Saying Goodbye to the ’63 Sting Ray that Got Him Hooked on ’Vettes

For Michael Brown, the moment he got hooked on Corvettes was when he saw the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray split-window coupe for the first time.

“I was a junior in high school when Corvette introduced the ’63 split-window coupe, as you know, the 10th anniversary car,” Brown told us from the floor of Mecum’s 2022 Glendale auction. “First year [of the second-generation Corvette], the headlights were hidden. First year you could get a coupe. First and only year of that split rear window. I was smitten. I said, someday, not really thinking that day would ever come, I would have one of those. “

That day eventually did come. It took him 22 years, but when Brown saw a ’63 split-window in an ad in a Dallas newspaper, he took out a loan and went for it. He owned it for 37 years. His first Corvette purchase fostered a lifelong love affair with the Chevy sports car that saw him buy more than a dozen Corvettes in the time since that first purchase. But with the old saying “all good things come to an end” in mind, Brown decided to unload all of his present Corvette collection, consisting of 13 cars in all, including his beloved ’63 (the pick of the lot litter that sold for the most at $214,500), at Mecum Glendale.

“I’m turning a page in my life and beginning a new chapter. As much as the pride of ownership and showing them and sharing them, as much along with that, was the chase and the acquisition,” Brown said. “So I got to do both of those over a great many years and I’m kind of at a place—OK, what’s next?”

Part of that new chapter was also selling his fabulous collection of road signs at Mecum Glendale, more than 200 gleaming neon works featuring hotels, gas stations, and much more. 

Brown’s Corvette horde, dubbed the “Hooked On Vettes” collection at Mecum, consisted of cars from the first generation to the new C8 Corvette, though it was light on C3s (just one—a 1978 Indy Pace car that sold for $38,500) and Brown had no C4 or C5 models in his collection (he’s had a few but previously sold them, including a 1993 C5 that was the first brand-new Vette he purchased).

“I love them all for different reasons. The older cars, for the style and the design and just the historic value. The newer cars, for performance and convenience and comfort,” Brown said. “The ’66 big-block has factory side pipes. You can hear that car coming one mile before you see it. And it has 6,749 documented original miles. So that’s a really nice car. Sentimentally, the ’63 at one end, and then performance-wise, the C8 and certainly the ZR1s on the other end. “

He’s also only bought silver or black cars, a quirk that limited him from getting some of the more exclusive Corvettes that didn’t come in one of those colors. (No, he’s not a Raiders fan). It’s pretty simple really—he loves the look of black cars from an aesthetic standpoint, and silver contrasted well.

While he’s partial to C1s and C2s, Brown is also a huge fan of the new C8, and the one in his collection, a mean matte black car that was No. 273 off of the line (it sold for $118,250), he got just before the pandemic. He took delivery at the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and got “chased all the way back to Texas” as he raced to get ahead of the virus.

Will he ever have another Corvette? You bet. “I probably won’t ever build a collection again, but no, I haven’t bought my last Corvette,” Brown said. He’s already eyeing the Z06 version of the C8, or maybe the ZR1 if they make one of those, given that with the newer generation he always went for the higher-spec models.

Because you can sell the collection, but what you can’t sell is the enthusiasm, the joy that comes with having a car be a seminal part of your life. Now Brown’s collection gets to spider out to more folks who may become as hooked on Corvettes as he’s been since the first time he saw that split-window back in 1963.

Michael Brown’s Hooked on Vettes Collection Final Sale at Mecum Glendale 2022

LOT F126 – $93,500
1954 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster
235 Blue Flame Six, 1 of 4 in Black

LOT F127 – $132,000
1957 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
Fuel-Injected 283/283 hp, 4-Speed

LOT F128 – $121,000
1962 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
327/340 hp, 4-Speed, Power Windows

LOT F128.1 – $214,500
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Split-Window Coupe
327/340 hp, 4-Speed

LOT F129 – $105,600
1964 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
Fuel-Injected 327/375 hp, Top Flight

LOT F130 $165,000
1966 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
427/425 hp, 16,479 Miles

LOT F131 – $137,500
1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
427/435 hp, 4-Speed

LOT F131.1 – $38,500
1978 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Edition
350/220 hp, 4-Speed

LOT F132 – $50,600
2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
7.0L/505 hp, 1,991 Miles

LOT F133 – $110,000
2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Coupe
6.2L/638 hp, 6-Speed, 2,925 Miles

LOT F134 – $115,500
2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Centennial Edition
1,494 Miles, Serial No. 100

LOT F134.1 – $90,200
2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe
6.2L/650 hp, 7-Speed, 1,009 Miles

LOT F135 – $118,250
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
1,639 Miles, Z51 Package

Watch: 1963 Split Window from the NCRS

Hot Reads

  • Watch a Chevy Silverado Miraculously Drive Away After a Tornado Flips It Over
  • 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning EV Pickup EPA Driving Range Leaks, Is Confirmed
  • $300 Junkyard Buy to Ridler Award: 1931 Chevy Coupe Takes The 2022 Detroit Autorama’s Top Trophy
  • Has BMW Run Out of Road?
  • 2023 Maserati Grecale First Look: Strident for the Trident

Source: Read Full Article