Back in 1957, Chevrolet first offered Rochester mechanical fuel injection on its 283 cubic inch small block V8. The fact that fuel injection has been the norm for many decades now might gloss over just how effective and potent these early Chevy fuelies were. At 283 hp, it was one of the first mass-produced motors to offer 1 horsepower per cubic inch. Fast forward to 1963, and the new C2 Corvette body offered a 327 cubic inch small-block putting out an even higher output of 360 hp.
This motor formed the heart of the Corvette Z06 performance package, with a 4 speed manual transmission, oversized drum brakes with sintered metallic linings & copper-plated caps, heavy duty shocks & springs, and 3.70:1 geared posi rear-end. The optional N03 big tank was an oversized fuel tank that meant fewer pit stops. Cars with this rare option are known as Tankers.
This car will be sold by Mecum Auctions in Monterey, California on August 18-20, 2016, right before the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on August 21.
|---- Specifications ----|
|Price||--||Production||63 Z06 Tankers|
|Engine||5.4 liter V8||Weight||--|
|Aspiration||mechanical fuel injection||Torque||--|
|0-62 mph||--||Top Speed||--|
Documented with restoration photos and receipts, owner history back to 1967 and selling dealer in 1963, copies of previous titles, owner's manual packet, Bloomington Gold certificate and judging sheets, a three ring binder with correspondence from past owners, appraisals, Z06 surveys and NCRS Shipping Data Report
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.
Discovered by Howard Baker (NCRS Member #35) in 1986, this Z06 Tanker underwent a two-year body-off restoration and was personally inspected by Z06 Historian Eric Gill, who described the car as “one of the finer-quality Z06 restorations I have seen.” Subsequent ownership history reveals a “who’s who” of Corvette aficionados including Joe Warunek, Bill Braun, Joe Kish, Joe Lukason and Terry Michaelis. A recent historical investigation performed by Bill Gould of Auto Ancestry has uncovered ownership history back to 1967 –documented by correspondence and vintage photographs from previous owners.
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, owner’s manual packet, NCRS Shipping Data Report, Eric Gill’s 1988 appraisal, Auto Ancestry historical research and the Z06 Prove-It Report by David Burroughs, the founder of Bloomington Gold.