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Original Fuelie: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe

Some project candidates tick so many of the right boxes for enthusiasts that it is easy to understand why they generate strong interest. Take this 1963 Chevrolet Corvette as a prime example. It is a desirable Split Window Coupe, although that isn’t the end of the story. Hiding under the hood is its numbers-matching fuel-injected V8 that appears to have received a rebuild. The car requires work to return to its former glory, but it will be one of the most potent classics to roll off the line in 1963 when the new owner lays down their tools. The Corvette is listed here on eBay in Richmond, Kentucky. Bidding sits below the reserve at $99,600, although there is a BIN option of $119,900 for those viewing it as an automotive must-have.

Chevrolet introduced the C2 Corvette for the 1963 model year, and apart from some mechanical components that saw service in the C1, the company developed the latest offering from a clean sheet of paper. One of the most profound changes was introducing a Coupe version, which proved to be an inspired move. Buyers embraced the new variant and its split rear window, with the Coupe accounting for an impressive 49.2% of total sales. This Split Window wears what might be its original Sebring Silver paint, although it looks pretty tired. The seller admits the car requires a complete restoration, but the buyer can commence that process from sound foundations. The fiberglass is in excellent condition, with no evidence of prior accident repairs or damage. They don’t mention rust issues with the frame or birdcage, and the lack of visible corrosion gives cause for quiet optimism. The existing trim is in good order, and the glass is crystal clear. The Corvette is a “what you see is what you get” proposition. Therefore, any items not visible in the supplied photos are not included in the sale.

One component carried over from the 1962 Corvette was the 327ci “Fuelie” V8. This range-topping powerplant produced 360hp and 352 ft/lbs of torque. The power was fed to the road via a four-speed manual transmission, allowing the Coupe to cover the ¼-mile in 14 seconds on its way to 144mph. One interesting fact about the C1 is that the final cars off the line were marginally heavier than the Split Window. The difference was relatively minor, but it produced a measurable difference in performance. The Fuelie option was extremely expensive, adding $430.40 to the sticker price of a C2. This was considerably more than the $107.60 for the L76 version of the 327. The additional $322.80 brought the buyer an extra 20hp and 8 ft/lbs of torque, making it easy to understand why the L76 outsold the Fuelie by a ratio of more than 2:1. The seller confirms the V8 under this Coupe’s hood is numbers-matching, but reveals no further information. Its spotless presentation may indicate a rebuild, but this doesn’t rate a mention. It doesn’t run and is missing a few peripheral items, meaning the winning bidder faces a shopping list to replace those items before the motor roars back to life.

The fuel-injected V8 may have been a relatively rare option chosen by buyers in 1963, but even fewer spent the $80.70 on leather trim. This only found its way into 1,114 Corvettes, which is surprising considering how competitive the price was compared to other options. An AM radio provides a perfect comparison, lightening the buyer’s wallet by $137.75. However, ten times as many people selected that feature than ticked the leather option on their Order Form. It looks like someone has commenced an interior refresh, with a new carpet set installed and new Saddle covers on the seats. However, the fit of the seatcovers is poor, and the winning bidder will undoubtedly try again to achieve a better result. The remaining trim and dash look nice, but the shopping list will extend to a new wheel, a few minor hardware items, and a clock to fill the hole in the dash.

The 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe is one of the most desirable and coveted vehicles in the classic market, with values climbing consistently above the market average. However, it only takes one option to impact the value dramatically. A pristine restoration of this promising project would leave the new owner with a vehicle worth over $150,000 if it featured the L76 powerplant under the hood. The numbers-matching Fuelie in this car could boost the price beyond $200,000. This ‘Vette needs work to reach that point, but there is no reason why it isn’t an achievable goal. Do you agree?


  1. Avatar photo Aussie Dave Member

    Yep it’s a vette, next.

    Like 7
  2. Avatar photo james sartor

    EBay shows SOLD at $119,900 on Tuesday.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Dan

      At that price it looks like an OK buy for a numbers-matching split-window fuelie. And it’s in one of the colors I would want; Tuxedo Black is the other. I see the total investment to bring this up to snuff as going north of $200K and the owner should still come out ahead.

      Like 3
  3. Avatar photo gbvette62

    This is $119K looking for at least another $119K to finish it.

    This is someone’s stillborn project with pieces of it laid in place to take pictures. To start with the fuelie plenum and many of it’s parts have been chrome plated making them useless to anyone planning to restore the FI unit (once it’s been ground smooth and plated, the original cast finish can not be put back). The seat covers don’t look to be installed, but instead just laid on the frames. The door panels are warped and wavy. The shifter’s sitting on top of the console, as is the power window switch. 90% of the interior screws are missing, with just enough used to hold things in place for the pictures. Everything under the hood has been shot rattle can black to make it look better and I’d bet the engine is untouched inside and just painted too. There are a lot of parts missing, some pretty expensive. From the overspray under the hood it looks like it got a quick (poorly applied) coat of silver, so who knows what the body looks like under the paint?

    So many people get all excited about split windows (and other cars too) without really looking at what they’re buying. I hope whoever bought this looked the pictures over very carefully, or they’re going to be in for a big surprise.

    Like 12
    • Avatar photo Rich Burgess

      Key for sure is to carefully review the cost of restoration these days especially parts and shipping! Just as a comment might want to check the statement above noting “One interesting fact about the C1 is that the final cars off the line were marginally heavier than the Split Window.” I think you will find the 1962 weight is 2899 pounds verse 1963 weight is between 3345/3375 pounds. Net C1 is lighter then the C2.

      Like 1
  4. Avatar photo dogwater

    Come on 62 yes someone payed to much put we have seen a lot worse projects

    Like 1
  5. Avatar photo rbig18

    I got to go with GBVette on this. This car is clearly staged and whoever bought it is either “made of money” and just doesn’t care or is in for a rude awakening. This is more of a 60K project car that you expect to drop another 80K into.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Greg

      I agree the comments.This seller probably paid maybe half of what he sold for. Doing just enough to get it across the sell line. But if someone is willing to pay that much money for a unfinished car can you blame the seller? I guess some cars are so desirable that this happens.

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo ACZ

    Another split window from “whiteviper”. I don’t know where this guy comes up with all the split windows he sells, but there seems to be an endless supply.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo JWK

    The bad thing about the old car hobby is the amount of strokes that always have some over priced basket case for sale and some dreamer will always show up with the cash only to find out how big of a mistake his purchase turns out to be.

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo 86_Vette_Convertible

    I have to admit I’ve ridden in a SWC in my youth and loved it. Would I love to have one – absolutely. Will I ever have one – probably not. Other than missing front bumperettes, one thing that strikes me as funny is the wheels/tires. I’m not quite sure why but they just don’t look right to me.

    Like 1

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