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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Customized 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Pick of the Day: Customized 1963 Chevrolet Corvette

Convertible redone into exotic removable-hardtop model

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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.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette

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 dashboard

Custom upholstery

Custom seats

Custom steering wheel

Custom body

1963 Chevrolet Corvette

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.  

1963 Chevrolet Corvette

“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.

To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Hagerty
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

22 COMMENTS

  1. It is just OK. I try to imagine it in my driveway..eh.
    I like little things that really push me, over the edge to make a (positive) decison. In this case the tail lights pushed me off the ledge, pretty bad. they would have to go.
    Someone elses dream- that’s all I can see..

  2. what a dis appointment to see this nite mare of a 63 . 85000 ??????????? i woudlnt pay 850.00 , my 2 cents .

  3. How to BUTCHER a Classic…. there is NOTHING left of the 63 body except the windshield/cowl. And it is ugly. I wouldn’t park it in my driveway at any prices.

  4. This owner must still be in a “dream phase” about his asking price. What a waste of a 63 vette. This so called customizer ruined this car and in my opinion has zero value!

  5. Sorry but it is no longer a classic 63 that ship sailed years ago for this kind of money you can get a nice original C2 or one that has been restomod but still maintains the look it’s worth about 20-30% of asking price and I’m being generous there is no way Hemmings can put a positive spin on it

  6. Not everyone’s cup of tea. Custom’s rarely are. Some readers seem to forget that a 1963 Vette was not always the thing of reverence that it is for them now. Note that the buyer bought the car from the insurance company, which meant that the car was a write-off and its alternative fate might well have been scrap. All that said, one can do a lot better with $85,000!

  7. If the frame and drive train are any good, it might be worth $5K to buy and then rebuild with a stock replacement body. Maybe… It just makes me want to cry.

  8. That is a lot of money for an incomplete frankestien car.
    Sorry I do not agree to the price indication and I would personally never buy it

  9. Ugliest car I’ve ever seen! Why would you do that to 63? I would give 85 cents for it if i had to be seen in it

  10. Wow, it is not only ridiculously UGLY, it gains absolutely ZERO respect from any car guy (or woman). Seriously, I would be embarrassed to park it in my driveway, let alone take it to a cruise night or an auto show – honestly one of the all time WORSE abomination of such an iconic car I have have ever seen.
    For the sheer respect amongst those of us who truly love beautiful classics, I would never “EVER” be seen driving such a dishonor to the ’63 vette.
    An absolute MOKE in every sense of the word!

  11. I agree the price is ridiculous but alas, there is an idiot born every minute. I would be very interested in a follow up story when it sells and for how much.

  12. WHO would do THAT to a beautiful ‘63 Corvette ‘split-window’, no less??
    Barf, barf, barf!!!…..Lmao…..that’s all i can say, besides wth!

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