NCRS Award Winner: 37K Mile 1965 Chevrolet Corvette

It is hard to imagine a more optimistic year for the Chevrolet Corvette than 1965. Power abounded from an entry-level of 250 gross HP all the way to a new for ’65, 425 gross HP. It was the last year for fuel injection but there was a new small-block V8 available that generated 350 gross HP and didn’t require valve lash adjustments. Need more stopping power? Newly introduced four-wheel disc brakes were just the answer. Want a little external gingerbread? Order up newly available side pipe exhausts. While there were 23K+ ‘Vettes produced in ’65, and they are coveted, it’s not every day that you find a stock, extremely clean, unmolested 37K mile example. But it does happen and here’s living proof. This 1965 Chevrolet Corvette coupe, located in Haleyville, Alabama, is available here on eBay for a current bid of $35,100, reserve not yet met. Thanks to Patrick S. for this tip!

By 1965, the Corvette was into its third year of C2 Sting Ray embodiment. The loved/hated (then anyway) split-window design was two years in the past and the exterior of the Corvette was simplified a bit and included working fender ducts behind the front wheels. The power choices were almost unlimited; it was a great time to either be a Corvette or be a Corvette buyer.

The remarkable aspect of this example is its originality. How can one own a car as alluring as a ’65 Corvette and only drive it 37K miles over the span of more than half a century? Hard to say. The seller states, ” When I tell you it all original it’s just that…”. But this claim is made right after he mentions the one repaint. So no, it’s not completely original. Repaint or not, however, it shows very well. The seller lists this Corvette as having a “show paint” finish at 30 feet but then adds that it is really a six or seven in rating; so OK, an honest assessment. Regardless, it displays beautifully, the finish has depth and shine and there are no obvious signs of seam popping, cracking, or fiberglass separating. Of note are the cast-aluminum wheels with knock-off spinners – it would be just two years later when the newly formed Federal NHTSA gave a “knock it off” order to knock-off wheels with spinners and the ’67 versions are devoid of this feature. The seller adds that this Corvette received an NCRS (National Corvette Restorers Society) Second Flight award in 1994.

Inside is just beauteous, red leather that looks too good to be true. There are no signs of creases or age-related degeneration. One would have to believe that this ‘Vette has been covered up, inside, in a climate-controlled environment for the upholstery to maintain such a perfect appearance. Maybe so, the seller has little to say about it.  He does, however, have quite a bit to say about this Corvette’s status as a radio-delete car. While it might be rare, I posit if this Corvette was simply ordered without a radio in the first place? I searched the ’65 Corvette RPO code list and found a delete option for disc brakes (K66 – which is hard to believe) and a delete option for the heater/defroster (C60) but none for a radio. I ordered a ’77 Z28 Camaro without a radio and it came with a plastic plate over the radio opening but it did not qualify as a radio delete car, it was a car without a radio. I’ll ask our Corvette informed readership to chime in on this matter. Anyway, this seems more like a rarity that is not a value enhancer. Whatever the case, the interior is in stupendous condition.

The seller does not elaborate on the under-the-hood workings other than to state, “this car runs, drives, and shift exceptionally well.” And that is accomplished via its 327 CI V8 engine. Unfortunately, he does not state which of the five 327 engines that were available, this particular one is. The valve cover sticker, which is hard to read, does appear to display “250 Horsepower”. That being the case, that would mean this example is powered by the standard, entry-level engine. And ’65 would be the last year for it as it was dropped for ’66 with base power moving up to 300 gross HP. Coupled with a four-speed manual transmission, this engine will make for sprightly motoring but certainly not something to be confused with exhilarating.

This is one of the most original examples of a C2 Corvette that I have encountered. Its plain vanilla finish, vibrant red leather upholstery, and minimal options/equipment creates a certain, understated allure. It’s definitely not for the, “Hey look at me!” crowd but more for one who knows and appreciates what they have. There are nine bids and nine days to go with the auction; any guess where the bidding will top of what the reserve may be?


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  1. Ken Jennings

    I do not understand, what exactly are knock off wheels? I do see spinners here. I think they look great. I would have been happy with spinner wheel covers in those days, but I see these are indeed wheels.

  2. doug

    Wheel is on a splined adapter, spinner holds it on. Takes a hammer to loosen the spinner. I only ever remember seeing one car with them as a kid, a ’65 blue coupe with goldline tires. Since they were reproduced they are now everywhere.

    Like 3
  3. jimjim

    If those are true knockoffs original to the car, you should be able to flip the cover in the back where the jack is kept and I believe there would be a sticker with instructions specific to spinner original cars.

    Like 2
  4. Bill Cawley

    Steel painted valve covers were specific to the 250hp engine.

    Like 1
  5. George Mattar

    If a Corvette was ordered with factory knockoffs, a special lead hammer came in the car from St. Louis. It had a lead head so as not to damage the chrome spinner. It took about 2 to 3 decent whacks to ensure it was tight enough to drive safely. There were no lug nuts, as mentioned here. Of course, after 1966, our illustrious government decided these were no longer safe. Well, how about idiots riding around on 24 inch wheels today stoned out of their minds? Nice car, fair price. Won’t go real high due to 250 hp engine, but the beauty is that this car was likely not hammered to death by some balloon headed fool.

    Like 2
    • JoeNYWF64

      I would imagine a lot of these wheels were stolen – or certainly would be a lot easier to steal. Some lugs nuts on conventional wheels that were put on too tite &/or very long ago with an impact wrench can be almost impossible to remove with a hand wrench, even using an extension breaker bar.
      While knock off wheels have to be installed by hand.

      Looking under the hood, i guess 1 of these w/o a radio also did not get the chrome igntion wire shield by the firewall either!
      Makes sense.
      I would just replace the vacuuum advance(diaphram inside dried out & questionable) with a new one – not NOS & throw the orig 1 in the glove box & reinstall when judging.

  6. ruxvette

    There is no “radio delete” option. There is a radio option. If you don’t check the box you don’t get a radio. The add does not even mention the wheels. If they were original to the car they would add $7-10k in resale. The original purchaser did not check too many option boxes (base motor, credit for drum brakes). The leather is a surprise. The wheels would be a huge surprise.
    Still a nice car and probably worth $45-50k…but will sell for more, I’m sure.

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