Stunning 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 “Big Tank” Coupe!

UPDATE 11/13/2019 – We just heard from the seller of this Corvette that the current owner isn’t Andy Cannizzo as previously stated in the article. Apparently, Mr. Cannizzo sold the car a few years ago to the current seller. Sorry for the confusion, the article has since been corrected.

For Corvette aficionados, if there is such a thing as the Holy Grail of cars, then the 1963 Corvette Z06 “Big Tank” has got to be a car that is close to the mark. This genuine Z06 is a truly astounding car because when you look at it, you see a Corvette that looks as though it still belongs in the showroom of a Chevrolet dealership. It has undergone the most painstaking of restorations, and when you look at the photos that accompany this story, you will find little that you can criticize about the car. The Corvette is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and is listed for sale here at Hemmings. Of course, the Holy Grail is always going to come at a cost, and in this case, that cost is a breathtaking $745,000.

By 1964, the Corvette, which had come perilously close to foundering at one point, was delivering the sort of performance that sports car enthusiasts demanded. However, working on the theory that you can never have enough of a good thing, Chevrolet produced the 1963 Z06. This was a car designed to be an essentially race-ready sports car for people serious about competing in SCCA and FIA GT-class racing. At a whopping $1,818.45 over the Corvette Coupe’s sticker price of $4,038, it is little wonder that a mere 199 people chose to tick that box on the options list. This is one of those cars, but that isn’t where its rarity ends. Of those 199 original buyers, 63 chose to tick the box beside “N03” on the options list. This saw the car also receive a 36-gallon fuel tank, making the car potentially the total package for long-distance sports car racing. Today, it is believed that only around 50 of those cars still exist. This is one of them.

There is probably no body more iconic amongst Corvette enthusiasts, and American automotive enthusiasts in general, than the 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe. It is a shape that is instantly recognizable, not just in America, but across the globe. This Riverside Red example is a thing of absolute beauty. Only five of the Z06 Corvettes were finished in this particular color, and the presentation of this one is nothing short of immaculate. The car was purchased by Andy Cannizzo, who is a recognized expert on 1963 Corvettes, back in 2006. He then commenced a meticulous, nut-and-bolt restoration of the car. His attention to detail was unerring, and the result of this work is a car that looks like it is still sitting on a dealership showroom floor. There is absolutely nothing to be critical of with the exterior presentation of the car. The panels are flawless, with absolutely perfect panel gaps and fit. The paint has an incredible depth of shine to it, and I suspect that dust would be frightened to go near the car. Every piece of exterior trim and chrome has been either beautifully restored or replaced, while the tinted glass has an as-new look to it. Interestingly, the original plan for the Z06 was for it to wear magnesium knock-off wheels, but these proved to be porous. Instead, the cars were fitted with heavy-duty steel wheels, along with decorative wheel covers as you see here.

Serious levels of performance was what the Z06 was all about, and with this in mind, the car rolled off the line with the L84 version of the 327ci V8. This fuel-injected beauty produces 360hp, which finds its way to a limited-slip rear end via a 4-speed T10 transmission. Uprated springs, dampers, front sway bar, and finned drum brakes with sintered linings completed the package. The performance of the Z06 was something quite astounding, with the car capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds, while a ¼ mile could be absolutely blitzed in a mere 13.6 seconds. In today’s market, those figures would stand out as being pretty impressive from any new car. in 1963, this was the sort of territory that was largely the preserve of sophisticated and hugely expensive sports cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari. As with every other aspect of the car, the engine and drive-train of the Corvette have been painstakingly restored with an eye to detail and originality. It is claimed that every nut and bolt is perfect, and once again, it is difficult to find anything about the car to be critical of. The owner doesn’t indicate how well the car runs and drives, but if its presentation is any indication, then it would only seem right to expect perfection.

Speaking of perfection, take a good look around the interior of the Corvette. If you are either too young or weren’t fortunate enough to see a brand new ’63 Corvette on the showroom floor, this is close to what it would have looked like. The Black interior trim looks new, as does the carpet and dash. There are no signs of any clouding in the gauge glass, while all of the metal trim is clean and free of pitting or corrosion. One of the extraordinary touches inside the Corvette is the tag attached to the tuning knob of the AM/FM radio, advising the correct height adjustment for the antenna. This is an item that would have been immediately removed from most cars, and in some cases, stored with the Owner’s Manual. Having a tag in its original location just shows a real eye for detail. The odometer only currently shows 26 miles, and I have to wonder if that is precisely how many miles this car has traveled since the restoration was completed.

This 1963 Corvette Z06 is a lot of car, but it is also a lot of money. The restoration work that has been completed makes it a thing of beauty, and it is a car that has the sort of performance that its appearance demands. Part of me is desperate to slide behind the wheel and drive this car, but part of me is happy to sit here and drink in the attention to detail of Mr. Cannizzo’s restoration work. In 2016, a Z06 “Big Tank” sold for $710,000, representing a sales record. If this car sells for its asking price, it won’t just be breaking that record, it will be smashing it. After values experienced a bit of a downturn in 2017, they are definitely back on the rise. That means that a new record is a very real possibility.

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Comments

  1. Dave

    This was the car you were looking at while Dad and Mom were eyeing the new Impalas.
    You went home in a new Bel Aire…with every advertising brochure you could find on the Corvette.

    It was the stuff dreams were made of…JFK, moon rockets, and Corvettes.

    23
  2. Jeremy

    Cleanest “Barn Find”Ive ever seen. Sorry, I had to….

    14
  3. Ike Onick

    Surprised it is not on Craigslist.

    7
  4. Frank Sumatra

    A duplicate of this car did exist in Rochester NY. It was, and may still be owned by a charter member of the Western New York NCRS Chapter (Now disbanded) formed in 1990. At that time we were in awe of a car that was worth $125,000.00 and was driven to Chapter events, and used as a subject of an NCRS Judging school.

    7
  5. Stangalang

    The best I’ve seen in many moons…damn beautiful car..probably well worth the $…so as many of you guys have said..WHERE’S MY POWER BALL TICKETS!!!! again sweet Z06

    1
  6. Jeff

    I can barely afford the $80.00 for the front fender fuel injection emblems, let alone a additional $700,000.00 for a entire car.

    http://tinyurl.com/sopfuws

    3
  7. redwagon

    “The owner doesn’t indicate how well the car runs and drives……” because no one will ever drive it!

    Over 13 years of restoration? Ufda, that’s a long time. I hope they get every penny of the ask. What the hell, I’m feeling generous tonight.

    3
    • Zorro

      Mike A. Sounds like someone else I know!

  8. Jeff

    What is heck is “UFDA”

    • Ted

      “Unrealistic Financially Determined Asset”

      6
    • Ike Onick

      Uff-da! It’s a Minnesota/North Dakota thing. Roughly translates to “WTF!!!”

      10
      • David Thomas

        Used to be you’d see Uff-da! bumper stickers in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. Lots of old Nordic types there once upon a time. It’s since been gentrified.

        2
      • PatrickM

        A slang from the Dutch that settled in the area back in the 1750 to 1800 era. At that time, teens never let their parents know they knew the word. Probably heard it when two farm men were comparing cattle or crops,…or women’s hind quarters. I’m Irish…and I heard it from a guy in Cheyenne, Wy., who grew up in ND/MN…He was of Scandinavian decent.

        2
    • Buicklover

      Northern Minnesotan for “holy s..t”, or wow!

      1
  9. Jeff

    Oy Vey, I learn something new every day!

    5
  10. Don Diego

    One of the engine bay pics shows a vacuum line which should have been pushed onto the stem another 1/16th

    16
  11. Jeff

    Don Diego,

    One of my dogs balls hangs 1/4 inch lower than the other and hardly anyone ever notices.

    6
    • Don Diego

      I know how he feels…

      11
  12. gbvette62

    I know Andy and this car, and it is an amazing automobile. He didn’t use any reproduction or aftermarket parts in the restoration of it. Just about every piece on it was either an original part that was restored, or a New Old Stock GM part.

    I don’t know that the price is realistic, but there probably isn’t a better split window, Z06 or otherwise, any where in the world.

    By the way, the 63 knock off wheels were aluminum, not magnesium as indicated in this post. It’s highly unlikely that GM would use magnesium for wheels, or any other part that wasn’t painted or plated, because of how quickly it corrodes when subjected to the elements.

    5
  13. grant

    Am I the only one who sees the overspray all over the manifolds?

    • gbvette62

      The manifolds were on the engine, when it was painted, and in judging it’s expected that there will be some overspray on the manifolds.

      13
      • Frank Sumatra

        gb- What NCRS Chapter are you associated with? Wondering if we have ever crossed paths at a meet? I got up to Level 8 Judge and went and had three boys (With some help from my wife) and I want to get back into it now and hit Level 10.

        3
      • gbvette62

        Frank, I’ve belonged to both the Del Val and Central Jersey Chapters, sometimes concurrently and sometimes individually. I attend the Winter Regional every year, and some other meets, but I rarely judge anymore. I have a parts business and do pre-purchase inspections, and I’ve found it awkward when I have to judge a customer’s car. I’m a member of the team that did the 80-82 Judging Manual, and contributed some to the 78-79 Manual.

        4
      • Frank Sumatra

        gb- Very cool. I worked on the C3 manuals with Brian Pearce way back in the day.

        1
  14. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Let’s see, if I don’t eat lunch for the next 273 years, I could afford one of the hubcaps! It’s a beautiful car that most would give their first born for, but I doubt the seller would accept them as payment for the car.
    Most of us see it like a novelty car, something to look at but never will see the road again in all likelihood.

    5
  15. Jeff

    86_Vette_Convertible,

    I wonder if the seller would accept my X-Wife in trade, now that’s real a deal!

    1
    • Ike Onick

      I used to refer to my X-wife as “Big Tank”. Sometimes I miss her!

      8
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Interesting proposition. I’d offer my ex but she died 2 years ago and if I offered the current one the medical costs could bankrupt the person she went to.

  16. JohnD

    Nice car. Now why is it on BarnFinds? Have we lost sight of our purpose?

    2
    • Ike Onick

      Are you new here? It is an interesting and rare car. That’s why it is here.

      11
      • JohnD

        Not new here, just not a barn find. Or even close.

    • Old Stingray

      You are correct JohnD…they won’t post my comment I sent you yesterday agreeing with you….

      • JohnD

        Thank you Old Stingray. That appears to be the Barn Finds way. And if someone attacks you, and you merely observe that it was an attack . . . all comments deleted. Not real thoughtful censorship . . .

  17. chrlsful Member

    thanks for the write-up Adam. See’em like this Down Under?

    2
  18. Terrylee86

    Boy I hope this guy gets his money quickly because classic cars are a dying investment. When us boomers get too old to drive the next generation really isn’t into classic cars. My son just bought a Hellcat redeye and said it’s twice the car your 66 Chevelle convertible is and about the same value. I have a 383 Stroker 500 HP and his car scares me. Good luck selling this Vette.

  19. TimM

    You might be able to buy this car or use your money to get a small island country!! Really nice well kept car!! A true American classic!!!

  20. PatrickM

    I know I’m not the most knowledgeable person around… But, I wasn’t aware the Z06 was available until around the early 2K’s. Enlighten me, please. Having been in the USAF and a single custodial parent of three, there wasn’t much time to devote to anything except raising the kids and keeping the family car running.

    1
    • Frank Sumatra

      Thanks for your service- First to your family and second to the USA Z06 is just an option code that has been recycled by GM over the years like LT-1, ZR-1, etc

      3
      • PatrickM

        Frank. Thanks. And, you’re welcome. Anyone who has been around knows that the military isn’t peaches and cream. Yes, there are benefits. But, the level of responsibility is quite high. But, right now I need to get back on subject. Thanks for the education. I just wasn’t aware of its use.

        1
  21. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Nice…..what was that pesky little car that gave the Z06’s hell ?

    1
  22. Vudutu

    Amazing car, incredible story, iconic, holy grail Corvette, Americana at its best. Hats off to the owners who have tended to this beast.
    It seriously need to land at the Bowling Green museaum, hopefully not over a sinkhole, so I can drive down an hour and see it.
    Question I have is how do you decide what is proper maintaince, job oftend do you exercise it, how many miles a year, much like a Kentucky thoroughbred?

  23. Tom C

    I remember visiting the local Chev Olds dealership in 1963 with my parents when the Stingray came out. Even though we were young my brothers and I were car nuts and the Vette was like nothing we’d seen before. We couldn’t convince my dad to buy one , the fact he had 8 children might have had something to do with it and we stuck to our tried and true 56 wagon. We used to love going into the showroom on other occasions without my parents and jumping into the cars until the loudspeakers boomed telling us to get out of the cars. One of my favorites was the Olds Starfire . My 10 year old brother was very fond of banging gears in the Corvette . We knew every performance car in the area , including a bare bones 409 Impala that used to cruise by with the driver cooly hanging his left arm out the open window, white T shirt with cigarette pack in the rolled up sleeve.
    It will be interesting to see if the new Corvette creates as big a stir as the 63.

  24. Gerard Planche

    My first Vette was a SW, in Switzerland. Wish I had kept it, despite a no matching #s Rochester 2-barrel 327. Lots of fun to drive around though, with the kids’ feet in the troughs behind the seats!
    I’m just trying to imagine these Z06s racing around with stock seats, only waist belts and no headrests.
    But then again, how was Louis Chevrolet racing!!

  25. 1st Gear

    DROOL DROOL DROOL. This is what fantasies are about. Put this perfect example on hold for me, I’m running to play the lottery.

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