Ken Fisher's 1963 Corvette
(from Volume 19, Issue 239)

story by owner Ken Fisher, photos by Michael B. Kelly


I first spotted what would become my 1963 Corvette split window coupe about two decades ago at Miller’s Paint & Body in Ocoee, Florida when I was working a follow up on an accident as a police officer. The car was a basket case, sitting in the corner of the shop. Nothing was in the car, the engine was on a stand, and other parts were in a storage shed behind the shop. I asked the owner of the shop, Glenn Miller (who is not a big band musician), what he had planned for the car. Glenn said that he was going to restore it. Over a 20 year period, Glenn said he would sell me the car, but would then change his mind. We had this conversation numerous times over the 20 years.

Finally, one day his son, Darrin, called me and said that his dad was going to sell the car. I walked into the shop the very next day with a check burning a hole in my pocket. He told me what he wanted, and I said, “Sold!”. I handed him the check and then he said, “You’re not going to make this into a hot rod, are you?”. I responded with, “Glenn, you’re going to like it!”.

It took another five years to complete the car. I ordered a Jamison frame from Bill Kuhn, who owns His Place in Emmitsburg, MD. I had located a 427 cubic inch LS7 in Orlando that was supposed to go into a SEMA car, and was able to purchase it. Bill Kuhn and his son, Billy, were here for the Mecum Auction in Kissimmee, and they took the LS7 back to their shop and installed it in the frame, which has C4 Corvette suspension, and 4-wheel disc brakes. They also installed the Tremec 5-speed manual transmission, and Dana 44 independent rear end with 3.73:1 gears, which allows the car to do 80 miles per hour at approximately 1,800 RPMs, and get gas mileage well into the 20 miles per gallon range.

Exotic Transportation picked up the complete frame and drivetrain and brought it south to the Sunshine State. The car was taken to Fred’s Hot Rods, and Fred Swartzlander reworked the no hit body in amongst his other restorations. The car was then sent to Mike Colleta in Clermont to finish, which included painting, assembling, doing the interior and installing a hidden stereo system. In addition to performance goodies, the car also has power steering, power brakes and air conditioning for comfortable cruising.

After the car had a few hundred miles to break in the LS7 crate motor, I took it to Next Level Performance in Altamonte Springs. The owner, Geoff Skorupa, and his employee, Ty Sochock, installed an Edelbrock super charger and dynoed the car at 504 horsepower at the rear wheels. I lost a bet to my buddy, Don Turner, and he named the car “Lickety Split”. That is of course due to the combination of the LS7 power and the ‘63 Corvette’s split rear window, and “LKD SPLT” appears on the personalized Florida license plate.

The car was shown at the Classic Chevy Winter Nationals in Orlando during February of 2014. I knew I was in trouble when one of the four judges had a National Judging Jacket on for the National Corvette Restoration Society, because they dislike resto-mods. One judge said that the car lost 4 points, but the finally tally showed it lost 5 points, for a total of 995 out of 1,000 points. Then on May 16-18, 2014 the car took Best Of Show honors at Beach Blast 20 hosted by Mike Kelly’s Cruise News in Cocoa Beach, by getting the most participant votes. I would think that I made good on my promise to Glenn Miller, and he likes the car he sold me now, too! -Ken Fisher