The second generation of the Chevrolet Corvette was launched in 1963. The whole new design included a split rear window for the coupe. The Corvette was only produced for one year with that split rear window. So, the split window 1963 Corvette is rare on its own. But, there is one ultra-rare option that was available for 1963. This Corvette has it.
The Corvette is iconic
The Chevrolet Corvette is an iconic sports car. The two-seater was a low production vehicle for Chevy. Even still, people could not stop buying them and taking them to the track. That’s where the car’s performance really shined, as it dominated one race after another.
The split rear window
By the early 1960s, the original Corvette had grown a little long in the tooth. So, in 1963 a new generation of the sports car was launched. This would become the most distinctive American sports car of the early 1960s. That distinction was due to the boat-tail rear end that housed a split rear window. Many loved the sports car’s design for its rear window treatment. However, it was also a hindrance to rear visibility. So, a lot of people that purchased a Vette, as it was affectionately called, would later buy kits that allowed them to change the split window to a singular window. That makes finding a surviving split rear window car from 1963 rare. But, that is not the ultra-rare option that makes this Vette a gem.
Corvette ultra-rare option
The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette was the first year the car came available with factory airconditioning, a $421 option. The system was added to other convenience features that could be ordered, such as power brakes, power steering, and power windows. Of all the 1963 Corvettes that remain on this world, few have the surviving rear split windows, and even fewer have the factory air conditioning. In fact, only 278 of them had the option.
The Corvette Sting Ray Coupe example below has the split window and the factory airconditioning. In fact, it has a lot of the factory options that could have been ordered originally. It is an automatic-equipped vehicle with power windows, power brakes, power steering, tinted windows, whitewall tires, and even the AM/FM radio. This well-optioned sports car is finished in a Daytona Blue exterior, over a dark blue interior. The car has the 327 Turbo-Fire V8. So, it is a cruiser in addition to being able to go, go, go.
The vehicle underwent a factory-correct frame-off restoration and has since received recognition from the National Corvette Restorers Society as a Zora Arkus-Duntov Mark of Excellence Award winner.
The Corvette is for sale
Originally, this Corvette sold for about $5,500. Today, Corvette Mike is offering this rare factory airconditioning equipped model at $205,000. It has over 59K miles on the odometer. Considering that the restoration is already done and that the vehicle is so rare, this vehicle will probably be picked up by a collector pretty quickly, even at that price. Other samples are selling at Barrett-Jackson for over $300,000.