OK, first of all, this isn't a car for purists, so save your E-mails telling us what you think of this rather amazing 1963 Corvette. It isn't stock and isn't intended to be. Instead, it's a distillation of all that's great about the Corvette legend: small block V8, 4-speed gearbox, comfortable interior, and the incomparable looks of the Mid-Year Corvette. It takes guts to turn an icon into a resto-mod, but this car gets it exactly right.
They weren't sneaking around when they painted this one Tuxedo Black, but when you're driving one of the most fantastic shapes of all time, why not draw a crowd? Finish work is quite good, not like a concours car with its “perfectly imperfect” flaws, but really, really straight and shiny. All the original design elements are still there, from the chrome vents in the hood to the ribbed rocker panels to the beautifully sculpted rear end, a look that has defined Corvettes for five generations. Gaps are very good and nothing was shaved or removed during the build, so they did respect the original design and it still looks like a vintage 'Vette. Two-stage urethane paint has a brilliant shine that's appropriate for a valuable icon like this, and all the chrome has been restored to sparkle against that dark paint. It's not perfect, but if you want attention, there are few better ways to get it than this.
The bright white interior definitely has a correct look to it, with sculpted bucket seats wearing reproduction seat covers. In addition to the seat covers, the carpets and door panels are new, too, and they all stick to the original formula because looking at those door panels, what else are you going to do to make them look better? The factory gauges were restored and calibrated to work with the small block V8 up front, and by using a three-spoke steering wheel, they've given this car a sophisticated flair that's often lost in old Corvettes with upgraded hardware. A custom AM/FM/iPod radio in the dash works with the unusual vertical orientation so they could keep the stock dashboard intact and you'll be thrilled to see that chrome shifter for the 4-speed manual gearbox that makes it a ton of fun to drive. There's also a matching white convertible top and a black hardtop that comes with the car.
The engine is rather tame by resto-mod standards, but you can't argue with a smart-running ZZ4 350 cubic inch crate motor. It's only got 100 miles on it, just enough to get things sorted out, and they did it right with upgrades like a big 4-barrel carburetor, aluminum intake manifold, and plenty of chrome to dress it up. Other upgrades include a power 4-wheel disc brakes with a dual master cylinder, power steering, fresh wiring, and a big aluminum radiator with electric fan to keep things nice and cool. Underneath, it's incredibly tidy with a new exhaust system, offset trailing arms, a fiberglass leaf spring in back, and all-new hardware and bushings throughout. The stance isn't crazy low, just raked enough to look great over those 17-inch Torque Thrust wheels and 225/50/17 Nitto radials.
It's not stock, but it's also not radical, so if you like the idea of an early Sting Ray with a few sensible upgrades, perhaps this resto-mod is what you've been waiting for. Call today!