Germany had the Mercedes-Benz SL, England, the Jaguar E-Type. But in 1967 the American-born Corvette Sting Ray gave the best of Europe a middle-finger salute what with its eye-catching looks, addictive exhaust note and stunning power.
General Motors nailed the late Sixties sportscar — but it was with some luck; there wasn’t enough time to adorn it with much fresh jewellery because it was basically a stand-in for the Shark-era third-gen model which suffered production delays, however, the minimalist and clean exterior scored a home run. The new five slot functional vents on the fenders were a neat addition and dual taillights replaced the previous single light. Enthusiasts didn’t even mind the last minute snap-on centre caps used to hide the five lug nuts — but this coupe wasn’t just about looks, not by a long way in fact.
With a big-block 427 cubic inch V8 under the bonnet fed via three two-barell Holley carbs, the L71 motor made 435bhp and 623Nm of torque and excelled at embossing rubber onto pavement. When you dumped the clutch and buried the throttle in first it would leave two skinny squiggles for a signature on the blacktop. It was one of the fastest productions cars in ‘67 hitting 100kph from rest in a blistering 4.7 seconds. This sort of performance along with the posi-traction rear axle, close ratio four-speed manual and the firmest of rides ensured that it became an icon of the automotive world.
Prices today start from Dh450,000 which is a bargain for one of the most highly prized and collectible American sportscars ever made.