1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker
1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker
This 1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker is 1 of 63 Z06 Tankers built in 1963. There were approximately 200 1963 Z06 Corvettes built during this first model year of this new body style, but not all of the Z06 Corvettes received the big N03 36.5 gallon gas tank. Originally, all Z06 Corvettes were intended to have the larger gas tank for endurance racing events, but soon it was realized that a lighter weight was more important for sprint events and that not all Z06 buyers needed the added weight of the 36.5 gallon gas tank. This 1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker was built on February 12, 1963 and delivered to Jim Connell Chevrolet of East Cleveland, Ohio. Besides the required 360 horsepower 327 engine and 4-speed transmission, this Z06 is equipped with an optional off-road (low restriction) exhaust system, a 3.70:1 posi-traction rear end, power brakes, aluminum knock off wheels with rarely seen two bar spinners, and it’s radio delete. This 1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker has its all important numbers matching engine and it is not only a recipient of an NCRS Top Flight award, but it also received a Bloomington Gold award as well.
Mecum Auctions listed this 1963 Corvette Z06 Tanker and here is what they said about it: This 1963 Corvette Z06/N03 “Big Tank” has earned the industry’s most-stringent judging accolades including Bloomington Gold certification, NCRS Top Flight and Chevy VetteFest Gold Spinner awards. One of 199 Z06 Split Window Coupes produced in 1963, this Sebring Silver example was factory-equipped with the RPO N03 36-Gallon fuel tank, of which only 63 were built. Affectionately referred to in the Corvette Community as a “Z06 Tanker” due to the oversized racing fuel tank, the N03 big tank RPO is one of the rarest and most desirable Corvette options of all time, even more rare than the legendary L88 engine.
The 1963 Z06 Special Performance package introduced a surplus of weapons-grade competition equipment. This assemblage of regular production options and special race-oriented components were not available outside of the Z06 package. The Z06’s driveline was non-negotiable: a mandatory L84 327/360 HP V-8 with Rochester fuel injection linked to the requisite 4-speed manual transmission and Positraction rear end, however its special heavy-duty suspension and brakes gave birth to a true factory-produced race car. Armed with oversized finned drum brakes with internal stamped-steel cooling fans, ventilated backing plates and sintered metallic linings boosted by a special dual-circuit master cylinder topped with a distinctive copper-plated cap, the Z06 exhibited fantastic agility thanks to special heavy-duty shocks and springs and a 20-percent larger front sway bar. The optional N03 “big tank” afforded drivers fewer pit stops on the race track.
A radio-delete example retaining its original body/trim tag, this “big tank” Z06 rides on very rare Kelsey Hayes 2-bar knock-off wheels wrapped in Firestone non-D.O.T. 6.70-15 blackwall tires. The matching-numbers 327/360 HP fuel-injected V-8 is backed by a Borg Warner T-10 4-speed transmission and 3.70:1-geared Positraction rear axle. Produced on February 12, 1963 and delivered to Jim Connell Chevrolet in East Cleveland, Ohio, the car’s provenance is supported by voluminous documentation that encompasses ownership history back to 1967, copies of previous titles, vintage photographs from the 1960s, Bloomington Gold and NCRS certificates and judging sheets.