Spotting Guide: C2 Corvette
The most obvious to spot differences in each year from 1963 to 1967
In 1963, the 10th anniversary of the Corvettes release, the now decade old platform got a total redesign. Starting slightly before the dawn of the Muscle car era, the Corvette would weather the horsepower wars and come out the other side with a solid fan base.
Lets take a look at the individual years and point out the differences in each year. As usual we will stick with the easy to notice things that will help you identify one in the wild. We are not going to get bogged down in the subtle differences, but rather, the things that make each year novel and easy to spot!
Above: (first) The front and side view of a 1963 Corvette. photo from mecum.com (second) The rear and side view of a 1963 Corvette. photo from bringatrailer.com (third) Fake hood vents. photo from corvettestory.com
The '63 Model is vastly different from anything that came before it. The almost vertical grills and integrated front bumpers were gone. Of course, the easiest way to spot a '63 coupe is to take a look at the rear glass. '63 was the only year for the split rear glass. If you are dealing with a convertible the back glass fact isn't too helpful. Just check out the top of the hood for those two fake hood vents. Also helpful in identifying '63 & '64 models are the two recessed "scoops" on the front fenders, behind the front tires.
Above: (first) A 1964 Corvette roadster. photo from: bringatrailer.com (second) A 1964 Corvette coupe. photo from mobilecorvette.com (third) the fake vent indentations. photo from corvettestory.com
Other than the rear window changes, the easiest way to tell a '63 from a '64 is to check out the hood. The fake vents are gone on the '64, but the indentations where they would have gone remain.
Above: (left) a 1965 Corvette coupe. photo from bringatrailer.com (right) a 1965 Corvette coupe. photo from wikimedia
In the '65 and '66 model years the two recessed "scoops" on the front fenders were replaced with three vertical vents. The hoods were also flat starting in '65.
Above: (first) A 1966 Corvette coupe photo from fastlaneclassics.com (second) A 1966 Corvette coupe photo from superchevy.com (third) Photo of the hood emblem. photo from superchevy.com
The grille in the '65 and the '66 is a little different as well. The '66 has a grid pattern, while the '65 has slats. Another easy to spot difference present in hardtop versions appears on the B-pillars. The '66 doesn't have vents that were present on previous years. If you can get a little closer, take a look at the hood. The Corvette script emblem wasn't present on the '65.
Above: All three photos are of a 1967 Corvette and are from Hemmings Motor News
For the last year of the C2, 1967, Chevy went with five vents on the front fenders and removed the fender badging. Also, this was the first year to not come with knock off rims. But due to the fact that wheel swapping is such a common thing on any car, I wouldn't use that as a sole basis for identification.
Photo from: motorauthority.com
Those are the easiest to spot differences between the C2 Corvette series. I may have overlooked a few easy to spot differences, if so please correct me in the comments section. No matter what you think of the C2, or Corvettes in general, everyone can agree they are beautiful cars!
Keep on Cruisin'!
I want to take a moment and thank DriveTribe Ambassador, Brandon Shriver for helping with the differences on the '65 and '66 model years. His help was appreciated with this one, as I'm a little out of my depth with these new cars! Check out this link to his personal page and be sure to drop by his tribes! That USA Events Tribe is GREAT!
Lifelong car guy; BSME with Automotive Concentration from Kettering University; Senior engineer for a class-8 truck OEM with experience in testing, manufacturing, and engineering documentation. Founding member of Alpha Gearhead website and Tribe
Now those are some beautiful machines!
If you had been interested in purchasing a new car during this period in time,
would you have went for the 'Vette or a Muscle car?
Let us know in the comments below! Don't forget...
Art: Chris Breeden