8k Original Miles? 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

There are times when writing for Barn Finds involves a very careful balancing act. This is especially true when the subject of an article is a car where the owner states that it is a genuine 1-of-1 example or where the claimed odometer reading is extraordinarily low. Dismissing such claims out of hand is unfair because an owner deserves the right to state their case. Such is the story with this 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible. Its presentation is achingly beautiful and seems to be in keeping with the seller’s claim that it has spent years as a cherished part of their father’s extensive collection. Two factors make this Corvette stand apart from the rest of the collection. The first is that it is the only car the owner retained long-term. However, the claimed odometer reading of 8,000 genuine miles elevates this classic above mere mortals. The time has come for it to find a new home, so the seller has listed the Convertible for sale here on eBay. It is located in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and relatively sedate bidding has pushed the price to $51,400, although this remains short of the reserve.

The story of this Milano Maroon Corvette is convoluted, but I’ll try breaking it down a bit. The car belonged to the seller’s father, and I believe that he may have recently passed away. It was part of an extensive collection that ebbed and flowed over the years, but the gentleman owned more than one hundred Corvettes during that time. However, this was the only car that he retained long-term. Included is the original Owner’s Manual, Protect-O-Plate, and Warranty Book. These provide a link that allows some of the story to be verified. Using the details contained in the Owner’s Manual, the seller recently located the original owner and confirmed that he had owned the car for a few months. His brother borrowed the car without his permission and was involved in a minor fender bender. It caused little beyond fiberglass damage, with the frame remaining intact. The first owner sold the car to a body shop, where it sat untouched for many years. That shop on-sold it to a second shop, where the story repeated itself. It was then that it came into the possession of the seller’s father, who restored the Corvette to its former glory. However, the sticking point is that there is no documentation that traces the car’s history from the accident until it found its way into this collection. Neither shop repaired the damage, nor did they title the Convertible in their name. Therefore, the evidence for the odometer reading is purely anecdotal. The car presents beautifully, with no issues or significant flaws. The paint holds an impressive depth of color and shine, with the Black soft-top appears perfect. The seller supplies underside shots that show nothing beyond some mild surface corrosion. The chrome is excellent, the glass is equally impressive, and the narrow whitewall tires offer a welcome contrast to an exterior dominated by darker shades.

The Corvette’s original owner wanted something a slice above the ordinary, which is reflected in this classic’s drivetrain configuration. The entry-level 327ci V8 produced 250hp, but by spending an additional $53.80 beyond the sticker price, they received the L75 version of the small-block that offered 300hp. The car also features a four-speed manual transmission and a 3.36 Posi rear end. By today’s standards, a ¼ mile ET of 14.6 seconds looks respectable. In 1965, it placed the owner in elite company. The Corvette remains numbers-matching, with the engine bay presenting perfectly. Its overall condition is in keeping with the claimed odometer reading, but it is about more than mere looks. The car runs and drives perfectly and is a turnkey classic begging for a new owner.

Potential buyers in 1965 faced a reasonable selection of choices for personalizing their Corvette, and this classic’s first owner didn’t focus purely on outright performance. They elected to spend $80.70 on optional leather upholstery in Black, adding a Teakwood wheel for $48.45 and an AM/FM radio at an eye-watering $203.40. The interior is original and unmolested, and its condition is all that you might expect from a classic with a four-figure odometer reading. There is no wear on the upholstered surfaces, the dash and console are perfect, while the gauge lenses are crystal clear. The seller includes this photo that shows wear on the carpet under the pedals. This proves that this Corvette isn’t a trailer queen and has seen active duty. The seller indicates that everything works as it should except the clock. That’s no surprise because they are a known weak point in a C2 Corvette interior. Thankfully, there are specialist services capable of restoring the clock to a working state.

If we ignore the mileage question for a moment and consider this 1965 Corvette in isolation, there’s no denying that it presents superbly. It has no immediate needs, and its drivetrain combination promises exhilarating performance. With values continuing to grow faster than the classic market average, it should command an asking price of $70,000 any day of the week. If the odometer reading proves verifiable, that figure would rapidly head toward six-figure territory. I’m prepared to accept that the seller is genuine and that despite the evidence being anecdotal, the odometer reading is correct. Others may be unwilling to accept that, which is where the seller will probably face their greatest challenge. Those differing opinions equate to a yawning chasm in potential value. Even if you aren’t considering purchasing this particular car, there is a lesson in this story for us all. If you own a classic car, guard its history and documentation jealously. If you eventually decide to sell, it could mean the difference between realizing a good sale price and achieving an outstanding one.

Comments

  1. wMotor

    Beautiful Vette. Insofar as mileage,.. I always defer to the wear and tear of the gas, brake and clutch pedals. If truely 8K miles, must have been a lot of stop and go in town traffic.

    Like 5
  2. Joe Haska

    What the Heck, right now the bidding on the this Corvette and the previous car ,are almost the same number. I am sure it will change ,but right now I am in sticker schock.

    Like 2
  3. Rixx56 Member

    Certainly a beautiful automobile!!

    Like 4
  4. timothy fairchild

    Sorry, the pedal wear and the dressed chrome of the spartk plug covers tell you something here is impossable. More than likely a new odometer.

    Like 4
  5. moosie moosie

    Very nice car, very well preserved . Whats puzzling is no mention of a optional hard top when the deck clearly shows the ferrules where 2 of the hold downs are ? Another question is how the car is still an “A” title vehicle with 4 owners, its says the 2 body shops never titled the car but the long time collector that bought it from one of those body shops had to have it titled in his name ? Is that really a teak steering wheel ? Very nice car in a great color combination , Good luck with the sale.

    Like 6
  6. Upchucked

    So… two body shops bought the car and ….. did nothing with them but put them in storage, without repairing what should have been an eye-closed job, given the fact that they were body shops. goes the little bell.

    Then, the long term buyer has it and loves it and out of the 100+ vettes he owns, this is the ONLY one he hangs onto. What sets this car apart from the other 99+? No reason given, just the son saying this was so.

    We have a claim of extraordinarily low miles. In 1965 this car was not such that any buyer would say it would appreciate by exponential amounts over the years such that multiple owners would refrain from driving it.

    There is a claim …that it is 1 of 1 …. but 1 of 1 what? Maroon vettes with black tops and AM/FM radios? 327/300 with 4 speed?

    As Moosie and others have said ….. 4 owners but only 2 on title?? … and it is still an ‘A’ title??? and then there is the pedal wear?? and the spark plug covers?? ….. Oops, my little bell just broke.

    Good luck with your auction, seller, hope the reserve isn’t so high you will be back again and again trying to peddle it.

    Like 4
  7. Burt

    Given all the comments, the eventual buyer should buy it to drive & own,
    not as some inflation-hedge. It is nice to look at, but reportedly they are
    not THAT much fun to drive.

    Like 2
  8. mooseandsqirrel

    I heard in a youtube video from a Corvette broker that said that purchasing a Corvette for a reasonable price is very difficult. Sellers think their car is some low number out of 10,000 in rarity and are asking a small fortune. So many of these “matching number” cars are restamps. When they were only a few years old, as used cars, teenagers would buy and race them. New engines, perf parts, etc were added. I would only pay for a driver and never for a museum piece. It is too risky.

    Like 1
  9. Mike

    To bad he doesn’t have the original tires, that could help verify miles. If it did indeed sit in a couple of body shops for years then the tires had to be original when he purchased the car

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