Barn Cave In: 1965 Corvette Fuelie

1965 Corvette Rescue

Barns can be dangerous places for classic cars. They can be full of rodents, insects, and all manner of destructive critters. While they all might have some elements of danger, some barns are more treacherous than others though. Take the barn that this 1965 Corvette Fuelie was discovered in. It was nearly to the point of caving in on the car it housed when Stephen B found it. It went from protecting its occupant from serious danger to being this Corvette’s worst enemy. Thankfully, as soon as Stephen had made a deal with the owner, he got to the task of pulling it out.

Clearing Debris

When Stephen found it, this Corvette had been parked for 30 years. It originally was a fuel injected model, but the original motor and fuel injection system were long gone. After carefully moving as much of the debris from away from the car, he was able to carefully pull it out of the nearly collapsed barn. It took several helpers and nearly knocking the whole barn down to get the job done, but they were able to do it without damaging the car. I’m sure the moment it was clear of the barn, there was a feeling of relief for him and his helpers.

Corvette Nearly Free

Now that he has the car out of the barn, he has taken on the task of restoring it. He is performing a full frame off restoration. I for one can’t wait to see his progress and look forward to hearing updates as he goes forward with the restoration! Be sure to take a look at the rest of his photos below showing everything from discovery to loading it up in the trailer. He hasn’t told me yet what his plans are for the engine, but if this were your project would you put a correct fuelie motor in it or would you leave it with the motor that was in it when discovered?


  1. RN

    Can you please tell me what you paid for the corvette. All these pictures are just of cars being saved but no price is ever mentioned. I very curious on what people have paid for these cars. Thanks. I look for barn finds every chance I can. Haven’t found the right one yet but I know it’s out there somewhere.

    • Don Andreina

      Maybe you’re at the wrong site.

    • annon

      this was a buddy of mine and if i recall he paid like 14, or 14.5k for it…well it was low to mid teens, if that at least gives you an idea

      Like 1
      • Don Sicura

        After what people are paying on ebay for these things, I’d say he got a bargain!

        Like 1
    • Bob

      Who cares what he paid. The car was saved.

  2. Mark E

    Nice find! I’m glad this one will be saved. Nearly identical to the ’65 roadster with a 327/350 I almost bought when I was 19 for $3,000. The main reason I passed was that insurance for a car like that at that age was $1500 per year. As much as I loved the car, I could not see paying the car’s value every two years for insurance and ended up buying a NEW 1976 Chevy Monza spyder for under $5k.

  3. Don Andreina

    That barn sort of looks like it was built around the car. Great find!

    • Brian

      The chickens called and they want their coup (not coupe) back!

      Like 1
      • Briscoe

        Haha. Their coop – not coupe, or coup. I wonder if they miss the roadster (not rooster) as well? Cool find. Drove a car just like that in high school. Those were the days.

  4. cory

    Price really shouldn’t be discussed, it just leads nowhere. As for what to do with the engine, I would say a frame off restoration deserves the correct engine. Hard to imagine putting that much money into something and not doing it right. I assume the buyer has done his homework to verify it is a fuelie

    • Brian

      I agree on not discussing what he paid. The buyer might feel that he got a bargain on the car he’s wanted since he was twelve; or, he might feel he got alittle too excited and paid abit too much (happens to the best of us at one point or another). Others will have their opinions if he choses to say what he paid. As long as the seller and buyer are both happy, it doesn’t really matter what he paid AND, as long as the buyer isn’t a dishonest flipper, no one would – should – begrudge the buyer of his new toy!

      • Dj

        I totally agree. The price paid won’t matter now or will it affect others who have barn finds. The owner will want whatever he wants. The saver might have gotten a deal or paid an outrageous price for it. It would be like a guy who just bought a 72 GTO convertible and paid a lot for it because it’s rare. Not knowing that they never made a 72 GTO convertible.

    • Darren

      WHO says the org motor is the correct way to restore it?
      might be correct way to get the most $$$ out of it, but you don’t want to talk price,lol

  5. Don Sicura

    Did I miss something, you are referring to this car as a Fuelie but I do not see any indications that it was. another question is: is this a numbers matching engine? If so, that would be the only way of telling exactly what the engine is or was, whatever the engine is, I wish the new owner luck with his purchase, he will most certainly need it, seeing how the car was stored. And I wish I could find the “old Corvette in a barn” someday, I’m a bit envious…lol

    • Josh Staff

      Hey Don, sadly for Stephen the fuel injection system was removed and a different V8 was installed by a previous owner. There are actually several ways to identify a fuelie that no longer has its fuel injection system, the easiest is to look for the L84 code on the VIN plate. I just heard back from Stephen and he has already pulled out the V8 that was in it and is hunting for a correct motor!

      • Don Sicura

        The fuel injection unit alone could set him back 10 K or more, I am in the middle of restoring my own 65 “barn find” and the things that need replacing are beyond belief, my car also sat for 30 years & the frame was completely rusted to the point that it literally crumbled when pressing on any part of it, I have lots of photos for anyone who’d like to see them & will post some here if allowed by the moderators.

      • Joel


        I hate to disagree but the L84 is not listed in the VIN or on the Trim tag, please check an NCRS guide. It takes documentation, the original engine (stamp for HP is on that), original owner, and lots of little details to determine what the car was born with. From the pictures you see no Fuelie emblems, a 66 grill and a couple other items. Could not see the redline on the tack. As for matching numbers their is the original motor, correct date and casting motor (now called matching numbers) and a RESTAMP which can get people into legal issues. Just my 2 cents worth. Would still love to have found it and made a great driver out of it though.

    • RollerD

      From the story…”but the original motor and fuel injection system were long gone”… the tachometer appears to have a high RPM red line which makes me think this is a higher performance solid lifter car (originally).
      Great find, I hope the new owner sends along some more information.

  6. Danger Dan

    Mama said don’t ask your people about money business. Its not polite or courteous.

    I love the pic of the big smile getting it out of the shed….

  7. Rick

    I disagree that price really shouldn’t be discussed. If for no other reason, It would be worthwhile to hear the amount of money being paid to give the rest of us barnfinders some idea of what to expect if we are lucky enough to come across similar vehicles. Unless you’re embarrassed because you paid too much!

    Like 1
    • Brian

      I’ve often found that hearing what somebody paid for an antique (car) is like listening to a political speach – just because you hear it doesn’t mean it’s always true. If your looking for values, its usually best to just check the price guides and compare shop online, in Hemmings, etc. and decide for yourself what a fair price would be. It really just comes down to how much the buyer can and will pay and how much the seller needs and wants to sell.

  8. rdc

    Sorry that’s not a barn, that is a shed. A poor one at that. :) A real barn is a tobacco, dairy, hay or equipment barn. Seriously.

    • rdc

      I should also add it is an interesting find. Hope it works out well. Why is that people store something to protect it and then let the storage building fall apart/

    • A.J.

      Re: rdc

      Yes, thank you. Can we please not call a “Shed” a “Barn”.

  9. Dan

    Congrats on the nice find!! Price is a non-player. If you are happy with the deal then you got a good deal!!

  10. Dirty Dingus McGee

    I still gotta find better barns.

    • Josh Staff

      You and me both!!!! Haha

  11. Dan

    I agree with a previous comment, there are no indications this was a fuelie car, like for instance for fuel injection emblems on the fenders….

  12. paul

    As barn finds go this picture needs to be the CENTERFOLD, THE CLASSIC EXAMPLE! & you can’t blame the former owner for trying. I am not so sure I would have been smiling till AFTER I pulled it out of that barn. I don’t see any fuel Injection badge but what ever so good luck with this find.

  13. Mike C

    Let’s see here; original engine and fuel injection unit are gone. Fuelie fender badges are gone. Car has ’66-67 grille and ’66 rocker trim, ’66-67 temperature gauge, but does have ’65 hubcaps.

    It does appear to have the correct Corvette rear deck script, but its on the wrong side.

    That doesn’t look like a ’65 fuel filler door emblem either.

    I say it is not only not a fuelie, but not even a ’65; I think it’s a ’66.

    Hope the buyer knew what he was doing: original engine or not, a fuelie will always be worth more than a garden variety small block Corvette given similar condition between cars.

    Good luck with your project; fuelie or not, it will be a great car when you are finished.

    • RollerD

      Also, regarding an earlier comment, I am not aware that the engine code is part of the VIN or the trim tag.

  14. Mark in Medford

    I agree with Mike C. I saw the 66 grill and thought the same thing. That would explain why the FI is missing.

  15. DT

    Prices are somewhat arbitrary ,some things go way up,some not so…Time can take an investment and either ruin it or you can be on the winning side.Sometimes a deal that cant go wrong, does. The picture of him sitting in it is priceless.

  16. stanleystalvey

    Fuelie or not, it depends what the owner wants. If it’s going to be a show car then you must have the correct parts. If it’s going to be a daily driver, I would find a sweet high-rpm 327, stuff it in there and start having a ball with it at cruise night. I had a Corvette 327 SHP engine once. That thing was capable of extreme rpm and pulled hard like and elephant all the way up the rpm scale to 7400rpm. I actually got famous in certain circles of drag racing with that engine and loved every minute of it. The Pro Stock Drag Racer, Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins became famous with the Chevrolet 327 engine and wrote books about them. As soon as I get the chance, I will own another one of those engines. If you hear tires squealing some quiet night and find my initials “SS” squiggled on the pavement in burnt rubber nearby, then you’ll know it was me.. hehe..

  17. John A.

    By the Cheshire Cat smile on his face he must have damn near stole it! If this Corvette was not a factory fuelie It will be when he gets done with it. …and the value as a collectable will be done also. Josh since prices are such a taboo and private thing means you will no longer be posting the going price of a vehicle on your site anymore? …just saying!

  18. Lemble

    Not a Chevy guy and this is about the last Chevy I would buy , That being said great save that car is well worth what you paid. Put a 350 in there and drive it until you can get the correct dated block. Just love it when a car is saved from the weather , even if I do not care for them.

  19. MikeW

    Looks faked to me.

    • PaulG

      MikeW, look at picture #9. If this is faked, they work for Hollywood…
      As for $ MYOB…
      The car is whatever the new owner wants it to be, after he spends his effort and cash…
      Great find!

  20. Impala Tim

    Can’t you just be happy for the new owner? There’s something awesome about rescuing a car from a place such as this The feeling is indescribable. Keep the peanut gallery away and just think of how good this guy feels right now instead of criticizing the car to death! Of course, if there is a Corvette involved that’s where all the BS comes into play.

  21. mike

    great story but once again i’ll ask… can you just put away..and poorly..a car for that long?? i just don’t get it…the last car i drug home…was parked under a big tree…i had no rest till it was a driver again…

    • rancho bella

      Folks put cars away all the time. This year I purchased a Lotus that was in a barn for 26 years……….two weeks ago I passed (got too many Lotusesss) on a ’64 Lotus that had been sitting in a garage for gawd knows how long with an inch of dirt. Called another Lotus nut and he bought it. That’s two for me this year……….I reckon that’s my allotment for the next ten. If a third appears this year……….I suspect I’ll be dropping to my knees…………

  22. Steve F

    I happened to know a lot about the owner and the car. He and I were the first to uncover the car from the barn. It was originally a horse barn that the car barely fit into. It came with both tops and had license plates from the early 80s. The car was a daily driver until parked in the barn. Stephen is a qualified NCRS judge and has done his homework and had the car verified as an original fuelie. As an aside, part of the bargain, included the destruction and removal of the ‘barn’. The wood was oak and it ended up at a picture frame business.

    • Josh Staff

      Hi Steve, It’s great to hear from you and to get some clarification about Stephen’s Corvette. It sounds like it is in good hands now! I just hope Stephen keeps us updated with the restoration, cause I know I look forward to seeing it completed! Thanks again and good work!

  23. geomechs geomechs

    I would have to say that the buyer did very well. He also saved the car from what would’ve been a disaster. I’ve seen a few barns/sheds like this one and I find it hard to believe that the car could actually be isolated from the elements in a place like that; you could throw a cat through the wall anywhere you chose.

  24. Vince Habel

    not a vette expert so I don’t know if the VIN say it is a fuelie. It doesn’t have fuelie badges on the fenders.

  25. jim s

    i too would like updates with photos. it does sound like the car is now in very good hands. i would like to see it become a daily driver. nice that they were willing and able to recycle the wood from the building. distressed wood is an interesting business. thanks for sharing

  26. OKCPhil

    Okay I am curious about the price also but only because I am addicted to Craigslist and couldn’t afford anything right now due to paying for the kids private school. My time will come though. Value wise I am assuming that returning it to original would be best but with today’s seriously crazy “BARN FIND” mentality don’t you guys think this would bring BIG bucks at one of the big auctions? It might get more if restored but the delta might be less. Just trailer it in and write a story to go with the photos along with the NCRS paperwork and someone will empty their 401K for this thing. Then buy a sweet version if the same car that someone else has already restored for less and use the rest on a trip with the wife. Just my .02

  27. RIC Parrish

    Just seems funny, no fuelie, no fuelie emblems, or holes in the fender. Who would remove emblems and fill the holes, like why? Oh well, the numbers should clear it up. Just sayin.

  28. Nova

    The sheer Rush and Adrenalin of finding this ’65 could only be surpassed by closing the deal!!!
    So many times you can get soo close and sellers remorse rears its head early…again.

    Congratulations, my hat is of to your success in buying your Roadster.

    The only visible remnant that was truly “Fuelie” that I could see was the oval opening in the rad support (opening for the ducting to the Fuelie air-box). And that alone isn’t enough or rather flimsy for basing 100% fuelie.

    My concern would be the water that has been pooling in the floor pans and overall exposure to weather and humidity. Water wicking up the carpet and getting into the steel structure (birdcage) which IS the structural integrity of the body, not to mention the frame…


    A bit of a sidebar, I made you an offer in my post from your “Northwest Classic Rally 2014: Back Home”.

    Check it out.



  29. Dolphin Member

    For coming up with barn finds to look at and possibly buy, there’s a saying that I’ve heard a few successful people offer at this point in a discussion like this:

    “The harder I work, the luckier I get”.

    I sure wish I had worked real hard looking for barn finds in whatever place this Vette was located. Congrats to Steven B.

  30. Steve F

    The front of the car had been wrecked at least once.

    If I recall correctly there were holes in one fender that had been filled where the badges would have been. We wer pretty sure the other fender had been replaced. I have seen the car I months, and my memory isn’t hat it once was.

    The barn had recently gone through a storm that had collapsed the roof. That is the reason the seller decided to sell it. The hard top was in the man’ house stuck behind his baby grand piano. The soft was in decent shaped and stowed behind the seats. The seats were in decent shape and there is/was no apparent frame rust. The engine (if I recall correctly) was a 350 out of a Chevelle. There was some evidence the car had been at the strip a few times, but I don’t recall what the evidence was. (it’s been about two years)

    Stephen has stripped the car and is preparing to put the body on a rotisserie this winter. It will be long project for him. He has a 70 350/350 convertible and an 86 Pace car that is NCRS top flight. He does almost all of his of work and is nearly anal about the process (sorry Stephen) A complete restoration like this car needs is both time consuming and costly. I’m sure that availability and finances will dictate what engine he ends up with, however knowing him, it will be a pretty close match.

  31. Stve F

    I’d like to add a few comments on how all this came about.

    Our local car club was hosting a car show in May 2 years ago. I was then President of the club and one of our members is a camera man for a local TV station. He convinced the station to do an interview with me that would be aired during their local hour before the news.

    Several weeks later the owner contacted me, saying he’d seen the TV spot, and that he had an ‘older’ Corvette in a barn behind his home that he would like to find a home for. After asking him a few questions to verify what it might be, I contacted Stephen and asked if he’d like to help the guy out.

    The car was found just like the first picture shows, the blue tarp was intact in front of the car, but it was so rotten it crumbled as soon as we touched it.
    The roof of the barn had collapsed, but it had not fallen enough to damage the car.

    I had owned a ’65 365 HP air conditioned Nassau blue coupe back in the day, but I really had no desire to start a complete restoration at this time of my life. Stephen is in his 40s and was almost drooling. When we left Stephen and I discussed what we should offer the guy for the car. It was Stephen’s idea to make part of the bargain, the destruction and removal of the barn. A price was set, (the guys wife could not wait to be rid of the car and barn) and the next weekend several friends, Stephen’s dad, and I pulled it out, and trailered it to his house. Stephen was so excited, he got sick. A week later we tore the barn down.

    • Don Sicura

      Hey Steve, if you could use another friend to find a car for, count me in………lol

  32. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Of course this car isn’t original. The previous owner obviously restored it to driver condition, probably in the 80’s, so that it could be enjoyed. He wasn’t interested in an NCRS cert, just owning a car that he could enjoy.
    Corvette VINs include the engine code, so stop doubting what the new owner says – he obviously knows his stuff.
    Kudos to him for recovering it and doing a frame off, these mid years are beauties. I’m sure the previous owner had dreams of once again driving it, but very often, these dreams get curtailed by life.

    • geomechs geomechs

      I agree with you. If I was the one who was able to drag that car home, I’d want to restore it the best I could but I wouldn’t get all bent out of shape trying to find an absolutely original engine. Close is good enough for me. After all, my main focus would be driving it and enjoying it.

      And so often life DOES get in the way of dreams. I wish the new owner well and hope he carries his dream to completion.

  33. Don Sicura

    To clear up a misconception about being able to identify an engine through a VIN on the C2 Corvettes, there was NO indication of engine configuration in the VIN, that idea came up later in the C3 series of Corvettes, any doubters should go to the Corvette Forum & ask, they are a great group of people that are eager to disseminate accurate information about Corvettes & YES I am a member.

    • RollerD

      Yes, the 1972 and later.

      • Don Sicura

        Correct, that was to separate the LT-1 engine option from the other engine options being offered that year.

  34. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Don: Sorry for my mistake, I am a long time C3 owner and thought the C2 VIN contained the engine code.
    Foot is now officially in mouth.

    – Dennis

  35. Don Sicura

    Dennis, I only sent that in because there are so many misconceptions about these cars (like the story about GM building 10 with aluminum bodies or the split window being an option – NOT TRUE) so put your foot back in your shoe & stop chewing on your toe nails…….lol
    PS, the only info on the VIN plate is that the car is a coupe or convertible, ie: the 37 or 67 in the first 5 digits of the VIN!

  36. John E

    Another one saved ! Bravo. Gonna need a lot of work, glad to see he is looking for the correct engine. Good luck with the restoration, hopefully it will not end up as a trailer queen and will be driven around a bit, as it was meant to be. It looks like the car was holding the building up !!

  37. John

    Of all the cars that are on my “I want one” list, a bright red mid-60s Corvette is probably the most wanted. I just wish I could be there first on one of these. Great find, Sir. And whether its a fuelie, or one someone put a straight 6 into, its still a great car. (just kidding about the straight six — I hope).

  38. Don Sicura

    I’ve seen a couple of those in the distant past & I ain’t talking about the 53 & 54 either. (sad what some people did to these cars back then)

  39. Mike C

    Okay, the new owner is an NCRS judge and says it’s a fuelie. That’s good enough for me. But, I am curious as to how it acquired all the ’66 parts. Perhaps the full story will come out in time.

    I, too would love to see progress photos as the car is restored.

  40. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Don, I have to LOL at the misinformation you mention, it is so true. I used to get the “Did you get one made out of fiberglass?” question once in awhile.

    Question: If you can’t decode the engine from the VIN, then how do you? Did they have the tank sheet on the C2? I was very fortunate that I was able to retrieve the sheet on my ’70, so I was able to verify that the car was indeed factory original.

    I remember in the mid to late 70’s seeing C2s in all sorts of conditions, but mostly either hot rodded or well worn. This car was probably one of those: enjoyed thoroughly and then put back together with whatever the owner could find at the boneyard.

  41. Don Sicura

    RE: Question: If you can’t decode the engine from the VIN, then how do you? Did they have the tank sheet on the C2?
    Ans. GM didn’t start putting tank stickers until 1967, as far as I know, the only way to get what options went with what car is to trace the VIN through the Corvette Museum (of course it is for a price) however I am told that GM did NOT keep very good records prior to 67. I don’t know if the NCRS has records or not, as I am a person that hates to send these people (NCRS or the Museum) money to tell me stuff that I usually already know or to be told that the information is incomplete in their files, and you never know until you’ve spent your money. my source of information is usually through the Corvette Forum & even then I double check when I can.

    • Joel

      The only money you need to send the NCRS is to buy the research books they sell to help educate yourself or help others. NCRS does not have those records, they can only help (sometimes) as to where the old cars were delivered and yes that is a fee based service. As for the NCM they only have build sheets for cars built in Bowling Green KY which started in 1981, so no money needed there. BTW, I am a member of both and have learned much from both organizations. So without an original (these have been faked also) window sticker chances are going to be hard to prove it was originally a fuelie. 1965 there were 771 total fuelies so the chances are not high. In addition here is an excellent link that has the specs for all 1965 Corvettes including how to decode the VIN and engine stamps (which is stated as not original). Good info and no cost.

      NCM Founding Member
      NCRS Member

      • Don Sicura

        Thanks for your input Joel, but I have to stand by my comments about the museum & NCRS, in all my years of both owning a repair shop specializing in Corvettes & as a law enforcement officer, I have found many inconsistencies, such as GM in the 67 model year putting the stinger hood on only big block cars, however GM put that same hood on a certain number of small block cars when they ran out of the base model hood, but to my knowledge never made record of it, or when they would cast engine blocks, certain first castings were set aside because they needed more machining or for other repair reasons, but when they ran out of perfect engines on the assembly line, they would go pick some out of the pile, repair those that were repairable & put them in cars so that the assembly line would stay up, as a result you would have mismatching or out of sync casting dates, AGAIN no record of these cars, oh and one more, in 1965 GM went from placing round pop rivets on the first VIN plates of their cars & then went to the “rosette” pop rivets on the VIN plates (lots of people had their cars taken for investigation of possible theft back then). My main reason for pointing all of this out to you is the judges at NCRS are being so picky. Yet, not one car coming off the assembly line even today would pass their inspection. Most of us love Corvettes but GM could never have imagined or foresaw the popularity of the midyear cars, they were meant to be the typical throw-away crap that Detroit was in the habit of passing off to the American buyer. So here we are today with almost no accurate record of what was built or with what options and since the closing of so many dealerships over the years, accurate information is at best guesswork!

    • RollerD

      “RE: Question: If you can’t decode the engine from the VIN, then how do you? Did they have the tank sheet on the C2?”

      You have to have the Protect-O-Plate, which was a warranty card. On the Corvette , they were first used in 1965. There is no tank sticker. So with a missing engine, you are left with only clues like tachometer red line or similar details. The NCRS can only tell you the build date and the dealer it was delivered to.

  42. Steve F

    The cars had a VIN. (vehicle identification number)

    The engine (and several parts) are stamped with the VIN.
    There have been many instances of reproduced stampings to ‘fake’ original matching numbers.
    The tag under the glove box did not include the options other that body style (coupe or convertible) Determining authenticity of original engine HP is determined by several ‘clues’ found in differences between base engines and higher HP engines. (tach red line is one of those, as is holes in fender badging area and radiator shroud hole)

  43. gunningbar

    Nothing like a Corvette to bring out the the detailers. Its a good car rescue story…..and price is of no interest to me. Good job.

  44. krash

    on its own merit, the image of a red 60’s vette sticking its nose out of that shack is well worth the price of admission…

    it’s the wall poster/screensaver for the rest of us (dreamers)…

    good story

    • stanleystalvey

      Good answer, Krash. I always loved that 65 to 67 body style. It’s been fun seeing all of these posts on Barn Finds for the fabulous Corvette, the All American muscle car..

  45. Steve f

    The quess of 14 or 15 K, paid is a bad guess.

  46. rdc

    Don, I appreciate your explanation how cars were built in the 60s. Puts things in perspective and makes some of the judging seem like nit-picking. :)

  47. stanleystalvey

    It’s been a joy seeing all of these posts on Barn Finds about the vette.. Every answer is and was a good one.. I still say, in the absence of documents, a 327ci is the best way to go. More like a Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins 327ci with reduced stroke by 10 thousands and bored 20 thousands over to make 331 cubic inches. These engines are hand crafted to withstand 10,000 rpm all day, every day for years.. But I digress. A guy can dream, can’t he.? hehe..

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