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When a Matching Numbers Corvette is Anything But…

by Keith Cornett on December 14, 2007

1963 Split Window Coupe CorvettePart of my motivation in writing this blog is to help buyers, particularly first time Corvette buyers, learn more about the specifics of buying Corvettes before making the plunge. I do that through posts like this week’s very appropriate Decoding a Corvette’s V8 Casting Numbers and Engine Stamps as well as trying to constantly reinforce the mantra of “Knowledge is Power When Purchasing Corvettes”. Too many times buyers make the plunge first, only to find out they have been taken for a ride. To illustrate this point, I bring you this Corvette that was advertised earlier this week on a well-known classified ads website. Here are the details:

Rare 1963 split window Corvette rebuilt 327 10 over, 202 dart camel back heads, 292 cam solid lifers, rebuilt 2 speed power glide w/2800 stall converter, rebuilt 348 rear balanced drive shafts, knock off rims new red line tires, new brakes, renewed dash, original paint riverside red, black interior . many extra parts to many to list Extremely Nice, Show Ready. Matching Numbers with original colors. Original AM-FM Wonder Bar Radio. California car , Automatic Trans, Power Brakes, Power Steering. At this time it has a 1966 engine in it I have the 1964 engine ready to rebuild to make # matching car and the true knock off rims and red line tires for more info or pics Call or E-mail or $55,000.00 or make offer must see great car.
I sent the seller an email as I was confused if he meant he had the 1963 engine instead of a 1964:
Just a quick question about your 1963 Corvette for sale. You say you have a 1964 engine ready to be rebuilt to make it a matching numbers car. Did you mean it is a 1963 engine? If so, was it the original engine? Any history or documentation with the Corvette?
The seller responded back with the following:
It has a 66 engine in it now I have the block heads and casting # right not built yet never got around to it so you could get it done any way you would like or I could have my guys do it for you I just put the 66 in to drive it and to sell it easer if the buyer can drive it also here it run. call me on my cell if you want any more info but if you want a 63 you really got to see this one.
1963 Split Window Corvettes can be an excellent investment and this one is obviously well taken care of. In fact, this Corvette has awesome curb appeal that is ready for show or go. Advertised as a California car, it features comfort options like an automatic transmission, power brakes, power steering and an AM/FM Radio. The wheels are beautiful and who can resist the rebuilt drive train. But throwing around terminology like matching numbers is exactly why buyers need to be educated. When you set out to buy a house, what is the one thing you always have done before purchase? You have it inspected. Buying a classic Corvette should be no different. I do not think the seller is out to purposely misrepresent this car as he’s obviously stated in both the ad and the email that it has a 1966 engine. But stating that a 1964 engine can turn this 1963 into a matching numbers car because the casting and head numbers match is just incorrect. What often happens is that while this seller is being honest in telling us that the Corvette has a non-original motor (NOM), future owners selling this Corvette may not be so forthcoming, and that leads to the second point of the question I asked: “Any history or documentation with the Corvette?” Since there was no response to that question, I have to assume that there isn’t any. At $55,000, the car is priced appropriately for a NOM ’63 Coupe. Unless you don’t care about owning a non-documented Corvette with an NOM, then you should immediately walk away from a Corvette like this. Despite its NOM status, this Corvette is a stunner and will be sold to someone. However, it will never appreciate in value like a documented split window coupe and it will be harder to sell when that day comes. Knowledge is power… Related:
Decoding a Corvette’s V8 Casting Numbers and Engine Stamps
Seller of Fake L88 Caught by Corvette Community Technorati Tags:
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