The first Sting Ray was actually built on a stylish prototype Corvette known as the SS which was built for the 1957-running of the Sebring 12 Hours. This featured a potent custom chassis from which Bill Mitchell could build from. With the AMA ban on manufacturer racing, Bill Mitchell took up the project personally.
The first appearance of the car was at Road America in June of 1959 but the car retired with brake failure. John Fitch who helped develop the original SS was behind the wheel. Later in the season the car was raced by Dick Thompson who eventually won the C Modified National Championship. He said “That car was a 2000-pound car with a stock Corvette engine in it and, of course, it had the usual terrible Corvette type brakes on it. Those brakes were nothing more then sedan brakes with fancy linings and they didn’t work.” Zora said he didn’t use disc brakes because none were manufactured in America.1