Highly Optioned: 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Sitting in this garage is a 1965 Corvette Convertible that has led a quiet life. A previous owner parked it more than 35-years ago, but the current owner has managed to coax it back to life. It runs and drives, but it will need some work before it can be considered roadworthy. Barn Finder Boot spotted the Corvette for us, and I have to say a big thank you for that. Located in Port Charlotte, Florida, the owner has listed the Corvette for sale here on eBay. He has set a BIN of $41,000, and there are 70 people currently watching the listing.

The Corvette is the automotive equivalent of a Coat of Many Colors because there are so many shades that it is impossible to tell which one it wore when it rolled off the production line. However, the listing does hint that it might have been Rally Red, so we’ll go with that. The car has deteriorated to the point where it will be a case of stripping away all of the paint so that the buyer has a clean surface with which to work. The fiberglass looks pretty promising, although it is difficult to spot any cracks or other problems with the paint so bad. There are the tattered remains of a soft-top present, along with a factory hardtop. The owner says that the Convertible is structurally sound, with no rust issues with either the frame or birdcage. Most of the exterior chrome is present, and while some pieces look like they would respond positively to an application of polish, some might need a trip to the platers. Topping off the exterior is the side exhaust, which should give this classic a tough note when the V8 under the hood roars into life.

While he doesn’t state it outright, the seller suggests that the 327ci V8 that resides in the engine bay is numbers-matching. With a classic like this, it can be important not to take everything at face value. If the sticker on the air cleaner is accurate, this V8 is the L79 version producing 350hp. The original owner also chose to order the ‘Vette with a 4-speed manual transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The L79 option probably represented the best compromise in the 1965 Corvette range. It offered the ability for the car to storm the ¼ mile in 14.2 seconds, but it still remained pretty civilized to live with. It provided better weight distribution and handling than a big block Corvette, and at $107.60, it delivered plenty of “bang-for-your-buck” compared to the base 327. After sitting for 35-years, the current owner has managed to coax the Corvette back to life. He says that it runs and drives, but it will need some attention to the brakes before being considered roadworthy. The whole idea of completing that work and then hitting the road with the car’s appearance untouched is an intriguing one. There’s no doubt that it would command some attention if the buyer chose to tread that path.

If you give the Corvette’s interior a passing glance, the impression you get is that it needs a lot of worth. However, closer inspection reveals that things aren’t particularly bad. The seats will need new leather covers and foam, and a new carpet set will need to go on the shopping list. When you look beyond those items, the rest of the trim and the dash are in excellent condition. I think that it is salvageable with some intense cleaning, which means that whipping the interior into shape might not break the bank. The original owner ordered this classic with the optional Teakwood wheel and an AM radio, and both of these items are present and in good order.

When the original owner ordered this 1965 Corvette Convertible, it appears that he wasn’t scared to spend a dollar or two. He chose the L79 engine, power steering, power brakes, leather upholstery, and a Teakwood wheel. All of these items remain intact, and they combine to make this a Corvette that is anything but average. They also represent some of the more desirable features that potential buyers search for in a ‘Vette from this era. The BIN price is not cheap, but if the car is as original and solid as the owner indicates, the optional extras could make that price justified. If the restoration is as straightforward as the listing suggests, this has the potential to be a Corvette Convertible that could command a value of $70,000 with relatively little effort. That leaves a lot of room to move with the BIN and makes it a classic that probably deserves a closer look.

Fast Finds


  1. Mike

    Weird that I see these Vettes everywhere on the web, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve actually seem any of them on the street. People just buy and store until it’s time to sell again?

    Like 13
    • Jim

      I’ve owned my 61 since 1999 and inn22 years have put 50,000 miles on it. Another 20,000 on the 67; 10,000 on the 73 and 15,000 on a 70. Almost 100,000 between them.

      Like 3
  2. rbig18

    Once again, this probably a solid car with potential. But fully restored to perfect it might go for 70K. Underwater at 40K

    Like 12
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Amen! You’d be under water so fast at that price you’d need a scuba tank or drown IMO. Maybe at half the asking price or less you’d break even with this one.

      Like 10

    Wow $41,000. Let me sell some stock. While on the phone with the broker I should sell more. Will need to. What a deal.

    Like 1
  4. teresa m

    would have to get it for less if plan to restore, otherwise lose money if have to sell, even if engine OG.

    Like 2
  5. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Amen! You’d be under water so fast at that price you’d need a scuba tank or drown IMO. Maybe at half the asking price or less you’d break even with this one.

    Like 4
  6. bull

    Another DREAMER with a vastly overpriced Corvette given the present condition!

    Like 7
  7. Don Sicura

    That list of options seems to be a bit inflated, first it isn’t an L79 engine, next it does not have a teakwood steering wheel and on the positive side, that is an AM/FM radio, not an AM, the interior is trash needing just about everything replaced & don’t forget the birdcage & chassis rust, which it will most certainly have in the most hard to reach areas. even the air cleaner is wrong for this car, not to mention the incorrect 350 HP decal, the most valuable thing on this car is the master cylinder, even in its rusted state will bring $500 to $1000, but the biggest thing that strikes me is the hodge podge of parts from other years of Corvettes, padded sunvisors, speedo & tach from a 63, radio knobs from a 63 or 64, door pulls from a 66 or 67, I could go on & on, but I’m sure you get the idea, 10 to 15K at best & that is only after the car has been checked for possible title fraud.

    Like 17
  8. Don Sicura

    One other thing I forgot to mention, the seller called it an original car, however two stage paint wasn’t really being used until the 80’s, so the idea of being original in any way went out the window a long time ago, not to mention the car sitting unused in two rust belt states (NJ & Fla). Maybe the seller could’ve asked one of the many Corvette groups on the internet a few questions prior to posting it on ebay.

    Like 4
  9. Steve

    I can’t remember the last time I actually saw a realistically priced Corvette project let alone a classic musclecar project?!?!? Anyone confer on that?

    Like 5
    • vintagehotrods

      You are absolutely right! I don’t know who actually buys these projects, but I guess if they want to restore them and then sell for a loss its good for the economy and the buyers down the line! I wish I would have bought a C2 during the last recession when I could afford one!

  10. CraigR

    What a roach! Someone’s going to get taken.

  11. JoeBob

    Vacuum advance is disconnected and source vaccum line looks like a leak. Doesn’t look like it would run right.

    Like 1
  12. george mattar

    This seller must have perused an Eckler’s catalog and saw the astronomical cost of parts for this POS. It is not a loaded car and you so called writers need to research stuff before you print it. That is not a teak wheel and that engine looks like a 283 from my 64 Impala. Ignition shielding missing and that is cheap in contrast to everything else this car needs. Very few cars came with factory N14, and he does not mention any paperwork, so I doubt there is any. Yeah, it’s a 65 convertible, one my favorite Corvettes, but his price is Barrett Jackson mania. Even if you got this heap for $30,000, you would have another 30 large to fix it up and then it’s only worth $55,000 maybe. And from looking at the front bumpers lying on the ground, one could think this thing was parked due to an accident. I’ll keep my $10,000 near perfect 73 driver any day. I get in, turn the key and enjoy.

    Like 2

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