Being a classic car fan, you’ve probably heard plenty about the automotive ‘holy grails’. For Mopar guys, owning a Hemi ‘Cuda is likened to a lifetime achievement award. Most Ford buffs would saw an arm off to find a real-deal Boss 429. And when it comes to the GM camp, incredible Corvettes like this rare split window coupe keep getting hotter and hotter. While classic Corvette culture may have started with big block cars, their small block siblings are beginning to command serious respect. And this blue chip Sting Ray, stunning from its glossy Sebring Silver paint all the way to its original 327/4-speed drivetrain, is at the very top of the value curve. If you’re in the market for a killer C2 that looks good, drives great and stands its ground on any show field, they don’t get much better than this!
We all know second generation Vettes can be a challenge to correctly restore, but this drop-top has all the signs of an expert job. As the beneficiary of a 4.5 year, professional restoration, it’s a fully sorted show queen that features a roster of original components. One look at the car’s silky body reveals a straight profile that’s likely never been hit. Great panel alignment complements excellent fit, good finish and no signs of cracks or stress marks in any of the usual trouble spots. Rich Sebring Silver base utilizes a glossy clearcoat sheen to highlight crisp renditions of some of the best lines Detroit ever created. And overall, this glowing classic, which looks fantastic in person, is simply exquisite throughout!
The car’s caretakers certainly did their homework to ensure its details are both accurate and impressive. At the front of its body, a low-slung front clip tucks a stainless-trimmed grille behind thin ‘razor blade’ bumpers and bright, bullet-style parking lamps. Above that grille, hidden headlights highlight a familiar cross-flag emblem while a 1963-exclusive hood adds a touch of class. Behind those headlights, a GT profile hangs colorful Fuel Injection badging between traditional door handles, beefy rocker guards and a stylish bowtie mirror. At the top of that profile, like-new glass rides between polished wipers and straight stainless frames. And the car’s sloped decklid centers a cross-flag-branded fuel cap above a bright Sting Ray emblem, round taillights, two more ‘razor blade’ bumpers and traditional stainless exhaust tips.
Tilt this Corvette’s fiberglass hood and you’ll find an original L84 V8 which hangs a familiar 3782870 casting number behind a correct “RF” suffix stamp and matching partial VIN. Holding the title of “World’s most powerful, naturally aspirated single-cam V8” until the debut of Chevrolet’s 2001 Corvette Z06, this impressive small block utilizes wide-bore casting, a forged steel crank, forged pistons and a hot cam to turn stout 10.5 to 1 compression into a solid 360 horsepower. At the top of the spry block, a big, “AC” branded air tube funnels wind into a vintage Rochester injection system that’s threaded onto polished stainless fuel lines. Below that juice box, a correct Winters intake perfectly complements finned Corvette valve covers. At the back of that intake, chrome-cased ignition shoots spark past correct exhaust manifolds via chrome-sleeved wires. And at the front of those manifolds, a Harrison-branded radiator circulates water through pliable GM hoses and authentic tower clamps. Whoever performed the restoration on this Corvette did an excellent job of creating an attractive, reliable engine bay that is every bit as detailed as the rest of the car. Bright Chevy Orange paint covers the block from its clean oil pan all the way to its chrome oil filler and, as always, looks great against GM’s Satin Black bay. As expected, correct textures and decals are present and accounted for. And details like a rebuilt alternator, a rebuilt master cylinder and a reproduction Delco battery ensure this Chevy runs every bit as good as it looks.
Flip this small block Vette upside down and you’ll find a solid chassis that’s in good shape, and today, looks much nicer than it did when it rolled off the showroom floor. A rugged Borg Warner T-10 4-speed, which follows a matching partial VIN with a correct March (C ) 12th (12), 1963 (3) production stamp, utilizes a correct posi-traction differential to spin big, 3.73 gears. At the ends of the car, a fully sorted double A-arm front and independent rear suspension is completely detailed down to its fresh shocks, correct springs and standard manual steering. Above that rebuilt suspension, original, never-hit floor tubs, which look factory fresh in every way, are bolted to a straight, Satin Black frame. At the corners of those floors, beefy drum brakes mix good handling characteristics with quick and solid stops. At the edges of those brakes, torque flows to the pavement through reproduction turbines, which lap 205/75R15 Uniroyal Tiger Paw whitewalls around bright chrome spinners. And everything, from this Corvette’s stainless brake lines to its aluminized exhaust system, is fully sorted and ready to roll!
Open the coupe’s tossable doors and you’ll find a fitting Red interior that’s comprised of a nice combination of new and original components. Seating comes courtesy of firm vinyl thrones that are anchored between bright stainless trim and a small chrome shifter. From the driver’s perch, stock gauges bleed onto their bordering panels in a march toward a center-mount clock, a correct Delco radio and an aluminum-trimmed glove box. Below that clock, like-new carpet is protected by prerequisite mats and predictable chrome sills. Above those mats, stainless-trimmed door panels hang small armrests between traditional handles and stylish accents. In front of the driver, a satin-spoked steering wheel spins around a brilliant cross-flag emblem. And behind the passengers, a fully carpeted storage compartment boasts enough room for two suitcases and a bag of detailing supplies.
According to the experts, Chevrolet built roughly 10K split-window coupes. But, given how rarely the cars appear, that number seems a bit optimistic. With its striking paint, classy interior and numbers-matching drivetrain, this Sting Ray is a first class tribute to America’s favorite sports car. Don’t miss your opportunity to own one of the most coveted Corvettes ever!