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Looking at a 63 Vert tomorrow - advice on what to look for

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Looking at a 63 Vert tomorrow - advice on what to look for

Old 01-08-2019, 03:16 PM
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Default Looking at a 63 Vert tomorrow - advice on what to look for

Hello all,
I've been more of a late model vette guy but have an opportunity to look at and possibly buy a silver vert with black interior and top. It's a 4 speed with what I was told was a non numbers matching period correct 327 4 bbl. It has power steering which is being fixed for a leak right now. not sure if thats originial or added. It also has knock off wheels. How do I know if they are original and not aftermarket? Was looking for some advice on what types of things to look out for. I did see that it has a dent on the glove compartment cover and that its a one year only design thats like $400-500 to replace. I've requested that it be lifted up so I can take a look at the frame, bird cage, suspension, etc.How do I verify the engine in it vs what is supposed to be in it? I don't have the vin # yet. Where would the block #'s be and where could I look them up for reference? I'm curious if its a L35, L 75, or L76. Smooth vs finned valve covers signify what? Base vs L75? It's more of a driver vs a show car from what I can tell in the photos. The paint looks like its in good shape from the pics. Any other things to look out for during the test drive. They're asking 35K but i believe its somewhat negotiable, Thanks for the help.








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Old 01-08-2019, 03:54 PM
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You would be miles ahead of the game if you could get someone at all familiar with 63s or at least older Corvettes to go with you as an extra set of eyes. The questions you are asking are putting you in an unfair position to inspect a lot of things at once for a first timer.

A couple things... the car is very cheap and you have been told itís not numbers matching, so I wouldnít spend a lot of time trying to figure out where the engine numbers are in your inspection. The point now is whether itís running properly.

Also, 1963s did not come from the factory with knockoff wheels, so I seriously doubt this car was one of the few that were fitted with original knockoffs over the counter. I would assume they are aftermarket. If not, then Merry Christmas.

At this price point, you need to be looking at evidence of major body repair or customization, clear mechanical issues and first and foremost, serious rust issues. Other 63 only details seem like a bonus rather than a requirement.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:57 PM
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PS, posting those pics here could allow us to give you a head start.

Also, valve covers donít mean anything, especially on an NOM. They can be swapped in minutes.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Hooked_4_good View Post
Hello all,
I've been more of a late model vette guy but have an opportunity to look at and possibly buy a silver vert with black interior and top. It's a 4 speed with what I was told was a non numbers matching period correct 327 4 bbl. It has power steering which is being fixed for a leak right now. not sure if thats originial or added. It also has knock off wheels. How do I know if they are original and not aftermarket? Was looking for some advice on what types of things to look out for. I did see that it has a dent on the glove compartment cover and that its a one year only design thats like $400-500 to replace. I've requested that it be lifted up so I can take a look at the frame, bird cage, suspension, etc.How do I verify the engine in it vs what is supposed to be in it? I don't have the vin # yet. Where would the block #'s be and where could I look them up for reference? I'm curious if its a L35, L 75, or L76. Smooth vs finned valve covers signify what? Base vs L75? It's more of a driver vs a show car from what I can tell in the photos. The paint looks like its in good shape from the pics. Any other things to look out for during the test drive. They're asking 35K but i believe its somewhat negotiable, Thanks for the help.
OK...You asked...

First, 63s didn't come with KO wheels. They may be original or aftermarket. Look for Kelsey Hayes stamps on the inside. If original, they are worth a pretty penny. So that adds to the value of your car.
PS means a low horsepower car, 300 base is most likely. Block casting number is on the back on either side of the distributor. One side will have a casting number for example 358570, and a date code. These will let you know if it is the correct year date for your car, or a later engine altogether.
If the engine has been decked, you will never be able to match it to a VIN. the VIN was stamped on the pad pass side block in front of the head.
Finned valve covers came original on the 340hp engine, but were often swapped on later on other engines. They are not a good indicator.

On a 63 look for the following:
Brake Master cylinder with screw lid, and 8" power booster
Heater vent Y duct
Fiberglass vs metal headlight buckets
Raised pads for the door handles
Drum brakes
Seats have a curved wedge shape.
Correct 63 only shifter
63 only plastic glove box door
Radiator and overflow should have 1963 date stamps
correct dash with silver gauge pods and 60lb oil gauge
black 5.5" steel wheels
Frosted or shiny hubcaps? (Not present if you have KOs)

It goes on and on and on.......

$35k for a 63 driver needs to be a REALLY NICE driver. Paint, and body add up $$$$$$$ very quickly. Same for engine work these days, unless you just swap in a crate motor.

A few mechanical things to check:
tach drive distributor present and working?
Brass or aluminum radiator?
Are the nose support rods present?
vinly top present and fits correctly?
fuel gauge works?
Bumpers straight and even?
Headlight door gaps even?
Headlight doors work evenly?
Rear spring bolts even thread length?
What wheels?
Fan clutch present?
What intake manifold?
any ignition shelding present?
Is it really a 327 or a 350? What side is the oil stick? Does it have the PCV breather in the block?

That's a start anyway


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Old 01-08-2019, 07:47 PM
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The biggest deal killers for me are rusted frame, rusted birdcage, patched together body. Or any combination of those
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:17 PM
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All that you have read posted above, but number one is a title that matches the VIN with original rivets.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:18 PM
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Thanks for all the info guys! You're awesome., Just attached the pics. No engine bay pics yet. I'll get them tomorrow. Going through the comments now and have some questions.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by pop23235 View Post
All that you have read posted above, but number one is a title that matches the VIN with original rivets.
Except, 63 s used welding, not rivets.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:25 PM
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right off the bat this one has two-bar knock off spinners. Might we have a pilot line car with real aluminum wheels here? What if the vin is lower than say 25?
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hooked_4_good View Post
Hello all,
I've been more of a late model vette guy but have an opportunity to look at and possibly buy a silver vert with black interior and top. It's a 4 speed with what I was told was a non numbers matching period correct 327 4 bbl. It has power steering which is being fixed for a leak right now. not sure if thats originial or added. It also has knock off wheels. How do I know if they are original and not aftermarket? Was looking for some advice on what types of things to look out for. I did see that it has a dent on the glove compartment cover and that its a one year only design thats like $400-500 to replace. I've requested that it be lifted up so I can take a look at the frame, bird cage, suspension, etc.How do I verify the engine in it vs what is supposed to be in it? I don't have the vin # yet. Where would the block #'s be and where could I look them up for reference? I'm curious if its a L35, L 75, or L76. Smooth vs finned valve covers signify what? Base vs L75? It's more of a driver vs a show car from what I can tell in the photos. The paint looks like its in good shape from the pics. Any other things to look out for during the test drive. They're asking 35K but i believe its somewhat negotiable, Thanks for the help.





If the car looks as good as the pictures it has a lot of potential and a good price.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:28 PM
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[QUOTE=65hihp;1598647606]right off the bat this one has two-bar knock off spinners. Might we have a pilot line car with real aluminum wheels here? What if the vin is lower than say 25?[/QUOTE

What does that mean?
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:33 PM
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I noticed what looks like a crack on the dash just above the glove compartment. Is that a separate piece that can be replaced or part of a larger dash piece structure
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:05 PM
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Under the passenger side glove box door are found the VIN plate and and the trim tag. The last five numbers of the VIN tell you the order in which the car was made. "00025" would be a very early car, a car made during the start up of production, or "pilot" line. "20001" would be late in the model year. Some of those early cars are reputed to have had "two-bar" knock-off wheel spinners, like this car has. Nobody really knows this, though. It's much more likely someone put them on later.

Do you know the VIN?

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Old 01-08-2019, 09:19 PM
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Don't have the VIN right now. I'll have it tomorrow. So I assume the trim tag will tell me exactly how it was optioned on delivery
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hooked_4_good View Post
Don't have the VIN right now. I'll have it tomorrow. So I assume the trim tag will tell me exactly how it was optioned on delivery
It will not. It will only tell you the year, body type, and serial number of ***'y. No options. The trim tag to the left of it will tell you the inside and outside colors, and body ***'y date, nothing else.
There is NOTHING available that will tell you anything about options unless it has the ORIGINAL build sheet or (window sticker). Very unlikely.

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Old 01-08-2019, 09:34 PM
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This is an observation, not an insult. You really, really need to take a c2 guy with you.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:45 PM
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A pilot line 63 from Sotheby's some years ago.
https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/M...​​
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:47 PM
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No insult taken. i understand I'm out of my element a bit. That's why I asked for help from you guys who are the experts. This opportunity presented itself and I either have to make an offer tomorrow or let the next guy take it. There are others that want it and I know that for a fact. So i have to make the best educated decision without knowing everything, Don't want a potentially good opportunity to pass me by. I figure if it is in fact a period correct 327, the frame and cage aren't rusted, and the paint is in good shape, cant lost for 30-35K. My opinion may change when I see it tomorrow. Any C2 guys in CT available tomorrow during the day to look at a car?
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Old 01-09-2019, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Hooked_4_good View Post
No insult taken. i understand I'm out of my element a bit. That's why I asked for help from you guys who are the experts. This opportunity presented itself and I either have to make an offer tomorrow or let the next guy take it. There are others that want it and I know that for a fact. So i have to make the best educated decision without knowing everything, Don't want a potentially good opportunity to pass me by. I figure if it is in fact a period correct 327, the frame and cage aren't rusted, and the paint is in good shape, cant lost for 30-35K. My opinion may change when I see it tomorrow. Any C2 guys in CT available tomorrow during the day to look at a car?
II think you've got a good handle on the fact that you can't lose much if anything if it's got a decent frame and a title that matches the VIN. I think if you lose money it would be because you CHOSE to sell it cheaper then what you paid for it. There are very few drivable C2s you can get for under 35k.
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Old 01-09-2019, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by 65hihp View Post
A pilot line 63 from Sotheby's some years ago.
https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/M...​​
Well, if that's a pilot car, then someone added the emblem on Rochester after it left St Louis, maybe they added the wheels later too...
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