1965 Chevrolet Corvette Fuelie with 1,653 original miles!

There is always something to be said for owning the best example of a particular classic car, and this 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible “Fuelie” is potentially one of those cars. Amazingly, this 54-year-old classic has a mere 1,653 genuine miles on its odometer, and the multi-award-winning beauty is now looking for a new home. The Corvette is located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, and is listed for sale here at Hemmings. Of course, an immaculate classic with such extraordinarily low mileage is going to come at a cost, and it should be no surprise to learn that it is commanding a six-digit price tag. That price tag has been set at $499,999.

As you would expect from a car of this mileage, and this price, the presentation of the Corvette is nothing short of immaculate. The original Glen Green paint sparkles and shines, while the exterior trim and chrome appears to be faultless. In addition to the color-matched factory hardtop, the Convertible also comes with a Beige soft-top. The highly desirable cast aluminum knock-off wheels continue the theme of perfection when you look at the Corvette. The owner also provides a good selection of photos of the Corvette’s underside, and it is just as clean as you would expect from a car with such low mileage. It is also a prize-winning car, with a number of awards from NCRS. These include the NCRS Duntov Mark of Excellence, NCRS Bowtie, NCRS Top Flight & Performance Verification, NCRS Gallery Display, Bloomington Gold Bench Mark, Bloomington Gold Survivor, Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame, and Bloomington Gold Special Collection award. That is quite a CV, and an indication of just how highly regarded this car is amongst America’s foremost Corvette specialists.

The fuel-injected 327ci V8 resting under the hood is numbers-matching, as is the rest of the car. It sends its 375hp to the Posi rear end via a 4-speed manual transmission. With such low mileage, the presentation of the engine bay is both immaculate and original. In what might appear to be a complete contradiction, that wonderful fuel-injected 327 was both the car’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness. There is nothing wrong with the engine itself, and contemporary reports praise it for its responsiveness and performance. Its greatest weakness was its price. In 1965, Chevrolet introduced the 396ci big-block into the Corvette range. It produced 425hp, but it was the comparative prices that really sealed the fate of the Fuelie. The 396 was a $292 option on the Corvette, while the Fuelie set prospective owners back $538. Suddenly buyers were asking the question as to why they should be handing over an additional $246 to receive 50hp less. The end result was that while Chevrolet sold 2,157 cars fitted with the big-block, Fuelie sales accounted for a mere 771 cars. The writing was on the wall, and by the end of 1965, the fuel-injected 327 was no more. The shame of it really was that while the 396 could out perform and out muscle its smaller counterpart, the lighter weight of the 327 made the car a more nimble car that could walk away from the 396 whenever the roads became twisting. The Fuelie was just a more complete driver’s car, but that was never going to be enough to save it.

I really hate the term “time capsule,” because it is one of those terms that has become severely overused in the classic car scene. However, I really can’t think of a much better way to describe this car. The Saddle Leather trim looks absolutely pristine, while the carpet also looks perfect. There isn’t a mark, a scratch, nothing. It is so surgically clean and immaculate inside the Corvette that I get the impression that dust would actually be afraid to enter this car. In keeping with the fact that the original owner was happy to tick a few boxes on his order sheet, the Corvette comes loaded with the beautiful teakwood wheel, an AM/FM radio, and a telescopic wheel.

There is no doubt that this Corvette is an amazing car, and that’s not just my opinion. A Corvette doesn’t accumulate so many NCRS awards unless it is pretty extraordinary. I guess the big question that the next owner will face would be exactly what to do with the car. In an ideal world, a classic driver’s car like this should be out on the open road, doing what it does best. The harsh reality is that the odometer and the potential value are inextricably linked. As the odometer rolls in one direction, the value will undoubtedly roll in the opposite direction. That is the harsh reality, and I think that it will be for this reason that this Corvette’s ultimate fate will probably be to spend its remaining days in a museum. That’s a shame because you should never cage a thoroughbred.

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Comments

  1. JohnMalcom

    A nice vette for the common man.

    The price seems fine but this-mini house doesn’t have a shower or bathroom setup.

    I think a smart phone can be utilized as a entertainment center.

    It’s a beautiful car to buy and park in ones home and never drive .

  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Half million $$ for a car, unbelievable (then again so are others in that category).
    Better to take your gold bars and put them in the bank vault and leave the driving to people that like and enjoy cars. This should be a driver but never will IMO.

    Like 7
    • Frank Sumatra

      It is an asking price. Not too much different from some of the prices I have seen applied here to 356 Porsche’s that appear to have been salvaged from the Andrea Doria.

      Like 5
      • Paul

        Sorry guys , but I don’t believe a word of it

  3. Keith

    This car should be put in a museum, price is way too high!

    Like 3
  4. ccrvtt

    In an ideal world a person with a ton of money and some serious love for this car would buy it and drive it to his or her heart’s content. The rest of us could take vicarious pleasure in seeing it in its natural habitat – a twisty road or cruising Woodward Avenue.

    Possession alone is enough for some. Usage and enjoyment separates the real drivers from the owners.

    Like 9
  5. John Holden

    Beautifully written, Adam!

    Like 7
  6. Patrick S Newport Pagnell Staff

    Probably end up in a collection like this where money is no problem. Check the ’67 Vette @ 4:28. Insane!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osqWG2jnawc

    Like 2
  7. 71FXSuperGlide

    A year of firsts and lasts for Corvette. Last fuelie, first big block and four wheel discs.

    That dealer also has a COPO Camaro for $225K listed. Seems like a ‘steal’ compared to this one.

    Like 1
  8. CCFisher

    Amazing car, amazing restraint on the part of the original owner.

    Bloomington Gold may consider it a survivor, but I don’t. A survivor is a car that was used, lovingly cared for, and survived against the odds. The odds were in this one’s favor from day one.

    Like 7
  9. Arby

    For the asking price I would expect perfection. Unfortunately this car suffers from less than ideal storage conditions. Note the surface rust on the springs, sway bars, fasteners, etc.

    Too bad as there can’t be many C2s left with low mileage.

    • CCFisher

      It’s entirely possible that those components looked like that when they were installed at the factory. That light surface rust didn’t seem to bother the experts who awarded it all those titles, many of which are highly coveted in the Corvette world

      Like 10
  10. Arthell64 Member

    I would have put miles than this on the first week of ownership. Think of all of the fun the first owner missed out on chasing girls, getting into street races and just plain looking cool. Glad someone had the restraint but I wouldn’t have.

    Like 7
  11. Will Fox

    This Vette’s been written up a zillion times over the years, and is well known as you can imagine. $500K? Well, ask what you will, it’s all comes down to what a seller will accept for it. IMHO, there is not a Corvette on this earth worth that much, but then again I’m not a Vette guy. My guess is the seller is going to have the Vette for a bit longer than he anticipates, given that figure.

  12. Del

    Darn….

    9 grand more than I want to pay….🤣

    Like 7
  13. Morley Brown Member

    Put on some 20,s an drive the snot out of it.

  14. gbvette62

    I’ve complained about this before, but why is it that almost every time a mid-year Corvette is featured on here, the writer claims the car has a “teak wheel”????? This car has the standard walnut grained plastic steering wheel, not the optional real wood teak wheel.

    I don’t know about the reality of the asking price, but it’s a pretty impressive car. Glen Green with saddle interior is a striking combination, especially with a set of gold line tires. From five foot away in natural light (daylight), Glen Green is so dark it almost looks black. One of my customers is restoring a Glen Green/saddle 65 327/365 roadster right now. It’s the second one he’s done, as he did a Glen Green/saddle 65 396/425 roadster about 5 years ago.

    Like 3
    • Paul

      I was looking at the steering wheel myself and I agree with you that it is not a teak wheel.

      Like 3
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      And, how many actually came with a teak wheel?
      It had to be a rare option.

      Like 1
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        From The Black Book Dennis, 2,259 Teakwood steering wheels ordered. At $48.45 for the option. Total 23,562 cars built. Kind of glad you sold your ragtop, double edge sword thing. Take care, Mike.

        Like 1
      • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

        Thanks Mike.
        My Black Book was bought back in ’84 when I was shopping for my Vette. It is definitely the bible of Corvette numbers.

        It came in handy while I was looking around. IIRC, it even had information on where to look for the numbers on the engine, frame, etc.

        Like 1
  15. Joe Haska

    Great article and super analogy with the odometer, that says it all. End of story!

  16. JOHN Member

    Beautifully written, but… I wish the majority of the Barn Finds writers would please understand what a teak steering wheel actually looks like. This is NOT a teak steering wheel, but plastic. The plastic wood-grained wheels do look very nice, better in my opinion than any of the Ford and Chrysler offerings of the time. One thing I believe is worth mentioning is that we see the original ignition shielding system the was originally installed, that more than often than not goes missing. I know why they were often left off, they were a pain to re-install. Beautiful Corvette, I could see this in my living room! I’m not a Corvette guy, but this makes me drool!

    Like 2
  17. Steve

    The car may be worth half the asking price, What precedent is being set here with asking prices? Every one is trying to make the “Big Sale” these days in the classic car market. As a former owner of 3 C-2’s 64, 65 and 66 Stingrays and a 70 Roadster I can’t even find a daily driver that is affordable any longer. Sad for all of us older fellows that always felt at home behind the wheel of a C-2. For the rich and famous only now!

  18. moosie moosie

    Use this one as a bench mark for comparing it to the White one from yesterday. As much as I absolutely love Corvettes, any Corvette, this specimen is entirely too expensive and as much as I’d love owning it ,,,,, I’d have to pass.

    Like 1
  19. Bob S

    A very pretty car, and a well written article. I agree with the other posters, that the steering wheel was not the teak wood. I had one in my 64 coupe, and when you look at them side by side, you can’t mistake the real wood steering wheel.
    I am amazed that nobody comments on the knockoffs. I was madly in love with mine, and even though they were a PITA, and had to be checked regularly for tightness, they were gorgeous.
    I think the car is beautiful, and it is difficult to say it isn’t worth that kind of money. I’ll say it this way, it was much more fun driving the hell out of my 64 coupe. I think the driving experience was worth much more than the idea of squirreling a car away for 54 years and hoping to make a buck.
    Everyone enjoys the hobby differently, I hope it goes to a good home.
    Bob

    Like 4
  20. Gaspumpchas

    Perfect for the snooty Corvette purist with too much money. Most common gear heads wont make that much money in half a lifetime. Me included. Nice car though. Letter rip, boys!
    Cheers
    GPC

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