Car: Chevrolet Corvette C-2 Stingray Split-Window Coupe
What makes it special: The newly designed 1963 Corvette was flashy, muscular and powerful. The radical exterior styling was purposeful, with peaked fenders, long nose and a short, bobbed tail. It’s quad-headlights were now hidden, the first to do so since the 1936-37 Cords and the 1942 DeSoto. The hood had two simulated air-intakes with stylish indentations and the coupe’s doors were cut into the roof like a true racing sports car. The Sting Ray’s interior carried a new interpretation of the famed twin-cowl Corvette dash motif that had been in place since the 1958 model year. A full set of round gauges included a huge speedometer and tachometer, and the center stack was slimmer containing both a clock and vertically-situated radio.
What made it famous: The first-ever production Corvette Coupe had the “backbone” divided rear window split, which was an extremely unusual styling element for the time period. The split-window had glass flowing down the sides and body sweeping into the point at the back of the car, and adorned by the large, round deck fuel-filler flap with the crossed-flags insignia. Unfortunately, this “split-window” had a major design flaw in that the body piece between the two-rear windows actually blocked the rear-view accuracy of the interior mirror, causing a “blind-spot.” It would make Chevrolet re-think the split window, and instead have a full window for 1964. The split-window would become a one-year-only design. All 1963 Corvettes had 327 cu in V8’s, which came in the standard 250 hp, and optional 300, 340 and 360 hp variants.
Why I would want one: Because this design flaw spelled the demise of the split-window C2 Corvette, there was limited production for the 1963 year, making them rare and highly desired, collectible models, grabbing prices high into the six-figure range for a pristine or restored example.
Fun fact: The 1963 C-2 Coupes were much scarcer than their convertible counterparts, with only 10,594 examples ever built.