The Origins of the “Big Tank” Corvettes

Back in the 1960s, Chevrolet was not in the business of racing. The SCCA had a ban on factory-sponsored racecars, but that didn’t stop GM’s Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. Duntov did his best to conjure up a high performance package for Corvette that would enable the car to compete with Shelby’s Ford-powered Cobra at the racetracks. That package was designated RPO Z06. When the all-new for ’63 Sting Ray debuted, the coupe (when equipped with the L84 360 horsepower 327 small-block, a $430.40 option) could be ordered with the Z06 Special Performance Equipment package. Shelling out another $1,818 (on top

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