30 Years In The Barn: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

During all of its years in production, there is probably no Corvette that is more recognizable and iconic than the 1963 Split-Window Coupe. This was a variant that was available for a single model year, and Chevrolet sold 10,594 examples to an eager motoring public. This one will need plenty of work, and the seller has listed the car for sale here on Facebook on behalf of a friend. It’s located in Chillicothe, Ohio, and the asking price has been set at $75,000.

The Split-Window was one of those features that owners seemed to either love or hate. There are recorded instances of owners taking their Coupes back to Chevrolet dealerships to be modified. Many dealers offered a kit that allowed them to remove the rear glass, cut out the dividing strip, and fit a one-piece replacement rear window. It has never been verified how many owners did this, but those same individuals must feel slightly nauseous today when they think about doing that to a valuable classic. This Corvette hasn’t been modified, but it is going to require some attention. The Silver Blue paint is looking pretty worn, and the vehicle will require a complete strip and a repaint if it is to present at its best once again. The fiberglass seems to be in good condition, with no signs of any stress cracks or problems. The great unknown here is the state of the frame and birdcage. There are no photos, and the text for the listing runs to less than 20 words. Less can sometimes be more when it comes to product description. In this case, less is… well, less! The bumpers and some of the minor trim pieces are missing, but the glass looks like it might be okay.

The Corvette isn’t a numbers-matching car, which is a blow for potential values. However, it does feature a 327ci V8 and an automatic transmission. It isn’t clear which version of the 327 this is, or if it is even date-correct. If it is date-correct, then that means that it could have produced somewhere between 250hp and 340hp when it was new. However, if the existing transmission is original, then this narrows the field slightly. The only automatic available in 1963 was the Powerglide. This was only available when teamed with the base 327 and the 300hp L75 variant. It isn’t clear when the vehicle last fired a shot in anger. It isn’t even clear whether the engine turns freely. Any potential buyer would need to budget for a rebuild of both items when they are working out their potential costs on this restoration. We are in the same boat when it comes to the interior. If the Silver Blue exterior is original, then the interior should be finished in either Dark Blue or Black. The owner supplies no information on this, or whether any optional extras have been fitted.

I’d be willing to bet that I’m not alone in being frustrated by this 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Coupe. The seller provides so little information that it makes it hard to determine whether it is a viable restoration project. The fact that it isn’t a numbers-matching vehicle will negatively impact its potential value once restored. The lack of numbers-matching status can result in a drop in the value of up to 25%. However, I’m not sure how valid that is in this case. The owner has set an asking price of $75,000, and I believe this is on the optimistic side. I have seen several non-original cars sold in recent months. Really tidy examples have been selling from around $65,000, while I have seen spotless examples selling for around the asking price of this one. With the original engine in place, they achieve prices of $90,000 or more. Hope springs eternal, and I believe that this is the case with this car. Still, it is an awesome find! Would you pay the price?

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Comments

  1. RGSmith1 Member

    Nonmatching? No info whether running or not? Price seems very, very optimistic!

    Like 25
    • smokeymotors

      I own a 64 conv, believe me 1963 had SO MANY one year only parts and if there not on the car good luck chasing and spending big bucks, get it for less than 30 grand, and if you can’t do it yourself you will spend another 50g’s, however if you have the money go for it! these are the one of the top picks for C2’s

      Like 4
  2. Rick

    40K high for a lot of unknowns. Still.. as much as I hate to say it, it’s perfect for a resto-mod. If the frame and birdcage is ok, a non-numbers matching doesn’t bother me.. not that I could afford it anyway.

    Like 10
  3. Mike D

    The hood is incorrect

    Like 18
    • James Keyes

      Yup, no die cast panels. A real piece of junk. That divided window is not worth tens of thousands. No bumpers? Yuck.

      Like 3
  4. Tracy

    You can find a nice one for that kind of money. Geez!

    Like 15
    • 8banger dave Member

      Very incorrect!

      Like 6
    • stanley j Kaczor Member

      A few things. Information on the car is first priority. vin tag, trim tag than go from their. I’ve had a few splits and I have an all original one that I am the second owner. The paint on this is not bad if it is original. patina is good. It is not a 340 because of the snorkel air cleaner and steel valve covers. bumpers are not an issue they can be found. These cars can fetch allot of money depends on what you want to do and how much work you want to do. I think the price is a little to high. ( stan63split)

  5. Jack Saraceno

    I feel the price is high wrong hood automatic is less desirable non matching motor and no word on rust or if motor turns I believe he is asking twice as much as it is worth Far to little info for anyone to risk stepping up for this iconic classic

    Like 9
    • stanley j Kaczor Member

      The automatic is rare. they made 2,621 out of 21,513 total units. so you figure roughly 50% for splits. for a collector it is a plus. I prefer the 4 speed myself. I know there are allot of opinions on the C2 popularity. I think the 63 split and 67 big block are on top of the corvette food chain. These cars are being turned into restomods that sell over 200k. that’s not my thing. (stan63corv)

  6. Frank Sumatra

    Can’t wait to show this to a friend who has an absolutely bone-stock, Top Flight, Survivor 1963 Corvette stored correctly. He has a $125,000 car based on what I see here.

    Like 5
  7. Jerry

    “The owner has set an asking price of $75,000, and I believe this is on the optimistic side”

    Aah, the master of the understatement.

    Like 13
  8. Neal Cook

    Not matching #’s, auto, needs complete restoration. That’s a $20-$25k car. There are flawless matching # 63 coupes for $75-$90k available.

    Like 12
  9. Paul

    I have also seen 1964-65 that have put the split in the rear window any assurance this is not the case?? Without serial number can not be sure

    Like 3
  10. Classic Steel

    Take it to Barrett j and get a million 😂😜

    List it for 49999 and maybe it will sell…

    Like 2
    • Robert Eddins

      Then the fees would eat up any profit unless bought super cheap.

  11. Glenn

    Color of the steering wheel matches the interior for 1963.

  12. HC

    Tbere was a pla e in Ft Lauderdale where you could get one like this for $75-85k running and driving and in way better condition than this one. Too much work left to do for this asking price.

    Like 3
  13. jim

    The guy must be on drugs maybe a 20,000 car everything will have to be replaced who knows what the bottom is like

  14. gbvette62

    This isn’t the first time Barnfinds has claimed Chevrolet dealers offered a kit to remove the split, but it’s not true, it never happened. Starting in 64, like any parts, you could buy the rear window and moldings through a dealer’s parts department, but there was never a conversion “kit”. Also, I doubt many dealers were interested in modifying a new car, in a way that could result in water leaks or other problems. It’s not that easy a swap, 63 rear windows & moldings are installed differently than 64-67’s.

    I’m not saying that people didn’t remove splits, some did, but I’ve been involved in the Corvette hobby for 45+ years, and have only seen two 63’s, with the split removed. In 63, Car Craft Magazine did an article on how to modify the body and 63 moldings, to install a one piece rear window. The car used was a well known 63 custom, that still exists today.

    As a 63 project car, with the wrong engine, $75K is high, but it’s still a split window, and people pay stupid money for them. Depending on the frame, birdcage, interior, and what comes with the car, $50-$60K is probably more realistic.

    Like 9
  15. Macfly

    Just buy a nice 64 and add the split. Done for one third the price.

    Like 3
  16. dogwater

    Gee, lets burn it to the ground, stop nickel diming the car, yes there is a few things
    that could be better 4speed etc. They are asking a little to much but it will be a good project for someone.

  17. mike

    WHY this seller…. is crazy…. 75K for that?? actually the price on these have been coming down lately…75K will get you a pretty nice one… even with a 4 speed… this is a stupid automatic…

    Like 3
    • Mark

      Yes right 4 speed better then automatic but very few automatic

  18. dogwater

    Gee, lets burn it to the ground, stop nickel diming the car, yes there is a few things
    that could be better 4speed etc. They are asking a little to much but it will be a good project for someone. P.S Smokey there a lot of 63 corvettes parts out there at affordable prices sorry

    Like 1
  19. Bing

    Had a friend that owned a body shop. He had a brand new 63 Vette in 63 and when the 64’s came ordered a new rear window. Converted it to a 64! Wonder how many people did this!

    Like 2
  20. martinsane

    Its not so much the car and all its misgivings that irk the masses, but the audacity of these flippers who want to retire off each vehicle they steal and and turn try and shill for unrealistic and just plain ignorant values. Lame.

    Like 2
  21. Kelly Waldrop

    First Corvette I owned was a spilt. Base with powerglide. Bought in 1972 for 875. Sold 10 fays later for 1200 thinking WOW. Have never seen a spilt with it removed. Only heard stories. 75 for this is a dreamer.

    Like 4
  22. Bing

    Kelly, if we could only turn back the clock!

    Like 1
  23. Phlathead Phil

    I have a friend that has 3 mint condition Corvettes. A ‘60 convertible, a ‘66 and a ‘67 hardtop convertible. He said the ‘63 is the “Holy Grail” of all Corvettes.

    However, and there always exists a “However,” it must be all numbers matching, low miles, original parts and ALL records to be high dollar, or points off.

    IMHO, this is NOT a 75 large ones car.

    Heck, they didn’t even bother to roll it off the trailer. WHICH always tells me the seller is after a ‘quick-flip.’

    Like 7
  24. Steve Bush Member

    A bit embarrassed that the clown/flipper “Dusty Ford” selling this is from my home state of Ohio. It’s annoying to see yet another flipper too lazy/stupid to take his car off the trailer before he takes any pics.

    Like 1
  25. Greg Gore

    No way, even with that amount of original factory content and I’d bet by looking at it that the frame is likely still good, the birdcage needs a close look but with that said you will spend the same amount of money on this NOM with a glide transmission as you would spend on a higher option car and something worth a whole lot more to show for it afterwards. I will also bet someone who has no problem cheating the numbers will pay that much for it.

  26. Newell Roundy

    He’s dreaming. I have a numbers matching split window that is a slight restomod and It’s appraised for less than what he’s asking…. No, I don’t want to sell it but for what it’s worth, there’s no comparison.

    Like 1
  27. stanley j Kaczor Member

    It’s nice to see that these cars are still out there after so many years. I know that we are going to get allot of different opinions on this car. If you have a slight restomod than its not numbers matching car. Do your research. The important thing is check out the engine stamp, vin tag ,trim tag and go from there if you want original. Don,t worry about the bumpers you could buy a set of original rear on ebay for $500.Check out Joe Verillo Auto in New York if you don’t believe 200 k price tag on 63 restomod done right. Like I said 63’s are holy grail. (stan63corv)

  28. Newell Roundy

    No disrespect intended to the 63 that’s for sale. I hope he got what he was asking and you are right about the prices. I bought mine being told the numbers didn’t match only to find that they did after I started my restomod several years after I bought it. I have a 300 h.p. 327 now making about 430 h.p. with Jegs aluminum heads, headman headers, Edelbrock intake manifold, Holley dbl pumper carb, Tremec 5 spd., orig. 4:11 rear, 35 yr. old lacquer paint that still looks good, a little wider tires on the rear, original spinners, etc. It’s a driver and 20′ car with a few nicks and stress cracks. I saw one on Bring a Trailer very similar that sold for $130k the other day that’s comparable to mine… It’s still a beautifully designed car after all these years…

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