This LSA-Powered 1963 Corvette Split-Window Is Restomod Heaven

1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod 11 photos
Photo: fcort7/Bring a Trailer
1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto-mod
The Chevrolet Corvette is as American as apple pie. It is a true sports car icon, and when you take one and apply the restomod treatment to it, you have a pretty cool thing on your hands.
Before getting to the car we are talking about today, we should take a look at how the Corvette came to be and what exactly is a resto-mod vehicle. The ‘Vette was born in 1953, and at first, it was a flop. It was created to take on European sports cars, and it had a revolutionary fiberglass body. That said, it wasn’t received that well. It only had 150 hp (152 ps) from a straight-six engine, and handling that felt like wet cardboard.

Things changed in 1955, though, when under the hood appeared some V8 options. With that, things started to change for the Corvette, and the car started to gain popularity. That popularity reached new grounds when it got to the second generation, the C2.

The C2 was short-lived compared to its siblings, but it made quite the impact, all thanks to an engineer called Zora Arkus-Duntov. At first, Zora wanted the C2 to be mid-engined, but that didn’t happen until the eighth generation. It didn’t matter much, as Zora was still extremely passionate about the Corvette, and gave the C2 powerful V8s, superb design, and independent suspension.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto\-mod
Photo: fcort7/Bring a Trailer
What cemented it in our hearts was the split-window design, even though it stuck around only for one year. It was killed off by safety concerns, as customers complained about the lack of rear visibility. I guess you don’t know how great something is until you lose it.

The formula for the Corvette was set - long hood housing a big V8, rear-wheel drive, and lightweight, fiberglass body. This would change though, with the latest generation of the Corvette, with the engine moving right behind the seats, finally fulfilling Zora’s European supercar dream.

While every generation of the Corvette got better and better, and we could spend all day discussing their history, today we are going to stick with the C2 Corvette, particularly, a restomod C2 Corvette.

A restomod is what happens when you take a classic car and not only restore it but also modify it with modern parts. When you take that and pair it with a ‘Vette, you’re in for a treat.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto\-mod
Photo: fcort7/Bring a Trailer
The C2 we're dealing with today is from the first year of production, 1963, meaning it has the extremely sought-after split window. But that split window and the body lines are about the only things that are left standard on it.

Starting on the outside, the fiberglass body has been repainted in silver. Complementing the color, it sits on C7 Grand Sport-style wheels, with 18 inches in the front and 19 inches in the rear. Wrapped around those shiny wheels is sticky Nitto rubber.

Staying on the bling-bling theme, you get chrome bumperettes, chrome mirrors, and a chrome center exit exhaust. It also features a functional hood and fender vents, and the best thing to ever come on a car, pop-up headlights.

Moving on to the interior, things get red. That red is everywhere - the center console, the dashboard, power-adjustable bucket seats, everything. Fronting the digital Dakota speedometer, tachometer and all the other gauges is a Budnik steering wheel that is, you guessed it, red.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto\-mod
Photo: fcort7/Bring a Trailer
Modern technology can be seen everywhere in the interior. It has a Kenwood touchscreen infotainment system with a backup camera and parking sensors. It also has power everything - seats, windows, and locks.

Now, it’s time to get to the good stuff and poke the monster that lies under the hood. It is a 6.2-liter (378-ci) V8, with the LSA designation. If that doesn’t sound like it’s enough, don't threat, as strapped on top of this already beastly engine is a supercharger. We don’t have an exact power figure, but taking a look at the same engine in other cars, 600 hp (608 ps) doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.

With all that oomph, some modifications need to be made. First of all, the car has a full tube-frame chassis, to make sure that it won’t twist like a pretzel from all of that torque. Along with the stiffness, the tube-frame chassis also brings C7-style independent suspension on all four corners.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette resto\-mod
Photo: fcort7/Bring a Trailer
Sending that power to the rear wheels is a 6-speed manual Tremec transmission. Making sure you safely come to a stop after accelerating to Mach Jesus are C7 Z51-style disk brakes, and, to make the beast roar even louder, you have Borla Pro mufflers.

This C2 Corvette is currently up at auction in Carrollton, Texas. It sits at 155,000 dollars at the moment, with three days left on the auction. It only has 683 miles (1,099 kilometers) on the digital odometer, with the actual mileage being unknown, and it comes with a clean Florida title.

This is what a restomod should be. It is the perfect blend between classic styling, savage power, and modern comfort.
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About the author: Călin Iosif
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Călin’s origin story is being exposed to Top Gear when he was very young. Watching too much of Clarkson, Hammond and May argue on TV turned him into Petrolhead (an automotive journalist with a soft spot for old pieces of... cars, old cars).
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