Immaculate 1963 Corvette Split-Window Coupe

Put down that doughnut and prepare yourself for a BIGGER treat: this incredible 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Split-Window Coupe is no barn find.  On the contrary, this masterpiece of Chevrolet design by Bill Mitchell and Larry Shinoda is immaculate and has just 30,472 actual miles on it split between two owners since new.  The car is offered here on eBay with a starting bid of $125,000 and a BIN price of $135,000.  No bidders as of publishing time, and please be extra careful around that “Place Bid” button.  The auction ends on Thanksgiving Day at 12:05 a.m. and wouldn’t it be a dream to be in Calabasas, CA picking up this car that weekend?  (Calabasas roughly translates to “pumpkin” from the Spanish—so there’s that.)

 

This one-of-a-kind no-trunk controversial split-window rear design created a bit of fuss over visibility through the rear window with the additional drawback of the added cost (and line time) of glazing two windows rather than one at the back of the car.  Bill Mitchell was adamant about the split window design in that it completed his vision for the “spine” of the Sting Ray that he was modeling the overall car design after. The bean counters eventually won, though, so this became the only year Chevrolet produced the split-window style.  This well-pampered car with its period-correct black and gold CA plates wears its original Sebring Silver paint (which was an $80.70 upgrade–941). The seller claims there has never been any accident or bodywork modifications to the car, one of only 10,594 split-window coupes made.  Compliments to the seller: The e-Bay photographs are so very high quality and are so beautifully framed it’s easy to see that these aren’t iPhone pix.  Just enjoy these and about a dozen more found in the eBay posting.

The car presents as completely stock under the hood, sporting the L76 327 c.i. 340 h.p. engine option that feeds the M20 four-speed and the G81 Posi rear end with 3.70 gears. The seller also reveals that the car is equipped with the J65 Sintered Brakes option. No surprise, the numbers all match on this car.  Note: this was the first year Corvettes were made with independent rear suspension.  Somehow, the original owner was happy spending the $107.60 for the engine upgrade as well as the $188.30 for the trans, $37.70 for the brakes, and $43.05 for the rear end but he passed on the air conditioning, power brakes, and power steering options. No dirt!  No mouse nests!

My, my: the Tuxedo Black interior is just pristine.  The original owner passed on the power window option. The AM/FM vertical chassis radio was the only offering for 1963—it was a $176.00 option (a LOT when you compare the air conditioning upgrade at $320.00!).  In case you’ve never had the experience of actually seeing what the interior of the split-window coupe looks like in the back, under the glass, here’s a photo to give you that chance.  No points off even for the curling rug corners–just won’t go there.  Look at the number of pieces of trim required to hold the glass in place, then try to calculate the assembly time to turn those screws on your back!

It’s not hard to see why Hagerty values a car like this in seemingly “Excellent” condition (as opposed to “Concours”) with the options selected in the $140,000s. Concours, which this car could achieve, perhaps? would boost the Hagerty valuation to more than $189,000.  Please don’t forget to tag this item on eBay and take a good look Thanksgiving afternoon during a break in the football action to see if this magnificent example of automotive legend (told you she has likely never seen the inside of a barn) has sold.  Can I get a $134,000 advance?

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Comments

  1. T

    It’s a piece of art.

    Like 39
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Not many comparable either.

      Like 9
    • Rob

      That’s what I say, so much art in the 20s,30s,40s,and 50s, kinda dwindled after that THIS ONE is an exception, gee, just 6 little numbers!

      Like 1
  2. jokacz

    Air conditioning wasn’t available with that engine, though legend has it there are some out there as COPO builds.

    Like 1
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    I have never before seen that camera angle looking out the back of one of these, under the split window. Wow.

    Like 34
    • jokacz

      The view is not that spectacular in reality. Use of a wide angle lens has greatly exaggerated the perspective.

      Like 2
  4. Skip Wilson

    That is the definition of a dream car!!

    Like 13
  5. Bob R

    AC which didn’t appear until late 63 and power steering were not available with the 340 and 360 hp engines. Early 63’s had only AM radios. AM FM became available mid year. Very pretty car though.

    Like 9
  6. gbvette62

    Barn Finds writers really need to get better at research.

    As jokacz said, air conditioning was not available on the 327/340. Additionally, this car may have been built a little to early to have AC, since I think it was first offered in mid to late April 63. Besides AC, power steering was not available with the 340 either. Finally, the AM/FM was not the only radio offered in 63. Initially a Wonderbar (signal seeking) AM radio was the only radio available. Around March or April 63, the Wonderbar was replaced by the AM/FM radio.

    I see a few little things wrong/missing under the hood, but overall it looks like a pretty nice car. I think the price is a little strong. Though still popular, prices on splits seem to have come down a little, the last year or so.

    Like 5
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      I am told this was an April ’63 build and you are right, it really presents like a rock star car.

      Like 2
  7. ChevyTruckGuy

    The stuff of my “Corvette wet dreams”!! My lottery-winning dream includes a ’63 Split-Window, and a ’67 427/435 convertible. This is a beautiful Corvette, that checks so many of the right boxes, including the Sebring Silver paint. Great write-up, on this timeless beauty! I’ll be watching the auction!

    Like 6
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving.

      Thankful for BF readers, BF members and all commenters.

      Like 6
  8. JohnfromSC

    Just to clarify. Numbers matching claims are not worth that much on a SWC with this $ ask. Too many non-original engines have been restamped with “matching numbers”, and there is also great controversy on broach marks because of tool wear because each tool was used on the line until it wore out.

    In c2 vette world you want “original engine” in writing, and about the best way to prove is to find a car with a recorded history of every owner. If the seller has that, the listing should clearly state as such.

    Like 1
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      John, this is an interesting insight. If people will counterfeit $5 bills, then I can see no stopping someone to do something like stamping an engine block.

      Thanks for all the comments. Still trying to always learn and you guys make the work all the more interesting. Thanks for good comments, well reasoned.

      Admittedly, expertise in all things car-related is my goal, but I’m nowhere near finishing the first lap. Hey–the tunnel’s not even in sight yet so keep pointing out the shaky facts and bringing them up.

      About the only thing I have in common right now with Steve Magnante is that we were both raised in Massachusetts!

      Like 5
  9. Steve Clinton

    The seller doesn’t want to mess around with bids and is hoping for that wealthy ‘BIN’ buyer.

    Like 2
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      I’d be just as curious to check out the house where they took the pictures!

      If you’re in that market for a car that impressive, for that amount of coin, you’re sending in the experts to verify every receipt and support doc as well as getting a retired Concours judge to go along for the inspection.

      This is not just a car, but a specific and seemingly good investment. Just as real estate agents will always say “God ain’t making any more land so prices will always go up” that adage can equally apply here except there are a lot fewer SWCs than parcels of land. . .if I had to bet, this car may be a better and more stable investment over the next ten years than blue chip stocks.

      Like 2
      • Stan Marks

        Mike,
        You’re obviously not familiar with the L.A. & surrounding area.
        Calabasas is an upscale city, heading out of the San Fernando Valley, as you’re going towards Oxnard, Ventura & Santa Barbara, Ca.
        People, who live in Beverly Hills & want to leave the city, move to Calabasas,
        You see these high-end vehicles, all over the area, including Mercedes, Porches & a few Rolls Royces.

        It’s interesting. When the split window came out, drivers were upset because of the rear view. Many drivers had the split window removed, for a one piece. Crazy…..

        Like 2
      • jokacz

        Regarding removing the split window; I recall “make your car look like a ’64” is how the ads for the conversion kit read. Only crazy in retrospect, not at the time. There was also an idiotic fix that involved 2 rear view mirrors, one for each half of the rear glass. Now that was crazy…or just stupid.

        Like 2
  10. Desert Rat

    Well there it is the best looking body style every, but that’s just me. I love the 63 Corvette. Make mine red, thank you very much.

    Like 2
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      I lived in and around Seal Beach for about 25 years and Calabasas went from an off-road paradise to the “it” spot between LA and Santa Barbara in that time. Of course, only an LA guy would be able to tell you how LONG the trip was between OC and Calabasas regardless of how many miles it actually was.

      Regarding the ’63 rear window conversion kits: YIKES! I hope I don’t run across a car that was actually a victim of this terrible bodily abuse. . .I may just break down and weep.

      Like 3
      • Stan Marks

        Hey Mike,
        Small world. I lived in and around L.A. and surrounding area, from ’62-’83. I still fly out every year, to visit friends and family. Sometimes I stay with a friend, who lives in Seal Beach.
        I have friends in Calabasas and Westlake Village. I stay with my cousin in Palm Desert.
        Back in the 70s, I had an apartment, on the Strand in Manhattan Beach. Those were the days.
        Been living in western Pa. Since ’83.

      • Stan Marks

        BTW…
        You should be able to spot a ’63 rear window change, since it was the only year of the split window.

        Like 1
  11. Dave Mathers

    In October 1962 I was in Toronto for a first year university seminar and one night I wandered over to Gorrie Chev-Olds. A guy told me they had a new Vette on the fifth floor so I walked up. Guy was doing a PDI on it and was ready for a road test. ‘You wanna go’? Oh, yeah!! Black on black, 327/360 fuelie and 4 speed. There was a straight stretch of Mount Pleasant with no traffic (it was 11 P.M.) and he let it go. AWESOME memory!!

    Like 8
  12. James Vansicklin

    And the famous Designer Pete Brock of the Daytona Coupe Cobra America’s only World champion Helped this Corvette Design

    Like 3
  13. Doug

    The 63 I really want is one of the VERY few to leave the factory with a one piece rear window and non-rotating headlamps…… A real Corvette expert will know what cars I am referring to !

    Like 6
    • moosie moosie

      Did they also have scoops on top of the rear deck just above the rear radiused wheel openings along with 8 holes adjacent to the rear tail lights ?,,,,, yeah, I love to have an original one of those too, but the replicas don’t look that bad.

      Like 1
  14. Bill Voss

    just following the post

  15. Roy Blankenship

    I would like to commend Mike Tarutis for his continued diligence and patience in the face of posters who feel it necessary to make snarky and condescending remarks about this site and the cars covered here.

    Like 3
    • Mike Tarutis Staff

      Roy, thanks for the kind words. I love my job, a little thicker skinned than most when it comes to snark.

      I am still trying to find the perfect voice and formula for making these posts interesting and, most of all, factually informative. Discouraged a little because responses from sellers that would make the story more interesting are a little slow in coming.

      I try and look toward educating myself as well as finding interesting facts for those few readers who may not be quite as expert as the others. It’s a learning curve and I’m still on month one.

      Lucky to get nice assignments like this one that don’t exactly fit the Barn Find mold–the editors are cool.

      Like 9
      • Stan Marks

        Excellent insight, Mike. We’re all learning.

        Like 2
  16. jokacz

    I noticed that this car has white wall tires that are mounted backwards on the rims. Back when C2’s were new if you saw one with black tires and hubcaps you knew the owner was a cheapskate. Black walls with knock offs or American torque thrusts, and occasionally wire wheels, were a different story, that was acceptable and expected. Perhaps it’s just my long held prejudice, but this car looks cheapened by the black tires.

  17. Wayne from oz

    How do you get a mainly 2 owner car? It’s either had two owners or it hasn’t.

    • Stan Marks

      Seems the word “mainly”, shouldn’t be in the sentence.

      • Wayne from oz

        Unless you’re trying to hide something.

      • Terry R Melvin

        Unless it had 1 and 3/4 owners?

    • Driveby

      An open title transfer?

  18. Phlathead Phil

    The posts on this one are almost worth the asking price of the car.

    Car is beautiful. I know where another one of these gems is sleeping.

    Same condition. Same color. He inherited it from his G-Pa.

    It is doubtless the “Holy Grail” of American
    Automotive history.

    Like 1
  19. Newell Roundy

    It’s funny how many so called “experts” come out of the garage… I have owned my split window for 33 years and just feel lucky to have one! Being told by the seller back then it wasn’t numbers matching I decided to do a subtle resto-mod then discovered it was a #’s matching car. I went ahead and put Jegs aluminum heads, Edlebrock intake, Holley dbl pumper, new carpet Tremec 5 spd and left the 4:11 rear end in. Yes, it was red on red when I bought it for less than 16k but the original color was white. No regrets modifying it as I had already bought the parts…

    Like 2
    • Stan Marks

      Sounds like a beauty, Newell. Would love to see it.
      I love red……..

      • Newell Roundy

        Stan: I’m to dumb to know how to attach a picture in this post but if you want to email me at newell@classicrecreation.com I can send you some pictures.

        Like 1
  20. Bill Voss

    Boy does this coupe bring back memories. In the mid sixties would be waiting for the school bus to go to high school and every day, DR. Barone would drive in his 1963 Fulie Coupe which was he same color with a black interior as this one. I loved the car. In 1968 he traded it in for foe a 68 427. I wish I had save my money to buy it.

  21. Driveby

    When I worked at specialized auto repair in Anahiem in 1975 one of the Mechanics there had a 63 very similar to this one with the Rochester mechanical fuel injection. Very sweet!

    • Oliver Reimerr

      Beautiful car. But I have some reservations about the seats, from looking at the BF pics. I am a restoration upholsterer for 45 years, specializing in Corvettes from ’53 to ’82. The seat bottoms look to me to have had the original buns replaced, which unfortunately are not made right; the replacements are substantially firmer than the originals, and the shape is not exactly the same either, which affects the appearance of the cover when installed. This situation suggests reproduction seat covers. This flies in the face of the presentation of this car as very very original and untouched. To me, this is BUYER BEWARE!!

  22. Stan Marks

    I was looking at the eBay pics, of this beauty. The last pic shows an open passenger door, with surface rust on the left side of the door frame. Or are my eyes playing tricks?
    Surprised there are no under carriage pics.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/264940222471

  23. Terry R Melvin

    If I had 150 large laying around, this is the Vette I’d buy. I like all C2 Vettes, and I especially like the color of this, though I’d put on “white-line” tires instead of the blackwalls. It’s a shame the split-window was one year only. They’re at the top of my list.

  24. Stan Marks

    If only we ALL had 150 large.

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