19k Genuine Miles: 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

The owner of this 1965 Corvette Convertible states that it has a genuine 19,121 miles showing on its odometer. Some people might not be inclined to believe this claim, but when you consider that the car has been parked and inactive since 1972, that’s when the claim starts to look far more conceivable. It now needs someone who is prepared to undertake a journey that will return the Corvette to active duty once again. The Corvette is located in Lake George, New York, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has reached $28,100, and with the reserve now met, there is a chance that this classic is about to get a new lease on life.

This is a car that is, in my opinion, surrounded with a certain air of mystery. For instance, it originally rolled off the production line finished in Nassau Blue, which is a very attractive color. In fact, it was the most popular in the 1965 range by a very long way, with 6,022 Corvettes wearing that particular Blue. The next most popular shade was Glenn Green, with 3,782 examples built. At some point, someone has decided to treat the vehicle to a color change in a much darker shade of Blue. Was this done because someone simply didn’t like Nassau Blue, or was it just so that they could have something a bit different due to that more common color? Regardless of why this was done, someone looks like they will need to repeat the process at some point. The paint is peeling off in veritable sheets around the car, and if it is to be returned to its former glory, then it will require a complete paint strip to ensure that any fresh paint has a good foundation to bond to. The owner refers to the Corvette as being a solid candidate for restoration, which I would take as an indication that there are no issues with the frame. As you will see as we work through the photos, I do feel that this area of the car could potentially have at least a partial coating of surface corrosion that might need to be addressed. The vast majority of the chrome is present, and it does look like it would restore okay, while the glass looks like it is also quite good.

The interior of the Corvette is finished in a combination of Medium Blue and White vinyl, and when it was new, it must have looked pretty impressive against the Nassau Blue paint. This is a bit of a weird one, because while the White vinyl looks like it is in good condition, what can be seen of the Medium Blue carpet looks like it is dirty, and possibly even rotten in spots. Apart from the carpet, the rest of the interior could be considered to be acceptable if the next owner is merely seeking to return it to a driver-standard vehicle. There are a few components from the doors such as the grab handles and those for the vent windows, that are missing. Overall, there is nothing major required inside the Corvette, apart from the carpet. The rest of the work is going to revolve around the little detail items that if attended to, should really make the interior shine. Now we get to that moment where we start to see those first indications that I was talking about when I mentioned the possibility of corrosion on the Corvette’s frame. Take a look at some of the components on the console. There are a few items that look pretty sad, and these would tend to indicate that the storage location that the vehicle has occupied for the past 48-years may have been somewhat less than ideal. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If the corroded items inside the Corvette were the tip of the iceberg, opening the hood reveals a little bit of what could potentially be below the surface. There are a lot of components in the engine bay that carry some pretty significant surface corrosion. The most obvious of these is the air cleaner, although there is also plenty visible on the intake, the radiator and its shroud, the fan, and virtually every bracket in the engine bay. What we also find is the fact that the Corvette is said to be a numbers-matching car, with the L76 version of the mighty 327ci V8 that was capable of pumping out 300hp when the car rolled off the production line. This is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission, and at its peak, this combination would have allowed the Corvette to storm through the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds. The owner says that the 327 does not currently run, but he also doesn’t indicate whether it turns freely. If it does turn, then it might not take a lot of work to get it to fire into life once again. However, it is also possible that a rebuild might need to go onto the “to do” list due to how long everything has been sitting.

This 1965 Corvette Convertible is a car that would seem to have a fair amount of potential as a project car. I will temper my enthusiasm by saying that there are some indications that there could be some corrosion issues that will need to be addressed if the car is going to maintain its long-term structural integrity. If the frame does have significant corrosion, then not addressing it immediately could potentially be an expensive mistake at some point in the future. It is one of those cars that also demands a personal inspection. But if it does check-out as being okay, then it really will be a great restoration project.


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  1. dabig kahuna

    Probably painted when the fender flares and spoiler were done. Figure at least 15k to remove those items, strip & paint. Add that to the rest that needs done no bargain to be had here.

    Like 8
  2. Newport Pagnell

    Ugh,radiused fenders ruins the clean lines of the C2 design.

    Like 4
  3. CCFisher

    This car needs more than cosmetics. The wheel openings have been altered and fender flares have been added. Perhaps someone had dreams of fitting larger wheels and tires long ago? It’s not an attractive modification to my eyes, so I hope someone fixes it.

    Like 4
    • paul Thomas werner

      Wheel well wells cut ? Could have been raced

  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Don’t mind altering the rear fenders on a Bronco but cutting up this car doesn’t go with my thinking at all. Probably one of the best looking cars ever produced turned into looking like a dune buggy.

    Like 4
  5. ccrvtt

    As the driver of a 2007 LeMans blue convertible this color combo appeals to me, but I agree that the Nassau blue is more appropriate for this vintage. The arched wheel openings don’t bother me as it allows for wider tires. The purists would insist on a return to the original which will be expensive. In fact, a lot of things would be expensive to return this to a concours quality car.

    A customer did a restoration on a similar C2 and told me that the body actually lifts off the frame making it a bit easier to restore the chassis. $28 K seems like all the money given what it may take to get to NCRS status – which is the fate of most of the C2s left.

    Then again, hopefully someone will just buy it and drive it, after they put a set of red line wide ovals on it.

  6. Gaspumpchas

    Think we saw this one before? The guy did himself no favors by leaving the rusty air cleaner and greasy valve covers. removed said air cleaner and 1/2@$$ wiped off the valve covers. Sat someplace damp. Its up to 30 large and the guy doesn’t know if it turns over! Frame pic is scary. How far you wanted to go on the body would be up to you, but as the big kahuna said it would be 15 k easy to remove the flares and repaint. Why the paint didn’t stick is another worry. Looks ok to the untrained eye. Good luck and stay safe.

    Like 1
  7. gl1593

    The flares are a major expense for this car. The quarters require only one panel on each side to be replaced saving the original bonding strips. The nose on the other hand is major. The upper surround, parking light panels, louver panels, and practically all bonding strips are ruined. In other words the nose needs to be replaced. The car as optioned would never be worth all the money that wopuld go into a restoration.

  8. Mike

    No Thx…. way.. way ..way…too much money to be spent… To repaint a corvette… the only way to do it right is to take it off the frame..and then.. the issues would really mount up… Buy one.. DONE…. let some other fool lose all the money..

    Like 2
  9. Big Fish

    I’m sorry but i dont believe the miles one bit especially looking at the engine compartment that appears to be recently power washed and still see what looks like grease. How does a car get a greasy engine compartment and look this rough with only 19k on it? I could be wrong, just my opinion.

    Like 1
  10. Perry Yasher

    Looks like a real hard 19K miles.

  11. moosie moosie

    19,121 miles ???????

  12. Comet

    Those fender flares ain’t cheap to correct and kill it’s value. I also agree with Perry Yasher.

  13. Arby

    Miles don’t mean squat on a 50 year old car unless condition verifies it.

    Like 1
  14. dogwater

    Well WA WA WA O the bonding strips are ruined the car as rust and O the flairs
    let all jump of the cliff big deal it can be fixed if you have so time and want to repair it will be a nice car and Mike no you don’t have do a frame off to have a nice paint job we have painted a lot of corvettes on the frame.

    • Pyasher

      That was Mikes opinion and yours is it can be fixed. It is all about if you can do the work yourself or pay to have it done. Personally I always try to buy the nicest car I can and then start the improvements.

  15. Jim

    OH… I would love to see them…. do you paint at MAACO

  16. Patrick J. Flynn

    I owned one of these and wonder if the valve covers are correct, the exhaust manifolds and the air cleaner. Mine was the 327/350 version and these items were significantly different. Brake condition and the shift linkage and clutch pedal mounts must be correct. It needs a close up look and further discussion. That said, this one is interesting.

  17. TimM

    How to ruin a classic corvette!!! Just ask the guy who cut the wheelwells!! Not an easy fix by any means!!!

    Like 1
  18. Kenn

    This has been in a flood somewhere.

    Like 1

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