A brief history of the Corvette Z06
New 625bhp Z06 follows a great – but short – tradition of really fast ‘Vettes. We chart them all
Posted: 16 Jan 2014
1963 Corvette C2 Z06
The ‘Vette was launched in 1953 but it wasn't until 1963 and the release of the C2 that the Z06 Pack first made an appearance. It was the idea of legendary Corvette engineer Zora Duntov, who, despite a ban (of-sorts) on OEM involvement in motorsport in force at the time, persuaded his bosses to sanction the continued development of race-ready parts. He knew Corvette owners loved tracking their cars, and wanted to give them one capable of withstanding a beating.
The $1800 package - which increased the price of the Vette by half - added, among other enhancements, stronger shocks and springs, bigger anti-roll bars, power assisted front brakes and for a time, a vast 36-gallon endurance-spec fuel tank. The Z06 Pack was only available with the 327-cubic-inch V8, which GM rated at 360bhp.
Just 199 were built - 198 coupes and one convertible.
But, with the introduction of the next-gen ‘C3' Corvette, the Z06 pack disappeared into the ether, and wouldn't make a comeback until the turn of the millennium.