Nineteen sixty-four was the year to fix all the mistakes that were made in the first year of Sting Ray production. It’s also a lovely Corvette to restore, since almost all of the parts will interchange with those from a 1965 Corvette. A ´63 Sting Ray is simply too difficult to restore. There are too many Sting Ray parts on the 1963 cars that were a one-year item only. Just ask anyone who’s ever lived through a ´63 restoration -- it ain’t easy.
John Dubois of Mint Restoration in Clearwater did most of the work on this car himself, along with some help from Art Dorsett of VanSteel, also in Clearwater, Florida. John originally purchased the car to build the Corvette hot rod of his dreams. The only problem was that he discovered that this was a truly original car. It turned out that this black icon had been in storage from 1973 until 1995. When they don't get driven, they don't wear out.
This black Corvette was too nice to turn into a street-burning hot rod. Instead, it was restored and then taken to the traditional winter gathering at Cypress Gardens in Florida, where it took 98.8 points out of 100. That's about as good as it can get at a major NCRS meet. Before they could get to Bloomington, the car was sold and off to a new home.
When the car was shown at Cypress, it wasn't the quality of the restoration that caused a stir. The real excitement was that no one had ever seen a black '64 with a silver interior. As near as anyone can tell, only six Corvettes with this color combination were created in St. Louis. This alone is enough to cause heart palpitations with the NCRS crowd. Throw in the quality of a Mint Restoration, and we have a Corvette of real importance. We hope, though, that the new owners drive it once in a while.