16 Comments
  1. This is an amazing colleciton. The owner might want to share it with GM Heritage Center. Regardless, thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Jeffrey Goldstein

    It’s amazing how much hand work went into trimming and fitting the fiberglass. i guess that explains why some Corvettes seem to have great fitting doors and other not so much, it depends on the skill and patience of the guy doing the job that day. Of course, today most of these cars have been through at least one restoration. Still, great to see an original Corvette. Thanks so much for sharing these pics.

  3. Jay

    After seeing this I have a new found appreciation for this car. This generation Corvette has always been one of my most favorite automobiles but I had no idea of how much hands-on craftsmanship went into building them. Thanks for sharing this information and images.

  4. Clark Lincoln

    All the “hand work” seen in these photos is mostly because this was a Pilot Build. In regular production build you would not see fiberglass being trimmed on the assembly line. That would be done pre assembly if necessary.
    Good find Gary, I bet all Corvette lovers are thrilled to see these images.

  5. Walter Gomez

    Regarding the “hand finishing”, a good friend of mine told me that back in 1966 when he and a couple of Yenko Chevrolet co-workers went to the plant to pick up some three Corvettes that they were using large sanding discs as shown above to grind down the fiberglass so that the doors were in line with the quarter panels.

  6. robert hare

    in one of the last photos it shows the trim tag and the vin tag, the vin tag looks like it might be rivited on like the trim tag. could this be????

  7. Gary Smith

    Robert: 1963 through 1967 Corvettes had the VIN attached to the cross-car brace under he instrument panel on the passenger side. In 1963 and 1964 the VIN tags were spot welded to the brace. In 1964 a new style welder was used. It used two electrodes so that the tag could be attached in one operation instead of two. If the welder’s aim was off, the result might be more than two spot welds holding the tag on. In 1965 Chevrolet gave up on welding, and the tags were riveted on. Two types of pop rivets were used in 1965. Early cars had round stainless steel head, but the later cars through 1967 had rivets with scalloped edges, like GM used from 1977 through 1988. The 1963 car in this series of photos was a pilot line car, and not part of regular production. Source: Corvette Restoration Guide, 1963–1967 by Richard F. Newton.

  8. Charles. Cooksey

    Fabulous! What a great collection and a visit in time. Was this pilot build for fixture and process confirmation? Doesn’t look like its for time studies at this point—but it seems like the fixtures are pretty far along. And that paint booth—I can smell the lacquer from here!
    Thanks for the share.

  9. Bob Immler

    Wonderful, wonderful photos. I am amazed to see a guy sanding fiberglass without any kind of mask.

  10. As someone who has spent a great amount of time looking and reading hundreds of Corvette restoration postings on how these cars were originally assembled, your presentation is truly a gift that will last forever. I thank you for your time and effort and look forward to the 1967 year story.

  11. Roger Ealy

    I just finished restoration of a 1963 split window as of August 2015. I purchased this car from my friends wife Jan in July of 2014. Kenny her husband purchased the car in April 1963 and I am now the second owner. Kenny and I worked together at GMC Truck and Coach and he allowed me to drive this car sometimes. This car was put into storage sometime before Ken’s passing about 15 years ago. This car was driven every day for twenty five years being the only car he had however when it was finally put to bed it was very tired and need a complete frame off project to bring it back to life. Believe me it was a true 10 month labor of love but I would not do it again very soon. I put this car back on the road as a any day driver as I think this is what my friend would have wanted and I know when Jan saw the car for the first time a tear of approval was shared for all . Thank you for the great pictures I will pass them on to Jan and I will add them to the project picture book along with the original window sticker $4907.70 Title vin 116464 ,, Bill of Sale,, Crissman Chevrolet,,Radio AM-FM instructions,, Owners Guide and Protection Plan booklet. Thx again

  12. J.Q.

    As a true lover of the C-2’S {63-67} , thank u for sharing !!

  13. Jim Menego

    THANK YOU for publishing these pictures. I have a 65 C2 and these are just amazing!

  14. Ralph Montileone

    Thanks for putting the pictures together. I spent many years working at the St Louis Corvette plant. Didn’t start until 1968 but these pictures all look the same as I remember the birdcage, body shop & paint areas. Some are tooling pilot shots and some were regular production shots. I knew several of the guys in the pictures and several good friends. Are there any more shots out there? All these shots were GM staged as you could not just take pictures in the plants and without security taking your film and getting fired. I know I had numerous pictures taken of me at the end of the line but have never seen them anywhere.

  15. Nick Raeber

    I was a UAW Local 25 member back in the 70’s so I spent some time in the old St.Louis Plant on the north side at Union & Natural Bridge. I enjoyed the photo flashback and confirm Ralph’s comments especially his statement about GM’s policy of not allowing any unauthorized photos of any type to be taken inside their production facility. That was strictly forbidden. Thanks for the memories.

  16. Danny

    These photos are absolutely great! I’ve always been a huge fan of the C2s, especially the ’63 Split Window coupé.
    There was a promotional booklet Chevrolet put out for a number of years called “The Chevrolet Story.” It covered the inception and development of Chevrolet cars and the company. Near the end of the booklets they always included two sections of photos showing the progress of the latest Impala being constructed and how a Corvette was built. These photos remind me of those sections, especially the Corvette series of course. Now, I must dig out my copies of “The Chevrolet Stories” (they updated them each year through the Sixties).

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