The Chevrolet Corvette was a modest 9 years old when Chevrolet decided it was time for a brand new look in 1962. Based on GM’s Vice President Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Stingray Racer and the 1961 Mako Shark, the 1963 Corvette was a radical redesign that the general public had never seen before. Sleek, stylish, and powerful, the new creation was an immediate hit.
1963 marked the first year Chevrolet branded it’s Corvettes with the now famous name – Sting Ray. Along with the name, ’63 was also the first year that the Corvette was offered in a coupe version. This would bring unique styling that would only be seen for one year. Mitchell and designer Larry Shinoda decided that the ’63 needed to add to its signature look by splitting the back window. However not everyone was convinced it was such a great idea, Chevrolet’s chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov never liked the back window separation as he felt it limited vision for the driver. After only one year, Duntov and many critics convinced Chevrolet to do away with the split-window option and the rest, as they say, is history.
When you look at this completely restored 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, it’s easy to see why collectors are always after these unique rides. This fuel injected ’63 Corvette stands as a testament to a time when manufacturers weren’t concerned with gas mileage or emission standards. Completely restored, equipped with an original drivetrain, and a NCRS top flight award winner ensures that this split-window is easily an investment grade Corvette.
Originally assembled in St. Louis, today the Sting Ray sits covered in a fresh correct coat of the 936 Ermine White. The beneficiary of a complete frame off restoration that was completed in 2010, the body is absolutely flawless to the smallest detail. The body-wide grille behind the razor blade bumper starts off the killer look on this Vette. Between the headlights you’ll see the famed cross flags adorning the forward tilting hood. At the sides, fuel injected chrome lettering hints to what lays in wait under the hood. Then of course you have the aforementioned split window at the back to finish off the incredible look. Below the split window is a fuel cap cover that has been decorated with the cross flags emblem and below that is a chrome Sting Ray emblem. The incredible look of this body combined with the original drivetrain and great interior, led to this Corvette receiving NCRS Top Flight Award in April of 2011. Always garaged and cared for, just two lucky individuals have owned this car since 1982.
If you wanted to purchase a Vette in ’63 your choice of engine was limited to a 327. Chevrolet offered four versions of their 327, the meanest of which was their fuel injected L84 option. Tilt the hood forward on this Vette and you will find an original, numbers-matching L84 FI 327 cubic inch V8 staring back at you. With 11.25:1 compression this 327 produced 360hp when it rolled off the showroom floor. The famous Chevy block has been covered in a new coat of the famous Chevy orange and looks incredible against the satin black engine bay. Below the fuel injection unit is two Corvette branded valve covers, and spent gases travel down the correct cast iron exhaust manifolds and exit out the dual exhausts to create an amazing sound. Bolted to the Chevy 327 is the original Muncie 4-speed manual transmission.
Open the doors to this split window and you’ll find a black vinyl interior that accents the Ermine White body quite nicely. The black vinyl is extremely comfortable and is a great place to log miles from. The chrome trim is in amazing shape, and the carpet throughout the interior is in perfect condition. In front of the two black bucket seats is the original 3-spoke Corvette steering wheel. Beyond the steering wheel are the massive 160MPH speedo, and a 7000RPM tach. They are flanked by two smaller gauges on both sides that display fuel, oil pressure, water temperature, and battery life. In between the two bucket seats is the Muncie 4-speed transmission’s shifter, and above that is the famous continuous motion electric clock. Behind the driver’s seat is the cargo area that is covered in the same black carpet as the rest of the interior. Above the driver, the black headliner shows no sign of wear and adds to the entire look of the interior.
Put the Corvette on a lift and you’ll see an incredible underside that has been just as cared for as the rest of the car. A fully restored double A-arm front and independent rear sports suspension is completely detailed down to its transverse rear spring. The aforementioned dual exhaust travels down the length of the body and exits out the rear razor blade bumper. The transmission shows a little orange overspray from when the block received the fresh coat of the Chevy Orange. 4-wheel drum brakes are responsible for slowing the split window Vette, while the entire car rides on 15-inch rims with chrome knock off covers that have been wrapped in Firestone rubber.
Included in the sale of this ’63 split window Corvette is the NCRS judging sheet summary that shows the Corvette scored a 96.1 out of 100 at a Monroe, North Carolina chapter meet. Also included in the sale is the original owner’s manual, and the original radio instruction booklet.
As rarely as we see these, it’s incredible to think that just over 10,500 split window coupes were produced in 1963. However, not many today are in this good of condition. This ’63 split window Corvette has all the hallmarks of a true collectable. When you add up all the facts, from its one year only styling, to the legendary fuel injected engine, a complete restoration, the original top of the line drivetrain, and a NCRS top flight award to go along with it, this pristine Corvette can easily anchor any collection. Don’t miss your chance to own a beautiful and rare part of Chevrolet’s storied history. Call today, or stop by our showroom and see this Sting Ray in person.