A One-Of-A-Kind 1963 Restomod Corvette with an LS3 Engine
The restomod market has become increasingly popular among serious car collectors over the past decade. While there is something to be said about an all-original, numbers-matching car from days gone by, the truth is that some of the most sought-after “classic cars” are really a hybrid of vintage style fuzed with cutting edge technology. While the restomod market started at venues like SEMA, where builders with unlimited budgets transformed classic automobiles into contemporary supercars, today’s restomod market has become increasingly mainstream to the point where many of these cars – some of them true one-of-a-kind works of art – have become increasingly affordable.
Our friends at bringatrailer.com recently sold such a car – in this case, a 1963 Corvette Sting Ray restomod. The car, which looks like its second-generation namesake, is really only a 1963 Corvette from the outside. Inside, it is a fusion of old and new, with a powerplant that will propel this car from 0-60 far quicker than any of the original powerplants offered in 1963 ever could.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
This car started life as a 1963 Chevy Corvette convertible. Built by Corvette Care, a restoration and performance enhancement company based in Columbus, Ohio, this car was transformed into the incredible restomod you see here in 2019. Starting with the exterior, the entire body was widened, was fitted with a custom-painted split rear bumper, twin side-exit exhaust pipes, pop-up headlights, and a customer silver blue paint matched with a dark blue soft convertible top.
The car’s interior was fitted with twin low-back bucket seats trimmed in dark blue vinyl upholstery. A matching dashboard, door panels, and dark blue carpeting were also installed. The interior was fitted with aluminum trim, a dashboard-mounted clock, blue lap belts, a factory-style Corvette radio with USB ports, a Vintage Air climate control head unit, and manually-operated windows. The car’s factory steering wheel was replaced with a Budnick steering wheel. It frames a Dakota Digital dashboard that includes a 160-mph speedometer, an 8k-rpm tachometer, and a full set of auxiliary gauges. The digital odometer shows just 900 miles, of which 400 have been added by the car’s current owner. The car’s actual mileage is unknown – and probably varies based on which components (exterior, chassis, etc.) you are evaluating.
The 1963 Corvette body is reportedly mounted to a Coffman C2 customer chassis that is equipped with suspension components from a C6 Corvette, including Viking coil-over shocks. The chassis rides on a set of split-spoke 18-inch (front) and 19-inch (rear) Budnik forged wheels wrapped in 275/35 and 325/30 (respectively) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Stopping power is provided thru a set of Z06 brake calipers and Carbotech brake pads.
Where this car really distinguishes itself is under the hood. There you’ll find a replacement 6.2-liter LS3 V8 crate motor reportedly equipped with a Brian Tooley stage-3 cam, a Velocity sheet metal intake, a Be-Cool radiator with dual electric fans, and Thunder Chamber side pipes. Power is transferred to the rear wheels thru a five-speed Tremec TKO600 manual transmission and a Dana 44 rear axle with a 3.56 gear ratio. Everything under this car – from the engine and transmission to the undercarriage, suspension, floor pans, etc., is near flawless and is in better than showroom condition.
This 1963 Corvette Convertible restomod sold for $170,000 on January 12, 2022. While that’s not chump change by any sense, that pricing is really not all that out of line when you consider the car, the craftsmanship, and all the goodies that were baked into this build. And, if you appreciate a classic look with modern amenities, you won’t find many Corvettes as nice – or as mechanically reliable – as this custom second-generation beast.