Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
The 1963 Corvette Split-Window coupe is one of those rare exceptions to the rule that if the top goes down, the price goes up. There aren't many guys with a pulse who aren't secretly wishing for a split window coupe in the Christmas stocking this year, and this gorgeous Riverside Red coupe is just the thing to make even a grown man dance in the streets on Christmas morning.
Yeah, the Sting Ray is an absolute slam-dunk, 50 years of Corvette fans have pretty much proven that. Imagine you're walking down the street in late 1962, and this thing is idling at a red light, twin pipes burbling, and that astounding shape making you stop in your tracks and just stare until it disappears over the horizon. That's what the split-window coupe is all about. And if you have one, you need to do it right, because there's just too much history here to do half-hearted. Code 923A Riverside Red is this 'Vette's factory color, and this beauty was faithfully repainted back to that very shade, because it would be practically blasphemous to take away a car's birthright, and downright heresy to change the color of a 'Lil Red Corvette. The respray went on a few years back and it still looks very presentable today, with only minor imperfections to speak of hear and there, but certainly nothing that would get in the way of showing this Splittie off with great pride. The fiberglass is in top-notch condition with crisp details, sharp lines, and no signs of body stress in the usual locations. All the chrome was shined up at the time of the restoration, the stainless was polished too, and the result is a high-quality piece that's ready to be drive and enjoyed without worry. And that's a good thing, because if I had a Split-Window Corvette, I'd want the whole world to see me driving it. Out back, the 'Sting Ray' badge debuted, ushering in a new era of American motoring that made these cars legends. And yes, that's 'Sting Ray' with a space, they weren't called 'Stingrays' until 1969 through 1976.
The '63 Corvette interior was every bit as ground-breaking as the bodywork, although it tends to get a bit lost in the commotion. Handsome black seat covers have been fitted to the original buckets, and the twin-cockpit design is something that's still echoing in today's C7. A full array of crisp gauges keep a comprehensive eye on the engine, and their bright stainless faces and slender needles are miniature works of art. The 4-speed manual transmission is exactly what every car guy wanted back then and certainly still desires for today, and the 8-ball shifter that manages it is inside a factory console, just inches away from the original 3-spoke steering wheel that's very familiar in its design. A vertical AM/FM/Cassette radio is a welcome addition and looks cool with its inverted orientation that mimics a Wonderbar. Simple and stylistic, the black interior is exactly what belongs in a red Corvette, and the very nice set-up inside this cabin is a perfect complement for this Splittie.
Power comes from the original, numbers-matching RE-code 327/340 horsepower 4-barrel carbureted engine, which was a spirited and relatively rare upgrade over the base 250 horsepower version found in most of these. Finned aluminum Chevrolet valve covers and that unique chrome air cleaner lid give it an authentic look, although the modern alternator suggests that NCRS Top-Flight Blue Ribbon awards are not the primary mission here. The ram's horn exhaust manifolds are in good order, and they feed into a mellow yet throaty exhaust system that gives the potent small block a nice bark. The rear end offers highway-friendly gears and the new C2 all-independent suspension definitely lives up to the billing of improved handling and a decent ride. The car carries knock-off wheels, and while experts will note that they were not available from the factory in 1963, you can't argue with how right they look (they practically defined the GM mid-year era), especially with correct 6.70-15 bias-ply whitewalls.
Hard-to-find, priced well, and exceptionally pretty, don't let this split-window Corvette become the ghost of Christmas Past. Call today!
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