Rare Fuelie: 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Convertible

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I’m sure that there are more than a few of our readers that are gazing at this 1965 Corvette Convertible, and are taken by its beauty. This car is no show-pony because it has some muscle to back those good looks. It is a highly desirable car, and it has been listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Lake Ozark, Missouri, and with bidding currently sitting at $58,600, the reserve hasn’t been met.

It’s hard to absorb just how nice this Corvette is, and how well equipped it is into the bargain. The car is said to have undergone a full frame-off restoration a few years ago, and it has held up beautifully since then. The Milano Maroon paint adds a touch of class to what is a pretty muscular vehicle, while the external chrome and trim look new. The paint is said to have a few minor marks in it, but these are being attended right now. The owner states that the car is structurally perfect, with no rust issues at all. Certainly, the good selection of photos supplied by the seller seems to back this claim. The black soft-top looks like it is in good condition, while a factory hardtop is also included with the car. The original knock-off wheels look to be pristine, as does the factory side exhaust. The badges on both front fenders give some indication of how special this car is.

Taking pride of place under the hood is the L84 Ram Jet fuel-injected 327ci V8 engine, pumping out 375hp. This engine was king of the hill in 1965 until the 396 made its appearance halfway through the model year. While the 396 gave you 50hp more than the L84, that extra power did come at a cost, with the 396 engine weighing in excess of 100lbs more than the 327. This made the smaller-engine Corvette a more nimble car to drive. While the bigger engine had marginally better acceleration figures, the L84 could wind out to 145mph, but the 396 ran out of breath at 132mph. However, when the price is considered, things become even more interesting. When the 396 was specified as an option on the Corvette, it cost half as much ($292.70) as the L84 ($538). This may help to explain why there were only 771 Corvettes built with the Ram Jet 327 during 1965. Backing that 327 is a 4-speed manual transmission, and the news just keeps getting better, because this is a full, numbers-matching car. The engine bay looks clean enough to eat off, and the owner says that the car runs and drives nicely.

Opening the door on the Corvette reveals a beautiful Maroon interior, with the seats trimmed in leather. There are a few creases in the leather, but the seats themselves look to still be soft and supple. If I’m going to pick any faults, the most obvious is some wear on the rim of that fantastic Teakwood wheel. The rest of the interior really is close to perfect and is completely original. The owner also claims that everything; every gauge, every switch, every light, all works perfectly. It really does seem that this Corvette is a car that contains no bad news for the next owner.

This Corvette is a classic car that screams attitude, but the color combination allows it to do the screaming with a level of elegance and dignity. It is a beautiful car that most people would be extremely proud to own. It has been very nicely optioned, and these choices have resulted in an extremely desirable car that while it might not be perfect, is in excellent overall condition. It seems that there isn’t a cent to spend or a thing to do, except climb behind the wheel and listen to that 327 sing its song through that magnificent side exhaust.

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Comments

  1. poseur Member

    Absolutely gorgeous car!
    Would love to drive it but wonder how to do so on today’s fuel?
    would lead additive & octave boister be adequate to allow engine to perform & survive?

    7
    • Andre Joly

      I don’t think either is necessary. The motor has likely has a rebuild, and therefore probably has hardened valve seats – but even without I don’t think the lead/no lead is as much of an issue as many think.

      Edit: beautiful car.

      7
  2. ccrvtt

    Love everything about this car right down to the redline tires.

    An octave boister would really help it hit the high notes…

    12
  3. CapNemo

    I’ll take ” Things I Can’t Fit Into” for 1000, Alex. Beautiful car!

    9
  4. John Stevens

    very funny ;-) hopefully auto-correct error…

    1
  5. BRAKTRCR

    Wanted a C2 since 1963 Looking at this car… you just get quiet, and absorb it’s beauty. While I might prefer to have one that I could go out and burn rubber and bang gears, I can’t stop looking at the pictures, and thinking what a fine job, either the dealer, or buyer did in ordering this car. Magnificent.

    7
  6. 71FXSuperGlide

    Nothing like the distinctive sound of a Fuelie.

    And I wouldn’t worry so much about the valve seats, but the octane would be a concern if the engine hasn’t been modified to run on pump gas.

    5
    • moosie moosie

      I remember that sound, the best running ones had a sort of whistle, you didn’t want to call those out for a race.

      2
  7. Ed gallagher

    If it’s a 65 the stingray emblem should not be on hood. Only on 66

  8. Comet

    stunning!!

    4
  9. Gaspumpchas

    65 large and hasn’t hit reserve. This one hits a home run. Stunning beauty, as Comet says. American muscle at its finest. Good luck to the new owner!
    Cheers
    GPC

    4
  10. Al

    Sooner have this than anything I’ve seen go through BJ.

    3
  11. gbvette62

    I’d like to know where the writer got the following information; “While the bigger engine had marginally better acceleration figures, the L84 could wind out to 145mph, but the 396 ran out of breath at 132mph”. The 65 396/425 actually has a slightly higher redline than the fuelie (6400 vs 6200). With identical rear axle ratios, the top speed of both engines should be within a mile or two of each other. When equipped with 3:70 rears, they both topped out in the mid 130’s. As big blocks go, the 65 425 likes to rev.

    The maroon/maroon color combination is unusual, and attractive. In the 45 years I’ve been playing with Corvettes, I can’t say I’ve ever seen another one. The only issue I have with this car is the painted engine stamp pad, since it’s near impossible to judge the legitimacy of a painted pad.

    I’m guessing that the reserve is probably well north of the current $65K bid.

    5
    • poseur Member

      Likely somebody read a vintage roadtest of a 396 with 410 gearset & a 327 with 308 or similar rear & took it as gospel.
      Convertible topspeed vs fastback could account for some difference too.

      4
  12. Bob McK Member

    I have a 65 with everything except the fuel injection. Would sell it today for $65K. Which makes me wonder what that option is worth.

    2
    • Ike Onick

      $35k

      1
      • Bob McK Member

        Thanks

        1
  13. TimM

    Iconic 60 road car!! Worth every penny!!!

    1
  14. 433jeff

    Im not sure whichiwould rather the small block or the big block? Probably the big block when new, upto75 k miles, i think thr smallblock wins the longevity race, and is no slouch. The bad news is i wont have to decide today or any time soon

    2
  15. Del

    Nice.

    Only thing keeping it out of Barrett Jackson is the color.😁

    2
  16. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks pretty good to me, way overpriced but good none the less. I’d love to have that one in the garage but not at that price.

    1
  17. bigdoc Member

    Drove one with the same engine and that was many years ago {I was 16, now 70} and I am still in awe

    2
  18. SC/RAMBLER

    The (supposed)reason Chevy stopped using the fuelie was mechanics didn’t know how to service them properly and a lot of them got switched to a four barrel setup. This is what I have read over the years.
    Octane boost would definitely be mandatory or 100 octane gas. Only worry about unleaded gas if driven hard a LOT. Though I would be more concerned about methanol fuel; would definitely cause problems.
    My question how was the 65 only 396 rated at 425 H.P. yet 66 on rated 375 with no changes. I think Chevrolet did some inventive H.P. calculations to sell 396. Wouldn’t look good for B.B.& S.B. to have same H.P. rating
    If anyone can clear this up definitively please do.
    I don’t pretend to know it all but I do read alot.

    2
    • poseur Member

      396 L78 didn’t change in spec or actual output despite being down rated from 425hp to 375hp.

      Similarly the 66 427 L27 was originally rated at 450hp in Stingrays but down rated to 425hp partway through model year production with no part or output changes.
      GM had a policy of passenger cars staying above a 10:1 pound to HP ratio & rated engines differently to meet this rule.

      2
      • poseur Member

        While sports cars were exempt from this edict, all big three automakers played games with HP ratings to suit insurance ratings, racing classifications, etc.
        Prime examples include 440 6-pack, Boss & DZ 302, Stage One 455, L88 & ZL1 427 & Super Cobra Jet 428, all of which were substsntially under rated in their advertised output.

        3

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