• This LS7-powered, 1965 C2 Corvette Proves There Is Still Place For Custom-Built Pro-Touring Muscle Cars

This 1965 Corvette sat in the desert for 30 years, and now, it represents the pinnacle of pro-touring muscle cars

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In how bad of a state does a car need to be in order to be given up on? Apparently, it doesn’t matter for Greg Thurmond, who saved a 1965 C2 Corvette that has been sitting in the desert for 30 years with much of its body missing. If you are a purist and hope to see a fully-restored, all-authentic C2 Corvette, you will be disappointed, because when Greg finished with the C2 Corvette, it became what can only be described as the pinnacle of custom-built, Pro-Touring American muscle cars.

This LS7-powered, 1965 C2 Corvette Proves There Is Still Place For Custom-Built Pro-Touring Muscle Cars
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AutoTopiaLA had the opportunity to share some impressions of the car, which was missing the entire front end when first discovered by its current custodian. “It was just a carcass of a car when I got it”, Greg explains. So, naturally, there was a lot of fabrication work done. The C2 Corvette still retains the stock frame, but it has been modified to accommodate C4 Corvette suspension, which means an independent rear suspension with a torque-arm design.

The engine is an LS7, built by Lingenfelter. The naturally-aspirated 427 cubic-inch (7.0-liter) pushrod V-8 is good for 630 horsepower and is mated to a Tremec Magnum, six-speed manual. In the back, it has a Dana 44 differential with 3.50 gears and a Trac Lok center section. More importantly, there’s a pair of Black Widow mufflers, ensuring you will hear the bright orange C2 Corvette even if you don’t see it.

This LS7-powered, 1965 C2 Corvette Proves There Is Still Place For Custom-Built Pro-Touring Muscle Cars
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The body of the C2 has been widened by six inches to accommodate for a bigger wheel and tire combination. It’s a square-stance setup with 315mm wide tires with Forgeline wheels – 18x12.5 rear and 18.11.5 front. The whole body is finished in high-impact orange paint, and the lack of a rear diffuser is intentional, as it tends to create a “parachute effect” on the stock cars, hence why the few C2 Grand Sport Corvettes made feature holes in the rear.

The exterior door handles have been “shaved", so you only open it from the inside. Once, you are inside, you are greeted by a full-on, race-spec interior. The dashboard and door panels feature carbon fiber, with the lightweight material on the doors showing signs of being worn down, from use.

This LS7-powered, 1965 C2 Corvette Proves There Is Still Place For Custom-Built Pro-Touring Muscle Cars
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The best thing about this LS7-powered C2 Corvette is that it sees a lot of track time. There are a few hints to that, including the worn-out carbon-fiber trim on the doors and slightly weathered seat belts and Corbeau racing seats (particularly on the driver side). Greg reckons he has put about 6,000 miles (9,650 km) on the track alone and all he had to do was to do basic maintenance.

Making a V-8-powered, high-performance Pro-Touring car like this 1965 C2 Corvette is still possible, despite the advent of electrification, which has extended even to hot-rodding. The parts are plentiful, the aftermarket is huge, and the LS engine family together with a stout, Tremec manual transmission is a combination very few can match, both in terms of performance potential and reliability. If you want to learn more about this rescued beast of a Corvette and see it in action, swipe up to see the video.


Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Dim's fascination with cars began when he was just six. Born into a family of car enthusiasts and racing drivers, he started learning basic mechanics and driving from an early age. While he loves writing for any car, Dim is most interested in exploring obscure and forgotten cars as well as finding the best deals on the enthusiast car market. His passion took him to car restoration in the Malta Classic Car Museum, where he briefly worked on a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Junior. In Malta, he also graduated Media and Communications, which further improved his skills as an automotive journalist. Dim is always ready to get behind the wheel of any car and tell you all about it later.  Read full bio
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