Rare or Not: 1963 Corvette Sting Ray


It seems like there have been a large number of Corvette barn finds coming to market lately. I’m not sure if it’s because summer is approaching or if it’s just Vette month. This 1963 Corvette Sting Ray was found in a barn and the seller claims it is rare because only fifty were built with the same options, but does that really matter? Take a closer look here on eBay.


The odometer is showing only 59K miles and overall, the car looks to be in good shape. It originally came with an automatic gearbox and A/C. This one comes with documentation and even some photos of the original owners which we appreciate.


Power is provided by its original 3oo horsepower 327 V8, but this wasn’t the rarest of engine options nor the most powerful. The seller doesn’t state as to whether the engine runs or not, but it appears that some parts have already been replaced.


It’s interesting how much a car’s options can affect the desirability of a classic to certain buyers. For most though, options have very little impact on the value of the car. The question remains of whether options make a car rare or not. Do you think this car’s options make it rare and does it impact the value?


  1. J. Pickett

    I’d say it’s nice but not rare, the ad doesn’t say what the special options are.

    • Zoo Barthelme

      ….really J. Pickett, 1 out of 50 car production for the model year, regardless of the options, it valuable. And this is car that should not be restored from it’s current condition, touched-up maybe, but kept as original as possible….

  2. Foxxy

    just looks like another vette. the 327 is cool, and I like the wheels. I’m not a vette guy so I might be missing something.

    • Zoo Barthelme

      ….the production was so low, all convertble Vettes have big value….

  3. Slim Chance

    AC is rare on any early Corvette. More so on a C2 convertible. Try to find one. Coupes are a little easier as the option actually made sense.
    The A/C cars are usually found with low hp motors like a 250 or 300 and are great cruisers.

    Like 1
  4. Dolphin Member

    – A first-year C2
    – Has the rare A/C option, if that matters in a convertible
    – Dave Strickland is an accomplished NCRS judge, so his report on this car should be worth reading. It would have been nice if the seller gave a hint about what it says, but at least potential buyers can read (and should verify) it.

    – If originally equipped with an auto trans it’s not entirely original since it now has a std. transmission. Other than that it might be largely original but may be too ratty to drive as-is for most potential buyers.
    – Has been for sale for almost a year by the same seller—see YouTube video ad dated May, 2012 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_ppfFYSjqo
    – The eBay listing and length of time it has been for sale tells me it isn’t going to be cheap

    • Dolphin Member

      My error: It looks like it has an auto trans, not std.

    • paul

      The door jambs tell me the car has been repainted poorly at some point, the over spray on the door seals & latches give that away, which by itself isn’t bad because this car will need to be stripped & repainted, but it is not original paint.

  5. scot

    ~ ‘one owner’, ‘the doctor passed away and we were able to get our hands on it’ — one or the other. what is so damn difficult about saying, ‘one previous owner’?
    have to vote w/ Dolphin on this. thorough PPI required. has a lot going for it, but only at reasonable $$$$$$$$$$$$$! which can only be determined by seller and buyer.

    • Mike

      That’s not a misrepresentation if it’s an A-Title car. Whoever buys and titles next would then become the B-Title owner and technically the second owner.

  6. Horse Radish

    I guess there is a reason why only fifty people ordered a convertible sports car with Air/C & automatic transmission and had enough money to buy it….
    I will leave this to others to figure that one out,
    I already have…

    • Mike

      Not sure what you’re getting at. Some guy bought it for his mistress?

      • Horse Radish

        I mean, what is the point of A/C, if you have a convertible, just let the top down.Especially if it’s a sportscar like this.
        It’s st***d combination:
        Sports car with automatic instead of stick and a convertible with A/C.
        I didn’t think I had to spell it out.

    • BradL

      A/C was 10% of the sticker price (a $421 option). Imagine that today when a new drop top Vette is nearly $55K.

  7. Kman

    Anyone who doesn’t get A/C in a convert has never driven to Vegas in the summer – or to a lot of other very warm and even stickier places. There are many days in the summer when you put the top up in the heat of mid day and put on the air. Bin there, done that.

    Like 3
    • paul

      Yes agreed, but in those days people usually ordered convts or AC, climate was cooler & much less traffic on the road, so instead of sitting at traffic lights & cooking we were moving, therefore cooler.

      Like 1
      • Kman

        Ever felt a desert wind in a heat wave? Like a furnace. You add the windburn to sunburn and 30 years later you get your face sliced and diced Like I’ve just done. Not pretty, carcinomas, but better than melanomas. I’ll take the air for some occasions. On the other side, driven in and hail and rain with the top down, On my 6th rag top now. The early oines didn’t have air but the last 3 have.

        Like 1
    • Mike

      Having lived in Miami with a convertible as my only vehicle, A/C wasn’t an option, it was mandatory for daytime driving in the summer months. Nights and the rest of the year it was top-down-time all the time.

      Like 2
  8. twwok

    If I am reading the sales contract correctly the car was first sold in Waycross GA. That and a black interior explains the A/C to me.
    Be interesting to see what Mr. Strickland has to say about it.

    Like 1
  9. Shuperman

    As a person who looks at ads for cars, seeing someone advertising a car as something ‘rare’ in a sales pitch that resembles an ad for a monster truck rally annoys me in a way that only ‘has A/C, just needs to be charged’ rivals.

    If you have an honest car, it will sell itself to people who are interested in it enough to buy it because they already know what it is and what it’s worth.

  10. braktrcr

    Yep pretty bad paint job, but very detailed analysis of the car posted in the ad, along with correspondence from Mr Strickland. 50 rag tops with AC I think thats pretty dang rare, How many “Tanker” vettes were there? They have brought huge money just for the fact they have a large, and rare gas tank. The original rear end is gone, and it is a Auto, with a bad paint job, but in the right hands this car could fetch a lot of money, OR could make a very nice driver for someone in a hot climate.

    Like 1
  11. Chris A.

    Lots of tidying up to be done, but at least would make a good driver. Back in the 60’s, this would have been the perfect second car for the MD’s wife (or teenage daughter). Chick car. The wheels look strange though.

  12. Jim Mosley

    Hey guys, did you notice the painstaking cleaning the dealer did on this car before putting it on the market?? Bad promo.

    • Matt

      obviously he thought it would fetch more money looking like it was fresh out of the barn :-)

  13. Matt

    Hope I don’t always sound like a pessimist on here… LOL One of 50 isn’t necessarily “rare” and “rare” doesn’t equate to being worth more in many cases. Corvettes had Powerglides for automatics until 1968… and none of us Corvette purists would EVER own an automatic Corvette, especially a POWERGLIDE :-) A Powerglide is one step above a Dynaflow… LOL As for air conditioning… only one of the 63-67s I owned had factory air, and I’ll never own another one. For starters, they used FREON… ever try to get or keep one of those systems working today??? Ever try to work on the engine of one with a/c??? You can’t even get to the spark plugs on that car unless it’s up on a rack. I’ve had several 60s muscle cars in the last 20 years with 4 speeds and factory air… mostly because I’ve lived in Sacramento and Phoenix where people actually ordered them back in the 60s… and because there was some status to owning one now as a classic, because they’re “rare,” if I dare use that word. One of the things I quickly learned with them was that I never used the a/c anyway, because I only took them out in the morning and evening when it was cool and the sun wasn’t going to hurt the paint and interior :-) And there’s certainly no point in trying to use their performance when the a/c is on :-) And I can’t think of a more boring color combination for 1963 than white/black. I’m guessing that air conditioning wasn’t even available on any engine larger than a 300HP in 1963… because the 340 HP and fuelie had 6500 redlines and they would throw a/c belts at that RPM. Now if this was a coupe (split window) with a big tank and fuel injection… then we could use the term “rare,” and there were probably more of them built than this boring convertible that no one would want to drive :-) You might impress someone that knew nothing about Corvettes, but the Corvette guys would be over in the corner snickering about the guy that paid too much for this thing because it was “rare” :-)

    • Horse Radish

      Kind of what I thought about automatics and A/C in a Corvette convertible.
      Just the very long version…..
      But Thanks

      • Kman

        I’ll take the stick but I’ll take the A/C too. Doesn’t have to be on and dragging on modern cars. BTW, my Pontiac Sunfire GT would mix the A/C with the defrost for instant windshield clearing and that was nice. My Newer Ford Truck doesn’t do that nor does my older Mustang.

        I don’t know where you live but there are places…. Thought I’d die in a rainstorm in August in Honolulu driving an MGB. Humidity must have been off the chart. No way could I put the top down on a brand new car, Same goes for extreme heat in a really hot desert wind. But that’s why they make different coloured neckties.

        Like 1
  14. Matt

    so here’s a list of all the options for 1963, and numbers of which were ordered…

    you’ll note that Z06 option was $1818 :-) That’s equivalent to about $18,180 bucks today. So does Z06 ring a bell? :-) and here’s a breakdown of the Z06 option. This is why the “big tank” cars are worth so much $$$ today, even though there were 199 of them made…

  15. Slim Chance

    The next generation of collectors are not particularly adept at shifting gears. Automatics will play well with those who don’t want to learn. FWIW here’s what Hagerty has been up to:



  16. J. Pickett

    It may or may not have occurred to people that the original buyer wanted a cruiser and didn’t want a T bird, therefore the a/c and automatic. Especially if he commuted in the car.

  17. Slim Chance

    Matt: A Powerglide is the choice of many drag racers.

    134 AC Conversions are not out of the question.

    Plugs on this are a walk in the park, AC or not.
    Try a V10 Ford or Porsche. Or any GM product with a transverse mounted engine.


    Like 1
    • Matt

      I’ve had TOO many powerglides… That’s all we had to choose from in A bodies and Corvettes till 1967… Drag racers use them for different reasons. Hard to imagine I’d ever own a V10 Ford or Porsche or Boss 429 or several others that come to mind where you have to jack up the engine to change the plugs… LOL One 67 Corvette with a 327 and factory air was enough of these too: -) Skinned my knuckles on those static shields and smog tubes one time too many. Sure, you can change them without putting it up on the rack, if you have small hands and fingers and need to win a bet. If I actually had a “driver, ” I’d rather have a NEW aftermarket a/c unit in it. This 63 only bid up to $35, 600. So much for “RARE” being valuable: -)

      • Kman

        Just did the plugs on my ’94 Mustang GT convert. Couldn’t even see 3 of the passenger side plugs and the firewall one was soo much fun. Ended up with a miss and eventually fount the lead wasn’t snug. You have to dismantle several sections of plumbing to even see it and then stand backwards with your hand reversed to get leverage on it. It ain’t the a/c, it’s the damn pollution control crap which I’m told does very little anyway. Better a smooth running clean engine. Worst news: I have to go through all the sensors and tubes as well as the fuses to find out what isn’t working properly now. I love looking at older cars where there is so much space under the hood and so few pieces of junk in the way.

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