Former Track Car: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

The listing for this genuine 1963 Chevrolet Corvette “Day 2” build is quite interesting, but also fairly wordy. The Cliff’s Notes version is that this is a documented split window Corvette that lost its rear window due to visibility issues while on the track. Incredibly, the original split window bodywork comes with the car and remain in excellent condition. The car’s history is quite deep, and features wheelmen the likes of Dick Vreeland and John Caruso, and it was last raced in the early 90s at historic events in the Atlanta area. Today, it is offered here on Facebook Marketplace with extensive documentation and spares, for $89,000.

The listing has been up for quite some time, and it’s not surprising. Vintage race cars with real history and documentation command a fair price, but it’s harder to get that number if it’s not an instantly recognizable specimen. Despite the documentation and loads of history, it’s not like this Corvette won the Sebring 12 Hours with Hans Stuck at the wheel. So, how do you value this car? It is because it’s a genuine split window Corvette with great looking bodywork and no rust in the frame, and has the added bonus of being a vintage track car you can still race today? Or is the value in the history and the fact that it has lived its life on the track since it was nearly new?

That’s a bit of a subjective question, I realize, but I would place the value proposition in the access granted to vintage racing events and the fact that it hasn’t ever been overly restored or otherwise modernized. It still looks and feels like a 1980s track specimen, and I’m guessing that’s the last time it saw significant updates. Supposedly, a later owner by the name of John Thorne had his own race team that included a genuine Grand Sport Corvette. For whatever reason, that car was pillaged for parts, and the fender flares on this Corvette were taken from the Grand Sport and molded into the body. The Corvette was supposedly restored in 1985 by Robinson Racing of Atlanta.

The drivetrain features a roller small block Chevy V8 built by TRECO in 1988. It’s a dry sump engine with Crower Forged components, and hasn’t been touched since that last refresh in the middle 80s. The seller reports that the Corvette was found, somewhere, covered in dust and forgotten, and it hasn’t been altered in any way. The story behind where it was hiding and how it was found isn’t divulged, and I’d love to know where this period track car went after its last race. As far as the price tag, do you think the $90,000 ask is fair for a vintage split window Corvette track car with known history?

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Comments

  1. eusmine Member

    “The seller reports that the Corvette was found, somewhere, covered in dust and forgotten”. That also a very nice clone of the same car in the background of that shop.

    Like 8
  2. Steve R

    I love this car. I don’t know it’s value, but hope it sees substantial track time in its future.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  3. gbvette62

    There’s a lot of BS going on in that ad. First off, while Jon Thorne did own Grand Sport 002 for a while in the 60’s, I don’t believe it was ever cannibalized for parts, at least not the body. 002 is on display at the Simeone Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, and it’s body is unrestored and wearing the same paint and in the same condition as it was when first raced by George Wintersteen in 1966. 002 is recognized as being the most completely original Grand Sport existing, of the 5 built.

    The flares on this car are nothing like the flares that were used on the Grand Sports. In fact, the fronts are aftermarket flares that were quite common on Corvette race cars in the late 70’s and 80’s, made by a company called Thumper. The engine builder was not Treco either, it was Traco. Traco built all of Penske’s engines, the L-88 427 that Wintersteen raced with in 002, and engines for many other racers out of their shop in California.

    I’ve been crewing on road racing Corvettes since the 70’s, the last 15 vintage racing various 63-72 Corvettes and a 67 Trans Am Camaro. We buy, sell, restore and race old Corvettes, and while this car does appear to have some good race history, the price is pretty optimistic. There are restored, race ready cars out there for less money, and ones with better history, for similar or less money. From what we’ve seen, the market for 63-67 Corvette vintage racers has weakened over the last 10 years. This car has been for sale for 4 or 5 years, and strangely, the price keeps going up, it was being advertised for $65K in 2017. I’d love to see this car get restored and put back on the track, but I think the seller’s going to have to come down a lot, before that happens.

    Like 23
    • gbvette62

      It just occurred to me the John Caruso the seller must be referring to was actually John Carusso with two S’s. I think he may have been married to Lynn St James, and he did race Corvettes. I saw John race many times in the 70’s in IMSA, but it was always in a C3 Corvette, and always wearing number 48. I think Dick Vreeland co-drove John’s #48 a couple times at Daytona.

      Like 3
    • Scuderia

      @gbvette62 Serious inquiry: Can you point me to one of those 1963 C2 coupe “restored, race ready cars out there for less money, and ones with better history, for similar or less money.” Gladly pay a finders fee.

      Like 2
  4. JohnK

    If that’s a ‘63, why is it not a “split window”. Somethings fishy here.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      That’s explained in the write up.

      Steve R

    • Araknid78

      As mentioned in the write up:

      “this is a documented split window Corvette that lost its rear window due to visibility issues while on the track. Incredibly, the original split window bodywork comes with the car and remain in excellent condition.”

      So there ya have it.

  5. OIL SLICK

    No split window then it’s not a 63.

  6. pumba47

    It’ s a 65 or 66 vette not a 63 for sure

  7. t-bone BOB

    Located in Alpharetta, GA

  8. Scuderia

    jeez fellas read the description. It’s a 63

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