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Corvette Of The Day: 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Z06 ‘Big Tank’

For the 1963 model year, Chevrolet’s Corvette was meticulously engineered for racing, featuring a plethora of factory-available options that cemented its dominance in the SCCA production class and bolstered its international competitiveness.

The introduction of independent rear suspension and the RPO Z06 “Special Equipment Package” were pivotal. The Z06 package included a thicker front stabilizer, larger shocks, higher-rate springs, and enhanced brakes with sintered metallic linings, a dual-circuit master cylinder, and a vacuum booster.

At $1,818, this package was nearly half the cost of the base Corvette split window coupe. Initially exclusive to coupes, it later became available for convertibles at a lower price. While cast-aluminum knock-off wheels were offered, most Z06 models featured steel wheels. The RPO N03 fiberglass 36-gallon fuel tank, designed for endurance racing, was available for $202.

RPO Z06-equipped Corvettes featured the high-revving RPO L84 327 CI V-8 engine with 360 HP, achieved through Rochester mechanical fuel-injection, 11.0:1 compression, high-flow cylinder heads, low-restriction exhaust, and a solid-lifter cam.

A 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction limited-slip rear end were mandatory. Some Z06 models were delivered without radios to save weight. In 1963, 2,610 Corvettes had the RPO L84 engine, but only 199 had the RPO Z06 package, and just 63 included the RPO N03 fuel tank. This 1963 split window Corvette coupe is among those rare few.

Photos by Theodore W. Pieper courtesy of RM Sotheby’s