Driven And Enjoyed: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster

This 1963 Corvette Roadster is no trailer queen. It is a Corvette that has lived the sort of life that its designers had intended because it is a car that has been driven and enjoyed. It has spent a number of years in storage, but I really have to thank Barn Finder Pat L for spotting a true survivor that has emerged in search of a new home. The Corvette is located in Citrus Heights, California, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The asking price for this survivor has been set at $38,500.

The photos that the owner supplies aren’t the best, but they do provide a pretty decent overview of the car. You can see that the Ermine White paint has deteriorated in spots, but that the fiberglass itself looks to be quite reasonable. The owner says that the top has been replaced, and judging by its condition, I would say that this occurred fairly recently. The external trim and chrome is all present and looks quite presentable. There is a small dent in the front bumper on the passenger side, but I suspect that this could be repaired by a good panel-beater. Failing that, replacement bumpers are pretty abundant out in the marketplace. Judging by external appearances, I think that it would be fair to assess the Corvette as being of decent driver quality.

This is a full, numbers-matching car, and how you see the engine bay now is said to be exactly how it looked when the Corvette was removed from storage. There has been no detailing performed, but the 327ci V8, producing 250hp, has been brought back to life. Also original is the 4-speed manual transmission, but it isn’t clear which rear end is fitted to the car. The Corvette has actually spent an incredible 30-years in storage before being prepared for sale. The car runs and drives, but it isn’t clear whether it is actually roadworthy. I said earlier that this car had been driven and enjoyed, and the mileage certainly backs this up. Factoring in the time in hibernation, it is incredible to consider that the Corvette has managed to accumulate an impressive 162,000 miles during its lifetime. See, it certainly has been used and enjoyed.

If I’m honest here, I wasn’t expecting the interior of the Corvette to present terribly well, especially considering both the accumulated mileage, and the time that it has been sitting. So, for me, the interior condition and presentation is quite a pleasant surprise. It isn’t perfect, that’s a fact. However, for the individual who is hunting for a survivor that they can drive without fretting about spoiling the condition of a mint classic, this would seem to be perfect. The upholstered surfaces appear to be in nice condition, while the dash also looks good. The carpet on both the floor and the bottoms of the door trims has faded quite noticeably, but there are no real wear marks or holes. There are a few painted edges around the car that have worn through to the metal, but to me, this is an interior that is ready to be enjoyed just as the maker intended.

There doesn’t appear to be any reason why this Corvette couldn’t be stripped and treated to a full restoration. The foundation is definitely there to return the car to a pristine state, and if the next owner chooses to do that, I will fully understand and respect their decision. If I bought the Corvette, I really wouldn’t bother. This is a car that has led a life as its makers intended, and that life is showing on its paint and interior. It has developed the automotive equivalent of character lines, and it has earned the right to retain them. I’d keep on enjoying the Corvette, and would leave it to another owner at some point in the distant future to contemplate undertaking a restoration.

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Comments

  1. gbvette62

    This looks like this could be a decent 63 for the money, as long as the frame, etc are solid. The car looks mostly original, though it is missing the fan shroud and some ignition shielding, and it has the wrong fan, and a replacement master cylinder and radiator. It’s really nice to see a seller include pictures of the block and trans stampings, to back up their claim of matching numbers.

    The 327/250 is far from a rocket, delivering performance similar to the much maligned mid 70’s smog motor Corvettes. There’s nothing wrong with the 327/250, it’s just not a high performance engine, but instead a mild, easy to live with small block.

    Like 10
    • Thomas Parker

      That 327/250 is a great motor. Obviously more power and torque than any 283. My dad had a 63 Biscayne with a 4sp. He got 19-21 mpg on highway driving and was thrilled beating 352 Fords, 318 Chryslers, Buick 300s, or almost anything with a 2 speed powerglide from a stoplight to stoplight challenge. He kept it til67 and traded it in for a half ton Chevy pickup with the 283 2 bbl 3 speed. He was very disappointed especially at the time when all pickups had less power than sedans. He put dual exhaust and a 4 bbl carb which helped but it wasn’t the 327

  2. Steve R

    Nice write up. Wash it, wax it, make sure it’s roadworthy then drive it.

    There are too many restored early Corvette`s that never see the light of day unless they are parked at a show.

    Steve R

    Like 17
    • Jack M.

      Agreed Steve R., nice to see you in a positive mood 👍.

      Like 4
  3. grant

    I have a question of semantics. What’s the difference between a convertible and a roadster? I always thought a roadster was an open car with no real top. By that criteria, this is a convertible.

    Like 4
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree grant, this is a convertible. Put a new rubber pad on the clutch pedal, check everything over and hammer down. Topless. The ding in the right side bumper is no problem. Nice job on the miles. Glad someone had some fun. Sure beats a 300 mile trailer queen in my opinion.

      Like 9
  4. b-rad jeepster

    A roadster typicly has no roll up windows and has side curtains with no back seat. So yes this is a convertible

    Like 8
  5. Del

    Sorry but two reasons I cannot buy this :

    My Hemmeroids,

    And my wife

    Like 8
    • Gaspumpchas

      Hey Del–u mean they are both a pain in the @$$??
      Sorry, couldn’t resist. Apologies to your bride.
      Cheers
      GPC

      Like 11
    • moosie moosie

      Del, no offense meant but that’s redundant.

      Like 1
    • daggercollector

      Del: Same thing ,only different ????

  6. TimM

    Great little car at a not so bad price considering what most corvettes bring here!! I don’t think it’s going to last the whole auction before someone pays the buy it now!!!

    Like 6
  7. Joeinthousandoaks

    It is true that Roadsters do not have roll up windows. (Look up high boy roadster) However C2 and C3 convertibles are lovingly often referred to as roadsters due to their small 2 seat capacity. I always call them roadsters for that reason.

    Like 2
  8. ruxvette

    “I’d keep on enjoying the Corvette” absolutely. This appears to be a great driver to be proud of!

    Like 3
  9. JoeNYWF64

    Looks like a flexalite full flex fan – i think.
    In the case only with the ’63 vette, i would THINK the split window only coupe is actually worth a lot more than a convertible. Any other year or any other car, the reverse is usually true.
    Those mufflers look very big – are they stock & free flowing?
    If the headlites don’t pop up & down from the driver’s seat, can u manually open & close them with your hands, like u can on a 1st gen RS camaro? If true, why bother to fix if car won’t be judged?
    Those whitewalls look extremely thin – could be very old tires, but not as old as the car, i would hope. lol
    Is it common to hit your right shin often on that emergency brake handle?

    Like 2
    • moosie moosie

      JoeNYWF64 , The headlamp motors each have thumbwheels that turn to manually rotate the lights open & closed, it takes many many turns to open them and just as many to close them. The mufflers appear to be pretty much normal size for a C2, as a general rule of safety I’d replace the tires first thing. I’m 6′ 4″ and the E brake handle was never in my way.

      Like 4
  10. Matt

    An ideal car, a 250 horse 327 with a 4 speed !!
    I hope Santa remembers where I live !

    matt

    Like 5
  11. Lou Rugani

    It’s a convertible coupe. The glass door windows qualify it as such.

    Like 3
  12. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It makes me smile every time I see a C2 that is rough around the edges being driven and enjoyed.
    It still happens.

    Like 6
  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Spoke to the guy listing it – nice guy who is helping the original owner that still holds the title – he has an offer of $35,000 from the first guy that came out and is sadly getting too many calls. Looks worth the money just by the presentation.

    Thought it could have been a friend of my uncle’s who also had a white one I saw in the garage along with a 1930 Ford roadster – not sure of the year – but was a C-2.

    Like 1
  14. George Mattar

    Best C2 on here. These cars can go 500,000 miles with maintenance and a ton more fun than a 2019 POS car. Change oil and filter, grease the chassis, repack rear wheel bearings every 12,000 miles, replace fuel filter every 12,000 miles. Go over points and replace spark plugs, very easy on a car with no AC and drive it. Those mufflers look correct to me. They didn’t get big and fat until the 73 car. I have one. So nice to see an old Corvette without $75,000 of restoration work at a great price. Go over the suspension and brakes. Replace fan shroud and drive. Life is short. I drive my 73 as much as possible. Love the 250 hp 327. Simple. Easy to fix. Do not paint this car. Waste of money.

    Like 2
    • grant

      A 2019 “POS” vehicle, literally any one of them, will go 500k without any of what you listed, other than oil changes. And

  15. Kenbo52

    Sweet!!!!Now if only the Pa Lottery cooperates tonight .

    Like 1

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