C3 Corvette Stingray Central
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This website is dedicated to everything related to the 1968 - 1982 Corvette Stingray. Even though our name says "1976 Corvette", we cater to ALL classic Corvette Stingrays! We have build numbers, specs, Corvette Stingray Fun facts, interesting information, pictures, and videos of the classic Corvette Stingray.
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1968 - 1982 Corvette Stingray
The C3 Corvette Stingray was an awesome car that has been an icon since the day it was first built.
This era in Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays is considered by many people to be the most iconic car to come out of Detroit in the past 40 years. The classic Corvette Stingray shape is recognized the World over as a supreme sports car.
The C3 Corvette Stingrays are the generation of Corvettes produced between 1968 and 1982. The general design idea for the Corvette Stingray was modeled after the Mako Shark II concept car. When the term "C3" is used, it refers to the fact that they are the 3rd generation of Corvettes. Each generation of Corvette was given a designation as such. The current Corvettes (as of 2013) are referred to as C6, or 6th generation Corvette. The 2014 Corvette will begin a new era - both a re-introduction of the Stingray moniker and a new generation called C7. Each generation refers to any major changes that are made, such as body design, drivetrain, etc. Of course, each year model within a single generation varies slightly from one year to the next, yet they still retain the same general look and feel as the rest of their generation. In the case of C3 Corvettes, the engine and chassis components were mostly carried over from the previous generation, however the body and interior were new, thus the new generation designation. This can be very useful when looking for information regarding a specific year Corvette, as many Corvette enthusiasts refer to the generation more frequently than a specific year or range of years.
One of the most obvious facts that stands out about the C3 Corvette Stingray is that it was the first use of T-top removable roof panels in a Corvette. Many of the 3rd generation Corvettes had removable glass or fiberglass tops that allow the driver or passengers to remove the roof panels, therefore allowing a more open top.This was a rather novel concept at the time, and it was not the originally intended design. The designers initially wanted to make the car a Targa Top, which means the entire roof panel is removable, hence the shortened name T-Top. After testing, the engineers determined that the lack of a support brace in the middle proved structurally insufficient for the powerful V-8 engines. This combined with the fact that the body was made of fiberglass made for a potential design flaw that could cause the body to flex under acceleration, resulting in cracked windshields, chipped paint, and other complications. As such, the designers added the brace in the middle, which seemed to resemble the letter T. The name remained "T-Top" even though the design was changed substantially from the original, and the name was meant to reflect the previous design