Almost Buried Alive: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

The Chevy Corvette received a long-awaited redesign in 1963, 11 years in the making. A coupe version was available for the first time. It had a split rear window configuration, a one-year-old-only element of the styling that has become iconic, driving resale prices sometimes through the ceiling. This ’63 Vette has been trapped inside a messy garage for 20 years and is mistakenly labeled as a split-window coupe (the photos and VIN identify it as a convertible). Either way, it’s been held captive in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and has “project” written all over it. Available here on eBay, a starting bid of $42,000 has yet to be cast and the pass-go price is $55,000 (cough). Thanks for “digging” this tip up for us, Larry D!

Also now called a Sting Ray, the C2 Corvette was based on designer Bill Mitchell’s 1957 SS racer and the XP-720 prototype. The cars had hidden headlights, a knife-edge front end, and horizontal ribs wrapping around the car. The new fastback included doors that cut into the roof. The frame had been shortened by four inches from 1962, so the Corvette was lighter and stiffer in the handling department. An opening trunk lid would have to wait for the C3 Corvettes in 1968.

The seller of this ’63 ‘Vette offers little to no details besides saying it’s been sitting for 20 years. The ad claims this is a split-window coupe and has right-hand drive, both of which are wrong. We’re told that the seller will take photos of the undercarriage if requested, but we don’t know how given all the junk piled up around and in the Chevrolet.

The engine is apart and will need rebuilding, assuming it’s complete. If original, it would be some form of a 327 cubic inch V8 that was capable of 250 hp on the low end and 360 hp with fuel injection. It’s hard to assess the overall condition of this car and whether it’s all there somewhere. The steering wheel and seats are from the aftermarket, and the former looks like it’s leaning to the right. Does that mean the steering column is bent? The Corvette had a good year in ’63, with sales up 50% and the 21,500 total was split almost evenly between coupes and convertibles. I don’t think I would post a bid on this vehicle before inspecting it first.


  1. shelbyGT500 Member

    For the right occasion of Thanksgiving , this is an illustration of Not to sabotage and annihilate you poor Turkey like this vett . Happy Thanksgiving y’all.

    Like 7
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    This answers the question “How can I turn my $50,000 car into a $5000 car”?

    Like 24
  3. Cadmanls Member

    20 years ago this was nothing more than a race car. Yes people raced Corvettes at the drag strip. The steering wheel doesn’t fit the era though. The girdles on the valve train leads me to believe this big block was pulling some high revs. Yeah it’s a big block, maybe beat and needs some attention. May no longer have the original differential as solid rear axle was put under drag cars. There is no roll bar so was it a street racers? All I know owner is asking quite a bit of money for this old vette.

    Like 8
  4. Terry

    Smoking some good weed.

    Like 18
  5. Big C

    Even the rats that infested this pooch have abandoned it.

    Like 3
  6. Chris In Australia

    You’d be waiting a lot longer than 1968 for an opening boot/trunk lid. Dash has been altered for an after market tacho.

    Like 1
  7. Mike Member

    Really ???

    Like 4
  8. Jerry Bramlett

    This ad has it all:

    A filthy, obviously inoperative car that is partially obscured by garbage.

    Telephoto / panoramic / distorted photos that show few details affecting price.

    A brief, vague text description that says essentially nothing that is meaningful.

    An opening bid price that is ridiculously high.

    I can’t imagine a normal human being trying to buy this car based on the information in this ad.

    Like 20
  9. Rodney - GSM

    For the morning after Thanksgiving we have “A Dogs Breakfast…”

    Like 4
  10. Joe Haska

    Am I missing something this car looks like it’s been destroyed. WHY would anybody pay 50 K for this?

    Like 3
    • Frank Sumatra

      Don’t worry. No one will pay $50K for this.

      Like 3
  11. CraigR

    Well the seller is truthful, per listing “Engine need to be rebuild car need some work”

    Thank you Captain Obvious, best of luck with the listing.

    Like 3
    • Rico

      “Ran when parked!”

      Like 1
  12. robert j mulvaney

    yes some very good weed real good got some

    Like 2
  13. MrF


    Like 1
  14. Jay McCarthy

    Can someone explain exactly which C3 model had an opening trunk TIA

    Like 1
  15. Mountainwoodie

    We live in a post reality world.

    There doesn’t seem to be any crackpot notion that doesn’t get oxygen anymore. In what universe does someone see that pile of junk with missing parts and say………..

    .”.I know lets go to the internet and go fishing! Someone will pay fifty large for this.”

    May the gods of rolling iron help us!

    Like 2
  16. V

    lots of aftermarket /cheap street/race parts go with the car. the gauges look like s&w knockoffs.why is the motorcycle so close to the right front tire.was it wrecked. this could take a month just to dig the car out . why was he in a hurry to list this vette. being a stripped out racer i would have to see some oem paper work. when you see the cars windows dont be surprised the potential buyer will like to split…another car worth more in pieces than whole. send eviction notices to the rat nest inhabitants in the big block. the girdle is still there but the drawers are gone. uncover the car and get your techy nephew to take some solid pics. wasted time and wasted cash on this add.

    Like 2
  17. Rico

    I’ve often wondered why people show what could possibly be a pretty nice car surrounded by and covered with garbage and then expect other people to see something other than the garbage.
    The owner could have gone to Home Depot, hired a couple of guys to clear the crap away, given them $20 and a Wendy’s lunch, taken the pictures AFTER all the stuff was cleared away and he probably could have gotten a good price.
    As for the $55K? There’s an old saying about a fool and his money.
    I’ve always wondered how the fool got the money to begin with…..

    Like 5
  18. Shuttle Guy

    Sad, very sad. And ridiculous beyond belief!

    Like 4
  19. Scott

    I see the before pictures,…for that price I would expect to see the after pictures…lol

    Like 1
  20. Demonsteve

    Bidding is at 42, anybody seen the left side of the car?
    Can you imagine how much he could get if you could see all the way around the car.

    • Lee

      Zero bids at $42k Asking start bid is $39k now.

      Like 2
      • Rico

        Or better still: $1900?

  21. Jerry Bramlett

    It’s been tubbed. I’m guessing it has a solid axle rear. There’s a 427 hood propped against the back wall, and there’s a disassembled hard top on the floor. The aftermarket shifter is for an automatic. The battery has been relocated behind the seats. Somebody spent a lot of money ruining this Corvette.

    If this car… has a never-rusted frame matching the VIN, has original ’63 VIN / trim tags, and (most importantly) actually does have a clean title and current plates, then I could see a young car guy paying $25,000 for it without feeling too cheated. But getting a $42,000 offer based on the info in that ad? No way.

    And then there’s the lovely prospect of dealing with a delusional seller who thinks this is a $42K car. Run, Forrest, run!

    Like 3
    • Scott Member

      Agree, $25K was the number in my mind.

  22. Ohio Rick

    I guess the back glass in the convertible top needs replaced since it’s a “split window convertible.”

    Like 2
  23. Bob Johnson

    It looks like a big block in the car

  24. Mitch

    Its not a parts bin its not a parts car its not a car. Weird
    how a classy C3 can end.


    the listing says 63 split window convertible?? was there such a thing? have seen a lot of these as drag/race cars, usually been gutted and tubbed. Glad to see no one dumb enough to meet the minimum bid for this pile of parts.

  26. dogwater

    Come on guys yes its a big project I’ve restored corvettes in worse shape but the car is worth around 30k hope someone with hands on will bring it back to live

  27. Lee

    What a trash pit of a garage! Pure squalor.

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