1963 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
Chassis no. 30837S119672
Engine no. 3119672 FO710RE
327ci OHV V8 engine
Single Carter Type AFB Four-Barrel Carburetor
340bhp at 6,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Unparalleled originality, a true preservation piece
*Just a hair over 14,000 miles from new
*Extensively documented from the factory
*Only a handful of careful owners
*Driven less than 500 miles in the last 30 years
The Sting Ray Corvette
To say that the Sting Ray's arrival for 1963 caused a sensation would be grossly understating its impact on the North American sports car market. Such was its runaway success that the St Louis factory hired a second shift but still could not build cars fast enough to meet demand.
Designed by General Motors' Art & Colour Studio chief Bill Mitchell, the new Corvette featured radical styling pioneered on Mitchell's successful Stingray sports-racer penned by the talented young stylist Larry Shinoda. For the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupe in the range. Controversial at the time, the coupe's divided rear screen would last for one year only; many cars were subsequently converted to one-piece glass, making the survivors with this feature the most collectible of all 1963-67 Corvettes. Other features included hidden headlamps and in keeping with Corvette tradition the panels were made from fiberglass.
The Motorcar Offered
A split-window Corvette Coupe is one of the most desirable Sting Rays around. An exceptionally original car with documented history from new is even better.
The Corvette was purchased on October 14th, 1963 from Dutch Folk Chevrolet in Akron, Ohio as a fit for Mrs. Jane T from her husband. Ordered in the elegant combination of Ermine White paint over Saddle Tan leather, the Prices must have sought performance when they ticked the boxes for the 4-speed manual transmission (RPO M20), the posi-traction rear axle (RPO G81), the 6.70" by 15" blackwall rayon ply tires (RPO P92), and for the 340bhp V8 (RPO L76)the most power carbureted engine on offer. The total came to $4,100.
Mrs. Prince babied the car. According to a letter she sent to the then-owner in 1989, the 'Vette was never driven in the rain or snow, and parked in a carpeted garage with a quilted blanket over it. The car was rarely used. She had four childrenbut only one other seat in the carso it was more often brought out for the family to wash it than to ride in it. Barring occasional Sunday drives with her husband, the Split Window remained sparingly used by the time she put the car for sale in the local Akron paper in January 1986 for $25,000.
The classified was answered by Randal Birk of Johnstown, Pennsylvania who became the second owner. Correspondence from Mr. Birk to the car's third owner, Bruce Karlin of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, indicate that when he collected the Corvette from Mrs. Price in the beginning of 1986, it had 13,530 original miles and was in "excellent and original condition." Mr. Birk would only add another 250 miles to the clock before selling the car to Mr. Karlin in February of 1989. As the third owner of the white Corvette, Mr. Karlin would continue to care for the car and barely drive it. By the time it was acquired by the current vendor in 2006, it had only 13,990 original miles.
Nine years after purchase, fewer than 70 miles have been added to the ticker. Today the car shows very well having been lovingly maintained for the last half a century. As original as they come, it is reported that the only things that have been replaced are the exhaust system and battery. It is even fitted with its original wheels and tiresaccompanied by a set of newer tires fitted to a second set of wheels for when a bit of road use is desired. Extensive documentation includes the original build sheet from Chevrolet, the title that was first issued to Mrs. Price, the Corvette Owner Card given to Mrs. Price, the original owner's manual and warranty card, the classified ad Mrs. Price placed offering the car, the title issued to Randal Birk, and a selection of Polaroid's from Mrs. Price dating to when she first acquired the car.
A perfect candidate for the Bloomington Gold® Survivor® Award, here is a rare opportunity to acquire a Corvette that is as close to 'showroom fresh' as they come.