When is a Corvette a Sting Ray and not a Stingray?

Quick—is the car above a Sting Ray or a Stingray? If you’re a Corvette enthusiast, you probably know the difference, right? Plenty of Vette fans, even those that aren’t owners,

will be quick to correct you if you happen to use the incorrect phrase while debating the finer points of America’s Sports Car. May Zora Arkus-Duntov help you if you make that

mistake on the wrong forum. The “Sting Ray” moniker, two words, was first used on a production Corvette in 1963 for the second-generation cars, which featured a major

front-end restyling compared to the first, along with a major chassis redesign and an independent rear suspension. 1963 also marked the first time a hardtop coupe was available in

the Corvette lineup. The aquatic name had been previously applied to the XP-87 development car, which was dubbed the Stingray Racer. Its design would influence the XP-755 Mako

Shark concept and, eventually, the production 1963 Sting Ray. The third-generation Corvette debuted in 1968, with lines that evolved from the Mako Shark II concept from

1965 and Pontiac’s XP-833 from 1966. When the 1969 Corvette rolled out, it wore a few structural changes and only a few minor functional updates, including a new door-handle

mechanism. It also wore script “Stingray” emblems on each fender—this time, one word. A Stingray badge would remain on Corvettes through 1976. In 1977, the Stingray name was gone,

both from the car and from brochures, not to return until the seventh-generation Corvette in 2014.