Split Window Survivor: 1963 Corvette Sting Ray

1963 was the last year for many signature Corvette design elements, such as the trademark split rear window and stylish hood vents. While we may never know why this example sat dusty and forgotten for so many years, but perhaps the previous owner of this ’63 Sting Ray hid it away with grand plans for restoration. With under 100k miles and many of the original features still intact, it’s no wonder bidding is already over $31,000 with one day left on the auction. Find it here on eBay in Webb City, Missouri.

Beyond its memorable split rear window, the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray is also noted for its independent rear suspension. The changes to the chassis transformed the way the Corvette handled, and earned it high praise in the April 1963 edition of Car And Driver magazine: “Cornering stability under conditions permitting minimal wheel deflections is remarkable, and an initial feeling of pleasant surprise rises to sheer astonishment when one discovers that the car can be taken off the predetermined line with ease and still complete the turn in perfect balance.” Although the firmness of the suspension was off-putting to reviewers, it did give the Corvette some added credentials when tackling the road course.

The sleepy Sting Ray’s ownership history is short, with the latest owner holding onto the car since 1963. He purchased the car from the first buyer who only used the car six months. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many of the car’s original components still exist today, including the motor, transmission and all interior components. This numbers-matching example is equipped with the venerable 8-cylinder 327 mill, pumping out 300 b.h.p. and mated to an automatic transmission. Although we would prefer a manual, we’re certain this car would be as capable as a backroad cruiser as it would be lighting up the drag strip.

The interior is hard to resist, with the curved dash, pronounced gauges and sporting buckets. This car’s insides appear salvageable, aside from some splitting at the top of the driver’s side bucket. Said to be largely complete, this barn find presents a unique opportunity to either preserve or restore an untouched Sting Ray. Equipped with power steering, power brakes and power windows, this Vette came with plenty of options from the factory. Today, however, some pieces have been removed from the car as the previous owner intended to restore it, including the carburetor, glove box door, spare tire cover, and console cover. Fortunately, all of these can likely be replaced or rebuilt after a few months spent sleuthing on eBay.

While the exterior will need some work to be perfect, it could also be used as-is to preserve its rat-rod patina. The bondo out back makes us leery, but the rest of the body looks to have survived without any major incidents. There’s little doubt this car is a survivor, and as Car and Driver notes, it offers the best of all worlds: “Compared with previous Corvettes, the Sting Ray is improved in almost every imaginable respect: performance, handling, ride comfort, habitability and trunk space.”

WANT ADS

WANTED 1969 Pontiac GTO Looking for a project car, prefer 4 speed, or was Contact

WANTED 1954 Buick Skylark Looking for a car that needs restoration Contact

WANTED 1959 Volkswagen Beetle Left & right tail light assemblies complete only. Contact

WANTED 68 Chevrolet chevelle no 4dr car a Contact

WANTED 1972 Yamaha G7S (80cc) These are now referred to as “cafe racers”, although we never heard of such a term in 1972. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad

Comments

  1. Tom Andersen

    Why anybody would have ordered this car with an automatic is unbelievable.
    Even in 1963

    • francesco

      true, but sometimes an automatic can be more fun than you’d expect ,especially with 300 hp

  2. Pat

    Hi, since the bodywork is done, go ahead and restore it. Then drive with pride.

  3. eldo72000

    this is my dream year Vette, happy bidding !!!!

  4. Will

    I love it. It is to far gone to “preserve” but restoration should be easy. I am kind of surprised that the interior design is so similar to my 95 mustang. I also love the engine choice and auto for the wife. If I where to buy a classic for my wife this would be it.

  5. tom minch

    If not to use it rat rod style, you would have another 40k into it for a nice driver or 60k to make it into NCRS.

  6. Ron

    Vintage racing baby!

  7. Pat

    Lip stick red, Recaro’s and toss in a 4 gear just save all the stock parts. Gotta have real knock offs! Just enjoy it…..

  8. JimPunkrockford

    get it running and drive it just like it is. i wouldn’t change a thing

  9. Dolphin Member

    Of all US cars the ’63 Sting Ray is at the top of my list. Some people say that the divide between the rear windows is a problem for rear vision and that the body design can produce lift, but who cares? This body is both cool and tough looking, there’s nothing else like it.

  10. J. Pickett

    By 1963 many people thought stick shifts were passe, and whoever ordered this wanted a cruiser, hence the powerglide.

  11. Dolphin Member

    Sold for $38,100 on 34 bids.

  12. Jeff

    What a bargain ;)

  13. mikey

    The best looking Corvette ever……….they are heavy, skinny wheels, handles like crap even on a good day. But darn beautiful. For those that think these are great cars, they aren’t.

  14. T. Pat

    If u have connections to a good body shop and a lot of extra cash go for it . Otherwise you could throw your money at a newer Z06 or a Grand Sport.

  15. Evan

    My pops once told me at a car show that when you’d drive the split window vettes down the highway and roll up the window the glass would fly out! Oops!

  16. Richard Truman

    Had 63 4 speed for 14 years ,Had the 2008 Z06 just got another 63 power guild with
    beefed up cam .good radial tires and cruising is great .This car is a original engine 300 HP
    and isan easy High 13 car in the quarter .Power steering ,power brakes pleasure to drive .

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.