I was around in 1963 and most definitely a Corvette fan. My favorite was the split-window coupe as it was without question the most beautiful car I had ever seen. Now, had I been an avid skier and came from a position of wealth and influence I might have been able to combine all the best parts of life into one ski trip.
You see, rolling on and off the auction block at this year’s Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, was one incredibly unique and fascinating split-window. As 1963 Corvettes go, especially those in original, numbers-matching condition, they yield substantial money for the seller and noticeably lighten the wallet of the buyer. But here is one that has one heck of a backstory.
It turns out that Hertz Rental Car Company out of Denver purchased a handful (legend has it there were less than 10 and this is thought to be the only survivor) of Ermine White 1963 Corvette split-window coupes from Luby Chevrolet to rent to skiers wishing spirited transportation up and down the mountains and between resorts. These 327 V-8s (250horse) were backed up to the two-speed Powerglide automatic of the day. While all the cars were white they also all had red interiors. Here comes the special touch … they came equipped with ski racks and snow tires! Now that had to be a sight to behold … a Hertz Rental Car Company rental ski car. There was even a nifty dash plaque signifying the coupe’s significance among Corvettes, or for that matter among all cars.
This particular Corvette (Lot #1063.1) is a true survivor right down to its numbers-matching authenticity along with the original interior and a wealth of history through documentation. About the only thing not original is this coupe was repainted in the correct Ermine White back in 2016. Part of the original documentation includes the 1963 Colorado license plate, original dealer copy showing Hertz as the original owner, radio instructions (AM/FM … discontinued around March 1973) and even an NCRS judging sheet. In fact, the original warranty booklet is signed by Joe Luby of Luby Chevrolet where the cars’ sales originated. Yes, the Hertz ski badge is still on the dash, and I know you will drool over this; the never-used original spare tire is present along with, yes, the snow tires! There is also the ski rack complete with skis and poles … adding to that special touch of authenticity.
Going into the auction the buzz was; “What would this split-window bring?” According to B-J, the average value for a #2 (excellent condition) 1963 Corvette Sting Ray coupe should bring about $98,000 while the enviable #1 (concours condition) is a rarified $142,000. We will see what this highly unusual Corvette brings but I’m guessing there is someone out there that just has to have such a rare item in the world of Sting Rays. Vette
Photography Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson