396 Big-Block V8! 1965 Chevrolet Corvette

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The second generation of the Corvette (aka C2) was one of the car’s shortest production runs at just five years. During that time, it also gained the name Sting Ray. The 1965 model year would be the best yet in terms of sales for the Corvette – 23,562 units. Finished in Double Red, the seller’s ’65 Vette is said to be a numbers-matching car with the L78 396 cubic inch V8, but we’re not sure of the car’s location. The listing says it’s a Georgia car, but the seller’s profile indicates he’s in California. Available here on Corvette Forum, the asking price is $70,000. Thanks, Larry D, for more scouting on your part!

1965 would be the mid-way point for the C2 Corvette. Styling changes were minimal, including the hood that no longer had scoop indentations and working vertical exhaust vents in the front fenders. While the standard engine remained the 327 V8, buyers could now take advantage of the new 396 that was capable of 425 hp, which is what we’re told is in the seller’s car. That could be had for $292,70 extra compared to $538 for fuel injection, which would disappear after this model year.

4-wheel disc brakes were introduced in 1965, so the Corvette could now not only go fast it could stop fast, too. If you still wanted drum brakes, you could have them and receive a $64.50 credit on the sticker price (only 316 buyers decided to go that route, so more than 98% of Corvettes sold that year had the discs). The seller doesn’t give us a lot of details about this car. It appears to stay in a garage with a cover over it when not in use and there is no indication of the car’s mileage. While the color is stated as original, we don’t know if the paint itself is.

This is a good-looking car from what we can tell with no known or identified flaws in the body or running gear. The fact that the drivetrain is numbers-matching is a big plus, although there is no mention of whether any of it has been rebuilt after 56 years. And 1965 would be the only year the 396 would be offered, with the 427 taking over for 1966. Hagerty estimates the resale value of the ’65 Vette in Excellent condition to be $72,000. Thus the seller, a two Corvette owner, has done his homework but has been skimpy in detailing his wares

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  1. Skorzeny

    I wonder about those people that opted for the drums. This car would be a top choice for a warm summer evening.

    Like 3
  2. Charles Sawka

    I always found that the C2 small blocks seemed to feel better to me. The big block cars certainly had the raw power but a bit of extra weight to go with it. This one is nice, love the double red.

    Like 2
  3. its1969ok

    Those 396’s with the chambered side pipes were a revelation back in the day.

    Like 2
  4. Larry D

    I always find it kind of funny when talking to people about the C2 Corvettes (1963-67). People who have been involved with Corvettes for a long time call these cars mid years. Newbies to the Corvette scene have no idea what that term means.

    Like 1
  5. Tony Holmstrom

    Have one in the garage, not that good of shape

    Like 0

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