“Gather ye not too long for death awaits impatiently” could have been an excellent mantra for Danny O’Brien to chant himself into restoring the 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sport Coupe he bought as a wrecked racecar in 1974. Danny O’Brien spent many years gathering parts to restore this ’63 Z06 Sting Ray someday. But, time ran out for Danny in 2011.
According to the info Mecum listed for this one-of-3,475 1963 Corvettes painted Daytona Blue, a well-known Corvette specialist secured the car through O’Brien’s estate and commissioned the restoration soon thereafter, completing it in 2013.
Lot S204 incorporates a matching-numbers, fuel-injected, 360-horse, 327 and correct Z06 equipment. Since its completion it has earned Bloomington Gold Certification in 2013, an NCRS Regional Top Flight Award in 2015, 2nd Place in the Corvette class at the Santa Fe Concorso and the Palmetto Award at the Hilton Head Island Concours d'Elegance. This Z06 is accompanied by documentation that includes the NCRS/GM Shipping Data Report, ownership history, an Indiana title search that includes a copy of the original MSO, award documents, and SCCA dash plaques dated 1965 and 1966.
Facts straight from the pages of the Vette freak’s bible the Corvette Black Book, 199 1963 Corvette’s came loaded with the Z06 RPO package – less than one percent (.925) of the total production count. Created to market a turnkey racecar to the public, the Z06 option required the purchase of the 360hp, fuel-injected, L84 327 engine, four-speed transmission, and posi-traction.
Checking the box for the Z06 option included a unique dual-circuit, power-brake system with sintered metallic linings (far larger than the standard metallic linings), vented backing plates, scoops to cool the front brakes, larger finned brake drums (with self adjusters that functioned going forward rather than reversing). The suspension modifications read nearly the same way, using a heavy-duty rear transverse spring (seven leaves rather than the stock nine), heavy-duty front springs, a heavy-duty front stabilizer, and extra stiff shocks.
Intriguingly the early Z06 abounds with conflicting data. While it is commonly observed that the Z06 option included the installation of a 36-gallon fuel tank that consumed most of the area behind the seats, of the 199 built, only 63 are reported to have received the larger tank. The remaining 136 Z06's were driven off the assembly line with the stock capacity gas tank.