A television series created by Stephen J. Cannell that ran for two seasons from 1985 to 1987.
Ray (played by Nick Mancuso) a man with a mysterious past would help a client with their problem. They would approach him by answering an ad that ran every Friday in the New York Times offering a "'65 black Stingray for Barter Only". Ray would not take money from his clients but demand a favor that he would eventually collect.
No relation to the 1964 puppet show of the same name (about a special naval agency and evil fish-men) created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson of Thunderbirds fame (interestingly, the title was not changed when the series was screened on ITV in the UK - clearly no one could ever get the two confused!). Nor to the Corvette Summer clone from 1978. Nor to the creature that ended the life of Steve Irwin.
- Action Series: Typical of the era, with a wandering hero causing problem for the bad guys on each City of Adventure he visits per week.
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening credits are awesome, with a cool theme by Post & Carpenter, but the one sin that could be chalked against them is that it paints the series as more mystical/sci-fi that it truly is.
- Cool Car: Ray's '65 Corvette.
- Dark and Troubled Past/Mysterious Past: Although hints are dropped throughout the series, Ray's reasons for what he does, and what led him to it, are never explicitly revealed.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Robert Vaughn's unnamed character in "Abnormal Psych."
- Go Among Mad People: The episode "Abnormal Psych" has Ray infiltrating a Bedlam House on behalf of his client-of-the-week.
- Hero's Classic Car: The series is named after it.
- Magical Native American: "The Neniwa."
- A Simple Plan: The episode "Caper".
- The Unreveal: While Ray has worked for the government in some capacity, he has taken steps to obscure his real identity. His current is always Ray; last name, but the name always belongs to someone else. Once it was a black special forces officer.
- Vehicle-Based Characterization: Ray drives a black 1965 Corvette Stingray that's sleek, fast, powerful, and stealthy, much like the covert detective work Ray performs.
- Vigilante Man: Ray only helps people who are good. He kills in self-defense or to help the innocent, but only as a last resort.
- We Help the Helpless: The clients-of-the-week are people at the end of their rope and accosted by very powerful criminals who call the number of a specific ad in the paper's classifieds advertising a "'65 Corvette Stingray, for barter" and hire Ray.
- You Owe Me: Ray barters for his services, a favor for a favor. Often, he'd often call in favors from previous clients (that is, those from previous episodes) to assist in his current mission.