1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe - SOLD
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As soon as you turn the key and run it through the gears just once, you’ll realize that sometimes the drive matters more than the numbers.

With the whole “matching numbers” thing starting to get a little out of hand, cars like this 1963 Corvette split-window coupe are a strong reminder that great cars can have mediocre pedigrees (and make no mistake, there are plenty of mediocre cars with great pedigrees). If you like to drive, if you like the way the split-window ‘Vette looks, and if you want a legendary car without the legendary price, this car deserves a whole lot of your attention, because it gets everything right except two little digits stamped on the front of the motor. When you think about it that way, doesn’t it seem silly to sit on the sidelines?

This Riverside Red coupe is flat-out HEROIC to drive. We’ve never driven a better-sorted mid-year Corvette and while all the signs point to it being the same as any other 300-horsepower 327, this sucker will kick other 300 horsepower cars’ butts and take their lunch money five days a week. For you guys who are still worried about numbers, we’ll tell you that it’s an RD-code 1962 327/300 hi-performance 4-speed engine, so it’s really not far off from what might have lived there when this car was built a few months later. It’s not like it’s some ‘70s truck motor. As soon as you turn the key and run it through the gears just once, you’ll realize that sometimes the drive matters more than the numbers.

Anyway, it was treated to a fairly comprehensive restoration a few years ago and still looks fantastic today. The Riverside Red paint job is suitably bright and deep, with no metallic or other distractions from what is probably the ultimate automotive shape of the 1960s. It was originally Ermine White, and the color change is a good one with no signs of the original white paint anywhere on the car, inside, outside, and even in the nooks and crannies. Someone did it right. Panel fit is good throughout, with headlight doors that swivel flush with the nose and doors that show good gaps all around. There’s a depth to the shine that probably wasn’t there in 1963, but that’s not really a demerit, now is it? It isn’t perfect—the hood isn’t quite flush and there are a few very minor signs of use, but for a car that was built to drive and does that task better than most, nobody will care. I certainly don’t, and I would desperately like to keep this one for myself. It’s also got some very nice chrome, all of which has been restored or replaced, nice emblems, clear glass, and new lenses, so the details are right. And you’d better believe that this car generates a TON of double-takes once people spot that split rear window. Everyone knows this is a special Corvette.

The black interior is likewise all new, with fresh seat covers, door panels, carpets, and even dash pieces, because it was originally blue. Again, the combination here really works and the highly detailed look of the ’63 interior remains as appealing today as ever. Of note, the seats have been raised maybe two or three inches in the interest of comfort and a smaller-diameter steering wheel was fitted, and it does make it easier to slide in and get comfortable (and if you’re a taller driver, you can remove the lifts and put in a stock wheel quite easily). With power steering, the smaller wheel makes sense and it feels quite contemporary when you’re driving. There’s a Hurst shifter for the 4-speed manual transmission, which snaps through the gears as quickly as you can move the lever and the engine is always at EXACTLY the right RPM to catch it just right. You’ll sound like Zora himself when you run this one hard. All the gauges were rebuilt so they have bright faces and clear lenses, and they all work properly, including the clock! It shows 5557 miles on the odometer, which is since the restoration was finished, so it really is quite fresh today. Only the radio is non-functional, but after you hear the exhaust, I doubt you’ll care. Nice carpets with matching floor mats, a nicely finished cargo bay, and a correct perforated headliner all make it feel right inside.

OK, now about the hardware. This car runs superbly. I can’t over-state that. You’ve driven others, but this one feels special. Pump the throttle once and turn the key, and it springs to life faster than a fuel-injected car and idles smoothly at about 800 RPM. Every time. It isn’t radical under the hood and looks pretty stock, from the chrome air cleaner to the ignition shields that are completely intact to the “ram’s horn” exhaust manifolds, and that’s how we like it. The chrome valve covers are a little flashier than stock, but they do wear reproduction decals that are the right ones. Chevy Orange paint certainly helps and there’s an Edelbrock 4-barrel carburetor up top that’s the lone (visible, at least) modification. Inside there’s a modest cam that has a great V8 burble at idle and like I said, this thing pulls like a freight train on the open road. No fussiness, runs rock-solid at 180 degrees in traffic on hot days, no flat spots in the acceleration curve, and very easy to manage even for the ladies. If you don’t feel like a rock star driving this car, there’s something wrong with you, not the car.

It’s tidy enough underneath, but it’s obvious that it wasn’t detailed for show. The 4-speed has easy clutch-take up and it’s never grabby so even working your way through traffic isn’t a chore. A chambered exhaust system gives it that bellowing baritone soundtrack, but it doesn’t get annoying and quiets down surprisingly well when you’re not heavy on the throttle. The suspension is competent and compliant, riding reasonably well for a sports car of this vintage, and obviously fiberglass doesn’t rust so there are no critical issues on the floors and the frame is solid in every way that matters. An original-style power steering system provides enough assist to make it easy to maneuver but it’s not over-boosted and despite still wearing its original 4-wheel drum brakes (discs didn’t arrive on the ‘Vette until 1965) braking is confident and strong. The rear suspension shows some recent work, including new adjustable toe links and sway bar bushings, adding to the confident feel out on the road. Steel wheels with spinner hubcaps are the right look on a ’63 and while it’s wearing 205/75/15 blackwall radials today, imagine how stunning this car might look with a set of redlines!

No papers, no pedigree—get over it. This car is epic to drive and looks as spectacular as you’d expect from the split-window design. It delivers a better-than-expected experience for 30% less than the price of a pedigreed car and it neatly eliminates all the fretting and coddling that come with more expensive machines. Get in, turn the key, hammer the throttle, and figure out how to get that big, dumb grin off your face when you get home. This car works better than any mid-year Corvette we’ve ever driven, delivering the look, the feel, and the performance that is implied but rarely delivered with babied Corvettes. This one simply doesn’t care, it just wants to have fun. Call today!

Vehicle: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
Price: SOLD
Stock Number: 115063
Mileage: 5554
VIN: 30837S109223
Engine: 327 cubic inch V8
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Gear Ratio: 3.36
Wheelbase: 98 inches
Wheels: 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
Tires: 205/75/15 blackwall radial
Exterior Color: Riverside Red
Interior Color: Black vinyl
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