Dusty 1963 Corvette Rochester Fuel Injection Unit!

The 1963 Corvette is considered by many the peak of sports car design in the United States. Hidden headlights combined with independent rear suspension and the famous split rear window make for a design masterpiece. One of the 35 options you could mark in 1963 was fuel injection. While F.I. had been around for several years at this point, it was still newer technology whose true superiority wouldn’t be realized for quite some time. Since there were only a couple thousand ’63 Corvettes ordered with fuel injection, it makes these Rochester units exceedingly rare and valuable. This one can be found for sale here on eBay with a current bid of $3,500 and a buy-it-now price of $5,500! Keep reading to find out what makes this vintage part so valuable.

According to corvettestory.com, checking the box for the L84 fuel-injected 327 would have added about $430 to the price. While that doesn’t seem like a lot today, back then it was adding over 10% to the $4,000 base price for only a nominal gain in horsepower. That’s probably why there were only 2610 Corvettes ordered with that option in 1963. Hagerty.com says, “There’s no mistaking the look of Rochester’s fuel injection intake, and the second generation of the induction system, with its finned aluminum top, is a crowd-pleaser. The L84 327 was rated at 360 horsepower in 1962 and 1963, using the famous “097” or “Duntov” solid-lifter camshaft.”

Photo courtesy Bonhams

Here’s what an original “fuelie” set-up would look like under the hood. The finned top looks great with the matching finned valve covers. I’m sure when owners popped the hood back in ’63, there was a ton of conversation about the “missing carburetor.” Hopefully, this injection unit will be enjoyed on top of another engine for years to come. What is your thought on vintage speed parts? Are they worth the money?

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Comments

  1. RATTLEHEAD

    I wonder what it could do for an original LT1?

    • al8apex

      adds mid range … I had one on my 56 DelRay with a 68 302

      really great economy too

      Like 2
      • Bob

        “adds mid range … I had one on my 56 DelRay with a 68 302

        really great economy too”

        I’m curious what great economy translates into?

        Like 1
  2. Bob

    Hope it comes with the special distributor that has a drive that runs the injector pump otherwise this setup is useless . . .

    Like 9
    • Bob N.

      yes and the intake manifold

      Like 6
  3. Bob R

    I noticed the eBay listing on this a few days ago. I just completed the installation of a FI unit on my 63. There are early and late versions of this unit so you have to be certain it will work with the build date of your car. I believe the listing noted the distributor was not included and a fuel unit distributor is over $1000 and it looks like a few other parts are either missing or will need replacement. This unit will cost somewhere around $4000 or so to restore depending on how many parts need replacing so by the time you’re ready to install it on a car you’ll be at least $15000. If you need a 63 Corvette air cleaner add another 6-8k. I think there are better deals around.

    Like 7
  4. Howard A Member

    Seems, the ’60’s Corvette “Fuel Injection” is one of those buzz words that every ’63 Corvette coming down the auction ramp, has to have. From what I’ve read, the reason there are so many today, is because they were troublesome and many removed them, probably like shown here. Didn’t see a lot of Corvettes as a kid, but none I ever saw had that “Fuel Injection” script, and as a motorhead kid, that’s something we’d be sure to notice. For someone going for the “auction results”, this is a great find, but a carb still works just fine for me. According to Bob, and I don’t doubt his estimates, really? I may be decades out of touch, but people got that kind of money for something like this? Tens and tens of thousands for a mere accessory? The stark contrasts in our life styles here sure is profound.

    Like 11
  5. Marco

    My dad had a ’64 327 fuelie with the matching, removable hard top. It’s the car he taught me to drive stick on when I was 16. Great car to impress the girls at that age but the vette was impressive all by itself. It had a unique sound and you could hear my dad coming home from work from way down the street. The car ultimately went to a former GM mechanic who bought a new frame for it (which had rotted from salt) and did a total restoration. Also, living in Rochester, had an opportunity to tour the Rochester Products plant and see the unit being built. AC Delco was also here. All long gone.

    Like 4
  6. lbpa18

    If one is really restoring a 63 and it had one of these, but is no longer present, Im not sure you wouldn’t get that $15K back upon sale. They’re pretty expensive cars if done well. This sure adds a lot of “pizazz”.

    Like 1
  7. John

    There were a lot of owners who probably spent nearly equivalent amounts of 196X dollars to get rid of theirs. Wonderful stuff if you have all the parts and know how to tune and maintain them. But I suspect that the last factory certified Rochester F/I technician is collecting social security by now (or living in Tahiti with the money he made working on them). Few new experts exist.

    Like 5
  8. Super Glide

    If you’re truly mad at your money, get involved in old Vettes. It’s funny that Vettes were always a young man’s dream, but only driven by old men.
    Four grand in 1963 was almost a years salary. You could buy a new starter house for 8-10 grand. My point is that they were always expensive. You were more likely to see them at a country club than a drive-in.

    When these were new in 63, GM already had several years of experience with Fuel Injection. GM mechanics were able to get through these, because they had a great background in mechanics, manuals and good parts departments. Today there are great mechanics out there and manuals but parts are astronomical.

    To own a running 63 fuelie is still a dream. Where’s that lottery ticket!

    Like 3
  9. Howie Mueler

    Why not dust it off?

    Like 3
  10. Dave Mathers

    A buddy of mine ordered a 63 roadster 327/360. He immediately traded the injection system for a dual quad intake with BIG Holleys (I forget the size). BUT the car actually ran slower as it was ‘overcarbed’!! He didn’t care and drove it anyway.

    Like 3
  11. Scott

    I wonder if there is a way to hide a modern aftermarket fuel injection inside of this thing? All the looks and more reliable.

    Like 2
  12. Johnny

    E-bay says it all–WAY OVER PRICED. At $6,000 bid now.HAHAAH– You can buy some really nice old car or truck for that and drive it off.

  13. Howie Mueler

    Sold for $5,200.

  14. Grease

    Maybe time for the aftermarket to come up with a kit to convert these mechanical units to efi while maintaining the appearance and improving driveability dramatically. with the price these or units are commanding, a complete new setup castings and all.

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