Parked For 41 Years: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Not a split-window coupe but the right vintage is this 1963 Chevrolet Corvette convertible. This particular example has some challenges, it could be a diamond in the rough but then again maybe it’s more of a case of trying to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Let’s take a close look and decide. This ‘Vette is located in Newington, Connecticut, and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $14,000, twenty-one bids tendered as of this writing. Thanks to Patrick S. for the second Chevrolet tip of the day!

Even though the ’63 split-window Corvette coupe sucks all of the air out of the room, either model is noteworthy for being a significant departure from the previous, C-1, solid rear axle car. This new “Sting Ray” seemed miles away from its 1962 predecessor even though the motivational factors available under the hood were the same. As for sales, ’63 saw about 21K units, split (no pun intended) about evenly between the coupe and the convertible.

The listing is another act of minimalism but let’s see what we can decipher. The seller states, “Last ownership for 52 years”. Translation – he got it from the person who had owned it for the last 52 years. The registration sticker on the license plate is listed as 1979, so this ‘Vette has been cooling its heels in a barn or somewhere for 41 of those 52 years. Furthermore, “This vehicle has been issued a State of Connecticut VIN and that is the VIN on the Conn. title”. Translation – The car has a valid Connecticut title but the VIN referenced on the title, “CT 21925”, is not the born-with Chevrolet VIN. Hmmm, that’s a concern, what happened to the original VIN? And can this car be titled somewhere other than Connecticut? Anyone who has experience with Connecticut DMV registration rules and requirements is invited to please chime in. And finally, “This vehicle does not run or roll, frame and suspension have rot. You will need to pick this up with a flatbed, it will not roll onto a trailer”. Translation – This Corvette has some serious integrity issues. The fact that it won’t even roll is an attention-getter – of course, that could be due to brakes or wheel bearings too. The body of this ‘Vette is a bit rough but it’s really not terrible. There is some patched seam separation evidence along the rear edge on the driver’s side, the paint is completely flat, the rear bumper chrome plating has withered away and the entire front bumper has withered away too but the car is largely intact. The hood grilles look surprisingly fresh, especially compared to the rest of the car. Of note, check out the angle of that rear left wheel. That no rolling capability of this Corvette is starting to come into focus.

Since his Chevy is a non-roller and can’t be driven, there is nothing on that front requiring elaboration. But it sounds as if the non-original engine is a non-starter. The standard engine would have been a 250 gross HP, 327 CI V8; it is unknown what is currently in residence. Interesting to see is the original ignition shielding that has not gone missing as is so frequently the case. The most notable thing about the engine is the extreme amount of corrosion covering the top of the motor (intake, valve covers, and carburetor) – it looks like it has been submerged for some length of time. Gear changing is handled by a four-speed manual transmission, shifted by what looks like a Hurst replacement shifter. The transmission employed could be either a Borg-Warner T-10 or the new for mid-’63 introduction, Muncie unit. The car’s production date would be the determining factor.

The interior is reflective of the car’s exterior condition. The seats are in bad shape and the carpet is missing but the instrument panel and its gauges/switchgear all seem to be present. It needs to be restored but it is a small and not terribly complex environment. I guess the biggest concern may be the wiring and harness, some of it looks out of place. The seller mentions that this is a convertible top only car, meaning, I guess, no removable hardtop. Well, there really isn’t a convertible top either, just a frame and that may be what has been the bane of the interior. Note the glued on foam rubber header seal, it’s supposed to be attached to the top header, not the windshield header, and they are usually constructed of rubber.

I’m torn with this car. Speaking in one ear I hear, “Hey, it’s a ’63, very valuable, collectible Corvette and its appearance isn’t too traumatic – could be some real upside here.” And then in the other ear, I’m hearing, “What are you nuts, the frame is getting ready to collapse and fall out from under what will be a dead-on-the-road Corvette!” The only way to know for sure is to make an inquiry and see if some underside images, can be obtained, they may help to put the entire matter to rest. The seller does state that the bird-cage, what can be spied anyway, is in “great condition“. What do you think, worth digging further? Does anyone know how hard it is to do a body to frame swap on a C-2? And is it worth the effort?

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Comments

  1. piston poney

    i agree part of me is like c2 vette itś one of your dream cars and the other part of me is like are you stupid that car is parts, i wanna see under side pics

  2. doug

    The seats and steering wheel are not ’63.

    Like 4
  3. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Not only the LR wheel, but the right one as well. 4WS from 1963!

    Seriously, the underside steel and iron parts must be in really rough shape, for the rear suspension to be so far askew. May have been parked way back when because it had been exposed to winter driving conditions (and not just once), resulting in a loss of structural integrity. Bad, bad rust.

    This is a huge project, which will likely require a 100% disassembly, and a new frame. Then there is cleaning up and refurbishing whatever can be salvaged.

    Bring Cubic $$$

    Like 8
  4. dave Member

    Yipes!

    Like 4
  5. John smart

    Drivers seat looks to be from ‘66 and passenger seat from ‘65

    Like 3
  6. Arthell64 Member

    I would look for rust in the bird cage and frame.

    Like 3
    • Frank Sumatra

      I would look for another Corvette.

      Like 23
  7. Rustyvet

    Frame swap is not difficult for this vehicle. My guess is the frame has disintegrated at the kick up in front of rear wheels. Birdcage would require a deeper look. Lots of rolling chassis some with motors for a decent price. The vin on the other hand…

  8. Don Sicura

    This car is giving me PTSD, quick give me some valium………lol

    Like 1
  9. Silver 09

    Yea I hate to look under carriage on this one my o my. Lot $….

    Like 1
  10. Often there is a reason cars are parked.

    Like 1
  11. david

    this car has a new vin from state of conn something happened to this car maybe vin tag was missing it mite have been junked tolalled has new conn vin number run vin trough there base it will tell you why

  12. Graham Dobson

    My guess is that the car has been submerged and remained under water for a while. That explains the frame condition as well as why there is no carpeting. It would be interesting to see what’s hiding behind the door panels and the condition of the wiring harness that feed the rear of the car.

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