- The famed “Split-Window” Corvette: a GM design icon
- One of only 2,610 original factory “Fuelies” built in 1963
- Subject of a complete frame-off restoration
- Excellent colors and options, including date-coded correct knock-off style hubcaps
360 bhp, 327 cu. in. L84 V-8 engine with Rochester Ramjet mechanical fuel injection, four-speed Muncie manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.
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, riding a thoroughly redesigned chassis with Corvette’s first four-wheel independent suspension, developed by Zora Arkus Duntov. Also new was the first-ever production Corvette Coupe, immediately recognized by its split rear window. While the basic design of the coupe 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, 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. This year, the model celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Of the four 327 V-8 engines available, the top mill was the 360-horsepower L84 with Rochester Ramjet mechanical fuel injection, propelling the Corvette to 60 mph in under six seconds—performance that remains exhilarating, even today. Naturally, that engine is what can be found under the hood of Don Davis’ ’63, which presents today in the rarely seen shade of Saddle Tan with optional leather interior, exactly as it was built in July 1963, as can be verified by the correct trim tag and the original Protect-o-Plate—one can take confidence that all are present and are in their expected locations. In fact, this car received a complete frame-off restoration from an undamaged original car, and it is numbers-matching, as verified by perfectly lined-up date codes throughout, a correct engine pad number, all of the original factory bond seams present in every fender and panels, and pans that are all natural factory fiberglass, never painted or chemically treated.
The car is equipped with an AM/FM radio, clock, heater, and power windows, as well as the four-speed manual transmission, 3.36 positraction rear axle, and five original, date-coded Kelsey-Hayes knock-off style hubcaps. Thanks to its thorough restoration, it is clean, tidy, and in very correct condition, showing 53,443 miles, with all finishes throughout appearing as they should and being in fine shape. The car is complete with its original owner’s packet, manual, warranty booklet, and a 1963 issue of Car and Driver.
The 1963 Corvette is a car that every enthusiast of American performance cars needs to own. Fifty years after the Sting Ray first began to appear at the stoplights of America, this would be a wonderful time to fill that gap in one’s collection, and this example—numbers-matching, outstandingly presented, well-optioned, and carrying the glorious “Fuelie” title—would be a wonderful way to do it. Nothing says “happy anniversary” like the growl of fuel-injected V-8 power.