Lot #1123 - The 1963 Corvette was the first with hideaway headlights and the first with available Soft Ray-tinted glass, AM/FM radio and leather seats. It was also the first with optional factory air conditioning. Only 278 of the 21,513 Corvettes sold that year incorporated factory air, most of them also featuring the Powerglide automatic transmission, a fact that makes this superb 4-speed Split Window Sting Ray a very rare specimen.
To call the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray revolutionary is an understatement. Both the chassis and body were brand new designs. The chassis incorporated independent rear suspension with a multi-leaf transverse leaf spring, and a coupe body was available for the first time in Corvette’s 10-year history. One of the boldest features of the Bill Mitchell-designed Sting Ray coupe was a central wind split that flowed from above the windshield back through a rear window divider to the rear deck, resulting in the now famous “split window” designation for 1963 coupes.
According to NCRS/GM Shipping Data Records, this car was produced on May 8, 1963 and delivered new to Ray Benson, Inc. in Utica, New York. Today featuring a spectacular body-off restoration by the Naber Brothers of Houston, Texas, it is correctly finished in Silver Blue metallic paint with a black interior and features a matching-numbers drivetrain composed of the L75 327/300 HP V-8, 4-speed manual transmission and 3.36:1 Positraction third member. It rides on 6.70x15-inch white-stripe tires with full wheel covers and is equipped with the aforementioned factory air conditioning, power steering, power windows, aluminized exhaust and an AM/FM radio.
A well-sorted example showing just over 70,000 original miles, this rare factory air 4-speed coupe comes with impressive documentation. In 2009 it earned Bloomington Gold and NCRS Top Flight Certification, and Al Grenning’s highly respected Classic Car Affirmation Service affirmed the engine stamp pad. The factory-original trim tag remains intact and the owner’s manual and sales brochure, title search, restoration receipts, Bloomington and NCRS certificates and judging sheets are included. Extremely rare, factory correct and well documented, this 1963 Split Window Sting Ray has everything to recommend it to the most discerning Corvette enthusiast.