No Reserve Project: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

This 1963 Corvette Convertible is a two-owner car that is said to have 42,000 original miles on the clock. It has been sitting unused since 1987 and will require a full restoration to return it to its former glory. This is not going to be a project for the faint-hearted, because there is not one aspect of the vehicle that won’t require attention. So, with that in mind, the major question is going to revolve around whether this is a car that should be restored to its original specifications and color, or whether it will make a good base for a custom build. The Corvette is located in Miami, Florida, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $15,100 in what is a No Reserve auction.

It’s quite hard to know where to start with the Corvette because it has been the recipient of a good many changes during its lifetime. It currently wears black paint, but it looks like there might be white below that. However, somewhere below all of that should be the original and very attractive Silver Blue. Given the obvious quality, or more accurately, the lack of quality of the paintwork, I believe that the entire body will need to be stripped if the Corvette is going to be returned to a respectable state. While this process is being undertaken, the rear fender flares will need to be removed, provided the next owner is intending to focus on originality. Only a thorough inspection will reveal if the fiberglass has any stress cracks, but given the fact that I have the feeling that the Corvette might have led a fairly hard life, this is a real possibility. The owner does say that the frame is solid, but we don’t receive any photos to confirm this. We also have no information about the condition of the birdcage, but with the doors appearing to be nicely aligned, that could be a potentially positive sign. The wheels aren’t original and given their general appearance, I would be inclined to consign these to the nearest rubbish skip. Following not far behind would be the side-pipes because when I look at them and the lack of heat-shielding, I could see plenty of nasty burns in the future for the next owner.

The owner claims that the Corvette has covered a genuine 42,000 miles, and I have thought about this claim quite carefully. This would be a very sound and valid selling point if the Corvette was either original or was a numbers-matching car. I don’t believe that the car fulfills either of those criteria because the engine bay should house a 327ci V8 in one of several forms. I am happy to be corrected if I’m wrong on this, but I am sure that this engine is not a 327, but is actually a 350. Bolted to the back of that engine is a 4-speed manual transmission. The engine has been fitted with some cosmetic enhancements courtesy of the good people at Moroso, while it also wears some pretty tough-looking headers in place of the original exhaust manifolds. This is one of those classics that the owner says “ran when parked.” The problem is that it was parked in 1987, and hasn’t fired a shot since. It isn’t clear whether the engine turns freely, but even if it does, there is going to be some work required before the Corvette is capable of moving under its own power once again.

Remember when I said that there was no aspect of this car that wasn’t going to need attention? Well, the interior continues that theme. The dash appears to be original, although there are a few pieces missing. For the rest of the interior, custom touches abound. The seats aren’t original, while the same is true of the wheel. When I look at the seats and door trims, it allows me to recall a time when diamond-buttoned upholstery was the “must-have” feature on any custom build. Then again, I can also recall a time when John Travolta wore a white suit and danced to Bee Gees tunes, and all are from roughly the same era. If the next owner has the intention of restoring the Corvette to its original state, then the interior will require a retrim, and the existing black vinyl will need to make way for Dark Blue vinyl. That would certainly return some class to this rather sad looking area of the car.

I’ve treated this 1963 Corvette Convertible pretty harshly, but the reality is that no matter what the intentions are of the next owner, it is going to require a lot of work. Regardless of whether the next owner chooses to undertake a faithful restoration, or whether a custom build is on the agenda, the best way to tackle it properly would be as a “nut-and-bolt” project. That is a pretty daunting prospect, but it is something that plenty of people have managed to do in the past with great success.It is also obvious that there are people who see the potential in this classic. At the time of writing, 16 people have submitted a total of 27 bids on the Corvette. There is no doubt that it could be transformed into something quite special with some work and dedication. With that in mind, are you going to be the person to submit the 28th bid?

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  1. flmikey

    Good call on the 350, Adam…this car must have been parked very close to the ocean, because there is rust EVERYWHERE…I even think the fiberglass is rusty…

  2. 370zpp

    There are some BF readers who will say “ho-um, yet another Vette…”
    Others will say “too much needed, overpriced, not worth the trouble..”

    But for me, I continue to be amazed at how these C2 cars still seem to come out of the woodwork, in any condition. And regardless, this series of the Corvette also remains to me, the true essence of the American sports car.

    • terry lee

      I agree, ’67 big block was my first. Still amazed…

  3. Claudio

    If i had a bottomless bank account,
    This vette would get a brand new custom frame with all the latest fixings and i would leave the exterior as is
    After riding in it for a few years ; it would get a respray
    I just dont have the patience to wait for years for a project to be done before driving …

  4. Steve R

    At least the seller showed “proof” of the mileage by including a picture that showed the odometer.

    Steve R

  5. stumpwi

    I can never understand, how cars with low miles,(which I’m skeptical of on this one), are abused in this way. How could you toss the original motor, change the interior, add flares, throw a crappy paint job on, all in the name of customization.

  6. Newport Pagnell

    That Camaro wheel is money!

    • Thomas

      I was going to say Vega wheel

  7. ruxvette

    With a car in this shape it doesn’t matter if its a 2 owner or 20 owner car. It looks to have come from the factory as a solid lifter car. With the motor long gone, and the amount of abuse the car has suffered, it would not surprise that the “4 speed” is an old Saginaw.
    Beyond the ’67 hood, with pins (?), ’67 gas filler door, seats from god only knows what, funky steering wheel, the top stowage area looking like it was mud-flooded, serious rust under the dash (to say nothing of under the CAR) she’s a cherry.

  8. Dave

    What project? Make it run, and it’s done.

  9. Bing

    If that car has 43,000 original miles on it, I’m really 25 and get mistaken for John Travolta all the time.

    • Larry Z

      Just my opinion, but to me this looks like a flood car, has rust in places only a flood car would or it was left outside with the top down.

  10. 1Ronald

    Living proof one of these should never fall into the wrong hands. Hood doesn’t match. Side pipes not necessary. Seats, side panels, and steering wheel different. No front bumper and yes that’s a rusted Hurst popping up out of the center console. A lot of work to be done.

  11. walt

    Unlike some of these idiots who pay a outragious price 4 a total rust bucket just 4 a stupid Vin# [Mopars r the worst], all the basis r here 4 a nice convertable & it rolls. Clean & shine her up & put on a nice home paint job! Slowly work it while U cruize in the Sunshine

  12. Gary MacDonald

    Angle plug heads , long water pump , large fuel filter , yup it has had a hard life . Remember crane cams was down here and the fireball turbo heads were a great add on . It’s got a small 350 or std 327 harmonic bal so along with the tarantula intake , a hard life . Just like I like !

  13. C5 Corvette

    Parked in a garage………next to the ocean in South Florida, with the garage door open, thru several hurricane’s, with no top on the car, hood probably up, might as well of parked it right on the beach. I Live in the Northeast. I have had 5 Corvettes, starting with a 69, and many other collector cars over the years. My cars are parked 6 months of the year in very careful unheated storage. My current Corvette is a 98 with 42K on the clock. Northern car, in Black, and still like new. As for the hood and side pipes, My 69 was a 427 so the hood was the right one. It also had Beautiful Doug’s show chrome side pipes on it. Only thing wrong with them was it was very loud.
    I Love Corvettes, but this one has a very long road ahead of it and it is a shame it was allowed to be put in this condition.

  14. Dana

    It always amazes me to see how much money is spent to lower the value of a car…

  15. triumph1954

    Walt. You mean like the idiots that use 4 for four and r for are and U for you. Idiot plus lazy!

  16. triumph1954

    Walt. You mean like the idiots that use 4 for for and r for are and U for you. Idiot plus lazy!

  17. mainlymuscle

    A complete non running C2 will always do mid 20’s ,maybe not this one.
    A) It’s NOT complete just looks that way….sort of.
    B) From what we CAN see,much doubt is cast upon what we can not (ie rusty frame,birdcage etc.
    I wish writers would refrain,no make that, cease and desist,from mentioning numbers of owners,and even more so ,mileage,on a car this far gone.History and miles are totally irrelevant as this car needs EVERYTHING and has only one possible purpose-“Restomod”.

  18. George Mattar

    Restomod or money pit. Take your pick. 63 conv not worth all that much. C2 prices dropping even before this stupid virus nonsense.

  19. RONALD c Simpson

    Just curios as to how you are dicerning the difference between 327 and 350?

  20. Jasper

    Besides the glaring Camaro steering wheel, tragic rear flares and general deterioration, I really like the look with those wheels and the sidepipes. Grind off the stupid flares, primer the quarters black and lose that rear bumper…to hell with a proper restoration! An interesting time capsule, but wouldn’t give too much for it. I hope its gritty character is preserved.

  21. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Back in the 70’s, you saw more of these done like this on the streets then you did original looking ones – it was a used car you could get for cheap and that no-bumper, modified engine, sidepipes look was what many wanted.

    I’d bet a lot of the “original” C2s you now see spent part of its life looking just like this one.

    A neighbor of mine back then had one like this. Sweet looking with metallic green paint and white interior with sidepipes. Looked great from a distance.
    Then, it was gone. I asked his son (kid a little younger than me) what happened to his Dad’s cool car, and he said it got stolen.


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