1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Z06 'Big Tank' Split-Window Coupe
$500,000 - $600,000
RM | Sotheby's - ARIZONA 16 - 17 JANUARY 2020 - Offered on Thursday
- Powered by 360 hp, 327 cu. in. V-8 with Rochester fuel-injection
- Featuring Z06 Special Performance Equipment Group and N03 ‘Big Tank’
- 2014 Bloomington Gold certification
- 2016 AACA Grand National First Prize
- NCRS Top Flight certification
Nineteen sixty-three marked the 10-year anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette. It was celebrated with a stunning new Sting Ray design. Penned by Bill Mitchell and Larry Shinoda, the new Corvette was offered in either a coupe or convertible body style, with the coupe defined by a two-piece rear window. While the design remained through the 1967 model year, the iconic “split-window” was a one-year-only design element.
That year Chevrolet offered Corvette buyers the Z06 Special Performance Equipment Group as a $1,818.45 option. It offered a host of performance parts including larger shocks and springs, larger-diameter front sway bar, and heavy-duty finned drum brakes with sintered linings and a unique dual-circuit master cylinder. The true racing Z06 buyers opted to add the N03 ‘Big Tank’, which added a high-capacity 36.5-gallon fuel tank behind the seats for endurance racing. Only 63 Corvettes were produced with the $202.30 N03 option. Z06s were powered by a 360 hp, 327 cu. in. V-8 with Rochester fuel injection backed by a four-speed manual transmission. Initially, the alloy knock-off wheels were specified, but the porous alloy proved troublesome, so Chevy switched to heavy-duty steel wheels with decorative wheel covers, giving the car a bit of a “sleeper” look. After suffering losses on the track against Carroll Shelby’s Cobra, GM execs pulled the plug on the racing program, and the Z06 died with only 199 cars having been built, of which only a fraction included the larger fuel tank.
Proudly offered here is a meticulously restored 1963 Sting Ray coupe finished in gorgeous Riverside Red over a black interior. The car came well equipped with the Z06 and N03 options, tinted glass, an AM/FM radio, and 6.70-15 whitewall tires. According to the NCRS Shipping Data Report, this Corvette was produced in April 1963 and sold new through BF Chevrolet of Commack, New York. It is believed that the original owner had the car for just two years before returning it to the dealer. From there, it was acquired by the second owner, who cherished and enjoyed the car regularly well into the 1990s.
It traded hands once more before coming under the care of the fourth owner, Mr. Andy Cannizzo of New Jersey, known widely in Corvette circles as “Mr. 63” for his unrivaled expertise with these cars. He became aware of this Z06 in the late 1990s when he was helping a previous owner find some of the unique Z06-only parts. When he was offered the car in 2006, he personally verified its authenticity and brought the car home to begin the meticulous nut-and-bolt restoration to exacting, factory-correct standards utilizing nearly all NOS parts.
An array of awards reflects the high-quality restoration the Corvette has received. Prestigious awards include a 2012 AACA Senior National First Prize, 2016 AACA Grand National First Prize, 2014 Bloomington Gold certification, NCRS Top Flight certification (No. 41.3167.190), a 2013 “Chip’s Choice” award from Corvettes at Carlisle, and numerous class awards at concours d’elegance events including Greenwich, Hilton Head, and Pinehurst, as well as an award for Best American Post-War Car at Amelia Island. The Sting Ray also featured on the cover of the September 2016 issue of Corvette Magazine.
Experts believe that only 50 of the original Z06 ‘Big Tank’ coupes still exist, making them among the rarest and most coveted Corvettes. In 2001 Chevrolet revived the legendary Z06 name, and it remains the reserve of only the most driver-focused, hard-edged, technologically advanced Corvettes. This remarkable example remains in concours-ready condition and is sure to please even the most serious Corvette collector.