From the Chevrolet Corvette’s inception in 1953, serious sports car fans and racers criticized its emphasis on style over outright performance. Even as sales struggled and GM threatened to pull the plug on the program, plans for a more focused, purposeful Corvette were underway as early as 1957. It took some convincing of the board by a passionate team of engineers led by Zora Arkus-Duntov, but the Corvette was given a stay of execution.
In 1963, Chevrolet introduced the first all-new Corvette in a decade. Arkus-Duntov and his team revolutionized the car by ditching its family sedan underpinnings once and for all and finally giving GM a proper, no-excuses sports car. Essential elements of the radical experimental Q-Corvette and Bill Mitchell’s Sting Ray dream car combined to form the most advanced and focused production Corvette yet. The new purpose-built chassis featured four-wheel independent suspension, big drum brakes (discs followed soon after), and various iterations of the 327 cubic-inch small-block V8 ranging from 250 to 360 horsepower. Atop the advanced chassis sat a stunning new body defined by its boat-tail fastback roofline, split rear window, pronounced fender bulges, and an aggressive, purposeful stance. To keep traditional Corvette buyers happy, a convertible followed hot on the heels of the coupe, offering the same levels of performance and style with a wind-in-the-hair experience.
For 1964, changes were evolutionary. Body styling remained the same, excepting some minor details and the loss of the split rear window on the coupe. The chassis was slightly refined to improve the ride quality and handling, and the engine options were tweaked. Customers could choose from one of four versions of the 327 cubic-inch V. Options range from the 250hp base, the 300hp L-75, or the high-performance 365hp L-76, and 375hp fuel-injected L-84. The carbureted L-76 was arguably more reliable of the two top engines, and offered a heady 365 horsepower thanks to a high-lift/long-duration camshaft, solid lifters, and a deep-breathing Holley carb. Buyers loved this new, more purposeful Corvette, and sales had fully recovered from their late-50s lull, with an impressive 22,229 cars sold in 1964.
Presented in its original colors of Riverside Red over red upholstery and a white top, this superb 1964 Corvette is a multiple award-winning example, restored to exacting concours standards. This desirable ‘Vette features a numbers-matching high-performance L-76 327/365 horsepower V8 and a 4-speed manual T-10 gearbox. Equipment and options include a woodgrain steering wheel, AM/FM radio, power brakes, tinted glass, and spinner wheel covers with whitewall tires. The “A” suffix on the trim tag indicates it was produced by A.O. Smith of Ionia, Michigan, who was brought in as a subcontractor to help Chevrolet meet the demand for Corvettes. The body shells were molded, assembled, and painted by A.O. Smith, then shipped to GM’s St. Louis plant for final assembly. According to the NCRS, this car was completed on May 25, 1964, and delivered to Fort Donelson Motor Company of Dover, Tennessee.
An impressive roster of awards accompanies this Corvette, speaking volumes of the restoration’s quality. Since 2014, it has achieved multiple “Top Flight” scores (over 97 points) and a Performance Verification Award in NCRS competition, earning it the club’s exclusive Duntov Mark of Excellence. It has also been awarded Bloomington Gold Certification and Concours Gold at the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals. In 2018, the car was awarded Triple Diamond Certification and entered into the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals Triple Diamond Registry. Judging sheets, certificates, and physical awards all accompany the car.
Since the restoration, this car has covered just 395 miles of careful use and remains remarkably fresh and beautifully detailed. As expected of an award winner like this, the paint and body are excellent, with better-than-factory levels of fit and finish. Brightwork and exterior trim are superb, and the car rides on correct original steel wheels with the proper 1964-only wheel covers and period-style Firestone 6.70-15 narrow whitewalls. The doors open and shut with impressive precision, giving way to an impeccably detailed red vinyl interior. Seats, carpets, and door cards feature factory-correct materials and colors and are superbly fitted and detailed.
The details matter with any high-quality Corvette restoration, and the original, numbers-matching 365hp RT-suffix engine is adorned with correct decals, labels, hardware, and accurately reproduced paint finishes. The chassis and suspension components are faithfully restored and detailed with proper assembly markings and hardware. An original owner’s manual, AM/FM radio guide, and warranty booklet are included.
While many Corvettes can boast high-quality restorations, few have earned entry into the exclusive club of Triple Diamond winners. This exquisite ‘64 Convertible is one of the finest we’ve encountered and is equally fit to continue enjoying as a top-level concours contender or as a clean-slate for open-air driving pleasure on rallies and tours.
Offers welcome and trades considered