Upgraded To A 427! 1964 Chevrolet Corvette

Reviewing an original or restored-to-original condition vehicle is not that difficult to do as most vehicles, especially ones with collectible value, are well documented. Sure, there are small nuances that get over-looked or mid-year changes that can throw you off but the process is pretty straight forward. It’s more of a challenge with a, “Who did what?” car like this 1964 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, located in North Canton, Ohio and available here on eBay for a current bid of $19,300. Following, I’ll explain more.

The 1964 Corvette is the second year for the C2 version introduced in 1963. As is well documented, the biggest difference between the two is the ‘63s split rear window, an unmistakable styling cue. In ’64, a single piece of glass was substituted. There were also some slight changes in the engine room but basically, they are the same car.

So, what’s up with our ’64 subject car? Well, it is a ’64 model but it has been altered to look like a ’67. Let’s start under the hood. Our seller tells us that this ‘Vette has a New Original Motor (NOM) in the form of a 427 CI big-block power plant. There was no 427 engine in ’64 so while it may be new, it’s not “original” or date correct. The biggest shortcoming here is that there is no image of the engine included in the listing; hmm. We are told that it, “runs real good” however. The listing also states that there is a Muncie four-speed manual transmission present so that may or may not be original but it is correct for this vintage Corvette.

Following in the later model Corvette vibe we find a ’67 big-block stinger hood, ’67 side vents (gills), ’67 (first year) rally wheels and side pipe exhausts which were an option in ’67 but came with a finished cover. All of this said, the three-year update appears to have been well executed. The body panels and shunt lines look well aligned and the silver-blue finish, correct for ’64 or ’67, appears to have been well applied and still has depth. One minor note, while many of the ’67 styling features have been included on this ’64, the ‘67’s distinctive, center-mounted back-up lights have been excluded. There is no discussion on the part of the seller regarding this Corvette’s underside, frame or bird-cage integrity. The seller states that this ‘Vette was stored for 35 years, so based on the outward appearance, it must have been well stored.

Moving on to the interior, we find a clean, well kept typical ’64 Corvette interior. It looks good; upholstery fabric, door cards, and dash pad all appear to be sound. I’m not sure about the carpet, it’s either very faded or a completely different color. Nevertheless, it looks to be intact.

This is a no reserve auction. I imagine if it were still a ’64 Corvette with original appearance and powertrain it would have an established reserve. At this point, there are sixteen bids submitted and a week still to go. I see no issue with these kinds of modifications though they usually adversely affect the value of a high-dollar collectible. So, what drove the changes? Hard to say but one thought is that perhaps this ’64 suffered serious front-end damage somewhere in its past and this was how it was corrected. The listing does state my largest selling claim pet-peeve, “We have gone through it…”.

C2 Corvette’s have reached such stratospheric values, that if I were in the market, I’d want to stick with a genuine, non-date altered example. If that sort of thing is not of concern to you, this ’64 would be worth a deep-dive for consideration. I would like to know more about the engine however, 427’s came in many flavors so I’d like specifics. How about you, would you be open to a date modified Corvette like this or would the changeling nature of it scare you off?

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Comments

  1. MH

    Thats a very sexy car. Im sure it will be bid up to big money in no time.

    2
  2. RayT Member

    I’m just going to jump right in here and a) prove how old I am and b) maybe school some younger Barn Finders on what many of us oldsters considered somewhat normal:

    I don’t see a thing on this car that I would have been surprised to see on a ‘Vette — or ANY performance car — in the late ’60s. Many, many Corvettes (and Mustangs, Camaros and the like) were “personalized” by the addition of more powerful engines (for the money, there weren’t as many substitutes for cubic inches then), removal of bumpers and/or badges, hood scoops, flares and/or vents, different wheels, etc. That was what enthusiasts often did.

    Few people were thinking of authenticity or resale value. They wanted what they wanted, and if they could get it by modifying their own ride instead of buying new, and had the skills, that’s what they did. Nobody complained about cutting out the center of a ’63 ‘Vette coupe’s rear window, either.

    This may not be to someone’s taste now — and was often not to my taste then — but it was neither vandalism or all that far out of the ordinary. No malice was involved. In, say, 1968, NO ’64 Vette was a “high-dollar collectible.” It was an old car.

    That is all. Get off my lawn!

    44
    • MFerrell

      There’s still a large community of Corvette owners who prioritize personal preference.

      3
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Great comment RayT, I agree. What is not to like here? My big brother is a retired Teamster semi driver, his handle was the Bullfrog. Always looking for a jump. He would love this rig! Myself, I would paint the scoop black, find some shields for the pipes and putz around with her as I go. The 67 coves are better than the 64 anyway. Glad they did not monkey around with the backup light though. I like it.

      2
      • RayT Member

        Leiniedude, I’d want to do something about the hood and side pipes as well. For me, they’re a bit much as-is. After that, disc brakes — weren’t those available on ‘Vettes in ’65? — and, just for bragging rights, maybe some period hi-po work on the engine.

        Isn’t that the point of “personalization”?

        And for the record: I’d be equally attracted (maybe more) to a bone-stock ’64 coupe. As long as it had a four-speed, that is.

        3
    • Stan Marks

      I couldn’t have said it better, Ray. You’re spot on.
      Old guys rule………

  3. Classic Steel

    Whats with the freakin frogs on hood and trunk 👀

    i like it but needs paint to cover up .

    I like it..

    It looks like a fun car to race and beat on as its a NOM. I like the green without silly 🐸.

    1
    • brianashe Member

      I like frogs as much as the next guy… which is to say, not nearly enough to paint them onto my car. I’d love the know the story behind the artwork.

      1
  4. Chris M.

    Murals are classy! Lol

    1
  5. Sam61

    I’ll go $3,000 for the pimp Èldorado.

  6. mike b

    Hey, classy ride for North Canton.

    1
  7. David Mika

    Didn’t the El Camino have a goofy black knight offering?

    3
  8. Bob S

    If I was in the market for a Corvette, and assuming the car wasn’t a badly done rebuild from an insurance write-off, I would not hesitate to buy the car and enjoy it for what it is. None of the changes have hurt the look of the car, and the only thing I would change, would be to remove the side pipes. The slight loss in performance, would be more than compensated by the reduction in exhaust noise.
    It will be interesting to learn the successful bid.
    I checked the pictures, and there is a well used big block under the hood, but it isn’t possible to see any of the frame.
    Bob

    3
    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      You are right Bob, Thx! I didn’t see it though I thought I went through every included image.

  9. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Let’s see, take a 427, no front bumpers and roll in manual drum brakes, if that isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is? I like C2’s and being this one is already modified it leaves it open to the buyer to personalize it as they want. Like anything else, needs a good inspection to check things like the frame and bird cage to see what condition they are.

  10. Nick P

    Jim,
    NOM stands for non original motor, not new original motor. Hope this clears up the confusion. Aside from the oxymoron of new and original, the engine pic is clearly not of a new one.

    7
    • Jim ODonnell Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thx for the clarification. I completely missed the picture too.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I was going to say the same thing, but I still stand by my belief that it isn’t a motor, it’s an engine.

      8
      • Nick P

        Yes, I know. That is one of my brothers pet peeves since he has a college degree in auto mechanics. He’s been repeating it for years. I apologize for using common terms of the industry, even though not technically correct. Actually, is that you Paulie? Haha

        2
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Yeah, a pet peeve is the best way to explain it. Since it’s an accepted term, there’s not much to do about it, but it does get on my nerves.

  11. bobhess Member

    Ray T…. I’m off your lawn and got your back.

    4
  12. Frank Sumatra

    Some “upgrades” work out well. Others not so much. This falls in to the latter category.

    1
  13. ruxvette

    It was what I call a BAC (bare ass Corvette)…low HP motor, no PS, no PB. My guess is was front-end crunched and a ’67 nose installed, along with ’67 seats and, perhaps, the ’67 engine. Speaking of which, the engine appears to be rode hard and put away wet…along with a suspect looking radiator. Gee, was it just a coincidence GM put front discs on the ’65 the first year for big blocks? The side mount headers sound like they don’t have the mufflers inside. Cool sound, but a serious headache in 30 miles. Trust me, I’ve been there. Headlight rings in the back make the think the lights don’t come up or they would be screwed on.
    Having said that, if one is mechanically inclined, and has time and $$$, it would be a decent buy at about $25k.

    1
  14. Roy Blankenship

    This is what a lot of guys would LOVE to have, a C2 Corvette that you could actually drive and enjoy without worrying about it. When I reinvolved myself in the muscle car thing, I had a restored ’68 GTX that was undrivable for fear of ruining the engine detailing, and a ’68 Satellite with a built 440, a big cam and a reverse manual valve body Torqueflite. Guess which one was more fun?

    2
  15. 67 Stingray

    You would also want to inspect the front cross member of the frame. A 64 front cross member must be cut to put in a big block motor because the big block Chevy is about 2 inches longer towards the front of the car and 64 only came with a small block. They changed the front cross member in 65 to accommodate the big block. Make sure this car has good workmanship on the front cross member modification. …or they could have used a 65 to 67 frame on this 64. Either way….inspect it like you would any hot rod.

    2
  16. Shawn P gherity

    Its got possibilities for a driver car but those sidemounts are not factory😃. Theyre hooker header sidemounts. Mufflers slide inside the pipe and its really not a bad setup.
    The real question is sho did what with what parts and how well??.

    2
  17. TimM

    What’s not to like!! A 427 is one of my favorite engines!! See I didn’t say motor!!!

    2
  18. Stan Marks

    We must realize, purchasing a vehicle is the most personal thing, next to buying a home. Whatever you do to YOUR car, is your choice & no one else.
    I’m sure owners don’t take into consideration, what the next buyer thinks. That’s not our problem.

    Remember the “old” days, before car stereo’s & rear speakers?
    My ’65 GTO had neither. Being 21 & wanting to enhance the sound, without spending big bucks, I decided to have “vibrasonic” sound with new rear speakers added. I thought this was great. Unfortunately, one day, I walked back to my car port & found someone had broken into my car & stole the main unit under the dash. Snip snip & they removed the unit.
    Fortunately, they were very neat about it & didn’t damage anything. I wonder if they didn’t realized they need rear speakers for it to work. No, I didn’t replace the unit.
    For you youngin’s, who aren’t familiar with this sound, click on the address.

    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/boman-colorbar-reverb-vibrasonic-146274223

  19. brianashe Member

    Wow, this one went for $36k. Plenty of money left over to re-paint. :-)

  20. Cecil twitty

    I was the high bidder on the vette, I had talked to the dealer about the front end ever being hit, and he said there was no apparent damage, and the eng numbers show it was a 69 427 425 hp, so hopefully he was honest, I think the frogs will be easy to remove,,lol

  21. Stan Marks

    A dealership, honest???? LOL!!!
    It would have been nice to have carfax back in the day.

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