Older Restoration: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window

Hidden under this cover is an iconic American classic that has a story to tell. This is a 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe, and it has only recently emerged after years in storage. The time in hiding hasn’t done it any harm, but the time has come for it to head to a new home. I have to say a huge thank you to Barn Finder rex m for referring this beautiful car to us. The Corvette is located in Billings, Montana, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. All you need to do is hand the owner $89,500, and you can drive away in this beauty.

It was worth removing the cover on this one, wasn’t it? When I first spotted this classic, I thought that it wore Tuxedo Black paint. In fact, that is a trick of the light because it is finished in Daytona Blue. This car’s story is that it underwent a full rotisserie restoration back in around 1980 or 1981. Immediately following this work, it was placed in climate-controlled storage, where it remained before emerging in 2018. The long hibernation hasn’t done the Corvette any harm because it still presents superbly. The paint shines beautifully, with no apparent damage or flaws. The fiberglass seems to be free from cracks or defects, while the chrome and trim present superbly. The owner doesn’t indicate how sound the Corvette is structurally, but if it has only recently emerged from storage, then the chances are that there are no rust problems to contend with. It’s worth noting that the knock-off wheels aren’t original. However, the original wheels, bias-ply tires, and hubcaps will also be included in the sale.

The Corvette is a blue-on-blue classic, and the impressive level of presentation continues inside the car. Careful searching reveals some minor edge wear on the carpet, but it isn’t bad enough to be a deal-breaker. Otherwise, all of the upholstered surfaces look perfect. The dash is spotless, and this is an interior that would seem to need nothing. There is a modern stereo system fitted to the car, but it isn’t an issue if the buyer doesn’t like it. The owner has the original AM/FM radio, and the buyer could easily slot that back into place.

Now we get to the only part of this classic that confuses me. The owner claims that this is a numbers-matching car, which means it still houses its original 327ci V8, 4-speed manual transmission, and original rear end. However, he states that this is the L75 version of the 327, producing 300hp. The valve covers tell a different story and indicate that this is the L76 that produces 340hp. Regardless of which is true, this is still a seriously fast car. The L75 would demolish the ¼ mile in 14.5 seconds, while the L76 would complete the same journey in 14.3 seconds. The owner says that the vehicle has 56,000 original miles on the clock but doesn’t indicate whether he holds evidence to verify the claim. He does say that the car was gone through from end-to-end when it came out o storage in 2018. This was done to ensure that it provided years of trouble-free motoring pleasure.

This 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe is a stunning looking car, and I suspect that it will make its next owner one happy enthusiast. It has a lot to commend it, and there isn’t much not to like. Assigning a value to it isn’t easy because the engine specifications have a dramatic impact. The fact is that L75-equipped cars generally sell for around 10% less than those with the L76 under the hood. This is by no means a cheap car, but it’s worth remembering that values have been rising slowly but surely for years now. This isn’t a car that would make a tremendous high-yield investment, but its value shouldn’t drop if properly maintained and treated with respect. The price looks very competitive, so if a Split Window is on your Wish List, maybe this one should be given a closer look.

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Comments

  1. MH

    I think it may be priced a little low. These cars are only increasing in value.

    Like 12
    • Steve Clinton

      $89,500? Pffft, pocket change.

      Like 8
  2. Steve Clinton

    Nice car cover! LOL!

    Like 6
  3. Joe Haska

    I have just enough knowledge of Corvette’s and the marker to be dangerous, that is if I had money. This car seems to me to be one to consider, the plus’s certainly out weigh the negatives. My Corvette friends tell me if you want the icon of Corvettes, it needs to be a 63 split window. They just don’t get cheaper, so try to tell the wife its an investment.

    Like 16
  4. JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

    My favorite Split window color is Daytona Blue (red interior) I don’t believe this will be for sale very long.

    Like 8
  5. Dunk

    If I paid this much for a car…. you know what, I would store it every winter, and drive the heck out of it every summer. 2020 reminded us life is short and unpredictable.

    Like 29
  6. Bob R

    Bob R
    Most split window’s are going for well over $100,000 so the price looks like a bargain. Anyone interested should take note of some questionable things shown. The tachometer indicates low HP either 250 or 300 and the valve covers are correct for low HP, cast intake is low HP. There are a lot of incorrect things under the hood which might not bother the buyer but do change the value. If someone wants a split window and is okay with those issues go for it but keep in mind correct parts to get the car as it was originally are expensive.

    Like 13
    • JACKinNWPA JACKinNWPA Member

      In his ad he states that it is a 300 HP engine.

      Like 5
      • Jim Speros

        Jack

        In his first ad he was adamant it was 340hp, in the second, he said he still “believed” it to be 340hp and now he’s admitting its 300hp. Probably because its too obvious. Who can’t tell the difference between solid and hydraulic lifters?

        Like 11
  7. JohnfromSC

    I own a 327/340 SWC. Bob is spot on. Under the hood it’s also missing all of the the radio shielding around the distributor and wiring. Likely this is a base 327. With everything that is misding/incorrect IMO $89 K is all the money and then some.

    Like 4
  8. Derek

    I’ve always liked these; they look better – and smaller – in dark/matt colours too, which adds points to this one.

    Like 1
  9. Jim Speros

    This is the third trip on Barn Finds for this car. It started in December of 2019 at $109,000. Then in August of 2020. Below is my comment from 2019, I was the deal that “fell through”.

    This car is not a 340 horse car and not numbers matching and the owner knows it. The engine stamp shows only the last 4 of the VIN and 2 of the 4 are double stamped. The tach is wrong. The owner does not have the original radio. The car was neither rotisserie or frame off, when questioned it turns out it was a local body shop that does not do high end classics. For a car that has been restored and garaged for many years, then only having 2000 miles on it since then, the underside should look very crisp. There is oil and grease on the underside and around the engine compartment. Many of the components are painted black and it looks like they were painted at the same time. I am very sorry, I gave him a $1500 deposit to hold the car for 2 weeks while I checked on some of the claims. The more I questioned the more came out. The title is not in his name, in his “step brother’s” name, different last name. A reasonable story accompanied each discrepancy. Finally, not wanting to call him on his representations, when the Corona Virus gripped the nation a few weeks ago I told him I could not justify $100k for the car. I can understand not refunding the deposit but after a few weeks of regular amicable phone calls, exchange of photos of our collections and sharing personal stories, after my email it was crickets. No call, no email no response whatsoever. Then I see the posting update saying that the car was available again because the deposit fell through. Really? He sounds like a really nice guy, maybe one to have a beer with but not one to trust with $100k (Now “firm” at $89k). A good friend of mine that has been doing frame offs for over 30 years had these observations from the number of close up pics we exchanged:
    Worn carpet
    Cracked steering wheel
    damaging plate adhered to dash
    damaged seat piping
    wrong crush to seat bottom (foam)
    old or unrestored windlace
    excessive large hood opening, hood is adjusted
    Headlight adjust is off
    Wrong radio No known condition of orig
    missing windlace caps
    jamb rough glass and paint
    all components on firewall painted at same time likely no disassembly
    Wrong Dist cap
    Missing ignition shielding and plug shielding
    Wrong radiator cap
    Wrong heater hoses
    Wrong radiator and heater hose clamps
    Original damaged engine wiring harness, (Alt)
    unplated alt bolt
    wrong fuel filter
    cut fuel line and rubber hoses added
    Wrong fan belt
    exhaust manifolds unrestored
    voltage regulator missing
    Headlight harness painted and hanging without fasteners
    radiator painted and flaking
    Steering shaft unrestored old damaged rag joint
    wrong valve covers
    Wrong alternator pulley
    Missing Idler assembly and belt
    Wrong intake manifold
    Missing decals on radiator
    non GM radiator hoses
    Painted park brake cable
    missing fan clutch
    wrong accelerator spring and bracket
    Left valve cover leaked all over manifold and side of block
    scuffed non polished or restored sill covers
    old unrestored washer bottle
    low horsepower tach

    Like the comments in the 2019 ad, this is a $60 or $70k car with a nice looking paint job (at least from the photos). Anyone seriously interested in this car can post a message here and I’ll send you all the pics I got over the two weeks we were confirming the condition. The engine stamp is unmistakable.

    Like 44
    • Phlathead Phil

      Jim,

      Kudos to you and all your hard work in “Classic Car Due Diligence.”

      You obviously know your cars.

      IMHO, a car that is stored for over thirty years needs a lot of work in the area of fluids and possible leak(s) inspection.

      I.E., gas, trans oil or fluid, rear gear oil, anti-freeze, p/s fluid, washer fluid, engine oil, brake fluid, (calipers & cylinders) greases, (wheel bearings and Zerk fittings) battery acid, and yes, an inspection of the heater core. A core can be checked for leaks with a pressure gauge. One tiny drop in air pressure and most likely it is bad.

      Gas separates in the tank, lines and carb.

      Oil separates & solidifies over time (ever hear of coal?)

      ATF has good shelf life but may go rancid or bad as well.

      And so on.

      Lastly, don’t forget to check the date on the air and the mfg stamp on the tires.

      They can look new, but if they are older than ten years D.O.T. sez; NO GO!

      Like 5
      • Jim Speros

        Not to mention fuel tanks….ugh….learned my lessons there. Thanks Phil, I have a couple of flatheads I’m not sure whether to keep, improve or replace. ’39 and ’50 Fords. Just guessing from your nick name that you might have an opinion. The ’50 is stock. The ’39 was a dirt track racer from MN and the engine is built. I’m kind of a brand specific guy, a Ford should have a Ford engine even if swapped out. Can you imagine if someone dropped a 351 in a Chevelle?

        Like 3
      • Phlathead Phil

        I’d keep the ‘50 stock, and build or rebuild the ‘39 for a “T” “A” or “B.”

        With so many performance parts available the pre war phlatie would be a perfect choice for any of the above.

        No, I can’t imagine dropping a 351 in a Chevelle, Nova or any other GM product. It just isn’t done.

        IMHO, there are cars you keep 100% stock, others, you modify, customize or street rod and others you rat-rod.

        Like 1
      • Jim Speros

        Ok you lost me with T, A or B. The 50 is pretty much there stock. The 39 is a shell on the frame with a single bucket seat and wire mesh instead of a windshield. Shoot me an email and I’ll send pics sperosjd@aol.com

        Like 1
    • Johnny

      Jim,IF this guy is trying to sale this car . With false claims. It is also called FRAUD and now the federal government has people (FBI) WHO DOES INVESTIGATES THESE PEOPLE. A man in Ohio tried to sale a 64 Chevell off as a SS Chevell high price. The experts noticed it and the saler was reported . The saler ended up in jail. Its sad people will lie for money. My friends grandson bought a Comaro off of e-bay believing the saler and all he got was a car with alot of work needed done. He had to re-do all of it. Report these thiefs.Don,t let them get away with it. $1,500 is alot of money to loose.Imagine it could have been more people.

      Like 1
    • Ryan F

      Jim speros thank you for your honesty I’m shocked barn finds would delist a vehicle from such a sketchy seller just to make a quick buck. Just another lemon in the rough looking for an unsuspecting sucker to rip off for thousands. We need more people like you in the collector car enthusiast circle Jim you’re a dying breed where honesty trumps making a quick buck and ripping someone off.

      Like 1
  10. Bimmerbill

    I stand to be corrected but the knock offs for ’63 were two bar and which is what my Corvette books show and they went to three bar in ’64. Everything else has been covered.

    Like 4
    • Bob R

      That’s not correct, early 63’s are shown in ad photos with 2 bar knock off there are a few sets around that I have seen, the transition to 3 bars occurred during the 63 year however despite rumors to the contrary there is no record or proof of any 63 delivered with knock off wheels due to a issue with the wheels holding air pressure. Early 63 Z06 Corvettes were to be delivered with knock off wheels as part of the Z06 package however the cars came through with steel wheels and a credit was issued for the knock off wheels. The 3 bar knock off wheels were available for 64.

      Like 2
    • Bill

      And none of them stayed on

  11. Paul McGuirk

    Odd and misleading power plant issues makes me leery on this one. Stay away.

    Like 8
  12. Ross

    You can tell by tach redline which engine it came with.

    Like 4
    • Clipper

      Well, if it’s the original tach.

      Like 3
  13. Byron L Dishman

    Wish I had the money, I would NEVER buy this Vette to re-sale it! It’s Nice enough to me, and look’s great the way it is! I HATE the way the “look-alike” crap they make since the 80’s!

    Like 1
  14. George Louis

    Where I come from $89.500.00 is referred to “Chump Change”.. You also have to remember that this engine does not have hardened valve seats for today’s unleaded fuel. Love the color combination. A neighbor of mine had a 1963 White Split window coupe and his wife drove a 1963 Pontiac Grand Prix. I got a ride in the split window coupe one day, nice ride!!!

  15. Frank

    Why is the alternator on the passenger side when it should be on the drivers side? You can see the exhaust manifold has the casting for the bracket. Just wondering.

    Like 1
  16. Bob R

    In 63 the alternator was on the passengers side unless you had air conditioning. Air conditioned cars had the alternator on the drivers side and the compressor on the passengers side.

    Like 4
    • Byron L Dishman

      Oh my gosh! A deal breaker!!!

  17. Byron L Dishman

    Nice car, but you can’t please ALL the PICKEY people! And “so-called” expert OPINIONS!!

    Like 3
  18. Cristian Radulescu

    A base 250hp 327 engine should tipically mean a 20% lower value as opposed to the L76. A 340 decal is about 10 USD. Go figure.

    This is the kind of car that is an icon but Corvette enthusiast are keen on having the original engine on their cars even if it is the 250hp version, which seemed to be the rarest of all.

    So, a PPI should be engaged to verify the originality of the engine, irrespective of tge version, before pursuing in any negotiation.

    Happy new Year to all of your Barnfind readers,
    Cristian

    Like 3
  19. Bruce Rolfe

    Didn’t the lower HP cars have the dual snorkel air intake?

    Like 1
    • Billy

      YES you’re correct

      Like 1
    • Billy

      Yes this is the 340 HP air filter.

      Like 1
  20. Steve

    A 1980 era restoration can be pretty iffy. 5,000 dollars was quite a bit to throw at a car back then. Numbers matching wasn’t nearly as big a deal then as it is now. I remember Cars and Parts decked an original number matching block on their Corvette Project. But on the other hand there was some NOS stuff still around.

  21. Russ Ashley

    It seems that most of the corvettes we see on this forum have an incorrect Hurst shifter installed. I like the look of the original T handle with the reverse lockout better and I never had any trouble with the one in my old 64 Stingray. I think if I were trying to sell a Corvette that I was promoting as all original I would re-install the original shifter. This car looks good so it probably will sell pretty quickly due to being a split window model.

    Like 1
  22. JP

    When you’re asking this kind of $$ you don’t expect to be misled into believing so many lies about this vehicle!

    Like 1
  23. Just passing through

    Beautiful car. Numbers don’t mean much to me. I would drive it until the engine gave up and then do the LS swap. Love the split window. Happy new year everyone.

    Like 2
  24. John

    While in college, I had a couple of part-time jobs (think circa 1974). One was at Sears mounting tires. I mounted a set of snow tires on this car’s twin. It was first time I ever had mixed emotions about a car. I couldn’t decide which I liked better, the car or its driver. She turned out to be a Bunny n the local Playboy Club. Both were beautiful, but I bet the car has aged better. Still……

    Like 13
    • Phlathead Phil

      Dude,

      Classic cars NEVER age!

      P/B Bunnies do. My buddy married one. Yikes!!!
      🐇

      Like 1
  25. Billy

    Yes this is the 340 HP air filter.

    Like 1
  26. George Mattar

    Nice car, but truth be told C2 prices are not rising and in some cases droping. I am working to possibly buy a Marina Blue 67 convertible at $45,000. Most 67s are advertised in the $60 to $75,000 range, but sit unsold. Real deal car on Long Island. The owner can t sell it and has lowered the price twice. I am retired and track every 67 that cones to auction. Even legit 435 cars are going back in the trailer failing to meet reserve. $89,000 is too much for this car with a 40 year old nose job. This car was not restored properly. You want a Corvette restored properly, take it to Kevin McKay at Corvette Repair in Valley Stream, NY. End of story.

    Like 4
  27. MDW66

    Has been in/on Auta Buy for a year or so. The hidden away comment in the Craigslist ad made me look!

    Like 2
    • william

      you are partly right. but thanks for reading my ad. its actually been in Auta Buy for about 18 months. but then whos counting right??
      :)

  28. Paul S

    Looks nice until you dig in, already mentioned was the wrong fan and the water pump has a double pully which would run the air conditioning. As far as I am concerned too much wrong for the money asking.

    Like 1
  29. Bill

    And the wrong shifter as well

  30. Clipper

    From the above comments, this appears to be a “split-personality “Frankenvette.” Buyer beware.

  31. Billy

    If this is a number matching car (300 hp), expect to spend 20 to 25K to bring to NCRS specifications. (body needs to come off and frame/chassis needs restoration. If not numbers matching, at this price, walk away.

    • Jim Speros

      Billy,

      While the ad says “numbers matching”, the there are only 4 numbers stamped on the engine and one is “double” stamped. They have been painted over. It is not the standard for the way engines were stamped. I have the image but cannot included it here. However here’s a link to show how it should look.

      https://www.liveabout.com/does-your-corvette-have-matching-numbers-916240

      Like 1
      • Billy

        Jim

        The big word in my comment is “IF”. Not only would I want to see all of the pad stamping (engine and VIN), I also would want to see the casting numbers and block casting date. I would not be surprised if this is a re-stamp

  32. dogwater

    I guess now that we have beat it to death the car looks ok the owner will have to price the car for around 60k the new owner can clean it up a little and drive it .

    Like 1
  33. william

    where to start!! i am the owner of this 63 Split Window. will talk about the car first, and then the beloved expert Jim Speros.

    first off, i did not list this car on Barn finds or any other time it has been listed. Nor did i give permission for it to be listed. It has been listed in Auta Buy magazine and Phoenix Craigs list only. And not for a year as the other comment was, but for 18 Months.

    ihave never claimed nor would i take it upon my self to be an expert in something im not. I was sold the car as numbers correct. As time went on and i learned other things about the car i began to update the ad as needed. i have not owned alot of early Corvettes and only went on info given to me by all the so called experts when i started listing the car.i will in the future be updating the ad as needed now that i have talked to real people that do know these cars. motor is in fact a restamp. trans, rearend etc match the car. So at this point, it wouldnt matter if it had a six in it. IT IS NOT THE ENGINE BORN IN THE CAR!!!

    it was a real Corvette restoration shop that did the work on the car and was very well know at that time. it has since closed many years later due to one passing away and the other moving on with life.

    I have documents of the engine rebuild etc. but again, no matter.

    the knock offs did not come on the car from the factory. as far as i know you couldnt get them then. but this too may not be right. it came with the steel wheels, spinner hubcaps and the bias ply tires. which i also have and they are very very nice. so comes with both sets. i do have the original radio, it has been bench tested and works well. but again no matter. as far as other things thats are in correct, no matter either, its not a numbers matching car. if we could go back in time and ask other owners why they did the things they did, boy it would answer alot of questions. why would someone change out the shifter??? good question. but again, we cant ask the person that did it. So get over it. go find one, but it and put it in. i personally like the original one way better too, but I DIDNT CHANGE IT.

    as far as paint, it is extremely incredible. No body flaws, crack, chips or other negative things. Interior is 85% original from 63. so it shows some where. im 64, and i show more wear than this car. and yes, it could use a detail under the hood. but we choose to drive it.

    someone will make an offer for a super nice split window and enjoy years of driving i would drive the car anywhere. Should it not sell, maybe ill enjoy it anothe couple of years and leave it to someone or donate it to my favorite Charity. doesnt really matter.

    now Mr Speros, i dont know how you can judge the car so well. you never came and looked at it, you never hired or had anyone come and look at it, and i never sent you underside pics. So i dont know how you deducted all these things from some pics and your imagination.
    2-weeks ha, you drug me along for 2 and a half months. wanting to trade a 69 Charger which it took you forever to produce pics of. when you did, it was impossible to see any of the actual car. you kept on that you would follow through etc, 2.5 plus months. then you are right. the Pandemic started and you felt that you could not follow through as you didnt know where your business might go. well the car market hasnt slowed down at all. And as for your deposit. you said to keep it for all the trouble. i said i have never in my life ever kept someones deposit. i offered it back and tried to make you take it back. but you politely said no, keep it as it will make up for holding it for so long. so i finally agreed. i hold nothing against Jim. as he quoted. it was very nice to swap car stories and see some of each others cars. but to blast me like this and or my car, well.

    now i know i will get blasted more for all of this. but so be it. just remember, I DID NOT POST MY CAR ON THIS SITE NOW OR EVER BEFORE.

    I WOULD LOVE PEOPLE TO SEE THIS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I WOULD LIKE THE OWNER OF THIS GREAT SITE, TO TAKE MY AD OFF. if someone still has interest in this Vette in the future, im sure you can find a legitimate ad elsewhere. or heck, just call me. i love to talk cars.

    thanks for listening.

    • Jim Speros

      William, after I said I wouldn’t buy the car, you did not say one word. You did not call, write, email or anything else. You did not offer to return the deposit and now its not too late since you really didn’t have all those people breaking your door down to get it. You did send me pics of the underside and if there was a way to post them here I would. You did send pics of the “restamp” and it was obvious. I have all your earlier ads where you not only repeated that it was a numbers matching car but doubled down again and again. You told me yourself that it was a local body shop that did the “restoration” but the pictures themselves belie that representation. William, I really enjoyed our conversations and trading umpteen photos of our collections. I don’t fault you for keeping the deposit but you are a bold faced liar if you want anyone to believe that you offered it back to me. And that’s ok because your mea culpa is a 180 from everything you told me. You even went so far in your first ads to represent the car as a 340 horse because of the valve covers. And you told me you that you very familiar with NCRS Judging standards and had an NCRS judge provide you with a lot of your representations. This ad was about to fizzle out and be forgotten like the other two ads on here but you made the mistake of calling me a liar. For anyone that cares, I do have all the pics he sent and the emails with all the BS he blasted. I don’t care if someone buys the car but Caveat Emptor never meant so much as dealing with William Hardy in Billings Montana. Email me directly at sperosjd@aol.com for the “rest of the story”.

  34. william

    not a bad write up Jim for never looking at the car or having someone look at it for you. Kudos for the Ghostly way to document the car. the rest doesnt deserve a comment. you all have a great day.

  35. william

    WOW. since i didnt post the ad, i cant even go in and delete or update it. sad, all this technology and still at the mercy of alot of wasted time and space.

  36. Jim Speros

    PS William, more of your BS. Our first email was on 2/25/20, I let you know that I wouldn’t be buying the car on 3/12/20. Not one word from you after that. And yes, I fibbed when I blamed in on COVID. I bought into your story about your ailing health, the need to sell all your cars to cover expenses. With your latest story, (it doesn’t matter if it sells, you’ll donate it or leave it to a family member) that was all BS too. Heck, it’s already titled to a “family” member. Remember, I have a copy of the title too. We corresponded for hair over 2 weeks, not 2 1/2 months. Drag you out…….the hits just keep on coming.

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