This custom split ’63 Corvette reminds us that the perfectly tuned, gorgeous car of today is the food of tomorrow.


There are a lot of similarities between modifying your car and modifying your body. Some people love their cars and their skin the way they came from the factory. Other people are not happy with anyone else’s appearance. They want to personalize their look, feel and ride. It’s a purely personal decision and we’re totally cool with both points of view.

But just as jamming your tongue or making your eyeballs look like pool balls is a world away from getting an inky Nike swoosh on your cheek drunk or wearing a nose ring during college, and then letting the hole heal later, so this rare 1963 Corvette reminds us that for some mods Cars, really no going back. Or at least no return without spending a lot of money to break down the car and start over.

Offered for sale at Bring a trailer Auction site earlier this week this C2 Corvette’s first-ever Sting Ray coupe for sale, the only year the model debuted with a split-rear window design. Those visual details alone ensure that a perfect 1963 Corvette 250 hp (254 hp) V8 in excellent condition has an estimated value of $140,000, compared to just $71,800 for a 1964 vehicle with the same mechanical specs but a one-piece rear window. Step up to the fuel-injected L84-code cars and the 63 will be worth over $211,000.

But some of the drastic custom work that was done on this car in the 1970s means it will never come close to achieving those values ​​unless dealt with a rebuild that could easily end up with more than the $56,550 that the car was offered for. This was less than the seller’s reserve, so the car didn’t sell, but to prove how valuable the splits are, an unmet spare price would suffice to arrive in nice original condition – a 3’64 Corvette doesn’t require any serious work.

Related: You’ve Never Seen a 1964 Chevrolet Corvette Like This

Photos show that at one point, the Corvette was equipped with flared fenders and sills, a custom rear end, flush door handles, a hood bulge, integrated front air dam, and a Le Mans-style fuel filler beneath that famous split rear window. Completing the ’70s look is what appears to be a set of 15-inch American Racing Turbo Vecs and a two-piece pop-up sunroof. It is enough to make the C2 fan cry.

But while your immediate impression might be to think how disgraceful such a rare and historically important vehicle has been, it would be detrimental to the vehicle’s nearly 60-year long life and the fun it should have brought its owners along the way.

It’s worth remembering that although the Corvette 63 is rare and valuable, it is not. Chevy has built over 10,000 of them, and there are still plenty of originals around if you want to see one at a car show or put one in your garage. It should also be noted that when this car was modified in the mid-70s, it was just a 12-year-old car.

Moreover, although somewhat extreme, and not the kind that can be uninstalled to return the car to factory specifications, the modifications it received were fashionable at the time. Which means that driving the car after its shift made the driver feel like a million dollars, despite this fact that it might actually be worth half a million dollars one day if he kept it in standard condition.

RELATED: 1970 Plymouth Superbird Restomod Conversion powered by a modern HEMI V8 engine

We post regularly about modified cars, including classic modified Corvettes, usually because we think they look great. But we’re not naive to think that the mods we all crave today would never look embarrassingly intimidating like the orange Toyota Supra that Brian drove in the original Fast and Furious two decades after it was built.

Interestingly, although the Corvette is now red, having been repainted in 2019, there are a few photos in the listing that show the original paint job assigned to it, and given how highly collectible custom trucks from the 1970s became, you’re wondering what If it can be traced back to the ’70s, just as fans of the defunct British magazine Max Power, once a huge influence, rescue the hatchbacks from the ’90s with Lamborghini doors and outrageous body kits from fashion purgatory and proudly bring them back for display once again. other.

Whatever a future buyer decides to do with the top side of their C2, they don’t have to worry too much about what’s going under the skin unless they want to embark on a full resto. The engine doesn’t seem to be the original, but it was rebuilt in 2019 and, at 383 cubic feet (6.3 liters), should be reasonably powerful, while the four-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential both have it rebuilt.

This car will never be one of its owners, and it has undoubtedly lost its value as a result of the changes made to it. But if no one modified a car just to keep authenticity-obsessed posterity happy half a century later, just as if no one was signed because they were worried about what their skin might look like at 75, the world would. be a very boring place.

What do you think of the idea of ​​modifying rare and perhaps one day collectible cars, and what would you do with this Corvette? Leave a comment and let us know.

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