Top Flight Fuelie: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

There is a lot to be said for buying the best of something, and that is what the next owner will be securing if they purchase this 1963 Corvette Convertible. This is a car that has recently secured a highly-prized NCRS “Top Flight” status, marking it as an extremely special Corvette. If this sounds like the sort of car that you would love to own, you will find it located in Plainview, New York, and listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has now reached $42,100, and I’m not surprised to see that the reserve has not been met.

Given the fact that the Corvette only achieved its “Top Flight” status in May, that should indicate to anyone who knows their way around a Corvette just how good this car actually is. With a score of 97.6%, it is as close to perfection as an original and unmolested Corvette gets. The Silver Blue paint presents perfectly, with not a sign of a nick or mark anywhere. The White soft-top is so good that it looks new, while the exterior trim and chrome appear to be faultless. It is the attention to detail that sets this car apart, right down to being fitted with the factory-correct BF Goodrich bias-ply tires. Even the glass appears to be free of any swirls or marks. The exterior presentation doesn’t bring to mind a car that has just rolled off a showroom floor. If anything, it looks like it still belongs there.

Lifting the hood of the Corvette not only reveals more faultless presentation but also reveals the mighty fuel-injected 327ci V8. This 360hp beast sends its power to the rear wheels through an M20 4-speed manual transmission, while power steering is also part of the package. The original owner of the Corvette knew what they wanted from their purchase, and that was to go fast. Even by today’s standards, performance figures remain very impressive. The car is capable of a 0-60mph time of 5.5 seconds, while a ¼ mile can be devoured in 14 seconds flat. That engine was not a cheap proposition when this car was new. Of the 21,513 Corvettes sold in 1963, only 2,610 owners chose this option. This was because it added a not-insignificant $430 to the base $4,037 sale price of a new Convertible. That’s one big hit in the hip pocket.

The interior of the Corvette isn’t perfect, but it’s so close that it really doesn’t matter. The only fault that I can pick is a small amount of stretching on the seats, but as I said, it really is insignificant. The carpet is new, but this is of exactly the same color and pile type as original, so is virtually impossible to differentiate from it. The rest of the interior is original, and once again, it’s spotless. There have been no aftermarket additions made to the car, and original features such as the power windows and AM/FM radio are said to work perfectly.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and if you look at the bottom of this article, you will find a few pictures that really tell this car’s story. For a classic enthusiast who is looking for an example of motoring perfection to park in the garage, it really would be hard to go past this Corvette. NCRS “Top Flight” cars are not that thick on the ground, and when they do come onto the market, they are a coveted piece of machinery. I don’t think that there would be many Bow-Tie enthusiasts who would not want to own this car, but it will be interesting to see if we have any Barn Finds readers who are eager enough to bid on what is a beautiful car.


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  1. normadesmond

    Gee, that sure is purty.

    Like 7
  2. Grandpa Lou

    Beautiful car for sure, but who among us knows how to tune mechanical fuel injection? A standard 4bbl was the way to go then and now.

    Like 3
    • ACZ

      You learn how.

      Like 4
    • Ric Parrish

      They are easy to tune, but they are dangerous. We almost lost a 62 Vette when the freeze plug in the fuel body fell out. I just put one on a built 327 and while I was adjusting things on the engine, the float stuck and flooded the engine with gas. If I’d been on the road I could have lost this car. Tip, never drive a fuelie without a fire extinguisher. I realize every car should have one, especially classics. After playing with Rochester Fuelies since 1962 I guess I’ll hang it up. I have been filming WWII planes, now with the B-17 9 0 9 just crashing, four of the planes I have worked with have crashed, I think I’ll hang them up too. They are 75 years old after all.

      Like 3
  3. TimM

    Sure is a really beautiful well cared for car!! The 327 and 4 speed make it a really nice driver!! Good to see an original fuel injection too!! I’m sure this car will be north of 50K!!!

    Like 6
    • CCFisher

      An NCRS Top-Flight car is driven on and off a trailer and rarely more.

      Like 1
      • Frank Sumatra

        False. I own one and it gets driven. “Top Flight” does not mean “Gold Plated”. It does mean on a certain day, at a certain NCRS meet, a group of volunteer judges determined a car achieved a certain score against an established standard.

        Like 2
  4. Camaro Joe

    Grandpa Lou, there are still people out there who can tune a Rochester FI. They’re just few and far between, and usually expensive when you find them.

    If I was going to drive this car a lot, I’d make it look like a stock 327 4 barrel car. Whoever buys this will pay a ton of money for a rare NCRS Top Flight car and maybe drive it a few miles to local shows. The rest of the time it will go to big time Corvette shows in a trailer. If the Rochester FI unit is set up and maintained correctly it should do that for many years.

    A friend of a friend retrofitted the 389 in his 65 GTO with a 57 Pontiac Rochester FI unit about 5 years ago. He is really happy with it, but doesn’t drive it a lot or go very far from home. The WOW factor when he opens the hood is there for sure. That’s what he wanted, but I can’t imagine the price.

    Like 9
    • grant

      To keep that top flight status, this car will be driven very rarely, if ever and even then it will never get out of second gear. If you want a Corvette to show as the best example of its kind this is your car. If you want one to drive, keep looking. But, it’s so nice to look at isn’t it?

      Like 6
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Many years ago my cousin was married to the son of the local small town Chevy dealer. Dave told me they had a Rochester FI on the shelf they’d swapped for a 4 bbl carb setup on a C2. They’d basically given up trying to get it to run right and the customer wanted his car working so that’s the route they went with, like so many other dealers. Ironically I could have gotten the Rochester unit for penny’s on the dollar, but not having anything it would fit, I passed it up. The dealership is long gone and who knows what happened to the unit when they closed. I have to admit I was stupid to not buy it, but who knew?

      Like 5
    • ACZ

      I didn’t know that was possible. The deck height is different between the 58 and 65 engines.

      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        I meant to say C1 or C2, I don’t know the year the FI came off of, never saw the car if came from though I expect it came off a 283.

  5. Frank Sumatra

    If the buyer is concerned about fuel injection tuning, they should join NCRS. There is more information and informed people available than you would ever need. The founding member of the now-disbanded Western New York Chapter was one of the original Fuel Injection design team members. It will be the best $50 the new owner will ever spend.

    Like 3
  6. moosie moosie

    Really nice Fuelie, too bad it probably will not be driven as much as it should be but whoever puts up the bucks gets to decide that, no mention of a hardtop for it even tho the deck has the receiver ferrules for it along with the side ones, but it will probably be expensive enough as it sits. Sorry but if I were in a position to own it I would drive it, but then only if the sun was shining and warm out.

    Like 2
  7. John

    Poor little car, it never got a chance to be a real Corvette.

    Like 3
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    George, I see it here in Wisco. No heavy hitters but if it is your rig you are stiffed. If I could buy it I think I could afford insurance and I would drive it. I have a couple cool old rigs, if I wack one or some one else wacks me, oh well. Sad, but a small price to pay for fun! They are to be driven, and I do. Take care George, Mike.

    Like 1

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