Incredible resto-mod, LS3, 5-speed, C5 suspension, big brakes, A/C, all new!
- Condition: Used
- Make: Chevrolet
- Model: Corvette
- SubModel: Resto-Mod
- Type: Convertible
- Year: 1963
- Mileage: 259
- VIN: 30867S103508
- Color: Red
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Power options: Air Conditioning
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Interior color: Red
- Options: Convertible
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Resto-Mod
In my lifetime of playing with cars, ’ve driven just about everything, rom Model Ts to the latest Ferrari supercars. I try to find reasons to love every one of them, ith some talking to me and some seeming indifferent, hich is what makes this hobby great. So please keep this in mind when I tell you that this 1963 Chevrolet Corvette convertible might be the most amazing car I’ve ever driven and it’s been a long, ong time since anything has made me giggle and smile like the ‘Vette does.
You've also seen a few of the cars going across the block at the Scottsdale auctions, nd having seen those cars in person, e can confidently say this one is better than any of them. Forget the goofy late-model wheels, he questionable body mods, nd garish paint, his Corvette is resto-mod done right, apturing the essence of the vintage 'Vette while making it smoother, aster, ore reliable, ore comfortable, nd considerably more capable. This is the one you've been waiting for.
It all started the way most of these cars do: a tired old car that showed up at a shop for a freshening. This particular 1963 Corvette was definitely beat up, earing an incorrect front clip, he frame was rotted, he original engine was long gone, nd, ell, t needed just about everything. As these things go, hey started adding up the costs of putting it back to factory specs and the numbers got really big, eally fast. So they changed course a bit and started looking at alternatives that would keep the spirit of the 1963 Sting Ray 100% intact but infuse the car with modern reliability, erformance, nd ease of use. And in that regard, t is a spectacular success.
Before we get to the show-quality bodywork, et’s talk about what truly makes this car special. The foundation is an all-new steel chassis from the experts at Street Shop, ho specialize in C1-C2-C3 Corvette chassis replacement. They use state-of-the-art tools and jigging to create what are arguably the best platforms for your early fiberglass on the market. A complete rolling chassis was ordered up, ncluding all the C4/C5 suspension components, iant disc brakes, nd an incredible independent rear end that’s a work of billet aluminum art. Everything is brand new and the workmanship is really impressive, ffectively bringing this vintage ‘Vette into the 21st century without changing its character.
So while they were waiting for their custom chassis to be fabricated and delivered, he fiberglass tub went over to the experts in the body shop to be reworked as well. At this point, here was already a sizeable investment in the Corvette, ut that didn’t stop them from going all-out on the fiberglass as well. The nose was corrected, he gaps were fine-tuned until they were exactly even all around, nd every square inch of bodywork was smoothed, anded, nd adjusted until it was as good as it could possibly be. No factory “flaws” like bonding strips or signs of fiberglass substrate, verything was turned up to 11 on this build. The two-stage Riverside Red paint went down over the fully prepped surface and it, oo, as color sanded and buffed to an incredible shine that looks so wet that you feel like you’ll get some on your fingers if you touch it. The doors open and close easily, he hood presses closed with a gentle click, nd even the headlights fit flush and pivot open instantly thanks to new electric motors. All the chrome and stainless trim was restored or replaced, rom the delicate front bumpers to the ribbed rocker moldings to the flip-up gas cap on the rear deck. There are no alterations from stock, othing was shaved or deleted, iving this roadster a very stock look. If a bright red Corvette convertible can be a sleeper, his might just be it.
The interior was also completely restored and again, he idea wasn’t to modernize but rather to integrate. The original bucket seats were treated to reproduction seat covers, orrect red carpets went on the floors, nd the most beautifully detailed door panels were installed, iving it a very OEM look. The original gauges were replaced by Auto Meter dials, ut even those were carefully selected because they look so much like the originals. Note how similar they are to the clock in the center of the dash, hich is original-issue and fully functional. There’s a tilt steering column but it looks just like a vintage ‘60s unit, nd the wood-rimmed steering wheel is a close approximation of an original teak piece but with a smaller diameter and fatter rim. If you look closely at the center console, ou’ll note that the shift diagram show shows five gears instead of four, hanks to a Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual gearbox, nd a Vintage Air A/C system has been discreetly tucked under the dash. The radio is a neat digital unit hiding behind a vintage-looking face, nd it includes AM/FM/iPod/Bluetooth integration with speakers stashed throughout the interior for great sound. The switchgear is all new, o the headlights, ipers, nd floor vents all work smoothly and easily with a precise feel. Open the ashtray lid and you’ll find another power switch, hich controls the exhaust cut outs in back, ut we’ll get to those in a moment. Overhead there’s a black canvas top, ot vinyl, nd it fits beautifully and folds easier than any other C2 convertible top I’ve experienced. No wrestling or pushing, ust a gentle toss to roll it back into the well. Nice! You’ll also note the deck is protected by a nearly invisible strip of helicopter tape to prevent the top from scuffing the paint. Details mattered to these guys!
OK, ack to the good stuff. This Corvette still has 100% Corvette DNA running through its veins, ncluding the 6.2 liter LS3 V8 under the hood. It’s a fresh GM crate motor, ot a take-off from a wrecked car, nd they left it completely stock for maximum reliability. Of course, ith 430 horsepower on tap, tock is hardly a demerit and in this car, hich weighs about 2800 pounds, erformance is spectacular. All the OEM electronics were retained as well, o it starts instantly, dles perfectly even when it’s cold, nd there’s an ALDL connector under the dash, o you can have it serviced at any Mr. Goodwrench in the world. Factory accessories like the power steering pump, lternator, nd A/C compressor ensure reliability, hile the braking system is a Hydratech setup that uses power steering pressure instead of vacuum for power assist. There’s a giant aluminum radiator up front with an equally massive electric fan, nd the A/C system uses R134a refrigerant so it’s effective and easy to service in the future. Turn the key and it starts instantly, he idle is production car smooth, nd there are no hitches or hiccups in the power delivery. You want no compromises? This is it.
The chassis, s I said, as professionally engineered and it’s a work of art. The original body dropped down onto it with zero modifications and it sits right, andles beautifully, nd rides like a modern Corvette. The front suspension is C5 Corvette wishbones, pindles, nd 13-inch brakes, hile the rear end is a modified C4 setup with a beautiful billet aluminum carrier, illet trailing arms and custom-made driveshafts. Instead of the traditional leaf springs, here are QA1 adjustable coil-over shocks at all four corners and I have to admit that this sucker rides and handles beautifully. It’s taut, mooth, nd comfortable with a ride that feels exactly like a brand new Corvette. The aforementioned Tremec TKO600 5-speed manual transmission is supported by a Wilwood hydraulic clutch and a custom-made driveshaft, nd between the overdrive gear and 3.42 cogs in back, t’s a superlative high-speed cruiser. The exhaust system is custom-built in stainless steel with OEM style big block mufflers out back, o it’s quiet at speed, ut hit the switch in the ashtray and a pair of electronic cut-outs from QTP open up and it transforms this car into a snarling full-tilt race car that sounds spectacular. You’ll note that the chassis is highly detailed with satin black powdercoating on the frame for an OEM look and every single nut and bolt was torqued and marked during assembly so you know it’s done right. Finally, t was fitted with one-off EVOD 17-inch wheels designed to emulate the original knock-offs (which were technically available in 1963 but never delivered). These gorgeous wheels cost more than $1600 EACH and give the car a look that will get more than a few double-takes at shows. They’re wrapped with brand new 245/45/17 Michelin Pilot radials that ride and handle great without being noisy or harsh.
This car’s resume is impressive as hell, ut it all means nothing if it doesn’t work. Well, his car works beautifully. Why buy a garden-variety late-model Corvette when this gorgeous 1963 roadster is every bit the equal of a modern ‘Vette in terms of performance and comfort? The interior is snug, ight, uiet, nd rattle-free, he steering is sharp, he brakes are powerful, nd with just 2800 pounds to haul around, cceleration is borderline terrifying if you really run it hard. As I said, his might just be the most amazing car I’ve ever driven, ecause everything you expect from an old Corvette is still there, nly in much greater quantities. This is a truly spectacular machine that will more than live up to your expectations. The best cars always do.