Beautiful frame-off restoration in unusual colors. HJ-coded 327/300, 4-speed, factory power windows, power steering, upgraded to 4-wheel disc brakes. Highly detailed and runs like new. Fantastic car!
Showing just 148 miles since the restoration was completed, this is a very well done Corvette. We should note up front that it is not matching-numbers, carrying a 1965 327, but it was restored to be the embodiment of all that is great about the Sting Ray. Fit and finish are exemplary in every way and all the usual fiberglass flaws that you find on these cars have been neatly exorcised from its surface and it fits together extremely well. Two-stage urethane paint has been color sanded and buffed to a very high standard and the car, as I said, simply glows in the showroom and particularly out in the sunlight. It is not aggressive or in-your-face, but it is a Corvette for grown-ups and it’s extremely appealing. The chrome and stainless trim was likewise restored with the rest of the car, and you can see in photos that the bumpers shine beautifully, the ribbed rocker moldings are crisp and bright, and all the lenses are correct reproductions that look brand new.
The interior is correct 898F Saddle leather, which is how this car was ordered when it was new. As with the exterior, virtually everything inside the car is new, including carpets, door panels, dash pads, and the color-matched three-spoke steering wheel. All the original gauges were rebuilt and show crisp markings and clear lenses, and obviously they’re all fully operational. A close look will reveal that there’s a tilt steering column, which was not on the options list in 1963, but we had to double-check our books to be sure because it looks so right. This car is also equipped with power windows, a $59 option that only about 3700 people bought in 1963. The original vertically-oriented AM radio doesn’t work (which is typical) but the clock does (which is not). It includes a tan convertible top, which is a great choice here, and that, too, is almost new and in unmarked condition with a crystal clear rear window.
The engine is a HJ-coded 1965 327/300 for use with a manual transmission, so it’s not far off what would have been in there originally. Rebuilt and detailed, it looks right and runs the way any small block Chevy should: smooth and confident. Chevy Orange paint, a proper twin snorkel air cleaner, and simple valve covers with reproduction decals make it look quite right under the hood. The exhaust manifolds have been coated to keep them looking their best and even the factory-issued ignition shields are still in place. The only notable deviation from stock spec is the modern power brake booster and dual master cylinder, which was used with the all-new 4-wheel disc brakes—not correct for 1963 but a welcome addition that doesn’t take away any of its Corvette-ness. Power steering is a nice find, too, making this ’63 easy to handle and very user-friendly.
A proper 4-speed manual transmission is really the only way to go in a vintage ‘Vette. The rest of the undercarriage is nicely restored as well, with nice detailed, a reproduction exhaust system, and satin black paint as a backdrop for the hardware. The floors are fiberglass, so there’s obviously no rust there, but the critical areas of the frame are unmarked and the smoothness of the finish (it’s powdercoated) suggests that it was never in a harsh climate. The aforementioned 4-wheel disc brakes are powerful and confident and with 3.36 gears out back, it’s always a relaxed cruiser with a nice punch available at any speed. It wears real knock-offs, not bolt-ons, and they carry recent 205/75/15 gold stripe radials that are exactly the right choice.
The quality is exceptional on this Corvette and it has a few invisible, forgivable upgrades to make it more of what it should be. This is one of those cases where the best car may not have a perfect pedigree but the quality and driving experience more than make up for it. If you’ve wanted a Mid-Year Corvette that you can drive and show without worries, this is it. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com