The last of its kind. An underrated dinosaur, equipped with a massive V8 engine of more than six liters of displacement. Chevrolet's Corvette is truly a powerhouse fossil from the age of muscle cars, an anachronistic rearing of a species on the brink of extinction. The Corvette is sometimes scolded as an ostentatious "neighborhood car" that serves American men in midlife crisis as an escape vehicle from their wives, with the 20-year-old secretary in the passenger seat. The car earned this reputation in 1963 at the latest with its second generation, when the compact roadster became a real sports car that was fast not only in a straight line … okay, the curves were not to be taken too fast. Its name: "Sting Ray" - spelled in two words at the time, it didn't become one word until 1968.
Unlike its predecessor, the Sting Ray was actually based on a GM race car, the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle, or CERV 1 for short. Which didn't necessarily help its image. Things got really bad last November when the British mainstream newspaper The Mail announced that Manchester United's highly paid soccer players didn't even want to touch the fifteen Corvettes provided free of charge by General Motors. But then that was really unfair. The Corvette of today didn't deserve that. Granted, the voluminous V8 engine-which is almost ironically called the small-block and has served as the Corvette's standard engine since 1955-is controlled by a single, central camshaft and valve lifters.