Split Window Project: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

What do you do with a collector car that will never be original but typically only commands top dollar when it is factory correct? That’s a question there’s rarely an easy answer to, and the next owner of this split-window 1963 Chevrolet Corvette wearing tired Daytona Blue paint will have to answer. The original 327 and four-speed manual transmission are long gone, which is truly a shame considering how epic this thing would be in these colors with the split window and preferred manual gearbox. The asking price is high, with the seller looking for $87,000 or best offer here on eBay. Would you perform a sympathetic restoration or make it into a rat rod given the numbers matching drivetrain is missing?

Like I said – not an easy question to answer. The split window Corvettes are the ones collectors pine for, so no matter which way you go, this is a desirable ‘Vette under any condition. But if you were to make it factory correct in every other way and spend years tracking down a replacement engine and transmission that were at least close to the original in terms of production month, would you see that time and investment returned in the final sale price? Hard to say. In my opinion, if it were mine, I would probably go this route, but not for the hope of a potential return; no, I just like my cars as original as possible, and with all the other details seemingly correct, I’d want to get as close to factory as possible under the hood.

Then again, there aren’t many modified split windows out there because most of them remain highly original. Is this a unique opportunity to carve one up that will blow everyone’s mind at cars and coffee? Well, despite the missing engine and transmission, this Corvette looks otherwise complete enough that it shouldn’t be hacked up any further. The seats aren’t bad, but the driver’s side will need a visit to the upholstery shop, and the dash is largely intact with no gauges missing and what looks like the original radio still in place. The carpets have been removed to reveal mostly solid floors, but no word whether said carpeting is included in the sale. This is a great color combo, featuring Daytona Blue over a black interior.

The engine bay is a reminder that years ago, even a split window wasn’t above being parted out for its drivetrain. Of course, it’s possible the engine suffered a significant failure, was pulled out, and the transmission sold to recoup some money for another project that was closer to being road-ready. This one has a few other scars to sort out, with the seller noting some light rust in the lower door jamb gutters and some fiberglass damage where the rear bumper got tapped. As the seller points out, this would make an excellent restomod candidate, an approach I can get behind if it’s otherwise kept as close to factory specs as possible. How would you restore it?


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  1. Terrry

    $87k..for this?? The owner is on crack or some other illegal substance. Split-window or no, it’s a wreck and has no drive train either.

    Like 100
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      94 Thumbs Up and counting! Let’s see 100!

      Like 5
  2. 8banger 8banger Member

    What Terrry says!

    Like 40
  3. Don P

    Invest another $60,000 and a couple thousand hours and you can sell it for $130,000. Bargain.

    Like 16
    • john vititoe

      What math school u went too.

      Like 6
      • Ike Onick

        Same inglish skool yew went two

        Like 2
    • Chris S

      You can come out even if your couple of thousand hours of time are valued at $0/hour.

      Like 1
  4. Luki

    Even Mattvette the expert Corvette parts seller, with over 2300 feedbacks on eBay, isn’t willing to wade into water this deep.

    Like 14
  5. Hans

    I don’t know the pricing well enough for Split Window ‘63 Vettes but usually a factory restored car takes about a 30% hit if original drive-line is missing. This usually applies to more common muscle cars like a Z/28 Camaro. For rarer cars, that rule does may not apply as collectors want the car and as long as it presents as original, near top dollar can be obtained.

    In this case, it’s a pretty basic ‘63 (ie – not a 327 FI). So I’d guess if you could source a ‘63 date coded 327 and matching 4 speed, and did a full on factory correct restoration, you do alright as the body style is what’s driving the value here not the original drive-line.

    Like 10
    • Doug from MD.

      A 63 split window brought 159,500 at Monterey with matching numbers at Medium auction. So there’s nothing here. No meat on the bone at all.

      Like 11
  6. Doug from MD.

    At 87k there’s no room for anything. Nobody in the business would touch this at this price. I wouldn’t each wish the seller luck with this sorry a$$ deal.

    Like 11
  7. angliagt angliagt Member

    Located in Cincinnati,Ohio.

  8. CCFisher

    Hagerty lists a 250-hp ’63 coupe at $61,900 in #3 good condition. I could buy one at that price, toss the original drivetrain, add an LS-whatever to make a nice driver, and STILL be way short of this guy’s asking price.

    Like 12
  9. losgatos_dale

    -typo in this listing, the “k” is supposed to be “oo”

    Like 6
  10. 86_Vette_Convertible

    As has been said, a car in this condition with no drive train is no where worth the asking price on this one. It could be a fun project but not at this asking price IMO.

    Like 9
  11. Mike1955

    I bought a 63 couple years ago. Had been sitting on a dirt floor shed since about 1978. Running gear gone. Frame bad, but like some girls I dated.. a great body! Used a Billy Dawson frame from Corvette Correction,with LS3, 5 speed, Dana. Painted silver with red Al Knoch leather interior. Less than 120k total invested. Great driving car. These cars, at auction can bring 175-300k, according to quality…..so maybe?

    Like 7
    • Russ Ashley

      I like Mike1955’s idea. Who cares if it’s all original, his car would drive better, ride better, and stop better, and generally would be much more fun to own.

      Like 8
  12. Wooky

    $87K is quite high for a skeleton, even with it being a split window. I would get it running and driving, take care of any cracks in the ‘glass, shoot a coat of clear and drive it. It will never be a Concourse car ever again unless the engine and transmission can be found, not likely. It would still turn heads even as a Rat ‘Vette

    Like 3
  13. Joe Haska

    I think the seller decided, he had to start somewhere and 87 K had a nice ring to it. He may have to reconsider, that logic, as reads all his hate mail.

  14. Vince H

    I don’t think this is Daytona Blue not dark enough.

    Like 7
  15. James Bishop

    It’s to bad the original 327/4 speed are gone , it’s the most damaging thing you can do to the Corvette besides being wrecked severely. As with any car it will never be an matching numbered car again (most likely). 87k is only wishful thinking -it is what it is , In reality , which this owner is far from the value is near the 30k-35k range , unless you find the one who has more money than brains. Nice car ,but still needs a lot of work that adds up to a non matching car with limited value .

    Like 8
  16. smokeymotors

    63 vettes are full of one year only parts, rusted bird cage! I’m leaving right now.

    Like 1
  17. moosie moosie

    But it has power windows !

    Like 3
  18. Clay Bryant

    $87,000? Why so cheap? Gotta’ be something wrong with it. I’d look it over real close before you bought.

    Like 1
  19. Larry D

    I guess the seller views it as you can always come down but you can’t go up on the price.

    Also, I am very suspicious of sellers who are afraid to supply the VIN of their car.

    Like 3
    • Mike W_H_ Mike W_H_ Member

      I suspect the VIN plate was one of the parts that were “parted out”

      • moosie moosie

        You can see a part of the VIN. tag in the picture of the body tag, paint # & trim # ?

  20. Wingnut

    Hey guys. At least the key is in the ignition!

    Like 1
  21. Vincent

    $87k what a joke. Maybe $30k if you have $$ to blow on a possible ‘dream’. I could care less the orig drivetrain isn’t there as knowing someone back east with GM as well as Harley stamps to make anything ‘numbers matching’ is besides the point. You’d be surprised how many are out there supposedly numbers matching, so knowing what I know & seen regarding that, not even a consideration when looking. With this missing the eng & trans altogether, there’s nothing included for that step to even do it lol! So your buying a shell here. Pass.

    Like 1
  22. J

    Wow this person must have some mopars in the same condition for $130,000 it’s all relative lol

    Like 2
  23. t-bone BOB

    Located in:
    Cincinnati, Ohio

  24. Frank Sumatra

    $8700.00 would be charitable.

  25. George Mattar

    What Terry said. A total dreamer. That is not Daytona Blue.

  26. Eugene W.

    This car has endless possibilities, and the seller knows that. And someone out there may have the correct date coded numbers matching engine and transmission from a wrecked ’63 that they kept because they couldn’t bear to part with it. Think outside the box, everyone.

    Like 1
    • Larry D

      @Eugene W.

      That won’t help anything because the engine you speak of would have the VIN derivative of a different car, not this car.

  27. ken

    i sold a 63 split window this summer (2021) in not as good condition as this one for 40k so this one is probably in the 50 to 60k range,just my opinion

    Like 1
  28. John L.

    Looks like a stolen recovery. Are the rivets on the trim tag correct?

    • moosie moosie

      Rosette rivets didn’t start until 1965.

  29. Larry D

    Yeah the rivets are the correct type for a 1963 Corvette. And the VIN tag is spot welded in place as it should be too but I just don’t understand sellers who don’t want to reveal their VIN. I say this because I’ve seen VINs before that were erroneous. And I feel a prospective buyer has the right to know what he is getting.

    Like 2
  30. ErnieSC

    It appears that it brought the $87K! WOW!!!!!

    Like 1
    • Al

      Possible high crackhead selling it for $87k, and another possible crackhead paid $87k for it lol! No motor or trans?? A shell with an interior that needs refinishing. Last driven in ’76, almost same time when I bought mine for $4500 in ’77 at 17 w/ 327 RFI, orig & MINT! They both must watch Barret Jackson & dream lol! INSANE!

  31. Mike1955

    Apparently sold, maybe the seller knows the market values better than the experts?

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