This week on “Rare Finds,” we’ve hit the jackpot of American muscle cars! We spotted this 1963 Corvette Split-Window Coupe, one of the rarest C2 corvettes ever built, for sale in Loveland, CO, right near TFLcar’s headquarters. Its amazing condition, low mileage, and impressive originality make it probably one of the most desirable Corvettes on the current market.
The 1963 C2 was a fairly rare car in itself, with only 21,513 total coupes and convertibles ever built. However, what makes this black ’63 so important is its “split-window coupe” body. The C2 coupes were the much scarcer than the convertible counterparts – only 10,594 examples were ever built. Just adding to its appeal is the fact that 1963 was the first year that any sort of Corvette coupe was available, making this car the first in the long lineage of hyper-performance Corvette coupes in the future.
In addition, the originality and features of this C2 split window are unsurpassed. The current owner has owned this car since 1985, and it is a confirmed numbers-matching car. According to the ad, even the original factory air conditioning still works perfectly, an extremely rare feature to find functional in a C2. To stay true to factory specifications, the flip-up power headlights and power windows have been left unmodified, features that are often upgraded. The odometer shows just over 29,000 miles, though it seems most likely that it reset at 100,000 miles, making the true mileage around 130,000. After fifty years of road use, the 130,000 miles is still ultra-low, showing that this C2 was cared for during its entire life.
As for the pièce de résistance of this Corvette – the 327 cu. in. small-block V8 – it stands in perfect running condition. This car was optioned with the more powerful small-block V8 producing 300 horsepower, instead of the 250 horsepower found in the standard 327. For reliability’s sake, the engine was completely rebuilt in the mid-1990’s, a major plus for those looking for a daily driver split window but a potential drawback for those looking for a concours-ready example. This Corvette is equipped with the original four-speed manual transmission, though it is unknown whether it, too, has been rebuilt at any time.
Both the interior and exterior of this C2 shine to their full potentials. The black leather looks to be supple and soft, while the exterior gleams with no noticeable paint flaws. The chrome accenting on the door panels, shift knob, and steering wheel all look to be in great condition, as do the decals on the rear and the chrome bumpers. Also speaking to the car’s care in the past is that it hasn’t been converted from rear-exhaust to the side-exhaust that many later Corvettes featured. The car has remained true to assembly-line specs in every way possible.
1963 was an extremely important year in Corvette history. It was the first year that the “Stingray” designation made its way onto future Corvette models. Due to its independent suspension, the new Corvette was a better handler, but weighed up to several hundred pounds more than its predecessor. 1963 was also the first year for many luxury options in the Corvette, including power brakes, power steering, air conditioning, leather interiors, and aluminum knock-off wheels. Interestingly, only 278 ’63 Stingray examples ever left St. Louis equipped with the air conditioning option, and the car we’ve found is one of those 278.
This C2 Corvette is certainly a time capsule worthy of collector car status. From its excellent condition to its rare body style and even rarer options, this split window is the holy grail of Corvettes–and it carries a price tag to match, with the owner currently asking a cool $100,000. It’s the collector car for the fortunate few, and though most of us can only dream of affording one, it’s reassuring to know that original, well-preserved cars are still being found and enjoyed.
Correction: This article previously mentioned the 1963 Corvette as a lighter vehicle than the previous 1962 model. In fact, the 1963 Corvette weighed more than its predecessor.
Please enjoy this TFLcar video of the brand-new Corvette Stingray, the C7.
Also, take a look at this video with mint condition Porsche 911 RS and 1963 Corvette Split Window: