1962 Chevrolet Corvette - $79,900
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This lovely ’62 Corvette roadster is a matching-numbers 327/250 with 52,143 original miles, a factory 4-speed, and a fantastic black-on-red color combination.

Even though the first-generation Corvette’s tenure was coming to a close and an all-new and fairly radical new Sting Ray was on the horizon, GM stylists and engineers still went to work on the 1962 Corvette. Among the updates were new colors, fresh trim, and a line of 327 cubic inch V8s that upped the horsepower ante considerably. Apparently their ministrations were a hit, because sales went up by about 5000 units (although any 1962 Corvette is still pretty rare—only 14,531 were built), and the ’62 ‘Vettes are some of the most highly-sought of the “solid axle” cars. They’re the most refined, best engineered, and arguably the best looking, depending on who you ask. In short, if you like a solid-axle Corvette, this 1962 example is going to delight you in every way.

The important things to Corvette buyers are 1. matching numbers, 2. specification, and 3. colors and options. So let’s hit the important things first. This lovely ’62 Corvette roadster is a matching-numbers 327/250 with 52,143 original miles, a factory 4-speed, and a fantastic black-on-red color combination. It hits all the right notes if you’re a true aficionado or someone looking for a smart buy on an early ‘Vette. The car has never been fully restored (with so few miles, who would do such a thing?) but it was repainted in the early 2000s. It’s still holding up extremely well and hasn’t been driven much since it was completed, so it looks very appropriate. The fiberglass shell is in excellent condition with none of the usual stress cracks and it has a correct look that doesn’t look over-restored. It wears code A Tuxedo Black paint, which is the car’s original color, and it really dresses the car up in a big way. Two-tone paint with contrasting side coves was eliminated in 1961, so the monochromatic look, especially in black, really highlights the shapes and curves of the last C1. The paint has a soft gloss and while it’s no longer in show condition, it’s extremely nice with only the most minor signs of use and age. The chrome and stainless appears to be original and remains extremely nice, from the unique blacked-out grille up front to the gills in the side coves to the rear bumpers, which are a clear preview of the upcoming C2 Sting Ray. Emblems, lenses, and glass all remain excellent. Cosmetically, this car is in excellent condition, just right for driving and casual shows.

The bright red interior is really the best choice with a black car, and while there’s no way to prove this was the original choice, we can’t argue with the way it looks today. I has new seat covers, door panels, and carpets, so the detailing is crisp, the trim is in excellent shape, and the pleated bucket seats are firm and comfortable for long cruises. Correct black and red textured carpets with matching floor mats give it a very finished look and the steering wheel looks awesome, probably too nice to be original. The gauges show bright markings and clear lenses, and they are all functional. The center stack features the controls for the heater system (fully operational and surprisingly effective on cool nights) and the original Wonderbar radio, which, like the clock, is not operational. The 4-speed shifter has been fitted with a white cue ball knob and snaps through the gates with precision, not slop. Under the rear deck, you’ll find a white vinyl convertible top that’s in decent condition (probably an older replacement), and there are good weather seals that close it up about as well as can be expected on a vintage ‘Vette.

OK, the good stuff. This is the car’s original, numbers-matching 327 cubic inch V8. It’s a correct code RC 250 horsepower version for a manual transmission, which is both very potent and very streetable. It has a partial VIN stamped on the pad with a prefix of ‘2’ which indicates 1962 model year, as well as F0213RD, which decodes as follows:

F = Flint manufacturing plant (all 1962 Corvette engines were manufactured in Flint)
0627 = June 27 assembly date
RC = 327 cubic inch V8, 250 horsepower, 4-speed

So there’s no question that this is the car’s original, numbers-matching engine. Forget calling me about re-stamps or other issues like that, it’s legit. It fires quickly and easily, hot or cold, and idles smoothly and easily without issues once it’s off the choke, which is a bit aggressive. On the road, it pulls delightfully through all four gears, and makes so much torque that first gear is all but unnecessary. It makes wonderful V8 sounds that are exactly right for your Corvette but not so busy that you’ll get tired on long trips. It’s neatly detailed in correct Chevy Orange paint, accessory finned aluminum valve covers with ‘Corvette’ script, and the trademark Corvette louvered air cleaner. It’s worth noting that all the chrome ignition shielding is in place, even blow the manifolds, and details like hoses and clamps are all authentic. The exhaust manifolds were left raw so they’ve got a light dusting of surface scale, but nothing that would suggest exposure to wet climates and they could be painted or coated without any real expense. There are a few other light signs of use, but it’s probably a mistake to put a car that runs this well into a trailer and only use it to putt-putt onto a show field. Live with a few signs of use and DRIVE IT!

The 4-speed manual gearbox is delightful in operation, with well-chosen ratios that ensure that the engine is already right where you want it when you bang into the next gear, and with what we believe to be 3.36 cogs out back, it’s still a decent highway cruiser that will run all day at modern highway speeds. As with the engine bay, there are light signs of use on the undercarriage, which is mostly satin black paint and a few bright pieces like the recent dual exhaust system with correct mufflers. The front suspension remains tight and as precise as kingpins can be, and the 4-wheel unassisted drum brakes are reasonably effective for the lightweight ‘Vette. Obviously rust is a non-issue, since the floors are fiberglass, but steel parts like the body mounts, frame, and other structural members are in excellent condition with no signs of rust or damage. Canvas check straps are still fitted to the rear axle and if you look carefully enough, you can still make out a few factory inspection marks here and there. You’ll also be relieved to know that this car isn’t even much of a leaker (like any old car, there are a few drops after a drive, but nothing abnormal). The original steel wheels are wearing deluxe “spinner” hubcaps and fat 225/70/15 whitewall radials that look great and give it improved handling on the open road.

If it’s not obvious, we love this car! It’s totally vice-free, has arguably the best color combination, and for being nearly 57 years old, it’s fantastically fast. Running it through the gears is an event and everyone will stop to admire you as you go by, hopefully with the pipes singing that wonderful 250 horsepower song. With a solid pedigree, you can buy with confidence and know that this 1962 Corvette will always live near the very top of the heap in the world of solid axle ‘Vettes. Call now!

Vehicle: 1962 Chevrolet Corvette
Price: $79,900
Stock Number: 115169
Mileage: 52,143
VIN: 20867S113696
Engine: 327 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.36
Wheelbase: 102 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 225/75/15 whitewall radial
Exterior Color: Tuxedo Black
Interior Color: Red vinyl
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