Legendary Design: 1963 Corvette Specifications, History, and Photos

We are looking at the Legendary C2 1963 Corvette’s Specifications and History. First, we have an overview, and then we provide the options and their codes along with the volume sold and their costs.

The 1963 Corvette is a classic in automotive history. From its legendary design to its groundbreaking features, it’s no wonder why the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette is so revered today. This blog post will take a look at the 1963 Corvette’s Specifications and History, from its public unveiling on September 28, 1962, to its lasting impact on car culture. Join us as we explore the incredible 1963 Corvette and its place in automotive history.

In 1963, Corvette sales experienced a notable increase of 50 percent from the previous year, with 10,594 coupes and 10,919 roadsters for a total sales of 21,513. This was a major jump from the 14,531 Corvettes sold in 1962.

FIBERGLASS FACT: There were only 199 of the Special Performance Equipment Coupes or Option Z06s. The cost was a premium of $2,000 over the standard $4,252 coupe. These ZO6s are highly sought-after by collectors. The five Competition Grand Sports, however, are now among the most valuable Corvettes on the market, with values in the millions.

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In this article:

Body

The 1963 Corvette, also known as the C2 Corvette or Corvette Sting Ray, is an iconic sports car that set the standard for American muscle cars for decades to come. The design of the car was spearheaded by the legendary automotive engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who sought to make the car both a true sports car and a comfortable grand touring vehicle.

One of the most distinctive features of the 1963 Corvette is the split rear window, which was controversial at the time but has since become an iconic design element. The body was made of fiberglass and featured a transverse leaf spring suspension system. This system allowed for better handling and improved cornering ability.

The new hideaway headlights were a Corvette trademark through 2004, as were the aircraft-style doors cut into the roofline for easier entry and exit.

The 1963 Corvette came in two models: the convertible and the Corvette coupes. Both models featured a low, sleek profile and an aerodynamic design that was optimized for speed.

The C2 Corvette coupe’s “Split Window” design is the most coveted model within its five-year series. It is only in its debut year that the Corvette featured the distinct split in its rear window.

Under the hood, the 1963 Corvette was powered by a variety of engine options, including the legendary 327 cubic inch small-block V8. The top-of-the-line engine option was the fuel-injected version of the 327, which produced a whopping 360 horsepower. Other features included power brakes, a Borg Warner T10 four-speed manual transmission, and an anti-roll bar.

Overall, the 1963 Corvette is a classic car that is highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. It set the standard for American muscle cars and continues to be a symbol of style, performance, and innovation. If you’re interested in owning a piece of automotive history, there are still some Corvettes for sale today, but be prepared to pay a premium for these special performance models. Check out or classified ads.

Interior

1963 Corvette Interior
1963 Corvette Interior

The interior of the 1963 Corvette model year was just as stunning as the exterior. In addition to the split window, the interior of the 1963 Corvette also featured a range of comfort and convenience features. One of the most popular options was the Powerglide automatic transmission, which made driving the car a breeze.

At the time, aeronautics was popular, and its influence could be seen in the design of the interior of the new 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, as it took cues from airplane cockpits. The separation between the driver and the passenger was both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. To accompany the significant performance increase, a “grab bar” for the passenger was carried over from the C1 Corvettes.

Additionally, the car featured full instrumentation and a telescoping steering wheel, along with power steering, which was also a first for this model year.

Moreover, air conditioning (RPO C60; $422) was available for the first time, albeit only 278 of the vehicles were equipped with this feature in 1963. Those that opted for the “Saddle Tan” interior were treated to the choice of vinyl or leather seat material, which was also a first for Corvettes.

The dashboard was well-organized and easy to read, with all of the important gauges and controls easily accessible to the driver. Early 63 Corvettes had a standard AM radio, whereas later models featured AM/FM receivers.

The seats in the 1963 Corvette were designed with both comfort and style in mind. The upholstery was made of high-quality materials and offered a range of color options. The bucket seats were designed to provide plenty of support for the driver and passenger during high-performance driving.

Overall, the interior of the 1963 Corvette model year was a testament to the high standards of American automotive design. From the split window to the Powerglide automatic transmission, every aspect of the interior was carefully crafted to offer the ultimate driving experience. It’s no wonder that this iconic car has continued to capture the hearts of car enthusiasts for decades.

Engine

  • 8-cyl. 327cid/250hp 4bbl L30
  • 8-cyl. 327cid/300hp 4bbl L75
  • 8-cyl. 327cid/340hp 4bbl L76
  • 8-cyl. 327cid/360hp FI L84

The 1963 Corvette featured a range of powerful engine options that helped to cement its status as a performance icon. The base engine was a L30 327-cubic-inch V8 that produced 250 horsepower.

For those seeking even more power, Chevrolet offered an L75 300-horsepower 327 and an L76 340-horsepower 327.

The exclusive engine for the Z06 package was the powerful L84 327 cubic-inch small block that was capable of producing 360 horsepower. Its innovative mechanical fuel injection system was an industry-leading feature. Furthermore, for the first time ever, the RPO Z06 performance equipment package could be acquired for $1,818.45. These Corvettes quickly gained the nickname “Big Tanks” due to their much larger 36.5-US-gallon gas tanks as compared to the regular 20-gallon tanks, making them ideal for races such as Sebring and Daytona. This package was only available on coupes since the huge tank could not fit in the convertible.

In 1963, the Corvette was made to impress with a range of powerful engines that could bring it up to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds and all the way up to a blistering top speed of over 150 mph. The various engine options were capable of reaching 0-60 mph in the span of 5.8 to 9.1 seconds.

The engine was also a key part of the Corvette’s racing success, with the fuel-injected versions of the 327 engine being a popular choice for both amateur and professional racers. This led to numerous victories on tracks across the country, including a class win at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Overall, the engines in the 1963 Corvette helped to set the standard for American sports cars, offering a perfect balance of power, performance, and reliability. They remain one of the key reasons why the 1963 Corvette continues to be a beloved and iconic vehicle among collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Performance

The Corvette’s handling was also a major factor in its performance. It had an independent rear suspension, which improved the car’s stability and made it easier to handle on turns and curves. Additionally, the brakes were updated for the 1963 model year, with new power-assisted brakes making it easier to slow down from high speeds.

All of these performance upgrades made the 1963 Corvette a force to be reckoned with on both the street and the racetrack. In fact, the Corvette went on to have a very successful racing career, winning several races and even earning the nickname “America’s Sports Car.”

Overall, the 1963 Corvette proved that it was more than just a pretty face – it had the power and performance to back up its stunning design. And to this day, it remains one of the most iconic and beloved sports cars of all time.

1963 Corvette Specifications

In 1963, the launch of the 2nd generation (C2) Corvette was met with much enthusiasm. Its novel design, independent rear suspension, and convertible and split-window coupe options made it an instant success. On the race track, it faced a daunting challenge in the form of the Cobra. 1963 was also the year in which air conditioning and leather seats became available as optional extras on the Corvette. Check out the options, quantities, and retail prices below:

1963 Total Production = 21,513

  • 10,594 1963 Coupes
  • 10,919 1963 Convertibles

Serial Numbers

  • Coupe: 30837S100001 – 30837S121513
  • Convertible: 30867S100001 – 30867S121513

Serial Number Decoder: Position – Character – Description

  • 1 – 3 – 1963
  • 2-3 – 08 – Body Series: Corvette
  • 4-5 – 67 – Convertible
  • 4-5 – 37 – “Split-Window” Coupe
  • 6 – S – Assembled in St. Louis, MO
  • 7-12 – 100001 to 121513 – Production Sequence

Dimensions

  • Wheelbase 98 inches
  • Overall length 175.3 inches coupe and 175.2 convertible
  • Overall width 69.6 inches
  • Overall height 49.8 inches
  • Ground clearance 5 inches
RPO#DESCRIPTIONQUANTITY$ RETAIL
837Base Corvette Sport Coupe10,5944,257
867Base Corvette Convertible10,9194,037
898Genuine Leather Seats1,11480
941Sebring Silver Exterior Paint3,51680
A01Soft Ray Tinted Glass, all windows62916
A02Soft Ray Tinted Glass, windshield47010
A31Power Windows3,74259
C07Auxillary Hardtop (convertible only)5,739236
C48Heater and Defroster Deletion124-100
C60Air Conditioning278421
G81Positraction Rear Axle17,55443
G91Special Highway Axle, 3.08:1 Ratio2112
J50Power Brakes3,33643
J65Sintered Metallic Brakes5,31037
L75327ci, 300hp Engine8,03353
L76327ci, 340hp Engine6,978107
L84327ci, 360hp Engine (fuel injection)2,610430
M204-Speed Manual Transmission17,973188
M35Powerglide Automatic Transmission2,621199
N0336 Gallon Fuel Tank (coupe only)63202
N11Off Road Exhaust Systemn/a37
N34Woodgrained Plastic Steering Wheel13016
N40Power Steering3,06375
P48Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheelsn/a322
P916.70×15 Blackwall Tires41215
P926.70×15 Whitewall Tires19,38331
T86Back-up Lamps31810
U85Signal Seeking AM Radio11,368137
U69AM-FM Radio9,178174
Z06Special Performance Equipment1991,818

1963 Corvette Exterior Color

You will notice not all the quantities are listed for the exterior colors of the 1963 Corvette. I’m not sure why, but this is what is available in the Corvette Black Book (the best source for Corvette specifications!) At the end of this article, check Vette Vues’ archive photos of these colors from 1963s.

The ’63 Vette offered seven colors: Tuxedo Black, Ermine White, Riverside Red, Silver Blue, Daytona Blue, Saddle Tan, and Sebring Silver.

CODEEXTERIORQUANTITY
900Tuxedo Blackn/a
936Ermine Whiten/a
923Riverside Red4,612
916Daytona Blue3,475
912Silver Bluen/a
932Saddle Tann/a
941Sebring Silver3,516

1963 Corvette Interior

CODECOLOR
Std/BlkBlack Vinyl
490A/J/S/XE/XGDark Blue Vinyl (coupe)
490B/K/T/XF/XHDark Blue Vinyl (convertible)
490C/L/Q/XA/XCRed Vinyl (coupe)
490D/M/R/XB/XDRed Vinyl (convertible)
490E/N/U/XJ/XLSaddle Vinyl (coupe)
490F/P/V/XK/XMSaddle Vinyl (convertible)
898A/E/Q/G/SSaddle Leather (coupe)
898B/F/R/H/TSaddle Leather (convertible)

So, What is a 1963 Corvette worth today (2023)?

For a base 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, 2dr Split-Window Coupe with the 8-cyl. 327cid/250hp 4bbl L30 ranges from $187,000 on concours condition to $72,900 for fair doncition. You lose 10% for the automatic and 20 loss for the 3-speed. But you can add $500 for the AM/FM, $500 for the power window, and $ 12,500 for AC. You can also add $3,700 for the hard top, $2,500 for the leather interior, and $2,500 for power steering. If you have the knock-off wheels (except for the Big Tank Coupe), you can add another $10,000.

For the base 2dr Convertible with the 8-cyl. 327cid/250hp 4bbl L30, we are looking at $104,000 for concours condition to $44,600 for fair condition.

Other engines have other values, but this gives you a general idea. If you want one, bring your checkbook!

The most notable feature of the 63 was the split window, which provided a unique touch of elegance to the car. This was the only model year that featured the split window design, which has made it highly sought after by collectors. The ’63 offered seven colors.

Tuxedo Black

1963 Tuxedo Black Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe - Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction
1963 Tuxedo Black Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe – Photo Courtesy Mecum Auction

At the Mecum Indy 2022 auction, this rare 1963 Tuxedo Black Chevrolet Corvette Split Window Coupe sold for a staggering $148,500. Featuring a powerful 327/300 HP V-8 and 4-speed manual transmission, this vehicle was made complete with its red interior, fitted with bucket seats, a center console, seat belts, the Wonderbar radio, and a clock. The steel wheels, donning 6.70-15 BF Goodrich whitewall tires and the original hubcaps, were a final touch to the ultimate classic car.

Ermine White

1963 Ermine White Coupe
1963 Ermine White Coupe

Glen L Dunlap’s coupe from 1963 is outfitted with a 237 CI, 300 HP engine and 4-speed transmission, the differential ratio for which is 3.3:1. Boasting an Ermine White exterior, a Black vinyl interior, steel wheels, and 6.70 x15 Whitewall tires, the vehicle is additionally equipped with the optional AM/FM radio.

Riverside Red

'63 Riverside Red Corvette Coupe
’63 Riverside Red Corvette Coupe

Jim Covert’s ’63 Riverside Red Corvette Coupe (VIN 30837S107273) is on display at the Charlotte Bloomington Gold event.

Daytona Blue

1963 Daytona Blue Chevy Corvette ZO6
1963 Daytona Blue Chevy Corvette ZO6

At the Corvette Chevy Expo at Galveston Island, Texas, a 1963 Daytona Blue Chevy Corvette ZO6 is proudly on display among the other renowned Muscle Cars of Texas.

The Z06 option package was first offered in 1963. It included heavy-duty brakes and suspension, a 360 hp fuel injected 327 ci engine, and a 4-speed transmission. Initially, a 36-gallon fuel tank was included but was dropped partway through the year. Only 199 Z06 options were purchased in 1963. The Z06 option was dropped after one year but came back in 2001 on the 5th generation Corvette and has been offered in each generation since (usually available a year or two after the generation began).

1963 Daytona Blue Corvette Coupe
1963 Daytona Blue Corvette Coupe

William Ehret is the proud owner of a 1963 Daytona Blue Corvette Coupe with a classic blue vinyl interior. It is equipped with a 327 CI, 300 HP engine, and a 4-speed transmission with a 4.11:1 differential ratio. For further convenience, it comes with 6.70 x 15 Whitewall tires, standard wheels, and wheel covers. Furthermore, it includes optional power steering, power brakes, and an AM/FM radio.

Silver Blue

1963 Silver Blue Corvette Coupe
1963 Silver Blue Corvette Coupe

John Kuhn’s 1963 Corvette coupe has the 327 CI, 340 HP engine with a 4-speed. The differential ratio is 3.70:1. It is Silver Blue with a Black vinyl interior. The wheels and tires are steel, 6.70 x 14, 4 ply Whitewall tires. It also has optional power windows. It’s on display at the 2022 NCRS Gallery at Carlisle.

Saddle Tan

1963 Saddle Tan Corvette Split Window Coupe
1963 Saddle Tan Corvette Split Window Coupe

William and Cynthia Cryan are proud owners of a 1963 Saddle Tan Corvette Split Window Coupe with a matching interior. Under the hood lies a 327 CI, 340 HP engine, and a 4-speed manual transmission with a 3.70:1 differential ratio. Riding on 15×5.5, 6.70 x 15 Whitewall tires, the vehicle is also fitted with power steering and a positraction rear axle, in addition to an AM-FM radio.

Sebring Silver Sting Ray

In 1963, a unique shade of silver, Sebring Silver, adorned only 3,516 split-window coupes and convertibles, making it an especially sought-after color among Corvette enthusiasts. This was the only model year the Sebring Silver was offered.

1963 Sebring Silver Coupe
1963 Sebring Silver Corvette Coupe

Paul and Carla Sedacca and their sons owned a 1963 Sebring Silver Coupe, powered by a 327 CI, 340 HP engine coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission and 3.70:1 differential ratio. It also featured a black vinyl interior with AM/FM radio, as well as the original wheels and spinner hubcaps, with 6.70 x 15 whitewalls.

Here are some other articles you might enjoy:

The One and Only 1963 Harley Earl Corvette Convertible

Own A Piece Of History Now: First Corvette Sting Ray Goes to Auction

1963 Corvette ZO6 Gulf One 327/360 bid to $2,400,000

1963 Corvette ZO6 Tanker – Part 1

An Overview of the C2 Corvette Sting Ray (1963-1967)

1963 ZO6 Test – Biography of a Sports Car Video with Dave MacDonald and Dick Thompson

1963 Chevrolet Super Sport Commercial

1963 Corvette Grand Sport Videos: a Set of 4

Mecum Auctions’ Chicago Event Nets $18.6M with Harley Earl Corvette Leading Sales at $1.5M

1963 Corvette Brochure

Are you interested in purchasing a 1963 Corvette? Have a look at our classified advertisements featuring Corvettes available from private sellers.

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