1963 Chevrolet Corvette Custom – The Condor

The world of kustom kulture as we know it today began as an offshoot of the Southern California hot rodding scene. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, guys like George Barris, Big Daddy Roth, and Gene Winfield were coming up with wild new custom cars that had radically chopped roofs, slammed suspensions, shaved bodies, and custom pinstriping to show off their vehicles.

The allure of the kustom kar scene went out like a shockwave across the country, where it reverberated strongly with Jack Walker of Belton, Missouri. Jack was your typical hot rodding teenager, until he decided to start building cars for show. The first vehicle he displayed was in 1970, and it was called “The Condor.”

The Condor was a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette that Walker had restyled. He lengthened the nose of the car, adding an aluminum-finned grille and square headlights. He put together some custom gull-wing doors, a set of side pipes, and a cool paint job. This was the beginning of a career path that Jack would follow for decades.

Sometime in the mid 1970s, Jack redid the entire car and painted it yellow. Whatever happened between the 1970s and now is lost to history, but as I stood in front of the car at Barrett-Jackson 2014, I could see that it had not aged well.

While I don’t know the full history, you can imagine the stories this car would tell if it could speak. Changing owners, moving from state to state, being customized again and again until what resulted is the yellow monstrosity you see here before you. The car as it sits now looks nothing like Jack Walker’s original Condor show car.

The wheels have been replaced by a set of 5th generation Camaro wheels that bulge out from the wheel wells and give the car a nose-high stance. The unique gull-wing doors have been replaced by a half-assed gullwing/suicide door combination that doesn’t quite line up right. Someone has also swapped in the dashboard from a Jaguar along with the seats from a late-model Corvette Z06.

The years have not been kind to this car. Although it was once a cool show car, I think it looks goofy as hell with these too-large wheels, awkward doors, and hodgepodge interior.

But hey, just because the car’s not my style doesn’t mean its worth hating on, right? Well, I suppose that’s true. Let the bidding public vote for it with their wallets!

This car sold for $24,000 at Barrett-Jackson 2014 – making it one of the lowest priced cars to sell at the entire week-long event, and probably one of the least expensive 1963 Corvettes around. I have to say that this is one condor that should be kept in captivity instead of being released in the wild.