Weekend Driver: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray

The owner of this 1963 Corvette is a person who believes in full disclosure, and his advertisement goes to great lengths to list any flaws or defects in a car that he refers to as “a weekend driver.” This Corvette is quite a nice looking car, and it would be up to the new owner if they chose to leave it essentially as it is, or if they decided to undertake a full restoration. You will find the Corvette listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Oak Park, Illinois, and is being sold with a clear title. The bidding on the Corvette has opened at $55,000 at the time of writing.

The current owner of the Corvette has been in possession of the car for nearly 30 years, and he uses the car on a fairly regular basis. The car has a few flaws. The paint is looking tired, although the car has undergone a repaint sometime before the owner purchased it. The fiberglass is showing some deterioration, and a couple of cracks have been patched on the edges of both front wheel wells. The frame has also been repaired by a Corvette specialist service, but there is still some rust that will need to be dealt with. The window supports columns and door hinge supports on both sides of the car are also showing some deterioration.

The interior is complete on the Corvette, but there is a little bit of restoration work required here. The most obvious thing is the carpet, which is showing some general wear and has also begun to unravel on the passenger side. The lid to the console has also deteriorated and will need reupholstering, while the lid for the glove compartment is also cracked near the bottom. The tachometer will also require repair, but the rest of the gauges are working okay. The rest of the interior actually looks pretty reasonable.

The owner also states that this is not a true numbers matching car. The engine block is a non-original 1963 block which was fully rebuilt in 2000. The casting was restamped to match the original block number. The car is fitted with a 4-speed manual transmission and is said to run and drive well, with the transmission shifting smoothly. The original gas tank required replacement. Unfortunately, the original factory build sheet had badly deteriorated, and could not be saved. The car is always serviced and maintained by a Corvette specialist and has recently been serviced and fitted with new tires.

The split-window was a 1-year-only body style produced by Chevrolet, and they are highly sought after. Prices for good, original examples regularly exceed $100,000, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. This Corvette will need a full restoration to reach those lofty heights, but the potential is certainly there. It is not a true numbers matching car, but even cars that aren’t numbers matching are still regularly achieving prices close to or just on $100,000, which means that there is plenty of potential for this Corvette to be a viable restoration project.

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Comments

  1. Bob Member

    Being a corvette lover and owner, I never understood why anyone would want one that is not a convertible. But, I am in the minority as I do not like these split windows nearly as much as a convertible.

    14
    • PAPERBKWRITER

      Agree, Bob. I’m Vette guy too and never really cared for the split window.

      • Dan

        Bill Mitchell fought for the split window design against opposition from a lot of others including Duntov who didn’t like how it obstructed visibility. But Mitchell insisted, saying “If you take that off, you might as well forget the whole thing.” This according to The Complete Book of Corvette. A great book by the way.

    • ACZ

      I would guess that you never owned a mid-year coupe. Then you would understand. First two things over a roadster are no cowl shake and no rattles. I wish I still had my split window. It was quieter than my 02 Z06.

  2. SlickB

    On what Bob said and being a corvette lover and proud owner as well. I have always felt more comfortable at high speeds in a coup vs convertible and that’s what I like my corvette for is high speeds I wouldn’t mind having one of each tho… But I consider myself lucky to have held onto the one I have had this long!!
    this is a great find tho And I would say worth every cent.

    14
  3. Keith

    Split window corvettes are a one year offer hence the high prices. What’s funny though is when they first came out in 1963 no one liked the split window configuration, go figure?

    10
    • Dolphin Dolphin Member

      Rarity = more $$, even if the rare thing doesn’t actually help the car.

      And as Richard said below, it was a Bill Mitchell feature.

      1
  4. Dan

    I owned one a few years back…..sigh….damn thing was inpossible to see out of to the rear….but still wish I had kept it now…it is now sitting in a barn in Bristol, Tn and has been for about 40 years…nope can’t buy it…

    7
  5. Andre

    Cool car. Desirable Vettes that aren’t A) fully restored 6-figure cars, or B) basket cases or lipsticked pigs are scarce.

    6
  6. Dirk

    That’s a lotta damn money for a piece of plastic.

    3
    • Mike

      not plastic….fiberglass…

      1
  7. Richard

    I have always loved the design of the split window by far the best, especially when a new one stopped to help me when my Porsche powered ’53 Bug ran out of gas on the freeway in ’64. I think some paranoid owners felt that divider blocked their rear vision of a Police car following them. The fact that it was a one year edition is circumstantial and unfortunate because that is the feature Bill Mitchell had designed the body around. When GM removed it because of the above reason Mitchell said: “You’ve ruined the whole car.”

    11
  8. Steve R

    That’s a lot of money for a car that has frame rust and issues with the window supports and door hinges. Isn’t that part of the birdcage? There seller choose his language very carefully to gloss over the cars issues. Nice pictures but a wordy ad whose main story is laid out between the lines.

    Steve R

    6
  9. Dan

    Not that it matters a great deal to me personally, but if you know “Corvette people” then you know the non-numbers matching engine is a big deal. They also love the original tank stickers, so another strike. I love these cars, but like I said, these two flaws are going to crush a true Corvette nut.

    2
  10. Jimmy

    He has to be fairly honest as he didn’t cover his license plate with his thumb. I don’t know why people on Ebay & Craigslist do that since cars are posted on Facebook all the time showing their license plates. Love the split window coupes and could have bought a black one with red interior in the mid 70’s for 12K but we had just had a baby and the first and now ex wife said no.

    2
  11. gbvette62

    The seller may give a lot of information, but some of it is somewhat questionable.

    The tank may have been replaced years ago, but there was no tank sticker on it. Tank stickers weren’t used until late in 1966. That’s not a “console” between the seats either, but just an arm rest. It doesn’t open and it doesn’t provide any storage.

    Though it’s true that some customizers removed the split from the rear window of 63’s, Chevrolet did not offer a “replacement one-piece rear window through it’s dealerships” in 63, as the seller claims. Chevy parts departments sold a one piece window starting in 64, as a service replacement part for 64’s.

    63’s had fiberglass headlight doors. If this car has “steel” headlight doors, as the seller says, then they’ve been replaced, probably as of the result of an earlier accident.

    The seller claims that seat belts were optional in 63, they were not. Seat belts have been standard in Corvettes since 1958. The belts in his car are not 63’s though. They appear to be 64-66 belts.

    Not that it’s a big deal, because it was still just an option, but air was available when this car was built, it became available in April 63.

    The rust shown in the A and B pillars, doesn’t concern me too much. It’s a pretty common problem with 63-67 Corvette coupes. The drip gutter is a one piece, stamped steel part, that runs from the cowl to the lock pillar, they’re often rusted and repro’s are available. The bigger concern would be the hinge pillars, lock pillars and the rest of the birdcage. I’d also be a concerned that his “Corvette expert” welded patch panels onto the frame, and that the seller didn’t include any pictures of the repairs or rust, that’s in the frame.

    This car could be a nice driver for someone, but it could also be a money pit, for the unsuspecting buyer. Anyone contemplating this car, or any old Corvette, should consider having a qualified Corvette inspector inspect it.

    17
  12. Gaspumpchas

    Sure is Purty, but the fine comments here should be helpful to a prospective buyer. I fear that the rust could be a real problem with the descriptions. As always, look er over good and look everywhere. Love the weathered paint. looking at this car from the rear makes me smile and bring back memories of the first sting ray I ever saw! Good luck to the new owner!!!
    Cheers
    GPC

    4
  13. bob

    Having worked years ago restoring these over priced cars, I know that rusty frames is bad news, no nice way to say that. Rusty areas that have steel incorporated into the construction, during construction are again bad news, more like worse news. That means add more zeros(00000) to what ever it happens to cost to restore said over priced car. Having said that, seller might find someone to pay way to much for said car, which is to bad.

    3
  14. Classic Steel

    Interesting on the we tried to renumber the numbers on the block comment for ….

    The frame and rust is cra cra

    2
  15. Bing

    Came home from the service and took a car jockey job at a big Chevy dealership. That was in 63. I bought my 63 off of e bay a dozen years ago. It was purchased by hertz for advertising and it had two owners before it came to me. Both owners kept very detailed records including the original hertz invoice etc. I had a 12 inch stack of records. it was a pure numbers matching with every part recorded and documented. In my ownership I had the car completely rewired with original AC / Delco wiring harness. The downside was it was a 250 HP var, with auto trans, and aside from a radio(working) and heater it had nothing. No power steering, no pwr brakes. Corvette restorers society scored it an 89 and a survivor car. I had (still have) a 60, so I Let the car go, again on e bay, doubled my $$ but the value of the car has most likely doubled again.
    Miss the car, but glad to have owned it for as long as I did. Last comment, a well heeled buddy of mine had a brand new fully optioned 63 in 63, and in 64 “Mickey” bought a 64 back window and yup, you guessed it, installed it in the car. In 64 one of the salesmen at the dealership said, those 63’s will be a collector car someday because of the split window. He pointed out a 58 convertible on the used car lot as being a future collectible as well.

    4
  16. Steve S

    Dirk that is fiber glass not plastic

  17. Tom Member

    I have owned many muscle cars including corvettes, personally I believe the coupe version of most any car is sexier…..better lines….. take the 68 & on Stingray….way better lines on the couple than the convertible. And with the 68-73 coupes, remove the T tops and removable rear window…..it was a convertible, minus the Targa & sail panels, but with sexier lines.

    Top goes down= the price goes up…..not the case with the 63 Split Window Vette. One year. Tear drop rear clip…..waaaayyyy more interesting than the convertible body. Just sayin

    I love to hear (not really) the stories of guys who cut the middle bar out of the center and installed the 64-67 rear glass…..UGH!!

    1
  18. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Dec 02, 2018 , 5:00PM
    Winning bid:US $61,200.00
    [ 10 bids ]

  19. George mattar

    Rear window does not come out on a 73 coupe. Last year was 72. Love my 73 coupe. 63s too much money. Had a 67 40 years ago. Sold for $18,500 in 1983.

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