Photo Credit: @pugmonster56 / Instagram
After being neglected in a junkyard for nearly 50 years after traveling just 59,000 miles, one of the rarest 1963 Corvettes of them all is finally on its way back.
Only 199 Z06s were produced in 1963, the first year for that option, at the St. Louis factory, and not many are believed to have survived. The cars were aimed strictly for the race track, and they’re often called “Big Tanks” because of their much larger 36-gallon fuel tanks behind the seats that kept them racing for longer periods of time between pit stops. They also included a 20 percent larger diameter front anti-roll bar, a vacuum brake booster, a dual master cylinder, sintered-metallic brake linings with power-assisted Al-Fin drums cooled by front air scoops and vented backing plates, and larger diameter shocks and springs nearly twice as stiff as standard.
Their L84 fuel-injected 327 engines pushed out 360 horsepower, 110 more than the standard 250.
All that extra equipment set a buyer back $1,818.45, nearly half the base price of $4,252. The Z06 price later dropped to $1,293.35 when Chevy dropped the larger gas tank from the package, making it an option instead, so the Z06 would be available for convertibles that didn’t have room behind the seats for the big tank.
The new owner hopes to find all of the original and rare Z06 parts possible. The front end has already been put back on, and the odd rectangular taillights have been removed and replaced by the round stock lamps. Plans are to repaint it in the original Sebring Silver color.
We’re just glad someone took the initiative to begin bringing this potential beauty back to life. The owner, of course, no doubt has many reasons for undergoing this project, not the least of which might be the potential value of the car. One ’63 Z06 on classiccars.com currently has an asking price of $685,000! That’s not surprising since various sources note the rarity of the big tank, with estimates ranging from just 36 to 69 ever produced, making it one rare 1963 indeed.