autoevolution
 

This 11k-Mile 1962 Corvette Hides Spicy Quarter-Mile Surprise, Has Barely Moved Since 1989

1962 Chevrolet Corvette 83 photos
Photo: YouTube/WD Detailing
1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette1962 Chevrolet Corvette
1962 was an anniversary year for one of the most emblematic names in American motoring history. The sportscar turned the page to two digits of age – the Corvette was celebrating its tenth year of production, and Chevrolet brass hats were rubbing their hands in joy. The sleek machine scored a leap upward in sales of nearly one-third over the previous model year.
That wasn’t the only progress the nameplate made that year. Sales were vigorously upward, but one major contributor to that success—14,531 units—was hidden under the hood. Chevrolet ditched the 283 V8 in favor of its stout 327 cubic-inch eight-cylinder puncher. The 5.4-liter motor was the only available displacement offered for the final year of the first-generation Corvette.

A single block doesn’t mean, however, less fun – there were four states of tune in which the sole V8 could be ordered. The standard equipment was a four-barrel carbureted unit producing 250 hp, and Chevy copywriters claimed it was a good performer. The keyword here is ‘good’ – there was plenty of room to build up from there.

The sales brochure for that year stated that the next step up was a ‘higher performance’ variant of the engine, with the same 10.5:1 compression ratio but with a larger carburetor and a different intake manifold. The power surge was impressive – 300 horses at the driver’s right foot, a full 20% upgrade.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: YouTube/WD Detailing
Next in line was the ‘ultra-high performance’ variant, the 340-horse 348-cube V8. It had an 11.25:1 squeeze, a hot camshaft, solid lifters (the ones below it were fitted with hydraulic tappets), and 340 horsepower. The carburetor was also a four-barrel unit, but there was more to the Corvette than this rowdy setup. The ‘peak performance’ came with a different induction system—fuel injection.

The ‘Fuelie’ carried on as the big gun in the Corvette arsenal until the middle of the second generation, in 1965, with its power upped to 375. From 1966, the Ramjet 327 was superseded by the notorious Chevy big-block, the infamous 427 big-cube (7.0-liter) that dive-bombed 425 horses.

The 340-horse four-barrel engine was the best-selling optional V8 in the sales charts of 1962 despite its $107 price. 4,412 buyers ordered one, while only 3,294 opted for the tamer 300-hp variant that was half the price. As for the ‘Fuelie,’ its breathtaking $484 label was quite a deterrent, but 1,918 hot-headed, lead-footed car nuts bought one.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: YouTube/WD Detailing
The base price of a 1962 Chevrolet Corvette was $4,084, and the top-dog V8 was its most expensive option. The next one down the line was the ‘Heavy Duty Brake, Steering and Shock Absorber’ combo, at a distant $333. Care to guess what the third one was? No, it wasn’t the 24-gallon big fuel tank, the signal-seeking AM radio, the PowerGlide automatic gearbox, or the heavy-duty four-speed manual.

It wasn’t even the power-operated drop-top, but we’re getting closer. At 236 bucks, the third priciest option on a last-year first-generation Corvette was the removable hardtop (and 8,074 Americans paid the money to get one). Now, that wasn’t exactly cheap back then, and it could be quite a pain in the neck for tall occupants.

That’s a literal fact – anyone six feet taller or above was faced with a simple choice: either drive under favorable weather conditions or cock their heads at a sharp angle to fit under the rain cover. As if that wasn’t enough discomfort, the large-radius steering wheel was big enough to give long-shanks-drivers cramps just by looking at the hampered seating position.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: YouTube/WD Detailing
Don’t take my partial word for it – look at the car in the video below. It’s a 1962 – with several modifications, I’ll reveal in a minute – that’s been sitting for more than half its life, accommodating rodents and collecting dust. The YouTubers from WD Detailing were called to refresh the apparel of this beautiful black-and-white-over-black example.

It has black livery (some traces of red in the floorboards would say it isn’t the factory-sprayed paint), the same tone on the inside, a white convertible top, and a hardtop it has never worn until the detailers got to it. The Corvette was bought by the owner’s grandfather in 1974, drove for a while, then passed down to the son as a ride to and from high school.

In 1989, when the teenager graduated, the sportscar was put aside. Notably, the family owned several Corvettes – which might explain why this example was parked and subsequently abandoned. The current owner – the grandson of the man who acquired the ‘Vette in ’74 – doesn’t say what the original setup was, nor what is the current power team.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: YouTube/WD Detailing
But there are clues to some fun-centered activities involving participating in sanctioned quarter-mile preaches on weekends. At least, that’s what the Mickey Thompson aluminum valve covers, Moroso air cleaner, Holley carburetor, Edelbrock intake manifold, Cal Custom valve cover wing bolts, Flex-a-Lite fiberglass fan, chromed water outlet, Autozone upper radiator hose, Hurst shifter would indicate.

If you notice anything else, please drop a comment, but the fire extinguisher in the trunk pretty much blows the whistle on this car’s past. Also, the Chevy Rallye wheels and the Turbine wheel covers are not period-correct for the 1962 Corvette.

Long story short, we don’t know what engine is in this car—the original 348, a replacement small-block, or something custom-built. So, the 11,282 miles indicated on the odometer would lead us to believe that this Corvette covered those 18,156 kilometers in quarter-mile intervals.

1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Photo: YouTube/WD Detailing
Yes, it could also be the case of a rollover, and the actual mileage would then be 111,000, but does it look like it? The detailers did a fine job refreshing the car despite the livery polishing nuisance. The nitrocellulose lacquer is extremely soft – watch how a gentle touch with a fingernail leaves visible marks at 29:20.

Heck, even a sharp look at this car would leave scars in the paint, but the good news is it buffs out just as easily. By the mid-60s, GM had introduced acrylic lacquer (much harder and more durable) to replace the touch-sensitive paint. The car came out looking fabulous, and as a sign of appreciation, it put on the hardtop hat for the first time in 62 years.

Sadly, from 1988 (when it was last inspected, with 10,985 miles / 11,769 km on the clock) to 2024, the car was barely driven – just 297 miles (478 kilometers) in 35 years. We don’t know if the engine is still fit for its duties – WD Detailing performs cosmetical revivals, but this stunner would definitely deserve a full mechanical treatment.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Razvan Calin
Razvan Calin profile photo

After nearly two decades in news television, Răzvan turned to a different medium. He’s been a field journalist, a TV producer, and a seafarer but found that he feels right at home among petrolheads.
Full profile

 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories