The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Recreation was a car crafted for driving the streets with speed and style. It came at a time when Carroll Shelby's legendary Cobra ruled the road because it was a half ton lighter and proved to have better handling than the Corvette.
The 1963 Corvette was meant to change that. Zora Arkus-Duntov, father of the Corvette, designed a car to be ultra lightweight to improve performance, weighing in at 1,900 pounds, almost half the weight of the stock Corvette coupe. The car had a V-8 engine putting out 550 horsepower through a four-speed transmission and four-wheel independent suspension.
When they ran head to head against the Cobras, they showed that they were both faster and better handlers than Shelby's snakes. At Nassau in 1963, they put on an exciting show besting the Cobras and finishing third and fourth behind two prototypes. Roger Penske returned to Nassau in 1964 and won the Nassau Trophy race.
But Corvette’s challenge of the Cobra did not go unanswered. Shelby continued to boost and improve the Cobra while the Grand Sport remained largely unchanged.