What self-respecting car enthusiast wouldn’t love to find a one-owner 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe and bring it home to his (or her) own garage?
At first glance, we were shocked when we saw that 41 bids have already upped the offer on this eBay barn find up to $45,000 just since May 16 (the sale ends May 23). But then we read the backstory, and we began to see why the car is drawing so much interest.
The current owner bought the car after a nine-year struggle with the original purchaser, a police officer for the city of Miami who purchased it in 1963 and immediately had the dealership cover the factory silver paint with green before ever taking delivery.
The car was then driven sparingly over the first 10 years of its life, and the owner parked it in his cement floor garage in 1972. While he started the car occasionally over the years, it has not been tagged since 1973 – those plates are still on the car!
The seller, who first saw the Sting Ray about 10 years ago when he bought an MGA from the man, finally was successful in nabbing the Corvette after nine years of trying. Now, though, he says his business needs funds to remodel a new location where it recently moved, and he needs to sell the Corvette to raise funds for that project.
To us, the biggest question for the new owner will be whether to cover up the beautiful patina that 55 years of living have brought to this Sting Ray. Would you repaint the car or just flaunt it the way it is now? I’m of the tendency to think I would appreciate the car the way it is, kind of like accepting the wrinkles on an aging supermodel’s face. Once the car is repainted, that magical patina can never be recreated.
The seller seems to agree. “The exterior of the car has some of the most amazing patina I have ever seen,” he writes in his ad. “While I am aware the car will probably be restored and repainted, it is so cool just the way it is and draws a huge crowd.”
He says the body seems to be very straight and notes that “it’s pretty neat to see the seam lines from the factory,” adding that the gaps in the doors and hood all look straight. The stainless and glass remain in decent shape, and the car also seems to have escaped the ravages of time in the rust department, he notes.
While we love the patina, we’re not so crazy about the interior, which looks pretty rough. Fortunately, all the original parts seem to be there, even the factory Wonderbar radio.
Likewise, the original engine is still under the hood, but to get it running, the seller says he rebuilt the carb and replaced the alternator, starter, and master cylinder, among other parts. But all the original parts were kept and will be sent home with the new owner.
“This is not a daily driver,” he points out, “but it does run and stop and steer. Expect to go over some things and check out the systems as needed.”
All in all, as the seller points out, it’s much easier to have “an original, nothing messed with, place to start.”
“Overall this is a special car to me,” the seller says, “and I’m sure it will be for the new owner. It’s not often you can find a legit one owner, mostly original split.”
So what would you do to this car if you became the third owner?
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