Too Tough? 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

While it ticks the box as being a numbers-matching car, this 1963 Corvette Convertible is a car that will require a complete restoration. There really isn’t one area of the car that will be able to escape attention, but if it is properly restored, then it should eventually be a beautiful car once again. Located in York, Pennsylvania, the Corvette has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner is asking $28,900 for the Corvette.

The Silver Blue paint that the Corvette wears is showing its age, but thankfully, the body is showing no signs of fatigue. The news isn’t quite as good below the surface, with the car suffering from some rust issues. The supplied photos are pretty blurred, and while the entire frame wears a heavy coating of surface corrosion, I can see at least one area that exhibits actual rot. It looks like the only way that justice can be done is with a full nut-and-bolt restoration. The external trim and chrome is all present, but items like the bumpers might require a trip to the plater. The top has also deteriorated badly and will require replacement.

When I looked inside the Corvette, the first thing that grabbed my attention was the covers on the seats. Welcome back to the 1970s! I’m sure that the covers seemed like a good idea at the time, but replacing those is just the starting point for interior restoration. There are a few components such as the dash pad that look okay, but there are also a lot of metal items that are showing signs of corrosion. This suggests that the interior has been subjected to a fair amount of moisture, and calls into question the health of items such as wiring connectors, relays, and the gauges themselves. The shopping list for this one is potentially going to be quite long, but the full extent of items required will probably only become apparent once the interior has been dismantled.

This is a numbers-matching car, with the L76 version of the 327ci V8 under the hood. The Corvette also features a 4-speed manual transmission, and this combination made for a lively performer when new. Today, the news isn’t quite as good. The owner states that the engine is locked, and once again, the sheer quantity of corrosion visible around the engine bay is cause for concern. It might be possible to get the engine turning again in the engine bay, but the reality is that completely removing everything and restoring it properly really would be the most sensible approach.

There is no doubt that this ’63 Corvette Convertible was a brilliant car when it was new, and there is no reason why it couldn’t be one once again. However, given the asking price, along with the sheer amount of work required to bring the car back to even a respectable driver standard, I have to wonder whether this is a project that is financially viable. What do you think?


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  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    For the asking price plus restoration costs you can get a number 1 show car just like it. Going in money kills it in my mind.

    Like 8
  2. Frank Sumatra

    These are the type of cars that make me wonder about the future of car collecting. Two things are required for this project- A lot of money and a lot of time. The folks with the money (Boomers) may not have the time, skills, and interest in taking this on, and would most likely prefer to buy a completed car. Especially if they have done a hard-core restoration in the past. The folks (Non-Boomers) with the time, skills, and interest most likely do not have the money to take this type of project on. This car (And owner) are between a rock and a hard place in my opinion.

    Like 12
  3. Kenbo52

    This intrestes me . Total rebuild my way . Not factory correct . Kenbo52 sweet

  4. 71FXSuperGlide

    Looks like some serious birdcage repair at hand. Too bad.

  5. Gaspumpchas Hulsizer

    Mucho lipstick on this pig. Got the topside looking sweet but the underbelly is worse for the wear. Sad. The rust didn’t leave the plastic bodied ‘vettes alone. I’m sure some one will snap it up- you need to understamd what the resto will entail, and as 71fxsuperglide says, the birdcage is a really huge problem. Good luck to the new owner.

  6. Del

    Another non runner.

    This one for 28 grand ?


    Like 2
  7. ACZ

    I really hate to see this happen to any car. The main problem is what Frank said. For this to become a car again will take a lot of dedication. Most of us that have the talent to resurrect one like this are, quite honestly, getting a little too old for it. I know I won’t do one that requires this much, again. Then, who will? Some of these are going to be destined for an open field unless sellers are willing to get real with their prices. There may be a lot of parts available, but they are not cheap.

    Like 2
  8. benjy58

    It looks like it was a swimmer at one time. That was the kiss of death for corvettes. You will need mental health after chasing down all the corroded grounds.

    Like 1
  9. Matt

    I agree with benjy58, it looks like it was a swimmer.


  10. Jeremy

    My opinion is that if I get a 63 Vette, it would be a hardtop due to getting that 1 year only split window, which is what makes a 63 so iconic. You don’t get that with a convertible, it just looks like another 64-67 vette. Again, strictly my view. I welcome yours

    Like 2
  11. TimM

    Got to watch out for the ice coast cars!!

  12. Nasa

    This will require a lot of time and money to restore. It isn’t worth anywhere near the asking price.

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