Corvette: Year By Year

    

About The Corvette

    
  

Sting Ray Racer Part Two

1959 Sting Ray Racer

1959 Sting Ray Racer

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1959 Sting Ray Racer

1959 Sting Ray Racer

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1959 Sting Ray Racer

1959 Sting Ray Racer

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Dr. Dick Thompson, The Flying Dentist

Dr. Dick Thompson, The Flying Dentist

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The Sting Ray Racer did more than just look great; it also had a very successful racing career. It finished fourth in its first race. Driven mostly by Dr. Dick Thompson ("The Flying Dentist", above) it dominated the Sports Car Club of America C-Modified class in 1960. The Sting Ray Racer had the championship wrapped up only half way through the season. In ten races, Dr. Thompson had more than twice the points of the nearest competitor.

Following it's show circuit career, Bill Mitchell then used it as his personal car, which was his typical way of doing business. It also had a cameo roll in the Elvis Presley movie, "Viva Las Vegas".

1959 Sting Ray Racer detail

1959 Sting Ray Racer detail

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1959 Sting Ray Racer detail

1959 Sting Ray Racer detail

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1959 Sting Ray Racer detail

1959 Sting Ray Racer detail

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1959 Sting Ray Racer side pipe detail

1959 Sting Ray Racer side pipe detail

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1959 Sting Ray Racer Special wheel

1959 Sting Ray Racer Special wheel

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Corvette XP-87

Corvette XP-87

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Above: Early publicity for the 1959 Sting Ray Racer, which was sometimes known as XP-87.

1959 Sting Ray Racer hood

1959 Sting Ray Racer hood

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Hood vents also appeared on the 1963 Corvette. While they were functional on the 1959 Sting Ray Racer, they were for style only on the stock 1963 Corvette (below).

1963 Chevrolet Corvette hood

1963 Chevrolet Corvette hood

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Chuck and Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway

Chuck and Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway

CloseChuck and Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway

Famous GM designer Chuck Jordan and his son Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway, mid 1970s.
Photo: Gary Smith, Dean's Garage

Chuck and Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway

Chuck and Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway

CloseChuck and Mark Jordan test drive the 1959 Sting Ray Racer at Michigan International Speedway

Bill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina

Bill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina

CloseBill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina

Bill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina, founder of the Pininfarina coachbuilding company.

Bill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina

Bill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina

CloseBill Mitchell discusses his 1959 Sting Ray Racer with Italian designer Battista Pinin Farina

1959 Sting Ray Racer Archival Photograph

1959 Sting Ray Racer Archival Photograph

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Archival photographs from "back in the day" are courtesy of the Chuck Jordan Archives. The Sting Ray Racer evolved constantly during its early career, first painted red and then silver. Engines and chassis items (such as brakes) also changed. Note for example the more minimal hood louvers.

1959 Sting Ray Racer Archival Photograph

1959 Sting Ray Racer Archival Photograph

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The 1959 Sting Ray Racer continues to attract fans as seen at the 2013 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. The car has been used extensively by GM as a promotional vehicle, a task for which it is eminently qualified.

1959 Sting Ray Racer

1959 Sting Ray Racer

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Auto Art 1959 Sting Ray Racer

Auto Art 1959 Sting Ray Racer

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1959 Sting Ray Racer model available from AutoArt

Sting Ray Racer Part One
Sting Ray Racer Photographs
Sting Ray Racer GM Photographs