Corvette Sting Ray – Genesis of an American Icon


Peter Brock


“Sting Ray… even the word has a special quality that transcends the popular image of America’s best known sports car. Who created it and how? What was the unusual combination of personalities and events that enabled its production? Peter Brock knows the story intimately as he was part of it. Just 19 and fresh out of California’s prestigious Art Center College of Design he had little idea that corporate
circumstances far beyond his understanding would deliver the opportunity of a life time; a chance to interpret the vision of William “Bill” Mitchell to create the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.
In 1957 the Corvette program was in jeopardy. America’s first modern sports car was just four years old and projected sales were nowhere near meeting upper management’s goals. A corporate mandate by General Motor’s President had already been issued to terminate any hint of “performance” across GM’s entire line. There seemed little hope the Corvette would survive. Bill Mitchell thought
otherwise. A 20 year advocate of exciting automotive beauty, with a love of performance and classic design, he took it upon himself to defy authority and create, in secret, an entirely new Corvette that would reverse all corporate opposition and set a new standard of aesthetic design and technical excellence for Chevrolet and ultimately GM.
Brock’s new book on the creation of the first Corvette Sting Ray tells the inside story, from the foreign inspiration to the adoption of prior dreams that never made it, to the actual design of the prototype that did. More than 180 never before seen images share the behind the scenes history and evolution of the Sting Ray, including Brock’s original design studio drawings showing the variations that were
contemplated along with the sketch Mitchell ultimately chose as the direction to pursue. This story is about far more than the design of an American Icon; It’s a personal history of the era and the inside story of the team that collaborated to create the iconic 1963 Corvette Sting Ray.