1963 Chevrolet Corvette
A one-of-a-kind automotive gem, the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car, created as a retirement gift for GM design legend Harley Earl, is set to captivate collectors and enthusiasts at a Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida, on January 12.
With unique features like four-into-one side pipes, Metallic Blue exterior, and a connection to Earl’s legacy, this Corvette is a symbol of automotive history. Boasting performance upgrades ahead of its time, it’s poised to command attention. Its rarity, coupled with its fascinating history, makes it a prime candidate for collectors seeking iconic vintage automobiles. Don’t miss the opportunity to own a piece of automotive heritage.
Corvette Styling Car
The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car, built as a retirement gift for legendary General Motors design boss Harley Earl, is indeed a remarkable piece of automotive history. This one-off convertible Corvette carries several distinctive features that set it apart from regular production Corvettes of its time.
Mecum Auction Kissimmee
Key details about the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car:
- Purpose: This Corvette was created as a retirement gift for Harley Earl, who played a pivotal role in shaping GM’s design department and is known for iconic designs such as the Buick Y-Job.
- Distinctive Styling Features: The car features unique styling elements, some of which were inspired by a show car exhibited at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Notably, it is one of only four C2 Corvettes to feature four-into-one side pipes, setting it apart from regular production models.
- Exterior and Interior: The Styling Car sports a Metallic Blue exterior with a white hood graphic, a combination later used on 1967 Corvette 427 models. Inside, it boasts a blue-and-white two-tone interior.
- Performance: Powering the car is a 327-cubic-inch V-8 engine producing 300 hp, mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. It also features dual-circuit four-wheel disc brakes, a feature not found on regular-production Corvettes until 1965.
- Unique Dashboard: The car’s dashboard is notable for its aircraft-inspired design, which includes an altimeter and accelerometer.
- History: Harley Earl received the car at his home in West Palm Beach, Florida, and used it regularly. He even drove it to be the grand marshal of NASCAR’s Daytona 500 in 1965, where the race’s trophy is named after him. The car later changed hands and was driven cross country by an Army veteran before being restored in the 1980s with the assistance of GM design staff.
- Significance: Given its unique features and connection to an influential figure in automotive history, this one-off Corvette is likely to attract considerable interest at auction.
- Historical Significance: This Corvette holds immense historical significance as it was a retirement gift to Harley Earl, a legendary figure in automotive design. Earl’s contributions to General Motors and the automotive industry as a whole make this car a symbol of his legacy.
- Unique Features: The car’s distinctive features, such as the four-into-one side pipes, Metallic Blue exterior, white hood graphic, and blue-and-white two-tone interior, make it stand out from regular production Corvettes. These unique design elements contribute to its allure.
- Performance Upgrades: Notably, the Styling Car was equipped with performance upgrades that were ahead of its time, including dual-circuit four-wheel disc brakes and an aircraft-inspired dashboard. These enhancements showcase innovation in automotive technology and design.
- Provenance: The fact that Harley Earl used this car regularly and even drove it to significant events like the Daytona 500 adds to its provenance and historical importance. The connection to the naming of the Daytona 500 trophy in his honor further elevates its significance.
- Limited Production Run: The C2 Corvette, to which this car belongs, had a relatively short production run from 1963 to 1967. Rarity often drives up the value of vintage cars, especially those with unique features and history.
- Collector’s Appeal: Vintage and rare cars with notable histories tend to attract collectors’ attention. The uniqueness of this Corvette, coupled with its connection to an influential figure like Harley Earl, makes it likely to be highly sought after by collectors.
- Auction Potential: The upcoming auction in Kissimmee, Florida, presents an opportunity for collectors and enthusiasts to acquire this piece of automotive history. The final sale price will depend on the bidding competition and the perceived value of the car’s historical significance and unique features.
In the world of collectible and vintage automobiles, especially unique and historically significant vehicles like the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car, there are several competitors or comparable vehicles that collectors and enthusiasts might consider. These competitors often share characteristics such as rarity, historical importance, and distinctive features. Here are a few competitors or comparable cars to the Styling Car:
- 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: The Z06 variant of the 1963 Corvette is highly sought after by collectors. It was a performance-focused version with features like a 36.5-gallon fuel tank and upgraded suspension, making it a strong competitor in the vintage Corvette market.
- 1953 Chevrolet Corvette: The first-year production of the Corvette holds a special place in automotive history. It’s the inaugural Corvette, known for its Polo White exterior and red interior, and is highly collectible.
- 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88: This is one of the most sought-after vintage Corvettes. It featured the high-performance L88 engine, which was conservatively rated at 430 horsepower but actually produced much more. It’s known for its rarity and racing pedigree.
- Shelby Cobra 427: While not a Corvette, the Shelby Cobra 427 is a fierce competitor in the collector car market. It’s known for its powerful V8 engine and lightweight construction, making it an iconic American sports car.
- Ferrari 250 GTO: This legendary Ferrari is often considered one of the most valuable and collectible cars in the world. Its racing history and limited production make it a top competitor in the vintage car market.
- Jaguar E-Type: The Jaguar E-Type, often referred to as the “XKE” in the United States, is an iconic British sports car known for its beautiful design and performance. Early Series 1 models are particularly sought after.
- Ford GT40: This American-built sports car achieved significant racing success, including winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s highly collectible, and original GT40s are among the most valuable American cars.
- Porsche 911 (Early Air-Cooled Models): Vintage Porsche 911s, especially early air-cooled versions like the 1967 Porsche 911S, are popular among collectors for their timeless design and driving experience
Iconic Vintage Automobile
The 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car is a compelling blend of historical significance, unique design, and performance innovations. Its connection to Harley Earl and the upcoming auction make it an exciting addition to the world of vintage and collectible automobiles.
As for the auction itself, it’s scheduled to take place on January 12 at a Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida. The final sale price of the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car will depend on various factors, including collector demand, historical significance, and the condition of the vehicle. It’s not uncommon for rare and historically significant cars like this to command seven-figure prices at auction.
Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of automotive history! Join us at the Mecum auction in Kissimmee, Florida, on January 12, and bid on the unique 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Styling Car. With its rare features, historical significance, and connection to the legendary Harley Earl, this Corvette is a collector’s dream. Be part of automotive legacy and make your bid to secure this iconic vintage car. Visit the auction and seize the opportunity to own a truly exceptional piece of American automotive heritage. Your next adventure awaits behind the wheel of this extraordinary Corvette!