Dusty And Rusty: 1965 Corvette Coupe

We’ve seen some pretty rough Corvettes lately and this ’65 doesn’t disappoint on that front. The seller claims it’s a barn find that’s been off the road since the ’70s. The Crager-style 5 spoke wheels definitely scream ’70s, I’m just surprised it doesn’t have a grafted on hood scoop, metallic paint and some bolt on engine upgrades. Even if it did, they would be the least of the next owner’s concerns though. This thing is rusty and is going to be expensive to restore. That’s probably why the seller, who happens to own a restoration shop, isn’t taking it on themselves. That being said, these cars are desirable and they don’t pop up everyday. If you have been looking for one to restore, you can find this one here on eBay in Royal Oak, Michigan with a current bid of $17,099.

It amazes me how much people are willing to pay for second generation Corvette projects these days. This one is likely going to need a completely new frame, it has as the seller puts it, “some soft spots”. When it comes to frames, you never want to hear them being described as having soft spots anywhere. The seller believes you could fix it and that might be, but you never know what you are going to find once you start digging into it. Go into this one expecting to replace the frame and you will save yourself some heartache if things turn out to be even worse than they look.

The engine isn’t looking much better than the frame. It looks pretty rusty and the seller hasn’t messed with it, so there’s no word on whether it turns over or not. They do state that you should probably plan on rebuilding it, which is wise advice. At least it’s complete and numbers matching.

Surprisingly, the interior doesn’t look too bad. It’s going to need work and is missing a few bits, but it looks better than expected given how the underside looks. The car started life in Nassau Blue and was repainted black at some point. Chances are that’s the reason it was parked. We’ve seen lots of cars that someone started painting and before finishing the job, they either ran out of funds or lost interest in and so it sat in the barn collecting dust and in this case, rust. Hopefully, all the parts that were removed are still with the car and are in decent shape.

This really is going to be a huge project, but when it’s done it will be one sweet ride! While a big block would be more desirable from a collector’s standpoint, the 300 horsepower 327 V8 is a great engine for street use and the 4 speed will keep things fun. So how much do you think it will cost to make this Corvette right again?


WANTED 1973-77 Pontiac Gran Prix wheel well trim pieces for rear Contact

WANTED 1965 Datsun 1500 Looking for hub caps for a 1965 Datsun 1500 Contact

WANTED 1970 Dodge Super Bee 4 speed, coupe preferred but nego., 383 or 440. Willing to pick up in lower 48. Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Patrick S newport pagnell Staff

    Resto-Mod…Hopefully the cage is ok. Get a new chassis from these guys and add a LS.


  2. redwagon

    How much?
    Too much.

    Royal Oak is salt central, not to mention close to Woodward Ave. so I would expect this one was ridden hard. I could be wrong about the treatment but no one can mistake the rust here.

  3. ccrvtt

    How much? Waaaayyy too much, but totally worth it.

  4. Patrick S newport pagnell Staff

    Like this.

  5. glen

    To me,that Mitsubishi Starion is a way better deal. It’s cheaper, looks amazing has rear wheel drive,and needs nothing.Did I miss anything? oh yea, and it’s a 5 speed.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Each to there own Greg. Myself, I am not into the starship cars, having a few when new. Did you miss anything? Yes, plenty. In case you do not know, the Sting Ray is a rear wheel drive rig also. The Starion is a nice car for some, just not for me. Perhaps the difference could be defined as comparing an 1960 centerfold to a 1980 centerfold? Take care and enjoy the hobby, Mike.

      • glen

        Who’s Greg? Yes I know the Sting Ray is rear wheel drive. I’m not knocking Vettes, just comparing what you get for the money.See big Mike’s comment.

      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Hi Glen, I really apologise on the name mistake, I am sorry. The older I get the more I transition into Mr. Magoo. I agree with Big Mike’s comment. I know he has some cool stuff and has had more at some time. I guess it comes down to what you want to drive. I always say, it’s not what you ride it’s why you ride. I have had my 1972 Stingray for 17 years now and still have fun with her. Take care Glen, time for me to beam up.

      • glen

        That’s a great saying; “it’s not what you ride, it’s why you you ride” I like that.

  6. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Its been a long time ago, but I think the Cragar look alikes were made by Appliance, and were pretty popular then. I have to disagree with the paint job taking this one off the road. It probably looked pretty good when it was done. Well we were talking about right side mirrors on Midyears a week ago and here we have one. JC Whitney though. I may be having a brain fart, but I can only think of a handful of American built vehicles that are prettier cars. Gotta agree with ccrvtt.

    • gbvette62

      I agree, the wheels are knock offs of Cragars, made by Appliance in the early 70’s. Unlike Cragars, which had a cast center section, the Appliance wheels had a stamped steel center, and cost less than Cragars.

      I really have a problem with sellers who claim their cars have original, or matching number engines, that don’t include a picture of the stamp pad. A picture of the trim and VIN tags would be nice to.

      As I write this, the car’s just shy of $20,000, and with 5 days left, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit $30,000. I’m not saying it’s worth it, but that seems to be the market today.

    • Josh Mortensen Staff

      I didn’t mean that the car was parked because it didn’t look good, just that they probably lost interest in the project after painting it. It looks like some of the parts weren’t ever put back on the car, which could suggest they got it painted, started putting it back together but never finished. Or it could be that someone else pulled it apart at a later date, who knows.

  7. 86 Vette Convertible

    Have to agree that between the frame needed, all the work and $$ it’s going to take this is definitely very overpriced for what it is. A good frame is going to take at least $10K and that’s before things like a new interior and paint.

  8. craig streetzel

    With all the aftermarket frame swapped cars built now days surely a stock complete frame and suspension can be had sure a spaceship would be great but I thought 60s black 4 speed vette’s were cool as they are ,but cars like this just need to saved not all of us can afford 6 figure builds but still love American classics

  9. Big Mike

    It amazes me what people would pay for a Corvette, yes I have had 3 and restored 2 of them. But with a frame looking as bad as this one does, I could see 30K for a complete replacement frame, so then add 20k to get the car, another 10K in paint and interior repairs, probably 5K for motor and Tranny rebuilds, and that does not include your time and labor, unless you pay somebody else to do it, then not telling, so what have you spent 65K, for a 52 year old Corvette. Right now on Hemming’s you can pick up one for a range of 50K to 75K, and they are ready to roll. Or heck spend 65K and get a brand new 2018 base model Corvette!!!!
    Just Saying!!!!!!
    That is why I haven’t bought another Corvette and sold the last one I had 4 years ago, I got it out of my blood!!!!

    • sluggo

      Again, you guys with your checkbook restorations!!!!! (Killin’ me man!)
      $30,000 for a replacement frame? Sheesh,, I need to get into that game. 15 sec google search came up with one for $5k
      See: http://www.corvetteusa.com/frames.html
      At the Portland car collectors swap meet I see even better deals so, its all about doing the work yourself instead of these wild numbers. (Biggest swap meet west of the Mississippi, 5000 vendor booths)
      Or, there are custom built frames for affordable prices. Is this car out of my price range? Yes,,, but should you reply on these crazy quotes? No…. This car will get rebuilt, It WILL sell, and depends on who buys it and does the work, somebody might actually come out NOT underwater. Never ever always go to the negative. Instead try to think about what is possible or you are defeated before you begin.

  10. Mickey Bratcher

    I just started on a 1964 Corvette that been setting n my garage since 1975. The first body shop I put it in charged me $5,100 and never even got it in primer little only back on the frame. Very little body work was done and door jams where already been cleaned out. When they handed me a bill for 210 hours and they had painted over a dirt dobber nest under the right front fender well I lost it and come up with a plan to get it out of there without killing someone. Looking for a lawyer now, because I made the man a promise we would be going to court and I’m a man of my word. It’s not about money anymore it’s about not letting someone do u this way. Glad to here my $1,000 spent in 1970 is worth a little more today. Here’s a pic of mind right after I had a costum candy put on it in 1973. Wish me luck, hope to shaft gears next summer PS I plan on adding to his cost for storing my restored frame in the sand blasting room.

    • Tbird62

      Cool Vette man, good luck with your build. Hope you find someone who can paint it right.

  11. ben dobreuenaski

    What someone will pay for junk is amazing, If this was a big block or a fuelie car I could see it but a base car well.

  12. OhioMark

    This car will put you upside down real quick as the previously mentioned frame is toast, add paint and rebuild the motor will put you over the price of buying a running example in better shape. Plus we haven’t even mentioned the birdcage which will cost you another $10k min. to repair if necessary.

  13. Robert Johnson

    I have a Bloomington gold rolling 66 chassis that is complete with the 427–450 HP engine, knock off,and side pipes that would make this a bueatiful car. If interested let me know

  14. Patrick McNally

    My GAWD where was it stored in the Atlantic Ocean, That frame is GONE. Only needs one of everything. Hey the doors and quarters are rust free. LOL

  15. Don Sicura

    Here’s my $.02 cents: here is a low option car that has sat since the “early 70’s” it is in what the seller claims is his resto shop, the car could potentially bring 35 to 45K depending on the market & quality of the resto. as far as the cost to bring it back to concourse condition, it would far exceed the value of the car and that is not including the purchase price or any labor costs involved. However one has to remember that no one buys a car through ebay to sell for a profit, they buy what is probably a childhood dream, a desire to reclaim that little piece of our youth. most likely the buyer will be a retired person with a decent pension & a few dollars in the bank and lots & lots of time on his hands and just a bit of mechanical knowledge enough to get himself in trouble. Just like I did.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree Don. Looks almost as much fun as the one behind her.

  16. Jerry Brentnell

    what this looks like to me is a flood car! look at the rust on the engine! you will have more in this thing than if you went and found a running driving vett!

  17. Pugsy

    For all the guys with the mindset that you can buy one for what money you would put into this bucket, I have this opinion.
    When you buy one already done, you’ve bypassed the best part of the car and that’s taking a poor ol thing and caressing it back to life.

    For guys that have never done a frame off restoration, you’ll never know what I’m talking about. The warm fuzzy feeling that you get every time you complete a step is so great that it’s just something that money cannot buy.

  18. Vette-X-spert

    Perfect candidate for new frame interior paint motor trans r/r. About $40,000. And $20,000 to buy it and it’s ready to be sold at $55,000 three years from now. Count me out.

  19. Ron Daily

    Josh, those wheels are Appliance wheels.

  20. Bill

    I’m a little troubled by the fact it’s owned by a body shop owner. You’d think if it could be rebuilt and sold for a profit, he would.

  21. Tyler

    65 is my favorite year Vette, & I love Nassau blue. Being a 4 speed is icing on the cake. But already over $20k, & the rusty frame & birdcage is way over my abilities. I hope it gets saved, just not in the cards for it to be saved by me.

  22. James

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe that was originally a BB car, alternator on the right side.

  23. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Nov 12, 2017 , 6:52PM
    Winning bid:US $23,901.00
    [ 48 bids ]

  24. Mike

    Give me a ’67 corvette coup any time with big block 4 speed and body and paint 2nd to none. I said give me for the price of a buck twenty five is out of my ball park!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.