1963 Split-Window Corvette Coupe

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1963
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A pinnacle year for the Corvette, 1963 saw the release of the famous split-window coupe. The 1963 Split-Window Sting Ray is a marvel to look at, and it's instantly recognizable on the road. It has high style, a classic C2 design, and is sought after by many Corvette enthusiasts.

1963 was the only year for the split-window coupe and it was the first Corvette coupe ever made. Beginning in 1964, the Corvette coupe had a one-piece rear window.

About That Rear Split-Window

The 1963 Corvette coupe was designed by Larry Shinoda. Chief of design at the time was Bill Mitchell, and he was adamant about continuing the distinct Sting Ray center line from the car's nose to the rear end. According to insiders, the split rear window was one of Mitchell's "pet projects," and he had a great debate with engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov over its practicality.

Understandably, the bar that split the rear window obstructed the driver's rear view. Some drivers reported that they lost a motorcycle in this blind spot, creating a rather dangerous situation. It's likely that this is one of the chief reasons Corvette reverted back to the full window in the 1964 model.

Owners of the 1963 Sting Ray will want to protect those rear windows as much as possible. As you might imagine, finding a replacement will cost you a considerable amount more than a single window.

  • Replacements can be found, but you need to ensure you purchase either the right or left window.
  • The process of replacing the split windows is more complicated than usual. It's best to do thorough research before you begin.

Engine & Transmission in the 1963 Coupe

Engine choices in 1963 ranged from 250 horsepower to the 360 horsepower fuel injected L84 model.

The standard transmission was an all-synchro 3-speed manual. An all-synchro 4-speed manual and 2-speed Powerglide automatic were also available as options.

1963 Coupe Model Notes

1963 was a first in many aspects of the Corvette. It was not only the only year for the split-window coupe, but it also saw the introduction of the name Sting Ray.

  • 10,594 split-window coupes were made in 1963. Total Corvette production for the year was 21,513 and the other half was comprised of the convertible.
  • The 1963 coupe included hood vents that were merely decorative and non-functional. These were also removed in 1964.
  • 1963 was also the first year for hideaway headlights on Corvettes. This feature lasted until the advent of the C6 design in 2005.
  • The Z06 option code was introduced in 1963 as well. This indicated the fuel-injected engine, heavy duty suspension, aluminum knock-off wheels, heavy duty brakes, 36-gallon fiberglass fuel tank, and limited slip rear end. 198 Z06 coupes and one Z06 convertible were made.

The Value of the 1963 Coupe on the Collector's Market

C2 Corvettes are among the most collectible, and this model is one of the best of the collection. An excellent condition 1963 Split-Window Corvette coupe will cost you anywhere from $40,000 to $185,000 averaging out around $50,000 according to a 2017 Haggerty auction report.

  • The price varies mostly on engine selection.
  • The highest prices are for the Z06.

The value for this model has remained steady over the years. For the cars in the best conditions with those rare features, the market has seen a dramatic increase since 2000. Cars in a good to average condition have remained moderately stable.