Barn Find Project: 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Ready, steady go & probably gone in this case. It’s a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette roadster and it will probably serve as my “challenge of the month” project. It appears to have been a nicely equipped car, originally, but now but it is in full and major project status. Located in Clinton Township, Michigan, this ‘Vette is available here on eBay for a current bid of $15,000, reserve not yet met.

There are twelve hours to go on this one bid wonder so let’s go through it. It’s mostly dismantled, and here is the seller’s synopsis, “The frame is badly rusted in front of the rear wheels and passenger side #3 body mount. A good used C3 automatic frame is included in this auction, for a C2 frame conversion, with all suspension, power steering, and 3:08 posi. The lower windshield frame is also rusted, at the A-pillars, the inner/outer sections will need repair or replacement.” So there is an extra frame but it’s not really the correct one. I’ll ask our Corvette experts to comment on the applicability of that conversion. I know the frames are similar but are they similar enough? But what are you really attaching to the included C3 frame? Well the seller openly states, “Major project, needs complete body-off restoration. Most all original parts need to be restored or replaced.” That’s encouraging. Also, I’m not sure about that removable hardtop, it’s referenced as a “Smoothline” and it looks like the top for a C1, not a C2.

This Corvette, at one time, housed a 327 CI, low horsepower, V8 engine that drove through a Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission. That’s gone and in its place is a 283 CI motor that is either coming or going. It looks more like fuggedaboutit as there are so many missing parts. Even the most adventurous restorer would be better off sourcing a more correct engine than trying to figure out how to put Humpty-Dumpty back together. No word if the Powerglide is still in place or not.

The interior has some major floor issues going on. The seats and instrument panel appear reasonable though. Of note is the center console-mounted power window switch. This Corvette appears to have been optioned as a cruiser with power windows, power steering, power windows, automatic transmission, and a mild horsepower engine. It was probably a very nice two-seater in its long-ago day sporting a Glen Green exterior and a Dark Green interior. What a shame!

So what’s it missing? Lots of stuff. We are told that this Corvette is as-is, “no other parts are included”, so your on your own to figure out its needs. You have to appreciate the seller’s directness, he’s not sugar-coating what will be an extensive project. He further states that this Corvette was damaged as the result of a carburetor fire (it must have been a six alarmer) and then parked, in a discarded manner, in a barn, years ago. It’s hard to see an upside here (I would have left it in the barn), especially at the current bid, much less the unknown reserve, but I’m not that adventurous. What does everyone think about this Corvette? Is there a pony under this pile, or is it just a pile?


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  1. Classic Steel

    The labor and rust on this one to me amazes me the reserve not met,
    Walk, run 🏃🏻‍♀️ fast on this one.

    Swapping all parts and frame means its never high dollar car and one can be bought cheaper together together tgats turn key 🔑

    Just an opinion and a C2 vette owner knowing Corvette parts are like mopar parts that require platinum cards to get more than two big items 😉

    Like 5
  2. Gaspumpchas

    I’m not an expert on anything and surely not corvettes, but are these things this desirable even in this condition, north of 15 large?? geez. Like classic steel says, there’s no gold on this pig and it would cost a mint to redo it. Rust in the birdcage is troubling. Good luck and stay safe!

    Like 5
  3. Frank

    Looks like a Parish Plastics top, had one on my 62

    Like 2
  4. ACZ

    A real shame. It would have been nice to get a crack at this one when it was still a car. Not now.

    Like 4
  5. gbvette62

    How easy it is to install a C3 frame under it, really depends on what year the frame is. Not even all C2 frames were the same. In 65 alone, the frame was changed a couple times.

    68-72 frames are nearly identical to 63-67 frames, and are easily converted. 73-74 frames are pretty close too. 75-79 frames need a little more work to convert, but not impossible. The rear frame area on 75-79’s was changed to accommodate the impact absorbing rear bumper. 80-82 frames are the most difficult to convert, they used a completely different rear end, and there were other littler changes too.

    This car looks pretty rough, and appears to be missing a lot of parts. One plus though is that it appears have an original teak wood steering wheel!

    Like 4
  6. Steve Bush Member

    Huh? At $15k and reserve not met for this POS? Shill bid? You’d have to be nuts to pay anywhere near this clown’s asking. A quick check online shows several apparently nice 1965s in the $50-70k range. It would likely cost you way more to get this one to their level.

    Like 8
  7. pwtiger

    This could be a good gasser project, just weld up that rusty frame and mount a straight axle under it. Build a 572 with Hillborns and a built powerglide, a 9″ ford diff with some ladder bars, now all you need to do is knock a zero off the price…

    Like 4
  8. Little_Cars

    Looks like the aftermarket hardtop adds some more visibility over the factory hardtop, but the rounded look of the rear glass doesn’t complement the sharp edges of the ‘Vette design. Parrish was the manufacturer, and IIRC “smoothline” was the model designation. These were sold in the back of all the car mags back in the day for a wide variety of cars. My older Midget had one, I’ve even seen catalog images but never in person seen Parrish hardtops for Corvairs and T-series MGs.

  9. Bob Mck Member

    I have a near perfect 66, numbers matching with a 4 speed, knock off wheels, side pipes etc that I would sell for $65K. Seems cheap next to this mess where 15K doesn’t meet the reserve.

    Like 3
  10. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at Reserve Not Met with that single bid of $15K,
    If that were a real bid, and I highly doubt it was, the seller is out of their mind for not taking it.

    Like 2
    • Jim in FL

      Seems like every basket-case-selling-scammer has a shill bidder lined up with hopes to incite bidding frenzy….

      Like 2
  11. bull

    One might think that as valuable as Mid-Year Corvettes have become for the last 25+ years ALL of the project Mid-Year Corvettes would have been restored by now.

    Not a chance!

    There are more and more of every kind of Vintage or Classic car coming to the market everyday as the Baby Boomer owners who HAD a dream that was never realized are now selling as downsizing and old age come a callin!

    Like 2
  12. C5 Corvette

    I’m an old guy who has always liked Corvettes. I am on my 5th one now. I buy them in nice condition, drive them until I get tired of the present one. Then I look for another one in Nice condition. I would rather pay more and be able to drive anytime.

  13. skibum2

    MY OH MY.. WHAT AN INTERESTING JUNKER…Hahahahahaha…amazing waste of time and money

    Like 1
  14. TimM

    Gone!!! Not sold just gone!!!

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