The Stingray Split Window Coupe

The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split window coupe is, I think, the most beautiful modern American car. It up there with the most beautiful British modern car, the Series 1 Jaguar E-type.

The 1963 Sting Ray production car’s lineage can be traced to two separate GM projects: the Q-Corvette, and more directly, Bill Mitchell’s racing Sting Ray.

In 1957, the Q-Corvette was envisioned as a smaller, more advanced Corvette that was designed as a coupe-only, boasting a rear transaxle, independent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes, with the rear brakes mounted inboard. Exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, a long nose, and a short, bobbed tail.

The first-ever production Corvette coupe sported an unusual styling element for its day— a split rear window—and only for that model year. The rear window’s basic shape had been originally conceived by Bob McLean for the Q-model. Quad headlamps were retained but were hidden, the first American car so equipped since the 1942 DeSoto.

The image at right was made at Cars & Coffee event at The Vehicle Vault. It was shot with an Olympus E-M5 Mark I with the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R kit lens at 14mm and an exposure of 1/640 sec at f/19 and ISO 320.

car.bookIn How I Photograph Cars, there’s also lots of information on photographing cars including motorsports from sports car racing to drag racing including safety tips when working around fast racecars. You’ll go behind the scenes as I photographs a small car collection for a client and look at not just the challenge of photographing a group of cars but the logistics involved in making the shot happen.