Riverside Red
Red
327 V8
2 Speed Automatic

There's no such thing as an undesirable 1963 Corvette. They couldn't all be fuel injected screamers, and there are a lot cars out there running around with incorrect drivetrains pretending to be something they're not. That's why this refreshingly honest '63 roadster is so appealing. It was originally purchased as a cruiser, evidenced by its 300 horsepower 327 and Powerglide transmission, yet that doesn't stop it from being drop-dead gorgeous and an absolute blast to drive. And it is, after all, still a Corvette, which means there's also a thrilling soundtrack, surprisingly agile handling, and reliability that the car's competitors just couldn't match.

All Corvettes are red is probably an overstatement, but it's hard to argue that red Corvettes don't look awesome. This Riverside Red roadster is simply stunning in person, and the paint is so vivid and rich that it looks like it might still be wet. The fiberglass has been correctly prepped and sanded, and the bonding seams are not visible, which gives the car a slick look that was notably absent when the cars were new. Alignment is good all around, and the headlight doors fit well, which is always a challenge on these cars. You'll also notice how crisp the details are, the sharp crease that surrounds the entire body, the coves behind the front wheels, and the sharp top edges of the fenders—they're all laser straight with no signs of rounding from an over-aggressive sander. It really is beautifully done.

The chrome, and there's a good amount on the '63, is show quality. Both front and rear bumpers are brilliant with no grinding marks or pits, and the grilles on the hood are sharply defined. The ribbed rocker panel trim has a lovely brushed finish, and the windshield surround has been professionally polished. Even the windshield is scratch-free and shows no visible marks—not even a wiper swipe. The Sting Ray emblem on the tail appears to be original, but its condition suggests that this was a very nice car prior to the restoration.

Tip the hood forward and you'll find a 300 horsepower L75 327, although one look at the price will tell you whether it's matching numbers. Nevertheless, the restoration was carried out to exacting standards, creating a highly accurate engine bay that is as well detailed as the rest of the car. Topped by a correct Carter AFB 4-barrel underneath the dual snorkel air cleaner, the rumbling V8 makes all the right Corvette sounds. Bright Chevy Orange paint always looks great in these satin black engine bays, and the cast aluminum Corvette valve covers are a design that have been copied for decades. The ignition shield has been polished, and a fresh wiring harness ensures that everything works as it should. Nice-looking ram's horn exhaust manifolds appear to have been painted or coated to prevent rust, and should remain bright for years to come.

The transmission is a 2-speed Powerglide, and before you dismiss it, remember that the earliest Corvettes were exclusively equipped with the Powerglide, and drag racers have used them for years due to their reliability and performance. 1963 was also the first year for 4-wheel independent suspension on the Corvette, and the improvement in ride and handling is tangible when driven back to back with a '62 model. In back, there's a 3.36 axle that makes highway cruising easy, while still delivering the potent acceleration for which Corvettes are rightly famous. The frame is straight and clean and the fiberglass floor tubs appear original and remain in excellent condition. A correct dual exhaust system has been fitted which delivers that characteristic small block cackle, and it all appears to be in excellent operating condition. Gorgeous aluminum wheels wear spinner center caps (they are not real knock-offs) and a new set of 205/75/15 BFGoodrich Silvertown gold stripe radials.

The bright red interior looks like it has never been used, and the materials are high quality throughout—bet you thought those seats were leather, didn't you? There's new foam underneath, too, so they're comfortable and supportive for long drives in the country. The carpets feature the correct pattern of red and black thread, a heel pad for the driver, and the proper nap that makes it easy to maintain. Those stylish gauges may actually be original, and look fantastic. There's a brushed metal panel for the glove box lid that matches the center console, which not only houses the shifter and ashtray, but controls for the optional power windows. The unique vertically-mounted AM radio remains in the dash, just below the clock that matches the gauges. Overhead there's a crisp, white convertible top that fits tightly and folds easily enough that one person can stow it in a matter of seconds.

The Sting Rays remain the most highly-sought of all Corvettes, and it's easy to see why. The first-year '63s are among the most desirable, second perhaps only to the big block '67s. This gorgeous roadster is proof that they don't all have to cost six figures. The restoration work is nicely done, the engine runs exceptionally well, and that interior makes it a pleasure to drive anywhere. If this car had a matching-numbers engine or a 4-speed, the price would be 50% higher than it is, and the driving experience would be largely the same, so it can even be considered a bargain. If you've been looking for a mid-year Corvette that you can drive and show with pride, we proudly submit this one for your consideration. There's just something about a red Corvette roadster that makes everyone smile. Call us today!

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