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All 1963 Chevy IIs came with a standard equipment 3 speed column shift, even the SS. The powerglide automatic was the only optional tranny. Three speed on the column SS cars didn't get a chrome console between the bucket seats, probably because there was nothing ever designed to fill/cover the shifter hole. The PG on SS cars had the shifter in the console.

Bob
 

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it depends on what option boxes were checked .
rember all the hype over Reggie Jacksons 70? Chevelle ss bench seat column shifter?
 

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thanks ! seems like a crazy combo for a car designated as a super sport...lol
Remember that in '63 the SS wasn't a designated model. It was a Nova 400 hardtop or convertible with RPO Z03 ticked on the list of options. The Nova SS became a designated model with it's own VIN beginning in 1964.

Bob
 

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I remember 1963 pretty clearly, as I turned 14 that year. The world was a very different place. Boomers were just creeping into the new car market and Detroit was just getting comfortable with the idea that people would buy smaller, sporty cars. Most new-car buyers were ‘adults’ with good jobs. Car manufacturers, especially those selling lower-priced models like Chevrolet, saw these folks as generally responsible, family-oriented (read: boring) people.

And, they were right - most new-Chevrolet shoppers who I knew were a lot more interested in a good ride and reasonable fuel mileage than in sporty trim. For example, my dad bought a new Impala sport coupe in '63 - a six-cylinder with a 3-speed standard transmission.

Before 1963, ‘performance’ cars were almost all full-size models with bigger engines that mostly had standard (3-on-the-tree) transmissions. Some of these models didn’t even offer 4-speeds or floor shifters. But, there were engineers and marketers at Chevrolet who recognized the fact that the Chevy II was small and light enough – and priced low enough - to at least catch the eye of younger buyers. I can only imagine their surprise when they sold over 42,000 with the SS package the first year!

The ’63 SS was a trim package. No V8 engines were offered, but the exterior trim and bucket seats at least made the new owner ‘look’ cool to friends and neighbors. Looking back, I can only smile at the innocence of that time!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I remember 1963 pretty clearly, as I turned 14 that year. The world was a very different place. Boomers were just creeping into the new car market and Detroit was just getting comfortable with the idea that people would buy smaller, sporty cars. Most new-car buyers were ‘adults’ with good jobs. Car manufacturers, especially those selling lower-priced models like Chevrolet, saw these folks as generally responsible, family-oriented (read: boring) people.

And, they were right - most new-Chevrolet shoppers who I knew were a lot more interested in a good ride and reasonable fuel mileage than in sporty trim. For example, my dad bought a new Impala sport coupe in '63 - a six-cylinder with a 3-speed standard transmission.

Before 1963, ‘performance’ cars were almost all full-size models with bigger engines that mostly had standard (3-on-the-tree) transmissions. Some of these models didn’t even offer 4-speeds or floor shifters. But, there were engineers and marketers at Chevrolet who recognized the fact that the Chevy II was small and light enough – and priced low enough - to at least catch the eye of younger buyers. I can only imagine their surprise when they sold over 42,000 the first year!

The ’63 SS was a trim package. No V8 engines were offered, but the exterior trim and bucket seats at least made the new owner ‘look’ cool to friends and neighbors. Looking back, I can only smile at the innocence of that time!
Thanks for the info and story! Would be cool to have a time machine!
 

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I have some figures that indicate more than one third of the U.S. 1963 Chevy II production had the 3 on the tree transmission. There are no figures on how many were Super Sports, but I think there are more than we would imagine.

Bob
 

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three on the tree

back in 1986 I was working at a grocery store just had purchased my 1963 hardtop and one of the gals I worked with had a bone stock low mileage 1962 nova hardtop gorgeous in and out I remember to this day that it was a three on the tree. to this day it had to be the nicest 1962's I have ever seen!! she was off to school and had it up for sale I think she was asking $2500.00 back in the day. nobody wanted it because it was a three speed on the tree she tried for months!! I should have bought that car!! back then I was still a kid and no place to store it.
 

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back in 1986 I was working at a grocery store just had purchased my 1963 hardtop and one of the gals I worked with had a bone stock low mileage 1962 nova hardtop gorgeous in and out I remember to this day that it was a three on the tree. to this day it had to be the nicest 1962's I have ever seen!! she was off to school and had it up for sale I think she was asking $2500.00 back in the day. nobody wanted it because it was a three speed on the tree she tried for months!! I should have bought that car!! back then I was still a kid and no place to store it.
Back in 1962, a local bank manager in our little town bought his daughter a brand new '62 Nova convertible as a graduation gift. It was white with a red interior. I'm sure it was a PG. It was the first Chevy II I'd ever seen. I still remember her driving that car around town during the summer of '62. People would stop and stare at it (her?), because nobody knew what it was.

Bob
 

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After owning more than a few Novas, I sought a convertible that had a 3 on the column to restore, as I like the feature. If it was a cost saver in production over the PG, they sure must have sold a lot of column collars, levers rods and bushings, as the linkage can go south faster than the rest of the car. It wasn't at all uncommon to see in a car at the time, and I'd say a majority of drivers young and old knew how to drive a stick.

That said, there isn't much 'sporty' (SS) about a 3 on the tree, and you lose the cool console which looked at first blush like a 4-speed shifter.

'63 SS might be the straight up best looking of all the first generation Novas.
 

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ss

I thought I seen on this post that 42,000 1963 ss were made and sold. is that true? I hardly ever see an ss for 63? just asking.
 

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I thought I seen on this post that 42,000 1963 ss were made and sold. is that true? I hardly ever see an ss for 63? just asking.
That's correct. 42,400 Nova 400 hardtops and convertibles got the super sport option in 1963. First year for a Nova SS. There are still lots around.

Bob
 

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That's correct. 42,400 Nova 400 hardtops and convertibles got the super sport option in 1963. First year for a Nova SS. There are still lots around.

Bob
Bob, is there a record of how many nova's were sold in 63? How many 400 Convertibles and how many SS Convertibles? Did GM keep a record of color combo"s for 63?
 

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Bob, is there a record of how many nova's were sold in 63? How many 400 Convertibles and how many SS Convertibles? Did GM keep a record of color combo"s for 63?
The only numbers that we have are 24,823 Nova 400 convertibles built in 1963. The SS was a Nova 400 option package, not a stand alone model, so there is no breakdown of how many of the convertibles were SS. Many people believe that perhaps 60% of the Nova 400 convertibles got the SS option, but there are no real numbers to back that up. The only other number available is the total of SS options in both hardtops and convertibles... 42,432. As for color combos, there are no published numbers.

Bob
 
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