually adorned the cutouts.
- Rocker Panels: The 1962 Corvette also featured redesigned rocker panels that had new ribbed anodized aluminum moldings to show off.
- White Walls: White walls were all the rage in 1962 and there was no car that they looked better on then the 1962 Corvette.
When put all together, the changes done to the 1962 Corvette made it the best looking and most sleekly styled Vette to date. The car also had the distinction of being the first Corvette to sell for over $4,000 at a base price of $4,038.
For all that the 1962 Corvette brought to the table it was really a nice segway into the new C2 generation that would come in 1963. The engine, which was new to the C1 generation, would power the C2 generation for a few years before yielding way to a new engine design. While the 1962 Corvette recalled much of its roots of the past, thanks to designers Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus-Duntov and their gang, the 1962 Corvette looked almost new but was able to keep much of the charm of the original roadster concept.
With the total sales for the year hitting 14,531 units, which was about a 40 percent increase, the Corvette was officially in the black as far as GM was concerned. However, the sports car legend would not stop there and just one model year later, a new generation of Vette brought even more notoriety and fame to the already infamous car.