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1965 Chevrolet Corvette 4-Speed Project

I will freely admit to not being a Corvette enthusiast, but for some reason, I am digging this Sting Ray convertible that’s equipped with the desirable manual transmission and a factory hard top. The seller notes it is a running car but that it likely needs a bunch of fine-tuning before you can call it a driver. There’s also some skeletons in its closet related to prior accident history but it appears to have been repaired to a decent standard; however, if you can live with it, the strike against it due to previous repairs will likely net you a bit of a discount. Find the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray here on eBay with a $36,500 Buy-It-Now.

The Corvette has the right looks, with its candy apple red paint job, deep dish rally wheels with polished lips, nicely preserved chrome bumpers, and of course, that sweet factory hard top. The seller notes that this example is an “….old car from the 80s,” and with the “…last owner since 1994.” It sounds like the sort of car that was a runner but got laid up for a bit, and then stayed dormant for far longer than expected. The good news is there doesn’t appear to be any rust issues, and the seller confirms that the frame is in good shape. The biggest issue is that the seller confirms there’s evidence the rear clip was replaced, which is why he suspects prior accident damage.

Is that a major issue when it comes to deciding whether to restore this Corvette or not? In my opinion, it’s a non-starter if the repair work was done well. Perhaps I wouldn’t go full-blown in my restoration attempt, choosing to make it a nice driver rather than a Bloomington Gold candidate. The good news is the VIN tag is still present and the seller also notes the presence of the original rivets. While the listing suggests that a restomod may be an option, I wish they’d stop chopping up good cars to make it function like a new one. If you want a new Corvette, your dealer would be glad to mark one up for you. As a genuine 4-speed car, this Sting Ray deserves to be preserved.

The seller doesn’t confirm if this is a numbers-matching car, but if it was, I suspect he’d say so. It has a running 327 under the hood, but it only runs if you pour gasoline straight into the carburetor. He also flags the fuel pump and gas tank as needing work, so I suspect the whole system has been sitting with old fuel in it for as long as it’s been parked. Horsepower-wise, the seller says all signs point to it being a 250 b.h.p. motor, which means it should have about 350 lb-ft of torque to help it get out of the gate. The Sting Ray will always be a sought-after classic, and this being manual transmission car with its factory hardtop make it an example worth saving.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Bama

    I’d much rather have an honest driver than a trailer queen I was afraid of getting out of the garage. Fix what needs fixed, update the brake rubber and new tires. The 327 will provide many miles of enjoyment, especially with the 4 speed. I feel he’s about $10G too high, but the final buyer will decide that.

    Like 16
    • Avatar photo George

      Please find me a running 4 speed 2 top 65 vette for 26500 in this shape. Impossible

      Like 3
  2. Avatar photo Johnny Major

    There appears to be an very concerning excessive amount of flaking bondo/puddy and very poor fiber glass work to the under side body. This car definitely needs very close inspection!

    Like 7
  3. Avatar photo ruxvette

    While I would always agree with that I think the “$10G too high” is off base.
    Seems like a driver/fix as you go car and could be a fun car.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Guy Wind

      In 1972, I was home on leave with orders for a place called Phu Bai. There she was, a 65 red Corvette rag top., 327 4 speed, low miles. The guy wanted $2500. I had the cash, and arranged for storage. But, I needed a cosigner – too young for buying in Minnesota. Pop said
      no. Hindsight? I wouldn’t have been able to hang on to it. And now? Too late. Looks like a great project with a reasonable entry fee.

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo George

      You have no idea of value these days. Go find me one for 26500 in this shape.

      Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Bo

    I would say the price probably isn’t bad, but that’s subject to a few things.
    First off it’s missing the short cables underneath that connects both seats to the frame so your ass isn’t at risk of sliding down the highway. Cheap fix.
    Next it has been clipped and the frame has been sectioned. Besides being sectioned the driver side frame is bondoed. Not something I would EVER do, under any circumstances. I would make sure the car goes straight, and if so I would take the body off and redo the framework and the fiberglass repair.
    To take the body off I would do ALL glass work first that’s on the top side and whatever’s easy to reach on the bottom, then bolt the hardtop on and leave it there til the body is back on frame.
    Body can be jacked up by the rockers with the doors open.
    Would replace that rusty old 9 leaf rear spring with a new 7 leaf.
    Would replace all rubber body mounts.
    Front headlight bar on right looks like it may be breaking loose.
    I think the seller is correct about horsepower, based on the exhaust.
    If I was doing the original repair on this car I would have probably sectioned the frame under the firewall, but that’s just me.
    One more small concern: the cut on the frame drivers side probably goes right through the frame vin number, and the second number is on the top of the frame over the differential drivers side, so that’s not going to be valid. There’s a third number somewhere, but I’ve never found it.

    Like 20
    • Avatar photo 370zpp Member

      Bo, When I read a comment like this, explaining in detail what needs to be done to a car that looks pretty good as-is to me, I am reminded of how little I actually know about restoring one.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo Bo

        Thanks. I spent in excess of twenty years repairing and supervising repairs on mostly c1, 2 and 3 corvettes, body and mechanical. I worked on other cars too, but vettes were probably 80 percent of my business.

        Like 3
    • Avatar photo Ted Johnson

      Bo, AWESOME breakdown just saved me some serious cash. Thanks

      Like 1
  5. Avatar photo Jerry Bramlett

    Brutally honest eBay ad description with thorough website photos. A+ for the dealer.

    But… it’s still a sad car that was kissed on both ends and had it’s dignity stolen. No thanks.

    Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Bamapoppy

    I agree that having the hardtop is a big plus but the idea of bolting it on? Come on, now.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Ruxvette

      Not a Corvette guy, eh? The hardtop latches to the windshield header and attaches to the rear deck with four bolts.

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo George

      They all bolt on. That’s the way it’s manufactured

      Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Old Beach Guy

    I wouldn’t worry about a back-halfed C-2. If there are problems, they’re simple fixes. In the mid-nineties, I helped a friend back-half a 1992 Camaro. Compared to that Camaro, that C-2 is nothing. When the Camaro was finished, the NC DMV inspector said it was the best job he’d ever seen.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Bo

      Clip jobs on unibody cars shouldn’t be done for structural reasons. They’re not safe. They tend to break apart where they were joined because of not having all layers welded. Welding the outside layer isn’t adequate, and Camaros are very much built in layers.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo George

        Shows that you know absolutely nothing about a midyear corvette. The are body on frame..not unibody

        Like 0
  8. Avatar photo 59poncho

    Can o worms

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    When ever I see a C-2 in this price range I think I should buy it, and then I read the comments from the Corvette Gurus. Then reality sits in and I realize what an incompetent Bozo I am, I have no experience with Corvettes , listen to people who know.

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Truth

    Probably about 10k too high as it’s going to be close to 10k to make a really nice driver. Needs the entire fuel and brakes systems redone. Probably needs tires and definitely needs body touch ups. Could be a little higher than 10k to get it road worthy if the frame isn’t fully straight and/or body needs aligned to the frame right.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo George

      Go find me one like this for 26500 with a running 327 4 speed and both tops. A 65. Not a 64 or 63..impossible

      Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Bo

    Go George, try reading what I was responding to before speaking up. Old beach guy was saying how much more work it is to clip a 92 Camaro and I stated Camaros shouldn’t be clipped. Ya gotta start at the top and read down dumbass

    Like 2
  12. Avatar photo Justin

    Clipped yes,with an ugly butt weld not even fish plated or reinforced…Buy it but plan on a frame (how safe is the one on it). All in on this one you may as well buy one that’s done.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Bo

      I agree it should be fish plated. I usually plate on inside and outside of frame where it doesn’t show, but not the top or bottom.
      It appears to me they took a difficult route across floor and frame, especially since they didn’t replace all the frame damage on the left rail.

      Like 1

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