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Black Book

1964 Corvette

When the 1963 Corvette was revealed, the reaction was dramatic. The previous cars were very contemporary, not the exotic look of the Sting Rays. The coupe, in partictular, with its fastback wrap around rear window was unique, especially for an American car. Seemingly there was little to do to make the car's better, but the 1964 model set about that task.

The most noticeable feature was the elimination of the rear window division bar. This meant that forever, the 1963s woukd be call "split window." That bar, while stylish, offered little other use. For 1964, the bar was eliminated and a one piece rear window sat in its place. This not only cleaned up the styling, but greatly enhanced rearward visibility.

A second change only visible on the coupes were grilles that were mounted on the B-pillar. On 1963s, these were false vents, molded in just for the sake of stlying. The left side vent worked concert with a three speed blower motor that extracted air from inside the car to keep fresh air flowing inside. The vents also worked well on hat days as the rear window acted as a solar collector, reducing the green house heating.

At the front of the car, the false hood grilles were eliminated. The depressions were still there and had a small hole drilled into the front edges to facilitate water drainage.

Under the hood, the powerteams were familiar. There was the 250 and 300 hp verion of the 327 cubic inch small block, but the higher horsepower engines were upsized in power. The 340hp carbureted and the 360 hp fuel injected engines were replaced with engines rated at 365 and 375hp respectively.

The 250hp base engine continued to use a Carter MCFB carburetor, while the 300hp 327 used a larger Carter AFB unit. These two engine were the only ones available with the powerglide two speed automatic. The manual transmission were revised on both the three and four speed manauls. The three speed was available with the 250 & 300hp versions and had a shorter first gear with a taller second and the ssame direct drive for third. The ratios were 2.58, 1.48, and 1.00 for 1964 versus 2.47, 1.53, and 1.00 in 1963. The four speed available with those two engines was also revised slightly with 1964's ratios being 2.56, 19.91, 1.48, and 1.00 for fourth with the 1963 transmission being 2.54, 1.89, 1.51, and 1.00.

The optional 365hp (RPOL76) 4bbl and 375hp (RPO L84) fuel injected engines had much more agressive camshaft lift for 1964. The camshaft went from .37375" intake and .39975" exhaust lift in 1963 to a .4850" of lift for both intake and exhaust for 1963. Both of these engines emitted a lovely ticking noise at idle due to their solid mechanical valve lifters. A Holley carburetor made its first appearance on a Corvette with the 365hp version. It was a model number R2818A. The air leaner assembly was chrome plated versus painted on the 250 and 300hp variants. An aluminum intake manifold was featured on these two engines. The exhaust pipes were treated to larger diameter exhaust pipes at 2 1/2 inches on allmanual transmission equipped engines except for the base 250hp variant. The L76 & L84 engines used forged aluminum pistons, the others, cast. Intake and exhaust head diameters varies among the engines. The 250hp used 1.72" intake and 1.50 exhaust. On the 300hp, 1.94" intake and 1.50" exhaust valves allowed the gasses to injest and escape. For the 365 & 375hp engines, massive 2.02" intakes and 1.60" exhaust valves were used for maximum power.

Inside the 1964, there was little to change. Air conditioning was a bit more prolific being installed on 1,988 cars. The $421.80 option made it way to roughly 5% of total production. The seat back were altered slightly with a thicker section. The plastic steering wheel outers were molded to take on a walnut grain, looking like the genuine wood wheels of its European counterparts.

As in 1963, steel wheels with bright wheel covers were standard. The steel wheels had width of 5.5 inches, but the optional knock-off aluminum wheels were a half inch wider, measuring 15" x 6". Tires were still 6.70-15 and could be ordered in blackwalls or whitewalls in Rayon cord, or in a blackwall nylon cord. Components of 1963's RPO Z06 ioption were available in two seperate options - RPO F40 Special Front and Rear Suspension and RPO J56 Special Sintered Metallic Brake Package. With F40, the ftont spring s were rated a 550 pounds per inch, much higher than the 195 pounds per inch of base cars. At rear the base cars 140 lb/in deflection rate was more than doubled to 305. Shocks were increased in piston diameter to 1 3/8", besting the base shocks 1.0" pistons. The front stabilizer bar was beefier, measuring .94", while base cars used a bar of .6875 inches.

The J56 brake package was only specified by 29 buyers, and at a price that was nearly 15% of the cars base price, it is hrdly a wonder there were so few takers, because after all, it was only brakes. On the surface, the option was costly, but the sum of its parts made it invaluable. The brake drums were larger in diametwr at 11.2 inches, surpassing the standard 11.0 inch units. Inside the brake drums were cooling fans to keep the brakes cool and the fronts included brake ducts. The brake linings were maded of sintered metallic asbestos for greater stopping power and resistance to fade. A dual servo master cylinder with vacuum powerassist was also included.

These options were exclusive to the RPO L84 375hp fuel injected engine. When equipped with these options, the close ratio four speed manual transmission, and positraction rear axle were required. That meant a coupe equipped with J56 and F40 would have had a list price of $5,700, a great deal of money in 1964.

Total Production - 22,229
Model Number Description Production Base Price
837 Corvette Coupe 8,304 $4,252.00
867 Corvette Convertible 13,925 $4,037.00

Engine Codes
RPO Cu. In. Horsepower Torque Fuel System Trans Block Code Comp Ratio :1 Air Cond
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Man RC 10.5 No
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Auto SC 10.5 No
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Man RP 10.5 Tes
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Auto SK 10.5 Yes
L75 327 300 @ 5000 360 @ 3600 Carter AFB 4bbl Man RD 10.5 No
L75 327 300 @ 5000 360 @ 3600 Carter AFB 4bbl Auto SD 10.5 No
L75 327 300 @ 5000 360 @ 3600 Carter AFB 4bbl Man RQ 10.5 Yes
L75 327 300 @ 5000 360 @ 3600 Carter AFB 4bbl Auto SL 10.5 Yes
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man RE 11.0 No
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man RT 11.0 No Transistor Ignition
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man RR 11.0 Yes
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man RU 11.0 Yes Transistor Ignition
L84 327 375 @ 6200 350 @ 44-4800 Fuel Injection Man RF 11.0 No
L84 327 375 @ 6200 350 @ 44-4800 Fuel Injection Man RX 11.0 No Transistor Ignition

Color & Trim Codes
Exterior Color Codes Interior Trim Codes
Color Code Color Code - Vinyl Code - Leather
Tuxedo Black 900 Black Vinyl STD 898K
Medium Silver Blue 912 Red Vinyl 490D 898M
Dark Daytona Blue 916 Blue 490B 898N
riverside Red 923 Saddle 490C 898J
Saddle Tan 932 Silver / Black 491Y 899P
Ermine White 936 Silver / Blue 491A 899R
Satin Silver 940 White / Red 491Q 899T
White / Black 491F 899S
White / Blue 491H 899U
White /Saddle 491G 899W
Corvette Coupe Corvette Convertible
Overall Length 175.3 175.3
Height 49.6 49.8
Width 69.6 69.6
Wheel Base 98 98
Track F / R 56.3 / 57.0 56.3 / 57.0
Curb Weight 3125 3110
Dimensions are in inches, weight in pounds unless otherwise noted.

1963 - Sting Ray & Split-Window
1964 - Function to the Form
1965 - Debut of the Big-Block
1966 - Cubic inches replace Fuel Injection
1967 - End of a Dynasty


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Cover of October 1962 Road & Track magazine is the property of Road & Track.