Hertz Rental ’63 Ski Car Sells At Barrett-Jackson

The price you pay for a Hertz rental car from their retired fleet of autos can vary greatly, depending on how recently it’s been retired. Take this rare 1963 Split-Window Corvette for example. Sure, the fact that no more than 10 of them were ever created will contribute to its value, but also, a quick look at that split rear window will let you know that this is one of the most sought-after Corvettes of the midyear generation, even with its 250-hp, 327ci base engine.

While there’s not a boat-load of torque to be had by some burly big-block, the way this car was intended to be used, that was the last thing you needed. Instead, when the folks at Luby Chevrolet, Hertz and Chevrolet got involved, they were looking to supply for the needs of jet-setters and snow-bunnies in their search for the perfect powder on Colorado’s snowy slopes.

The base car is an Ermine White/Red coupe with a 250-horse 327 and two-speed slush-box. Not your typical high-water mark in hammer pricing, but the car’s rarity, documentation and condition helped carry it in value.

There are many ways to get to the lodge, but for a select few who flew into the Denver airport, Hertz and Chevy dealer Joe Luby devised a way for them to show up in style. Hertz purchased these Ermine White and Red coupes through Luby Chevrolet and outfitted them with the requisite ski rack, snow tires and automatic transmissions, since banging gears was the last thing on anyone’s mind driving through the frigid, snow-capped mountains of Colorado.

The car was complete at auction with the correct ski-rack, snow tires and the reportedly, unused spare tire.

This car is the only known example of these special edition Corvettes, and just crossed the auction block at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsville, Arizona. With so little history as to the previous selling prices of these special editions, and at a no-reserve auction such as Barrett-Jackson, it was anyone’s guess what the bottom-dollar would be when the hammer dropped.

As it stands, the car had several things contributing to its value. Save for a relatively recent re-paint, the car is amazingly original for a “Rent-A-Wreck”, where the premise, “Drive it like you stole it!” was perfected. It still has the original engine, transmission and various other components that fit snugly under the “numbers-matching” banner. It has also been NCRS judged and comes with a complete history documentation and the original rental plate from 1963.

According to the Barrett-Jackson listing, it also comes with the original dealer order showing Hertz as the original owner, an original GM warranty booklet signed by Joe Luby, owner’s manual and radio instructions. It also has the never-used original spare tire, snow tires, and Hertz badge on the dash.

The red interior is original and still retains the special Hertz badging that was installed during the car's time of service. Other documentation for the car included communications between General Motors and Hertz, a GM Warranty Booklet to Hertz signed by Joe Luby, and detailed parts list.

Hagerty lists a “regular” ’63 Corvette coupe (if there IS such a thing) in good condition, as valued around $98,200, and a number-one, excellent example tops out at around 142,000 big ones. While it was anyone’s call whether the re-paint would reign supreme in dictating the car’s collectability or if the sheer rarity of the car would carry it over the threshold. In fact, it seems that the combination of rarity, overall condition AND the accompanying documentation helped carry the car’s hammer price into the higher echelon of ’63 Coupe values. The fact that it had some light bodywork to highlight that curvy figure simply helped reduce the eye-strain when considering everything else. Likely the same could be said of a few of those who rode in the car back in the day. But I digress.

At the end of the day, it’s still a nice, documented example of a one-year production Corvette. The split-rear window helps both date, and value this coupe. We’ve got to wonder, how much more difficult would it be to see out that rear glass with a bevy of snow skis stacked up behind it?

Overall, we think this car serves as a fine example that there are still enough cars out there, hidden in small, niche segments of the hobby to keep it interesting. There IS a value in quality, and solid examples with unquestionable documentation can have great value, even without the huge horsepower numbers. When the hammer finally fell, bidding settled upon $132,000 for this unrestored, original split-window coupe. While not ringing the bell at top-dollar prices, we think the buyer got a great deal on a car which you’re not likely find another at shows, other collections or even, at the slopes.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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