1963 Chevrolet Corvette 327/340hp "Split Window" Coupe
Chassis no. 30837S113761
Engine no. S113761
327ci OHV V8 engine
Single Carter Type AFB four-barrel carburetor
340bhp at 6,000rpm
Four-speed manual transmission
Four-wheel independent suspension
Four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes
-Desirable, one-year only styling
-Handsome color scheme
The Corvette "Split Window" Coupe
Dramatic change came to the Corvette with the arrival of the second-generation 1963 models. Dubbed 'Sting Ray,' from its shape, it was the work of GM styling vice-president Bill Mitchell. Retaining the uplifted tail of the 1962 Corvette, Mitchell penned a lovely fastback coupe, Corvette's first, accented by a split rear window. This feature, which inhibited driver visibility and was soon changed, has made the '63 model the most sought-after among collectors. Hidden headlamps, the first on an American car since the 1942 DeSoto, were located in the leading edge of the nose. A more conventional looking convertible was still available.
A clean-sheet-of-paper design, aside from the small block V8 engine, the Sting Ray featured independent rear suspension, brainchild of engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. A chassis-mounted differential drove halfshafts, their hubs suspended with a transverse leaf spring. Front suspension continued the unequal length control arms of earlier Corvettes, keeping the recirculating ball steering gear. Brakes were still drums all around, but sintered metallic linings were offered, as were finned aluminum drums. New options included air conditioning, power brakes and leather upholstery.
The small block had been enlarged to 327 cubic inches for 1962. The Sting Ray retained this displacement, offering carbureted engines of 250, 300 and 340bhp. The single fuel injection option made 360bhp. Customers loved it. Production rose to 21,513, a fifty percent increase from 1962, nearly half of them coupes. At $4,037 for the convertible and $4,257 for the coupe, Corvette offered excellent value, both models being cheaper than the least expensive Thunderbird.
The Motorcar Offered
This striking Silverstone Silver 'Vette is a nicely presented example of the most desirable year for C2 Corvettes. The earlier history of this Corvette is murky, but it has spent the better part of the 21st century with a single owner in Massachusetts. Originally finished in the color the car current wears, it spent some time painted red before a recent repaint that was completed just prior to the auction to return it to the color in which it left St. Louis. Powered by the L76 327/340hp V8, the most powerful carbureted motor available, and mated to a four-speed manual, a spirited driving experience is virtually guaranteed.
While the solid ridge running from the center of the car to the tail was a stellar design element, the impracticality of limited rearward visibility made the split rear window a flash in the pan that lasted only one year. Now sought after for their rarity, the '63 Corvette Coupe is the one to have. Offered with a dossier of receipts, once you sit in the driver's seat it is easy to realize why limited rear visibility doesn't really matterbecause who cares what's behind you when you're in a sweet '63 Corvette?
- Please note that the correct engine number for this vehicle is 3113761