Subtle Sting – Joseph Weber’s ’63 Corvette
When buying a car that’s nearly 60 years old, it’s usually difficult to document the ownership history. For Joseph Weber’s ’63 split-window Corvette, though, the car’s lineage is rock solid.
Joseph’s uncle purchased the car in 1971 while in the Marines in Yuma, Arizona. Joseph rode in the car as a kid (in the back under the split rear windows, of course) shortly before his uncle blew the engine and parked the car in 1974. In 2000, when his uncle began having health problems, he gave the Vette to his son, Joseph’s cousin.
Move ahead to 2017. Joseph’s uncle had passed, and his cousin no longer wanted the car. Joseph bought it and a two-year rebuild process began. Joseph turned to the crew at Eddie’s Rod and Custom in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, just 30 miles from his home in Brandon.
Starting with a rough but complete roller, the end result is a Corvette that would make Joseph’s late uncle proud. What appears to be a relatively stock ’63 Corvette at first glance is anything but, with substantial and subtle modifications throughout.
Starting with the body, modifications included simple tasks like removing badging as well as a custom tail pan, hood, bumpers, rear floor pan, wheel wells and a hand-formed engine bay paneling. The crew at Eddie’s applied the BASF Glasurit Starlight Blue metallic paint.
Power comes from a 6.2-liter, 650-horsepower Chevy LT4 crate engine. Squeezing the new power plant into an engine bay designed for a smaller small-block engine required careful attention to detail as well as the use of custom headers, stainless, exhaust pipes and an aluminum radiator with GC Cooling fans. The engine is attached to a Tremec six-speed and a Hammerhead 12-bolt rearend from Detroit Speed. The front and rear suspensions also came from Detroit Speed and were equipped with 14-inch Baer brakes. Custom Billet Specialties wheels (18×8- and 18×9-inch) hold Michelin tires.
The interior has an updated OEM feel thanks to skillfully stitched black leather by Gabe’s Custom Interiors on modified stock seats and custom door panels. Classic Instruments rebuilt and updated the original gauges and a woodgrain wheel tops the Ididit tilt column. A Vintage Air system keeps the interior cool (or warm, depending on Iowa weather) while Ron Francis wiring controls the electrical system.
What does Joseph do with this superb example of family automotive history? He drives it, of course. He even let his son drive the Vette to his prom! Would you?
Photos by Damon Lee & Todd Ryden