Split Window Spectacular: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Of the 21K Corvettes produced in 1963, just about half, or 10,500 were the famed “split-window” coupe with the remainder being convertibles. That said, sometimes it seems like of those 10,500 built, only 15K or so are still in existence. We see them all the time, not only here on Barn Finds, but on many other sites too as well as at most of the high dollar televised auctions. For a one-year-only design, it is extremely well represented! Well, here’s another and this one is an attention-getter, it’s in magnificent shape and finished in a hue not commonly found. This Corvette is located in Newburgh, New York and is available, here on craigslist for $99,000. Thanks to Anthony M for this beautiful discovery!

While similar to a ’63 Corvette coupe that my colleague, Adam Clarke, reviewed in February, this is not the same car. The similarity is the Saddle Tan finish, a color often overshadowed by the more commonly found Tuxedo Black, Ermine White, Riverside Red, Silver Blue, Daytona Blue, and Sebring Silver. And news to me, there were only these seven colors available in ’63. Having been restored and repainted in 1997, this Corvette still presents beautifully. The frame-on restoration included a re-chroming of the hood grills, bumpers, and emblems. The spinner wheel covers are original, standard equipment but the tires appear to be radials – a good upgrade. Though a life-long New York car, an environment known for causing rust, the seller claims that the frame is “great”!

Under the hood is the standard 250 HP, 327 CI V8 engine. Offered between 1962 and 1965, this engine is equipped with a four-barrel Rochester carburetor, not a two as is sometimes claimed. A two-barrel carburetor 327 engine wasn’t introduced until ’67 and the 210 gross HP motor was only used in the Camaro. Equipped with a new exhaust system, the seller states, “327-250hp motor that was completely rebuilt in 96 or 97 with all stock original internals“.  That said, the engine’s externals do not appear to be stock original as the cast valve covers and aluminum intake manifold would not be correct for a 250 HP engine and the open-element air cleaner is from a later year. It all looks fine, just not correct for how this car is advertised. Gear changes are courtesy of an M20, four-speed manual transmission. M20 is the designation given to a wide-ratio gearbox though it could be either a Borg-Warner T-10 or a Muncie as the Muncie unit was introduced mid-model year ’63. The seller does not elaborate as to how this Corvette operates, he states that he only drives it to auto shows.

The interior is referenced as a nice “roll and pelted” environment. My thought is that he meant “roll and pleated”. Whatever the case, the saddle upholstery presents beautifully – actually the entire interior presents beautifully. The dash, instrument panel, carpet, and headliner are all perfect. The only change from originality spied is the tee-handle on the gear shift.

Considering this Corvette’s condition, the price is not surprising, many examples that are listed for sale are destined to be auctioned so we won’t know the actual price until after the fact. It’s thought-provoking to think what would have happened if Zora Arkus-Duntov had won his argument with Chief Stylist Bill Mitchell and the split-window design had never seen the light of day. I for one, am glad that Mitchell prevailed, how about you?

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. doug

    The rolled and pleated interior is easy to put back to stock. The shifter looks to be a Hurst. The hood grilles were never chromed. For this money is should be right.

    Like 28
    • Steve R

      Lots of cheap parts used in the engine compartment too. It’s clean looking, but gives off the vibe that choices were primarily made to minimize costs.

      Steve R

      Like 14
    • Frank Sumatra

      Hood grilles may not have been “chromed” but they were a bright finish.

      Like 5
  2. Paul B

    I love the split window coupes. So funky, so reminiscent of … a stingray. Four-speed, not over-powered, fabulous subtle color and nice interior, this would make a great ride. But at $99K it’s in collector territory with a few things not stock, so you’d hardly want to drive it.

    Like 6
  3. Glenn Reynolds

    Hurst shifter very popular as stock unit had a bad habit of going into first AND reverse at the same time! Had to get under the car and position the 2 external levers so that they were parallel. No fun in a tuxedo.

    Like 13
  4. jokacz

    Horrible color, and then they brought it back again for ’64 SMH. ’63 shifter was junk, Hurst was needed. Not worth the money. I wonder what these things will bring after the last boomer is dead.

    Like 10
  5. Sam Shive

    Love everything about it BUT the cheap looking tuck and roll interior.

    Like 8
  6. gbvette62

    With a complete custom interior, and a lot of aftermarket pieces under the hood, this 63 is at least $15K to high.

    Like 22
  7. john hugh

    cheezy,hack plastic fuel filter in wrong location..body on resto ? lol

    Like 3
  8. john hugh

    the cars on this site are like car salesmen,,,,dont trust em

    Like 5
    • Gary James Lehman

      That is an unfair statement. See you in church.

  9. george mattar

    What most of you guys said. For 99 large, it should have correct interior, ignition shielding is missing, cheap Stant radiator overflow cap, cheap air cleaner, cheap oil fill cap. For 99 big ones, it is only a base engine car, and is about 20 grand too much. I usually hate to nit pick people’s cars, but again, for this money, it should be a Top Flight car. It is not. At least it isn’t a basket case with some Barrett Jackson wannabe asking $50,000. Looks to be a good driver. Truth be told, C2 prices are only holding steady, and in some cases, dropping. The other truth is people who like these cars are getting older, and in many cases dying, leaving the car to their kids, who could care less. They abhor the fact they have to shift a manual transmission, don’t have cold air blowing on them and cannot live without a 5,000 watt stereo or 20 inch tv screen to tell them how to get to Starbucks.

    Like 38
    • Al

      Let’s not forget, no USB ports lol! As I’ve said last cpl years, as a ’60 boomer, when the last become extinct, the few millennial or ‘RX’ers that follow these will have some nice pickins for cheap & will be dragging & hammering them, as they were originally meant for, before being disposed of & replaced for another.

      Like 5
  10. Arby

    I would have pelted the guy that “roll and pelted” that interior…

    Like 16
    • Jeff Maxwell

      Hahahahah

  11. Daniel Fox

    Sad but true!

    Like 1
  12. Jerry

    “That said, sometimes it seems like of those 10,500 built, only 15K or so are still in existence”

    Wat?

    Like 13
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      So many turn up for sale, 58 years going on now, that sometimes it seems like there were a lot more than 10,500 actually made, or someone is making new ones from some other model year (highly unlikely).
      JO

      Like 7
      • johnny

        I got it JO before you splained it. Good one!

        Like 1
    • vw.dodge

      Even my calculator is having a hard time doing the math on that one!

      Like 2
  13. Don Sicura

    This car is a 61 & if the year isn’t a typo, I’d run as fast as I could away from it.

    Like 1
    • Frank Sumatra

      ???

      Like 6
    • GLENN REYNOLDS

      Unless someone put a 63 body on a 61 (very unlikely) and swapped out the solid axle for a IRS, it is 1963

      Like 8
  14. Don Sicura

    While this car may look pretty, there ain’t nothin’ right about it, 35K at best. One can find plenty of really nice 63 coupes for the asking price on this mash up of incorrect parts.

    Like 4
  15. Poppy

    Who did the interior? Cheech and Chong?

    Like 8
  16. Jef Fowler

    Wouldn’t the value be in being a genuine split window?
    Love the look of them.
    Sadly, I’ll be dead soon. BOOM’r
    But not so far gone to miss the humor in only 15,000 left of the original 10,000.

    Like 7
  17. jokacz

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that headliner all screwed up? Looks like it was done in the same Tijuana shop that did the seats. What’s with the fuzzy stuff?

    Like 2
    • Poppy

      It’s called crushed velvet and, yes, it’s an “interesting” choice for headliner material…

  18. Reid Hall

    Yes,this is split/window 63- Corvette/Stingray, not,Stingray Corvette, and possibly a rarely seen 🤔, color, but it’s out there, and not,ultra rare, kinda 😀, somewhat rarely seen, 😉but 😏it’s a little high,for the,price, and someone would have to, put things 😉, more back 😉to stock,but that would 😉cost to much,you could probably buy a 64-67,Big Block for far less money, although some people, say,how, just shop,around, and take the risk, on the Big Block car,not first car you can see, and or look at.

    Like 1
  19. Dan

    For 99 Super Clams it sounds like he wants to keep it. In a handful of years you’ll be able to by two of these and have enough change left over for a cheeseburger fries and a rootbeer float.

    Like 1
  20. Steve slader

    As stated above, 75k is probably top end on this one the the cheezy additions and lack of original eqpt, its getting harder each year to keep these C2s running and as we boomers move into retirement villages, theres not a lot of garage for our toys that once were.

  21. jj jauregui Member

    Anyone else notice the aftermarket speakers in front and rear? A corvette coupe is on my bucket list but not this one.

    Like 1
  22. Rodney - GSM

    Even “Todd and Buzz” would turn their collective noses up at this one.
    (Boomer Quiz…)

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