A Summary of The C2 Corvette Sting Ray in Miniature
by Dave Weber, images by Doug Breithaupt

1963 Hot Wheel #1136

1963 Ertl #1617

1963 Yat Ming #1078

1963 Kidco - #115-2

1963 Welly - #8365

1963 Road Champs

1963 Racing Champions - #3

1963 Street Wheels

1963 Valvoline

1963 Johnny Lightning - #732

1963 Johnny Lightning GS - #736

Since 1953, when the first Corvette was manufactured , it has been determined by the collector community that there have been 5 major body style changes to date. The Sting Ray series was manufactured from 1963 until 1967 and is now referred to as the C2.

The first production car in 1963 featured an almost entirely new radically styled sports car. The only styling feature left over from the C1 was the ducktail styled rear fender design which first appeared on the 1961 car. The side fender coved scallops on the 1962 car were eliminated along with the oval grille. The headlight housings were hidden in addition to many other styling innovations.

This section will provide a guide to the yearly styling changes. Thus, collectors of these miniatures should be able to better identify the year of manufacture each model represents.

The 1963 coupe is the easiest Sting Ray to identify. This was the only year this car was produced with a large fastback split rear window. The split separation was eliminated the following year. The '63 coupe and roadster also had fake engine hood louvers which were eliminated tin 1965.

The 1964 C2 had slotted wheel disks and functional side roof vents. The 1965 design featured a smooth engine hood. The fenders featured 3 vertical vents behind each front wheel. The 1966 car design eliminated the roof vents and in 1967, the final year for the C2, each car was equipped with a single oblong backup light and the fender louvers were increased to 5 on each side of the car.


Many toy/ model manufacturers have produced replicas of the C2. Most of these chose to produce models of the 'split window ' 1963 car. Hot Wheels (HW) first introduced their Split Window casting in 1980 as model #1136. It has appeared numerous times since with other names and model numbers. Ertl produced their casting with model #1617 and 1935 in the early 1980's. This coupe model featured an opening engine hood. Zee Toy/ Zylmex issued their coupe model #364 over 10 years ago, at about the same time another competitor from the Orient identified as Yat Ming also introduced their inexpensive coupe model #1078. Kidco issued models #115-2 and 152-3 in coupe version also over 20 years ago. Welly produced a coupe, #8365 in their Racer series. It is reported that Wheeler, a lesser known manufacturer also contributed a model for this year. This cannot be confirmed.

In addition, Aurora issued model #6101 in their Cigar Box series. WT , another lesser known company also is said to have issued model #203. Road Champs issued a coupe model over 20 years ago. Racing Champions introduced one of the best coupe replicas available in 1996 in their Mint Editions set. The detail and realism are excellent. Racing Champions also offered a smaller casting in their Street Wheels series, usually featuring wild colors and ugly wheels. Valvoline, a fuel oil producer, issued a model in their 10 car promotional set in 1993. However, there is some distortion in the casting. Johnny Lightning (JL) has produced 2 1963 models. Their regular coupe is model #732 which was first issued in the Corvette Collectible series in 1999. Their second model #736 replicates the famous GS racing coupe. Only 5 of the full size cars were ever produced by GM. These cars did not have the split rear window. Matchbox also produced this model #2-K in 1990.


Only two companies produced models of the 1964 car. These were an Impy Roadmaster coupe #11 in 1966 and a Flyer version, #76. Mini-Dinky offered a coupe #12, over 20 years ago.


For 1965, five companies produced models. Fujima, a Japanese firm produced a plastic version. Mandarin reportedly issued model # 101, but there is no further info available. JL produced a convertible in 2001 and a coupe #733 in 1999 also in their Corvette Collectible series. Hot Wheels issued a very nicely detailed roadster in their 2000 First Editions series. A Siku coupe #V282, was produced from 1968-1974. This model featured exposed headlights with portions of glassine placed in the open housings. Valvoline also issued a second Corvette in their promotional set. This roadster is greatly distorted which is a prominent distraction.


JL is the only company to have produced a 1966 model. However the model # 733 is the same as their 1965 coupe model.


The final year of the Sting Ray was recognized by four manufacturers. JL produced model #168 in 1996 in their Classic Customs Corvette series. Although it is called a coupe, it looks more like a roadster with the top in the up position. HW also issued an enhanced coupe model in their Corvette Showcase set #2 in 2000. Mini- Lindy (Lindberg ) issued a plastic kit of the coupe in 1990 carrying model #3, with '67 side vents but also showing '65 features.

Other manufacturers over the years may have produced models of the C2 . This is only an attempt to summarize the models that are known to me. I wish to cite the following references as primary research sources for this article.

1963 Matchbox GS - #2-K

1963 Matchbox Premier Edition GS

1964 Impy Flyer - #76

1965 Johnny Lightning

1965 Hot Wheels

1965 Siku #V282

1965 Valvoline

1965/66 Johnny Lightning - #733

1967 Johnny Lightning - #168

1967 Mini Lindy - #3

1967 Hot Wheels Showcase #2

Editors of Consumer Guide,î Corvette- Past - Present- Future ì (1982)
Gunnell, J (ed) standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975, Krause Publications (1987)
Ragan, M , Tomart's Price Guide to Johnny Lightning ì(2001)
Strauss, M , Tomart's Price Guide to Hot Wheels (2000)