At our weekly video conference call of the ClassicCars.com Journal editorial team, we often venture off on tangents, including a discussion about the value in the marketplace of vehicles that have undergone customization or have received resto-mod treatments.
Our typical conclusion is that one person’s dream car might be another’s nightmare, or at least not as valuable in the marketplace as the creator anticipates, based on the time and money put into the project.
Which brings us to the Pick of the Day, a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette offered for sale by its creator and private owner in Portersville, Pennsylvania.
The asking price is $85,000, which slots between what the Hagerty Price Guide says you should expect to pay for a ’63 Corvette convertible in excellent to concours condition. Except, the seller of this ’63 Corvette notes, “The car will require work to be driven.”
But then you’re not just buying a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette convertible, but a highly customized one that was someone else’s dream machine.
“In 1964, I purchased from an insurance company, a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette convertible that had been stolen and stripped. (Vin# 40867S103144) There was also some body damage,” the seller reports in the car’s advertisement.
“My father owned a very prestigious auto body repair shop where I worked. Over the next five years I installed the following:
Custom exhaust system with cutouts
Aluminum four-speed transmission
Custom steering wheel
“I converted the body from a convertible to a hardtop with a removable roof. The roof when not installed fits behind the seats.
“The body was completely custom built and not a kit body. There are no other vehicles like this one. I retained all of the Corvette inner panels and door mechanisms. The steering, suspension, windshield, drivetrain are all standard Corvette and parts are readily available.
“I built the automobile to be driven on the street and not a show car. I did however enter it in several shows, where I took first place.
“Because of work-related issues, I drove the vehicle less than 300 miles when I parked it in a barn and it has not been driven for over 50 years.”
So not only is this a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, a favorite with collectors, but also a barn find!
However, “The car will require work to be driven,” the builder-seller adds.
“The body is in excellent condition but has some paint chips. The tires are dry-rotted and several have blown out. The aluminum wheels are pitted. There is some upholstery mouse damage. The rubber items like radiator and break hoses will have to be replaced. Battery is missing. The driver door glass is cracked.”
While we learn the car has a 4-speed manual transmission, the text of the advertisement mentions the engine only to say it is “running.” In photos, the engine appears to be a V8 with Edelbrock valve covers and a pair of carburetors.
“This vehicle is located on a farm 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pa.,” the seller adds. “Moving it will require a flatbed tow truck.”
So, is $85,000 a dream price or a nightmare figure to potential buyers of someone else’s dream machine? The marketplace will make that determination regarding this one-off customized Corvette.