Jay Leno's Garage has been on a British vehicle streak for the last several weeks. A true American classic finally puts that to an end with the latest feature focusing in on a 1963 Chevy Corvette Coupe with a fuel-injected V8. Leno says that he bought the car sight unseen and shortly afterward shipped it out to be restored. Don't expect to find any resto-mod cues here, though, like modern wheels or a throaty exhaust. This 'Vette is just like it came out of the factory in December 1962.

Of course, the major thing that makes the '63 famous is its one-year-only, split rear window. However, Jay invites the restorer to go through it from stem to stern to explain what else makes an early '63 Corvette coupe different from later models. There are a ton of tiny changes most people would never notice, like the unique sideview mirrors and the way the rear gas cap is held down. They even get into detail about the fuel injection system found on Leno's car. If you love these bits of minutiae, then this is definitely the video for you.

The point of the restoration was always to keep the car completely stock and correct to its original specifications. Leno wanted a vehicle where you could feel exactly what it was like to drive when new. Scroll down to get an education on what makes the '63 'Vette such a special model.


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  • 22 Comments
      Chris
      • 8 Months Ago
      This has to be one of my favorite cars of all time. To this day, one of my dream cars is a 1967 Corvette convertible with a 4 speed mated to either a 396 or 427. I still have vivid memories of the fully restored, all original 67' convertible 4 speed with the 327 my dad had when I was a kid in the mid 90s through early 2000s. Everything about that car was absolutely beautiful from its bright red exterior in combination with its black top and interior, its stock GM Rally wheels, cockpit like interior, and of course that intoxicating sound that was a combination of throaty with a bit of a whine at higher RPMs. Even at 12, there was something about that sound that sent chills up my spine, pulled at my heart strings, and captured my imagination. With its very low beltline, seats that went up to the middel of your back, very short gearing, and plenty of wind noise, the car always felt and sounded like it was going a lot faster than it actually was giving it an almost gocart feel. For that reason, I'd have to say that it was probably the least boring car I have ever been in. Riding in it felt made me feel like I was in a time machine, but I'm sure his talking about the cars, Detroit sports, and current events of the Stingray's era with the faint sound of the old AM radio on the oldies station in the background on the occasional rides to and from school in it had something to do with that. It was the car that forever made me a fan of the muscle cars and Corvettes of the 60s.
      Lachmund
      • 8 Months Ago
      This car deserves the Stingray name..The actual Corvette doesn't. No matter if it is a great car, it simply doesn't have the looks.
      Poe
      • 8 Months Ago
      Hands down, my favorite car design of all time. It's still absolutely stunning 50 years later!
      jmi2
      • 8 Months Ago
      THIS is my iconic dream car! a friend had this exact same model '63 Sting Ray, split window in silver. i was lucky he let me drive it all the time. he liked driving is MG-TD. to say 'i liked' this care is quite an understatement - i LOVED this car! i would love to have one right now. it was so much fun to drive...............................
      Rotation
      • 8 Months Ago
      Dang, that car is beautiful. It just makes "being a classic" look so easy.
      Jesus!
      • 8 Months Ago
      What a beautiful car. Silver looks great. Think I used to have this hotwheel in the exact same color.
      atc98092
      • 8 Months Ago
      My first car was a 1963 Impala SS, with the non-FI version of this engine. 300 horsepower, 327 cubic inch. 202 heads, four speed Borg Warner T-10 four speed with Hurst shift linkage. Heady stuff for a high school junior in 1971. Great memories, but I'm sure if I drove it today I'd think it was a tank, with no power steering or brakes. The 63 Corvette is the first image that pops into my mind when I think Stingray. As nice as the new cars are, this will always be the king.
      jonnybimmer
      • 8 Months Ago
      C6 Z06 is unquestionably one of the best bang-for-the-buck cars that can be easily set for long, hard track sessions and the new C7 Z06 is a showcase of next-gen performance at relatively down-to-earth prices, but gorgeous the C2 split-window (or any C2 really) will always be the only 'Vette I really want to have.
        Chris
        • 8 Months Ago
        @jonnybimmer
        In this day and age, owning a C2 is not for the guy who wants the fastest, quickest, and best handling car on the block. Let's face it, at around 50 years of age, it's none of the above. When you consider their age, and how much they're going for these days, owning one pretty much requires one to have an appreciation for classics, and be humble in some ways.
          rollie
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Chris
          You forgot needing a big wallet Chris.
      ThomasT
      • 8 Months Ago
      beautiful car but it's a dinosaur on the road
      Bernard
      • 8 Months Ago
      I much prefer the 67 Stingray. I want a Vette badly but the only one's I really like are the C3 Stingray, the C6 Z06 Carbon, the C6 ZR1, and the C7 (in all forms).
      Dan
      • 8 Months Ago
      nice car but not all original i noticed radial tires and a legend battery not in 63
      Jaybird248
      • 8 Months Ago
      Beautiful car, but one nit to pick: TV's "Route 66" did use C2 Sting Rays in the 1963 and 64 seasons. Chevrolet always supplied the current year model and the show lasted until 1964. Incidentally, my sources say the battle over the rear window (Styling VP Bill Mitchell wanted it split, Duntov didn't) was settled by higher level GM execs through a compromise: One year split, then gone. One aftermarket solution to the visibility issue: twin rear view mirrors.
        Don S
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jaybird248
        Thanks for picking that nik, it bothered me when he mentioned it. If memory serves, the 1960 C1 (with rather funky wire wheels) was used in the pilot, then on to a silver 61, a fawn 62, and finally a tan 63 convertible. I think all of the episodes with Glenn Corbett featured the C2.
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