Tuxedo Black
Saddle
LS6 Supercharged V8
6 Speed Manual

No, your eyes are not deceiving you—that’s a real ’63 split-window coupe, and yes, it has been extensively modified. It’s flat-out gorgeous, and the modifications are so exceptionally well done that you can’t help but appreciate the level of engineering and craftsmanship that went into the build. And don’t overlook the fact that it is still 100% Corvette, from the C4 suspension to the supercharged LS6 engine under the hood. This is one amazing car.

 

The body is a never-been-hit ’63, and very talented craftsmen have treated it to some pretty amazing bodywork. The only noteworthy modification is the addition of ’67 style back-up lights to the rear fascia and the stinger hood up front. Otherwise, Larry Shinoda’s brilliant design still speaks for itself, almost 50 years after it was launched. This body was so good, they felt confident bathing it in two-stage black urethane that tends to magnify every flaw and imperfection. Guess what? I can’t find any. While it’s true that there’s no such thing as a perfect car, this one is incredibly nice and it’ll be hard to find one with nicer paint. Panel gaps are exceptionally straight and even, which is usually a big no-no with concours ‘Vettes, but with this one, it’s a design statement. The red stinger is buried under the clear, giving the car a very high-tech look.

 

They didn’t mess with the original trim, either. Few designs are as timeless as the split-window coupe, and there’s really not much you can do to one to improve on the factory’s looks. Chrome is certainly higher quality than original, and the shine is as deep as the paint. All the original emblems remain intact throughout, including the Corvette badge on the tail and the crossed flags on the nose and front fenders.

 

While the top engine in 1963 was a 370 horsepower 327, this coupe now features a modern LS6 from a late-model Z06. Obviously, 405 naturally aspirated horsepower just wasn’t enough, so the builders added a MagnaCharger supercharger to the mix, and the result is tire-shredding performance. The all-aluminum LS6 is also lighter than the original cast iron lump, giving this refreshed split-window sharper responses as well. Since this car was built to show as well as go, the blower case and all the aluminum under the hood was polished. The stock plastic coil covers were jettisoned and custom black pieces were molded to replace them, and they give the engine bay a finished, yet custom look. The engine management system is by Speartech, and the Corvette’s original fly-by-wire throttle system was retained for OEM levels of drivability. Fifty years of technology has not only made this split-window faster, but easier to drive, maintain and with better fuel mileage as well. How can anyone complain about that?

 

The ’63 chassis was replaced by a custom tube-frame setup designed to use Corvette C4 suspension components, which are a massive update over the original pieces. In fact, the builders went one better and replaced the transverse fiberglass leaf springs with coil-over shocks for even sharper responses. A Keisler/Tremec 5-speed manual transmission lives behind the engine, giving you the benefits of an overdrive gear for high-speed cruising. And this car will certainly generate plenty of speed with a set of 3.55 gears out back, the perfect compromise between acceleration and top speed when combined with that 5-speed transmission. Brakes are the same powerful binders that were available on the C4, with a power booster from Hydratech and a billet master cylinder under the hood. Modern rack-and-pinion steering is part of the package, too, and this car tracks like a cruise missile on the open road. A custom exhaust system ties the new engine to a set of original-style side pipes, and the modern engine definitely has its own voice. Chrome Z06 style wheels look right at home on the vintage body, and tuck under the fenders very neatly wearing 18-inch BFGoodrich radials.

 

You’ll be stunned by the interior of this split-window, because it’s just as sweet a mix of original and modified as the rest of the car. Everything has been covered in distressed saddle leather, including the original buckets, the door panels, and the dashboard, even the headliner. But all the original trim, handles, and other details were retained, giving the interior an OEM touch. The gauges have been restored, not replaced with aftermarket pieces, and they look right at home in this elegant interior. Heck, even the original clock is still ticking in the center of the dash. A wood steering wheel gives it an upscale feel, and an original style shifter controls the modern 5-speed. Power windows, Vintage Air A/C and a powerful stereo system with a CD changer by Secret Audio update the car with modern conveniences and comfort.

 

Of course, on a custom build like this, you’re going to want to know exactly what went into the construction, and we’ve got you covered. In addition to a build album full of photos, we have receipts and manuals for just about every component that has been bolted on to this ’63 body shell.

 

No matter how much of a purist you might be, you have to admit that this is a seriously cool piece. The modifications are subtle and exceptionally well done, and none of the pure, basic goodness of the 1963 design has been compromised. Everything that was great about the original car remains intact. The new pieces simply give it an athleticism and performance envelope that even racecars couldn’t manage in 1963. Add in the elegant and luxurious interior, and you have a no compromises Corvette that will unquestionably draw a crowd wherever you go. The detailing and build quality are such that if you’re into winning trophies, this car will do that for you, too. This car probably cost more than $150,000 to build, and to duplicate it, you’d have to find another ’63 split-window—good luck with that. This car is more than the sum of its parts, and transforms an already spectacular design into a one-of-a-kind custom that will never be duplicated. Call now!

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