- Original fuel injected 327ci 360hp V8
- Original Borg-Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission
- 5-year frame-off restoration
- Covered in correct Sebring Silver
- Red vinyl interior
- 15" Steel rims
- Manual drum brakes
When the topic of most desirable Corvette comes up, numbers like L88, Z06, LT-1, and ZR-1 are inevitably thrown into the mix. Each represents a performance peak and, when it comes to collectability, that's always a big deal. The one model that probably could have gotten by on looks alone was the '63 roadster. This particular '63 is the beneficiary of a complete 5-year body-off restoration that brought the car back to near showroom condition. And adding to its rarity is the fact that it came equipped with the top of the line 360hp 327ci V8 and a Borg Warner 4-speed manual. Still housing that original drivetrain, the car is a blast to drive and its air of authenticity makes this roadster a great addition to any collection.
Before we get too far let's first decode the VIN and Trim Tag:
• 3: 1963
• 08: Corvette
• 67: Roadster
• S: St. Louis Assembly plant
• ******: Basic production number
• Style – 63 867: 1963 Corvette Convertible
• Body – 3674: 3,674 Production serial number
• Trim – 490M: Red vinyl interior
• Paint – 941A: Sebring Silver
Purchased in 2001 from a small ad in the Reading Times (which is included in the sale) the Silver roadster was in desperate need of a restoration. Fast forward through the extensive 5-year frame off restoration and now it sits as a pristine example of a '63 roadster. With its original numbers matching drivetrain and slick silver on red paint scheme, this C2 is ready to take home awards at the local and national scene. The incredible look starts with a smooth correct coat of Sebring Silver that was sealed in a glossy clearcoat shell and buffed to a killer wet-look shine. The result is one simplistic but striking classic which has just enough detail to seem fresh even as its design ticks ever closer to 50 years old.
While paint and body make a great first impression, a closer look reveals equally impressive details. Up front, the traditional body-width stainless grille is flanked by two chrome-detailed parking lights protected by a wrap-around razorblade chrome front bumper. At the top of the car, a smooth header panel and traditional hood lead the eye to a like-new windshield that's framed by bright stainless trim, cleared by stainless wipers and capped by a black fabric top. At the sides of the car, a clean silver profile lets the body's lines do the talking by featuring traditional fender louvers, clean rocker trim and classic chrome door handles as its only visual distractions. And out back, a cross flag-branded fuel filler is perfectly centered above a body-matched tag insert, four chrome-trimmed brake lights, two 'razor blade' bumpers and two polished tail pipes that are incorporated into the rear bumper.
As mentioned, the car carries its original top of the line 327ci 360hp V8 and one look is all it takes to confirm that. A closer look at the small block reveals a 3782870 casting number, an January 18, 1963 assembly date, and an 'RF' suffix code that verifies its basic credentials. Holding the title of “World's most powerful, naturally aspirated single-cam V8” until the debut of Chevrolet's 2001 Corvette Z06, this impressive small block utilizes wide-bore casting, a forged steel crank, forged pistons and a hot cam to turn stout 10.5 to 1 compression into a solid 360 horsepower. At the top of the spry block, a big, “AC” branded air tube funnels wind into a vintage Rochester injection system that's threaded onto polished stainless fuel lines. Below that juice box, a correct Winters intake perfectly complements finned Corvette valve covers. At the back of that intake, chrome-cased ignition shoots spark past correct exhaust manifolds via chrome-sleeved wires. And at the front of those manifolds, a Harrison-branded radiator circulates water through pliable GM hoses and authentic tower clamps. Bright Chevy Orange paint covers the block from its clean oil pan all the way to its chrome oil filler and, as always, looks great against GM's Satin Black bay. As expected, correct textures and decals are present and accounted for. And details like a rebuilt alternator, a rebuilt master cylinder and a reproduction Delco battery ensure this Chevy runs every bit as good as it looks.
Looking around the undercarriage, things appear largely original. As often as these cars are restored (and often over-restored), that's a refreshing sight. The fiberglass pans are just as solid underneath as they are up top and display their original finish with pride. In the center, the original Borg-Warner T10 4-speed manual transmission, which wears a matching partial VIN, still handles all the shifting duties. Around the drivetrain, a fully restored double A-arm front and independent rear sports suspension is completely detailed down to its transverse rear spring. At the corners, standard equipment hydraulic drum brakes pair with manual steering direct and responsive handling. Above the rebuilt suspension original floor tubs are bolted to a straight and clean satin black frame. Power meets the road through standard 15-inch steel wheels which spin a fresh set of 6.70-15 Firestone bias ply tires around pristine, stainless wheel covers.
The honest theme carries into the interior which places new and original pieces side by side. Open the doors to this roadster and you'll find a correct red vinyl interior that accents the Sebring Silver body quite nicely. The red vinyl appears brand new and is a fantastic place to log miles from. The chrome trim is in amazing shape, and the carpet throughout the interior is in perfect condition. In front of the two black bucket seats is the original 3-spoke Corvette steering wheel. Beyond the steering wheel are the massive 160MPH speedo, and a 7000RPM tach. They are flanked by a trio of smaller gauges on both sides that display fuel, oil pressure, water temperature, and battery life. In between the two bucket seats is the Muncie 4-speed transmission's controls, and above that is the famous waterfall design that includes the continuous motion electric clock.
Included in the sale of this immaculate C2 roadster is a booklet that contains restoration photos, the 2001 listing in the Reading Times, and plenty of restoration receipts.
Like the old saying goes – “it's only original once”. There is no shortage of over-restored show queens out there but sympathetically revitalized pieces like this 1963 roadster are an increasing rarity. With its original 360hp FI 327, Muncie 4-speed, and list of carefully chosen replacement pieces, this is a car you can show and drive just as General Motors intended. If that sounds like a good way to spend your Saturdays, don't miss the chance to make this roadster your own. Call, click or visit http://RKMotorsCharlotte.com for more information.
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What Customers Are Saying
After hearing good things about the people at RK Motors, I contacted them regarding consignment of my street rod. I found Tony Klein to be a pleasure to work with. He was very professional and forthcoming in our communications. He evaluated my vehicle and made suggestions of enhancements which would help ensure the desired result would be achieved in the marketing of the vehicle. We agreed on an acceptable sale price. Following the completion of the recommended items, I brought the vehicle to RK for consignment. After a thorough inspection and correction of some minor issues at what I considered a fair price, the vehicle was offered for sale. It sold quickly with me receiving the agreed value. I would have to repeat the recommendation that I received. RK Motors does what they say they will do, and obtains for the seller a fair and agreed value. What more could you ask for?Doug C.