One of 199 Z06 cars and 1 of 63 with the large fuel tank option, this highly collectible American sports car has been fully restored after five decades in storage

America has provided the automotive world with a host of iconic vehicles that captures the nation's free spirit. The Mustang, Camaro, and Charger are all blue-collar champions, but when the Corvette came along, it introduced a more stylish means of going fast.

This 1963 Z06/N03 is both beauty and the beast, delivering on those movie star looks and potent power. The Corvette in question is also just one of 199 making it a star car of Mecum's 2019 Kissimmee auction.

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Stored for over 51 years, this Corvette eventually saw the light of day again in 2016 when it was put on display as a barn find at Bloomington Gold's Legends Row and Corvettes at Carlisle. A complete body-off restoration as restored this Chevy to its former glory, completed in its original factory specification from 1963. We love those steel wheels!

Rare 1963 Corvette Z06 barn find restored after 51 years

As mentioned, this car is a very rare example featuring the RPO Z06 Special Performance Equipment package. This gives the car the most powerful Rochester fuel-injected small-block V8 of its day, a four-seed manual gearbox, and a 3.70 Positraction rear end. Tougher suspension and a race-grade braking system made Z06 cars some of the most capable in the United States.

It was actually Chevrolet management that cut-off production of the Z06 at 199 cars, with its factory-backed racing programme being curbed and thus no longer needed for one of its primary purposes. This Z06 is extra special, as one of just 63 optioned with the RPO N03 36-gallon fuel tank.

The highly original Corvette was put on display at Corvettes at Carlisle again in 2017 post restoration. This numbers matching American classic even comes with its original dealer invoice and deposit cheque from 1963 to further reinforce its authenticity.

Rare 1963 Corvette Z06 barn find restored after 51 years

If you fancy acquiring a rare piece of American automotive engineering, make sure you’re at Mecum's Kissimmee event that runs January 3-13, 2019. Bring plenty of cash with you, as this lot has a an estimate between $550,000 - $650,000.

Gallery: Rare 1963 Corvette Z06 barn find restored after 51 years