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Hello - George here. At 65 I am looking at my first classic - 63 SS Vert. I used to tune up and do only basics many years ago. I consider myself a newbie.
I have first dibs on a 63 SS Vert. It has the right trim/options, cowl plate has a Z, VIN starts with 30467W. What other sure fire way can I verify it is an SS. The seller seems like a great guy and I trust him, but the guy who sold him could have tricked him.

My biggest concern is the frame and pans. Seller says the rockers have been replaced(car repainted to), but said the pans and frame were good when rockers replaced. I read to look for sagging, door lines off and push at the corners of the car and look for the gaps of the doors to move/change.

I get my first look at the car in about 2 weeks. I've seen some good pics and discussed with owner in length. I'm prepping and any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - George .
 

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Hello - George here. At 65 I am looking at my first classic - 63 SS Vert. I used to tune up and do only basics many years ago. I consider myself a newbie.
I have first dibs on a 63 SS Vert. It has the right trim/options, cowl plate has a Z, VIN starts with 30467W. What other sure fire way can I verify it is an SS. The seller seems like a great guy and I trust him, but the guy who sold him could have tricked him.

My biggest concern is the frame and pans. Seller says the rockers have been replaced(car repainted to), but said the pans and frame were good when rockers replaced. I read to look for sagging, door lines off and push at the corners of the car and look for the gaps of the doors to move/change.

I get my first look at the car in about 2 weeks. I've seen some good pics and discussed with owner in length. I'm prepping and any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - George .
If this is 5-6 figure buy, mite pay to have qualified person's opinion.
 

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Hi George and welcome to the site. Just as a bit of history, all 1963 Nova convertibles were Chevy II Nova 400 models (30467). The SS was an option package added to the Nova 400 (RPO Z03), so there's nothing in the VIN to denote an SS.

The 'Z' on the cowl tag is the identifier of a '63 being an SS. The car you're looking at has the 'Z' so we'll assume the cowl tag is original to the car. Check the paint, interior and option codes to be sure they match what's on the car. The SS in 1963 was basically an appearance package. Look for full length fender top trim, bucket seats, chrome console (automatics only), chrome trim piece across the center of the dash, 14 inch wheels with SS hubcaps, SS rear quarter, trunk and glove box emblems. The instrument cluster should have a clock in the center and the right pod should have gauges (no idiot lights). The engine from the factory was a 194CID/120 HP six cylinder with either a
3 on-the- tree manual or floor mounted powerglide automatic.

The condition of the underside is crucial. Convertibles had a unique pair of full length inner rocker beams that give it extra support underneath. These are notorious for rotting out. They can be repaired, but it can be labor intensive and expensive. If the inner rockers, floors and trunk are solid that's a real bonus.

Do you have any pictures you can show us at this time? Those of us who are familiar with the '63 SS can tell a lot by seeing a few good pictures. There's a wealth of information here to assist you with any questions you have. Information can also be found at Novaresource.org. Click cowl tags on the menu and go to 1963 for decoding paint, interior, etc. Look forward to hearing from you again.

Bob (who misses his '63 SS convertible)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys - The car has the dash trim, console, all the easy stuff. It has been pretty freshly repainted a different color with a like new top and has what looks to be the original 6 cylinder. I'll try to find a picture of the rockers so I know what they should look like.
 

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Welcome and good luck on your car purchase. You stated first look at car in a couple weeks, are you travelling to look at it? If you only get to look at it at the time you need to decide go or no go, that can create a little stress and/or may allow for decision making errors. You're not a kid so I'm sure you know the pitfalls. Even at 68 when making big purchases I find myself a little attracted to shiny and sparkly things, ha!
You sound like you're doing your homework and asking the right questions. Keep doing that. If you can post pictures, as many as possible, there are hundreds of knowledgeable people here to point out the pro's and con's of any car. It's a free service if you will, so take advantage. Sounds like a cool car.
 

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Good luck. Fun car, and a lot of bling, one of the Novas with the most trim bling ever. Great advice here including rust being the big factor. There are a lot of places to look on these cars to find rust or evidence of rust repair. More than the floors, you want to look under the car at the inner rockers convertibles have that hardtops don't, the lower and upper cowl section, every part of the quarter panels at the seams and the lower portion of the b-post and the A-post. I would either bring several magnets from weak to strong, or I would invest in a 'paint thickness' device. These aren't necessary and can be expensive, but I've had to use one for work, and found a LOT of hidden damage on a car that was not supposed to be there. It very accurately gives paint thickness in thousandths of an inch, but some of these devices are very pricey. If you're finding anything over .100 inch, you can start to assume body putty, and perhaps even a lower number. I often just use a weak refrigerator magnet like a Rock Auto magnet to test.

Fun car, best of luck, and know that the condition of the body and either lack of rust or proper rust repair is the real value.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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Hi George , from Detroit , Welcome to SNS - you'll like it around here = Great members . . !

Good luck on th' 63 SS , plus - a convertible . . sounds great.

jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone. Here are some pics. All opinions and help are welcome. Price is a hard thing. but if you can give a fair range from pics? Note - I can see the heater core is bypassed, damage to the passenger seat, Thank you again.
Automotive parking light Wheel Car Vehicle Tire
Automotive tail & brake light Hood Car Vehicle Automotive lighting
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design Car seat cover
Car Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Automotive design
 

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Hard to tell a lot from a few pictures, but appears to be a real 1963 SS convertible. Always a little uneasy about what a new paint job might be covering. Get out the magnet Ally mentions above. Evaporator box for a/c under the dash, but nothing under the hood. Does the seller have these parts, including the condenser that sits in front of the rad? The engine has the 1964 230CID six cylinder chrome dressup package. The '63 was a 194CID/120HP six with no chrome. Which engine is in the car? Working windshield wipers will be needed in many jurisdictions that require inspections. Reproduction interior pieces are available, so seat covers can be replaced. Any info on the underside? This is a major item requiring pictures or inspection. Need some answers to the above, underside report, body inspection and driveline condition before I can attempt a meaningful value range.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Seller does have the wipers. I don't know if the seller has the A/C compressor & condenser - I'll check. He said he has some parts in the trunk. The engine is supposed to be original so I assume it has the power guide trans.
All I have on the underside is the rockers are replaced. Pans and frame are supposed to be good. Does anyone have a good picture of the Vert underside?? I looked on line and don't know if it was a Vert. Thanks - George
.
 

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1969 Nova . . 2dr . . Chino Valley,Az USA
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Good 'eye' Bob. I also saw that no under hood A/C parts, comp mount brackets, or even hoses.

George - (as Bob has said back in post # 3 = NovaResource.org is your place too go to check even more about All your car's I D numbers.
write your VIN # down . . write your "cowl tag numbers" down (write each line as it appears) , and all of those #'s. It could be that "the large hole in u'r firewall" was where your
'under hood A/C hoses' ran to the inside a/c unit . . . . . but , that IS Not a Factory cut hole . (makes me wonder) .
You do have the "Power steering" , which is good ; but the 'Chrome parts' could have been added to th' 194ci engine. (or that engine has been up-dated = 230ci / 250ci ) . That would be a lot better engine choice - - - - - But - - - - not original (if that's what he's saying) . You CAN also "de-code" - which engine is in th' car, also.

just more info - - not trying to be 'rude' ; sometimes you just never know, for sure = for 50 + years , alot of things could have been changed . (you ARE At The Right Place , for
Chevy II / Nova info) .

Also note : Wasn't that year p/g trans . . . the "air cooled type p/g" . . . ?

Keep asking - - - any - ALL - info, is good too have .

later , jim

save this page ,
when you make your : Nova Favorite folder .

 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This should have been a question I ask earlier. I did ask the seller.

I may be a little shorter with age, but I am(was) 6-3 and 290 pounds. Think football lineman 65 years old with a bad driving knee. The seller told me how nice and wide the seats are. Any other tall guys out there that can tell me about the leg room?
My daily driver is a corolla. I can't go tighter than that.
 

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I think you'll be just fine. You didn't mention the year of the Corolla, but width of a 1963 Chevy II and 2020 Corolla are the same at 70 inches. For sure the '63 bucket seats are wider. Bucket seats have pretty good forward/backward range and there are ways to increase it if needed.

Bob
 
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