Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 1969
A full model change in the fall of 1967 brought the new C3 Corvette Stingray as a 1968 model. It was very reminiscent of the “Mako Shark II” show model, which was displayed at the New York International Auto Show in April of 1965.
This concept sought to show off the Corvette in a new light, specifically as a grand tourer. Chief designer Bill Mitchell’s design ideas were extremely important factors in the achievement of this goal.
Working as Mitchell’s right-hand man was a man named Larry Shinoda, a Japanese-American who had worked as a detail designer on the original Singray. Taking many hints from Mitchell’s concepts, Shinoda’s image of the next generation GT car materialized as the Mako Shark II.
With a dynamic, curvaceous exterior, and an interior stuffed with the newest electronic gizmos, it was indeed the Corvette of the future. The essence of this idea was thoroughly incorporated into the street model that was to become the C3 Corvette.
In 1969 the standard engine’s displacement was brought up from 327ci to 360ci, but maximum output remained unchanged at 295 HP. At the same time, the small-block option changed from the 327ci L79, tot he 350ci L46, with maximum output again unchanged at 350 HP.
Though at the time talk was all about the power of the big block Corvette, the small block held the advantage in handling with its lower front-end weight. The epitome of this was the replacement of the top-grade L46 by the 364 HP LT1. Available around 1970, this was acclaimed as the best handling of all the C3 Corvette combinations.