No Reserve Convertible! 1965 Chevrolet Corvette

It’s hard to make a C2 or “mid-year” Corvette look bad, and even in its rough condition this 1965 Chevrolet Corvette convertible in Rochester, New York shows promise. After receiving some love some two decades ago, the restoration effort faltered, leaving a mixed bag of good and bad that changed hands at least once before coming to market here on eBay. A nondescript and non-original power-plant wears some updated parts, and pictures show a nicely restored metal frame. Deviations from stock include headlights relocated to the grille. At least seven bidders have stepped up to the plate to the tune of more than $15,500. Thanks to reader Larry D. for spotting this half-baked ’65.

Stripped of anything soft or comfortable, the Sting Ray shows its bare bones, a purposeful and elegant cockpit unlikely to be confused with another vehicle. Not every specimen of “America’s Sports Car” needs to be perfect, and this one seems like a good candidate to become a fun daily driver that can reflect the owner’s personality with no guilt. Before folks invented the “Cx” nomenclature for Corvette generations, the 1963-1967 ‘Vettes were known as “mid-year” thanks to a production run in the middle of their decade.

With both hard top and convertible frame, the Chevy comes with a four-season cabin, though blasting around on snowy New York roads might be decried by collectors or anyone who started driving after all cars came with ABS and traction control. Plenty of Corvettes served as daily drivers in snowy climates without sentencing their drivers or fellow motorists to certain death, shocking though that may seem.

Excuse the extreme close-up, adapted from the original listing’s portrait-style cell-phone picture. As a public service announcement let me confirm that, if you’re selling a giraffe, portrait pictures are 100% appropriate. If you’re selling a car or any object that tends to be longer that it is tall, most smart phones are smart enough to auto-rotate if you turn the phone to landscape mode before taking your pictures. Announcement over; you are welcome! The non-original “small block” and a Muncie four-speed were installed when the car was partially restored some 20 years ago, according to the listing. Don’t fault the current seller for the lack of details as it came to them this way.

Here you can see why a Corvette is not simply a two-seat version of another Chevy. A 1965 Chevrolet Corvette featured in independent rear axle decades before the live axle vanished from other RWD V8 muscle cars. The Camaro utilized a live axle until IRS graced the 2010 models. If that’s not interesting enough, the ’65 Sting Ray came with four-wheel disc brakes as well. Back when I knew nothing about Corvette history, I remember checking out these advancements on my brother-in-law’s ’65 ‘Vette in amazement, then driving away in my 24-year-newer 5.0 Mustang with a live axle and rear drum brakes. Let’s hope the new owner shows this classic some respect and gets it moving soon. How would you build this partially-restored 65?


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  1. Euromoto Member

    “ Deviations from stock include headlights relocated to the grille.” Knowing nothing more about these cars, that sounds expensive to return to original and, for me, would be an absolute must. Clearly people did all kinds of things back when these were just “old cars”. Look what was done to 356 Porsches…

    Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    What did they do to 356 Porsches?

    Like 2
  3. Frank Sumatra

    I am in Rochester. I can take a look for you.

  4. George Mattar

    Looking at the trim tag, this is a St Louis body and was originally Milano Maroon. Already at $17,000 plus. C2s bring stupid money even for a car that needs a ton of work and money.

  5. gbvette62

    When I started playing with Corvettes in the early 70’s, I believe the 63-67’s were known as “Mid-Years”, because they were the middle years. The 63-67’s were the models that came between the early “Solid Axle” (or sometimes “Straight Axle”) years, and the 68 up cars, which we called “Late Models” in the 70’s.

    To Euromoto’s question about the cost to return the headlights to the nose, the parts alone would run $1800-$2000. The seller claims the stock openings are there, filled in, so they came probably be reused, avoiding the cost of replacing the top surround, or whole nose.

    Even with the filled headlights, and the wrong motor, this doesn’t look like a bad project car to me. If it doesn’t get bid up much past $30K, it might be a good starting point for someone wanting to put together a nice little “mid-year” Corvette.

    Like 3
  6. FrankD

    Good deal for a Corvette restorer. Bad idea if you’re a novice. Labor and materials along with a tough (6.1% inflation increase) economy. Price parts and try not to choke!

  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    Would still like to have Euromoto tell us what they did to the 356 Porsches.

    Like 3
    • chuck

      The horrible things “they” did must be unspeakable.

      Like 1
  8. dogwater

    I would restore the headlight buckets I think you could find the parts for $1500.00 it not easy but would be worth it, also the chrome bumpers the frame looks good .

  9. Dennis

    @dogwater… I don’t know where you are gonna get the parts for $1500.00 but let me know so I can buy them and turn a Hugh profit. I just rebuilt a C1 a couple of years ago and got “sticker shock” on anything to do with Corvette.

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