FACTS BY YEAR
1963 CORVETTE / GENERATION C1
The ‘63 Split Window Coupe attained classic status almost as soon as it hit showroom floors. Marking the 10th anniversary of Corvette and the next generation (C-2), the radically-styled coupe was a first. An almost equal number of convertibles and coupes was built in ‘63, but the Split Rear Window Coupe was both beautiful and controversial. Many buyers complained that the strip in the rear window provided a ‘perfect place for a motorcycle cop to hide’ in the rear view mirror. The split rear window was dropped the next year, assuring classic design status for the ‘63 coupe for all time.
The 1963 coupe still is among the most collectible Corvettes ever. Extremely rare options offered in ‘63:...air conditioning, and a 36 gallon fuel tank. Cars with those options today are worth tens of thousands of dollars, or more, than the standard ‘63 coupe or convertible. Leather upholstery was also a first-time offering in 1963.
Acquired in 1985 in Dallas, it is the ‘senior cornerstone’ of the collection. It was optioned from the factory in Sebring Silver exterior/black interior with a 4-speed manual transmission and a 327ci/340hp engine. The only engine larger that year was the comparatively rare 360hp fuel-injected V-8.
1963 CORVETTE TRIVIA:
The famous "split" rear window for the new Corvette almost never came to be. Bill Mitchell and Zora Arkus-Duntov argued over the design. Bill Mitchell won out for the 1963 Model, but the split rear window was removed for 1964 never to be seen again.
The 1963 roof panel molds were built using wrong dimensions, such that all roof panels were too small. This left a gap seen in the door pillar above the door latch in all but a few cars. The ones where it is not found were cosmetically covered up with body filler.
The 1963 Grand Sports, while originally looking much like the production coupes, had no body parts in common. The fiberglass body panels were roughly half the thickness of production panels to save weight. Only 5 extremely valuable Grand Sports were produced.