Introduced in 1963 and discontinued in 1967, the second-generation Chevrolet Corvette stands as one of the shortest iterations of the nameplate. Despite its brief stint in dealerships, this era birthed some of the most iconic and sought-after models, with the 1963 Z06 being a standout example.

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The Z06 badge, although officially designated a regular production model by Chevrolet only in 2001, traces its roots back to 1963, marking its 61st year in 2024. Born from Zora Arkus-Duntov’s drawing board, the Z06 emerged as a race-ready Corvette, equipped with key enhancements for superior performance.

Features and Rarity

The Z06 package included larger-diameter shocks and springs, power brakes with race-spec linings, a vacuum brake booster, and a larger front anti-roll bar. Exclusively powered by the fuel-injected, 327-cubic-inch (5.4-liter) L84 V8 generating 360 horsepower, it was offered for just one model year. Priced at $1,814.45, only 199 Z06s were produced due to its high cost relative to the base Corvette coupe.

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Surviving examples of the 1963 Z06 are decidedly rare and increasingly desirable classics. The rarity is reflected in its auction prices, with a recent sale at Kissimmee 2024 in Florida reaching an impressive $935,000, making it the most expensive of its kind.

The “Big Tank” Version

So, what sets this particular Z06 apart? This Corvette is a “Big Tank” version, featuring an optional 36-gallon gas tank designed for endurance races like Daytona and Sebring. This option was initially part of the Z06 bundle but later offered separately. Only 63 of the 199 Z06s from 1963 were equipped with this 36-gallon tank, and this specific Corvette is numbered 51.

Uniqueness and Ownership

This Z06 is not just a numbers-matching classic; it retains its factory 327-cubic-inch V8 and four-speed manual transmission. Accompanied by its original window sticker, a detailed ownership history, and a flawless restoration, it boasts accolades such as the Bloomington Gold certification and MCACN Concours Gold rating.

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To further underline its uniqueness, this 1963 Corvette Z06 “Big Tank” sports a Tuxedo Black/red interior combo, making it a one-of-one gem. While it may not hold the record as the most expensive 1963 Z06 ever auctioned, as of January 2024, it proudly claims the title of the priciest “Big Tank” version.

# FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

## FAQ1: How old is the Z06 badge?

The Z06 badge dates back to 1963, making it 61 years old as of 2024.

## FAQ2: How many 1963 Z06s were produced?

Chevrolet produced only 199 examples of the 1963 Z06.

## FAQ3: What makes the “Big Tank” version special?

The “Big Tank” version features an optional 36-gallon gas tank designed for endurance races, and only 63 out of the 199 Z06s from 1963 were equipped with this option.

## FAQ4: Why was the Z06 option not popular in 1963?

Priced at $1,814.45, the Z06 option was relatively expensive compared to the base Corvette coupe ($4,252), leading to limited popularity.

## FAQ5: What accolades does this Z06 boast?

This Z06 has earned prestigious accolades, including the Bloomington Gold certification and MCACN Concours Gold rating.

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