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1964 CHEVROLET CORVETTE
For 1964 Chevrolet made only evolutionary changes to the Corvette. Besides the coupe's backbone window, the two simulated air intakes were eliminated from the hood, though their indentations remained. Also, the decorative air-exhaust vent on the coupe's rear pillar was made functional, but only on the left side. The car's rocker-panel trim lost some of its ribs and gained black paint between those ribs that remained; wheel covers were simplified; and the fuel filler/deck emblem gained concentric circles around its crossed-flags insignia. Inside, the original color-keyed steering wheel rim was now done in simulated walnut.
A few suspension refinements were made for 1964. The front coil springs were changed from constant-rate to progressive or variable-rate and were more tightly wound at the top, while leaf thickness of the rear transverse spring was also altered thus providing a more comfortable ride with no sacrifice in handling. Shock absorbers were reworked toward the same end. The 1964 Corvette arrived with a new standard shock containing within its fluid reservoir a small bag of Freon gas that absorbed heat. Chevy added more sound insulation and revised body and transmission mounts for the 1964 Corvette. It also fitted additional bushings to quiet the shift linkage and placed a new boot around the lever. The result was a more livable car for everyday transportation.
Drivetrain choices remained basically as before but the high-performance pair received several noteworthy improvements. The solid-lifter unit was massaged with a high-lift, long-duration camshaft to produce 365 bhp and breathed through a big four-barrel Holley carburetor instead of the base engine's Carter unit. The fuel injected engine also gained 15 horsepower, bringing its total to 375, but at a then-hefty $538.00. Although transmission options remained ostensibly the same for 1964, the two Borg-Warner T-10 four-speeds gave way to a similar pair of gearboxes built at GM's Muncie, Indiana, transmission facility. Originally a Chevy design, it had an aluminum case like the Borg-Warner box but came with stronger synchronizers and wider ratios for better durability and drivability. If enthusiast publications liked the first Sting Ray, they loved the 1964, though some writers noted the convertible's tendency to rattle and shake on rough roads. Sales of the 1964 Sting Ray reached 22,229 - another new Corvette record, if up only a little from banner-year 1963. Coupe volume dropped to 8304 units, but convertible sales more than compensated, rising to 13,925.
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