London | Lot 123
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 'Split-Window' Coupé
£80,000 - £90,000 GBP
| London, United Kingdom
7 September 2016
- Formerly owned by renowned musician and presenter Jools Holland
- Exceedingly rare in Europe
- The only year for the dramatic “split window”
- Presented in its wonderful original livery
Est. 300 bhp, 350 cu. in. OHV V-8 engine, four-speed Muncie manual transmission, independent front coil spring suspension, independent rear suspension with transverse leaf spring, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,489.2 mm
Few Corvettes have achieved such notoriety as the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, which launched the second generation of “America’s Sports Car” with a sexy aerodynamic design by Bill Mitchell and Larry Shinoda. It rode on a thoroughly redesigned chassis that had Corvette’s first four-wheel independent suspension, which was developed by Zora Arkus-Duntov. Also new was the first-ever production Corvette coupé, which could immediately be recognised by its split rear window. Whilst the basic design of the coupé would last until 1967, the “split window” would not, and it is the signature identifying feature of closed 1963 Corvettes today.
The all-new Corvette generated immediate acclaim, with Motor Trend testers remarking, “We thought the old model cornered darn well, but there’s no comparing it to this new one.” Road & Track stated that the 1963 Corvette “will know few peers.” The model has become something of a design classic, as it is renowned for its combination of European-inspired high style and American brawn, and it remains coveted by Corvette collectors as a landmark in the history of what may be Chevrolet’s most important model.
The car offered here, finished in its original colour combination of Daytona Blue with black upholstery and riding on the “turbine” alloy wheels, was imported to the United Kingdom in 1991. As one of the few “Split Windows” in Europe, it has benefitted from decades of maintenance, including invoices and restoration documentation from such well-known specialists as Claremont Corvette on file dating back to 1994, as well as recent long-term care in a prominent U.K. collection. The car is equipped with the desirable Muncie four-speed gearbox, as well as an upgraded 350-cubic inch Chevrolet V-8, which provides even more potent performance than in 1963.
More recently, the Corvette was part of the renowned collection of noted pianist, bandleader, composer, and television presenter Jools Holland OBE, known for his regular appearances on BBC2 and BBC Radio 2.
A sleek sports car, as agile on the Cote d’Azur as any of its European brethren, this car marks an uncommon sight on European shores. It would be a most distinctive addition to any collection and surely the most driving fun that its new owner has ever experienced.