Featured here is a rare 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe. 1963 Corvettes were offered in two body styles. These were a convertible and a coupe with the famous split rear window.

corvette split window
1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe

The 1963 restyling was a big success with it’s improved looks. In addition to it’s great looks and Sting Ray name, the Corvette had improved mechanics and handling. Significant advances were made to it’s chassis, suspension, body, interior, and drive train.

The second Corvette generation started with the 1963 model year and of note is that the second generation started with a new split window coupe. First time for a Corvette split window and first time for a Corvette Coupe.  This was the only year that Corvette produced a split window coupe. It was also the only year that Corvette offered a coupe version. As a result, the 1963 Corvette Slit Window Coupe is a highly prized collector car.

The 1963 split window Corvette was created by the team led by General Motors Design Chief Bill Mitchell. As mentioned, the split window coupe was a one year only offering, but in large part the famous design created by Mitchell’s team lived on until 1967.

The Split Window

1963 corvette stingray One of the first criticisms of the new split window Corvette was that the spine dividing the two rear windows was exactly in the driver’s line of sight. The safety concern was that the driver did not have a good view as to what he was backing into.

In the standpoint of production, inserting the two window panes rather than just one rear window was labor intensive. Two sets of windows with their screws and weather stripping was necessary which added both time and money to production costs.

The ’63 Corvette included new twin headlights that are hidden behind an electrically operating cover. This added to the aerodynamics of the car when the headlights were not in use. The fastback coupe was also new, it included a fixed roof with a large back window that was split down the center with a body colored bar.

Another first for the 1963 Corvette was that it marked the first time you could get factory air conditioning in a Corvette. This added option cost $420.

The Corvette Sting Ray

The 1963 Corvette for the first time used the word Sting Ray. It was spelled as two words and would remain so through the last year of the C2’s which was 1967. The C3’s came out n 1968 without using the word Sting Ray. Then in 1969 it reappeared on the Corvette fenders as one word, Stingray and would remain that way until 1976.

The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray, being the big success it was, caused GM to have trouble keeping up with buyer demand. As a result, buyers had to wait for their car to come in. Not only did some need to wait for their car to be built but these customers paid full retail price to be one of the first own a 1963 Corvette.

1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe Specifications

In 1963 there were four versions of the four 327 cubic inch V-8 engine. The standard engine was the 250 HP version with a Carter four barrel carburetor. The other three configurations of the 327 cubic inch V-8 delivered 300, 340 and 360 horsepower.

Three transmissions were offered with the 1963 Corvette. These were a three speed manual, four speed manual, and a four speed automatic.

Brakes for the 63 Corvette were duo-servo self adjusting hydraulic.

The 1963 Corvette was the first with independent rear suspension. Front suspension consisted of Independent upper and lower A-arms; unequal-length wishbones; coil springs anti-roll bar;tubular shocks. Rear suspension consisted of a differential nine leaf springs; lateral struts and universally jointed axle shafts, radius arms and direct acting shock absorbers

Dimensions included a 98.0 inch wheelbase, 175.3 inch overall outside length, 69.6 inch length and 49.8 inch height. Curb weight averaged about 3,040 lbs.

New car base prices for the 1963 Corvette were about $4,250 for the Sting Ray Split Window Coupe and about $4,000 for the Convertible.

Total 1963 Chevrolet Corvette production was 21,500 vehicles. The Split Window Coupe totaled 10,600 and the Convertibles 10,900.

Related Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below..

1960 Chevy Corvette

1962 Chevy Corvette

Reference material for this article includes..Chevrolet Corvette 1963 to 1967 (MuscleCarTech) by author William Burt…Corvette C2 Sting Ray: 1963-1967 (The Essential Buyer’s Guide)by Tom Falconer…


The 1963 Chevy Corvette Collector Car

63 corvette split window coupeWhen the 1963 Corvette made it to market, its sales numbers were great. They were greater numbers than the Corvette ever experienced.

The Corvette C2 coupes are the much rarer since only a bit over 10,000 example were produced. Also, the Corvette Split Window Coupe was only built for the 1963 model year.

The 1963 Corvette Split Window Coupe is an iconic automobile. Fully restored, matching numbers, and very rare examples can be priced at $250,000-$500,000..

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)