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Friday, October 29, 2010

1963 Corvette Stingray

The 1963 Corvette was truly the dawn of a new era.  Widely recognized by its split glass panels on the rear windshield, this Corvette earned the nickname, “split window”, or “split back”.  Perhaps because it was only offered for one model year run (1963), this particular model Corvette is a very high value ticket item for collectors and enthusiasts alike.  As far as memory (and research) can show, there was only one engine size available for this generation, and that was the tried, tested and true 327cid 8 cylinder.  This small block produced ranging horsepower figures from 250hp in a base model all the way to 360hp in a fully equipped Vette.  Getting back to its shark roots, this Vette also affectionately became known as the Stingray.  1963 also marked the first production coupe that Chevrolet offered, straying away from the usual convertible model (but still produced).  The uniqueness that Corvette brought to market was bountiful.  The doors, as you can see in the pic above, were cut well into the roof line.  For a low car, this was key for easier egress and ingress.  The headlights were also rather rare for its day.  Not common at all on cars were the ‘63’s pop-up headlights that completely hid themselves into the body/hood lines when in the off position.  The aerodynamics played a central role in this small block’s 0-60 times, shows figures comparative to most other sources, with a time of 6.1 seconds for a 300hp model with a 4spd transmission.  A coupe Corvette in 1963 would cost $4,252 dollars according to the same site.  A stark contrast to the low six figure amount a numbers matching model would fetch at an auction today.  Call it what you will, shark, Stingray or Split Back, this Corvette truly was a timeless design that inspired generations of muscle cars to come.

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