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Real Splity or Imposter? 1963 Corvette Project

1963 Corvette Coupe

When I first spotted this 1963 Corvette, my first thought was “Sweet a Split Window”, but after a closer inspection my feelings went from optimistic to skeptical. As you can see, there is something fishy going on with the roof. Over the past decade, the one year only split window Corvette has become rather valuable. As the value of classics like this go up, so do the lengths at which some will go to replicate and clone them. I’m not sure if that is what is going on here, as the VIN matches up with a split window coupe, but it if it turns out to be the real deal it is certainly worth a closer look. Find it here on eBay in New York.

1963 Corvette Coupe Interior

Turning a ’63 Convertible into a split window coupe would be a massive job, but it is completely possible. The fiberglass body simply needs to be cut and the roof, trunk, doors and birdcage from a split window then grafted into place. This is by no means a small task, but anyone skilled in fiberglass repair can do it. The fact that the birdcage has been cut and all the open body panels, would lead one to believe someone began converting it to a coupe, but discovered how much work it was going to be and put it into storage until they had the means to finish it.

1963 Corvette Coupe VIN plate

The problem with this theory is that the VIN number clearly decodes as a proper ’63 Corvette Split Window Coupe. Alone that doesn’t prove the authenticity here though. It’s possible that the VIN plate and roof were taken from a wrecked or damaged coupe and then attached to a convertible body. But then again, why wouldn’t you just use the parts from the convertible to repair the coupe?

1963 Corvette Coupe Firewall

The lack of a motor creates even more questions because if it were present it could possibly help to clear up this mystery as the motor’s ID plate would match up with the VIN. Someone who specializes in ’63 Corvettes might be able to clear up some of the concerns and it would certainly be worth getting someone to inspect it in person.

1963 Corvette Coupe Roof

Personally, I’m thinking this is someone’s unfinished attempt at converting a convertible into a coupe, but that darn VIN plate just keeps throwing me off. It’s entirely possible that the roof was damaged at some point and this was an attempt to repair it, there are just so many possibilities. If you have always dreamed of restoring a ’63 Coupe, this might be a great buy, but only if it’s the real deal. I would recommend being careful with this one and be sure to ask the seller questions and get a PI before bidding. So do you think this is a genuine splity or someone’s attempt at a clone?


  1. jim s

    the pop rivet heads do not match on VIN plate and are rusty. on the plate next to it the rivets are not rusty. it looks like something longer was in the area where vin plate is now, judging by the rust mark on frame. but it is at $ 7600 already, so someone wants this car or do they just want the VIN plate and title. this will be fun to watch for the next 5 1/2 days. glad you posted it.

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  2. Don Sicura

    I wouldn’t want this car if it was given to me, it clearly shows that the VIN plate has been tampered with, very much an illegal act in any state in the US, yet people are so desperate to buy a C2, they’ll even accept this pile of mismatched junk. What most people do not realize is that the car is subject to confiscation by what ever police agency happens to notice the tampered VIN plate and the unfortunate buyer of this car has no recourse to recover money spent & may even be subject to criminal prosecution. An unethical seller and an unwary buyer, what a recipe for disaster.

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  3. stanley stalvey

    I’ve changed the serial number on enough cars to tell you that the rivets on the vin plate are not factory. Factory rivets are much flatter. I would grind out the bottom of the original rivets and then just glue them in place on top for proper appearance.. This vin plate has obviously been changed. Your suspicions are correct. This is someone’s poor attempt at creating a clone…

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    • jim s

      why were you changing serial numbers?

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      • stanley stalvey

        salvage car for personal use only. not for sale.. That was over 30 years ago..

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  4. paul

    Lets see , a rotted chassis, a butchered body, so i guess it’s a bunch of parts & a VIN tag, $7600 so far, OK next.

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  5. Don Sicura

    Both the 63 & 64 Corvette VIN plates were spot welded in place, NOT riveted. Also the very early 65’s had round stainless steel pop rivets, then early on GM started using what is called “rosette” pop rivets, as far as the grind marks under the VIN plate, that is how they were from GM, as the spot welder had to have bare metal for the weld to properly take, back then weld through primer had not been invented yet.

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    • Nova

      Bang on with the spot welds! No rivets!

      Further to your GM 1963 split, production line facts, this item should be investigated and potential charges reviewed as this is blatant, fraudulent VIN tampering!

      Another year coupe that was in the very early stages of re-birth as a split.


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  6. Brian

    I think it’s ashame the lenghts some people will go to to defraud others to make a profit. These type of people are, in my mind, not part of the hobby or the antique car community; they are just posers, sharks, and crooks! Not necessarily saying that this car or seller is such a case as I just not knowledgeable about old Corvettes. I’ve never been greatly interested in owning cars that you have to either be or know an expert to look a car over to insure that’s it’s not a forgery and that I’m not going to be soakes for thousands of dollars. Lucky for me, my bank account doesn’t support me buying those kind of cars either! I admit it right up front, when I see a car in this condition, I just think of the great “turn key” cars I could buy for the asking price of this, well, shell. Yes, these cars are out of my league and I’m ok with that! More power to the guys who understand these cars and how to restore them properly, I admire your skills and talent!

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  7. Steve H.

    Are there any other numbers stamped on the body and the frame to prove that this is a legit split window or a wannabe?

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  8. Don Sicura

    There are no other numbers stamped on the body but there are two numbers stamped into the frame, one under the drivers side sill plate beside the seat & another on the left side over the rear wheel hump, however looking at the condition of this frame, it is unlikely that those numbers would still be readable with out going to great expense to have the original numbers raised.

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  9. DT

    The seller knows its a 1966 with a 1963 roof cut in,he just wont admit it,”use your own due dilligiance” It could be made into a dragster or…maybe a destruction derby car.In my opinion its lost its collector value,its not anything Id buy

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  10. jim s

    seller has an 873 with 100% and the bidders have from 149 to 3991, all with 100%. however the bidders % of bid active with this seller is interesting. i think that means they all know how ebay works. as i stated early this is going to be fun to watch.

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  11. Moxman

    Call me crazy, but the rivets on the VIN plate look different from each other. The one on the left is flatter than the one on the right. That wouldn’t happen in an automated assembly line operation. But it could happen in someone’s shop with a hand-held pop rivet gun. With all of the other relevant comments posted above, one can only assume that this car is very suspicious in origin.

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  12. Federico de California

    One look at the one-color yellow primer exterior/Nassau Blue inside with the red primer roof panels grafted on at the bottoms of windshield pillars say it all. Rivets or no, anyone can see that shiny VIN plate obviously doesn’t match the pitted thrashed frame bits below. Doesn’t take much detective work here.

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  13. DT

    1964 and 1965 chevy trucks are the same,the vin tags are spotwelded on

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  14. BrentF

    Looks like a ’63 to me, judging from the wells behind the seats, which were later eliminated.

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  15. tom999p

    I remember that car (the split window part), from way back in 1978 when I was 8 years old. My teenage cousin had it in his garage in southern Connecticut. He bought it from someone in the industrial area that already stole and stripped it (back then it was complete except for the wheels, suspension, interior, engine, trans, etc.). When my cousins father heard that it was stolen, he made my cousin get rid of it. Don’t know what happened to it after that. It must have been chopped up and stored for many years until this ebay seller decided to graft & sell it. Not sure the police database goes back that far, but I’ll bet the split window part & #’s were reported stolen in Connecticut in 1978….

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  16. PaulG

    Interesting, this is for sale by a restoration shop:
    Link: http://www.mbcgarage.com/pages/aboutus.php
    The car may have been a “project” that they decided not to complete…

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  17. Darren C

    Yeah nothing but fishy. You can see where someone attempted to change the first tag from 67 to 63. When you look at the top over the doors it has the same features as a 67. Wouldn’t get my money!

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  18. Nick

    Yeap, there something wrong with those rivets. Good remark.

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  19. rancho bella

    They weren’t great when new…………..as for this?…………..not even if it were free

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  20. AMCFAN

    I know of a local 1950’s Corvette Frankenstein. The guys son wrecked a very nice car when he was 16. It is now owned by the 16 year old kid now in his 50’s. An attempt was made years ago to join an unwrecked front onto the rear section. Today it looks much like this 1963.The vin tag was removed and reattached. Did Jr. break the law?

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  21. Don Sicura

    Yes, he would’ve needed to have the state attach a state supplied VIN plate for the reconstructed vehicle as either VIN plate from the two vehicles would not be a correct representation of the newly reconstructed car. This is usually done by the state police who would also perform a safety inspection to certify its road worthiness.

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  22. AMCFAN

    I am aware of the law. If you were to attempt to do this now I would see the problem. My point is that the work was done to the 50’s Vette many years ago. Same family has owned the car. Most likely it will someday be sold at thier estate sale as no way it will ever be sold untill then. All involved will be long gone. You can bet the auctioneer or the new owner will be none the wiser. What then?
    My whole point about the 63 is the same. The seller has the car. I do not know him and am to assume he did not build it. It is what it is and everyone is beating the he_l out of it. If anyone has any info that it is stolen report it to the authorities. Stating that certain parts are hot with out actually knowing could be taken very serious. It is still America and everyone is innocent untill proven otherwise. Lets not be judge and jury here. People are getting sued for making comments on Angies list. We need to enjoy these car finds and be more respectfull of the owner.

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    • DT

      I am rarely speachless!!

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  23. Don Sicura

    The laws for altering VIN’s have been on the books ever since the manufacturers have been putting VIN plates on cars and many other products, just like a stolen car is NEVER removed from stolen status until recovered, altered VIN’s are still a crime, NO MATTER WHO is in possession of said vehicle and whatever excuse is given for possessing said vehicle, simply put, if you are in possession of a vehicle with an altered VIN, it is supposed to be confiscated, further even if the other identifying numbers come up as correct, the VIN plate still was tampered with & the vehicle would be subject to forfeiture. If you want to take a chance on this car, go ahead, but remember, you have been properly informed, as I have a working knowledge of the motor vehicle code which is generally the same throughout the US.

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  24. Don

    63 vin tags are spot welded. This is likely a 63-64 roadster that someone
    is trying to pass off as a split window-BEWARE

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  25. DT

    ” VIN tags are still mounted on the birdcage, please do your own research to validate their originality” … Why would a company, selling a car, say that?

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    • Don S

      For money

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  26. jim s

    sold for $8701!

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  27. Domenic Politi

    Besides all of that, the FUEL HOLE in center rear symbolically represents one of the STRONGEST FORTS ever built on these shores, today a mere part of what once was together, called Fort Clinton.
    Hey, the parts are worth some bucks, the government has never cared much about vin numbers, so why should we?

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