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I don’t think anyone would dispute the aesthetics of a mid-year Corvette. Lasting from 1963-1967, few automotive designs are so revered. But when it comes to performance there is plenty of room for improvement, especially by today’s standards. This 1963 convertible thoroughly addresses those shortcomings. With a modern LS3 motor, Tremec transmission, Ridetech suspension, Wilwood disc brakes, air conditioning, and much more, this restomod is far from your average C2 Corvette.
This was a significant project spanning four years and six figures – not including the price of the car – and has fewer than 100 break-in miles since completion. It all started with a solid 1963 model that had been previously restored. All the ensuing modifications were professionally done (receipts included). The car is an original code 923 Riverside Red model. It has a matching hard top as well as a black soft top that blends nicely with the 18” wheels. Tires are Michelin Pilot Super Sports with 225/50 in front and 245/45 in back. Brightwork and trim was replaced or reconditioned, and “Fuel Injection” emblems were added to match the upgrades. This Corvette was also converted to an original style side exhaust that really roars, though the long tube headers allow conversion back to rear exhaust if desired.
The drivetrain has been completely redone starting with a brand new 6.2L LS3 rated at 480hp. If you know modern Corvettes then you know this is a fantastic motor that is lighter than the original 327, yet more powerful than any C2 big block. It has proven reliability along with all the benefits of fuel injection and electronic management. And in this sub-3,000 pound car it yields a power-to-weight ratio beyond that of a Hellcat Challenger! The transmission is a 5-speed Tremec TKO-600 that has been sized to match the rebuilt 3.30 rear end.
The suspension has been significantly upgraded with a Ridetech setup that is far superior to the original design. Up front you get StrongArm tubular control arms and improved spindles along with adjustable coilovers and a serious stabilizer bar. In back the old transverse leaf design with fixed strut bars is upgraded to a completely adjustable setup with coilovers. The steering now uses a Borgeson power box that is much more precise than the original unit. Braking is handled by a large Wilwood system using 6-piston calipers in front and 4-piston in back and includes a working parking brake. Note the unique 1963 spare tire carrier is not presently installed but is included.
The black interior is in excellent condition and includes a few upgrades as well. At first glance it looks like a stock 1963 cockpit, with its black bucket seats, dual pod dash, and center console with factory power window controls. But a closer looks reveals more. All the gauges have been replaced to be compatible with the modern drivetrain while maintaining an original style layout. There is an ididit tilt steering column so anyone can be comfortable. A digital AM/FM radio resides in the factory location, and the shifter plate shows a 5-speed pattern. And there is a Vintage Air HVAC system with air conditioning far superior to a 1963 system.
The mid-year Corvettes from 1963-1967 represent some of the most desirable Corvettes of all time, with such exquisite curves and creases. But while good design might impress further with age, the same cannot be said of performance. This car takes the best of two eras and a bevy of great features to create a C2 that drives as good as it looks. Maybe better.
- Air Conditioning
- AM/FM Stereo
- Power Windows
- Power Steering
- Tilt Wheel
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