Back in 1963, the second generation Corvette hit the market with a splash. The car fed off the popularity of the first Corvettes and showed promises of more power and an even bigger status symbol. Designed under Bill Mitchell and named Sting Ray after inspiration from sea life including the Mako shark, the second generation Corvette offered a coupe version for the first time. Those 1963 cars came with the famed split rear window; a feature dropped for 1964. The design didn’t change much for 1965, but would be the first time a big block would find its way under the fiberglass hood. That 396 offered up 425 horsepower, a full 50 horsepower more than the fuel injected 327 also offered that year.

The second generation Corvette ceased production at the end of 1967 in preparation for the third generation Corvette Stingray.

Crossing the auction block this January is this beautiful 1965 Corvette Stingray with the VIN of 001. Yep, this is the first Vette off the line for ’65 and the first to have four-wheel-disc brakes come standard. Built in August of 1964, the car toured the country with General Motors showing off the Corvettes new stopping power. The car is covered in unique Cadillac-specific silver paint because the Corvette silver specified for 1965 wasn’t ready yet, What’s more, the car is also the first Vette to come with the then-popular teakwood steering wheel and power-raising antenna for the AM/FM radio. Best of all, the car is unrestored with only 28,000 miles on the clock.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe.

  • 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe
  • Year:
    1965
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    four-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    365
  • Energy:
    Carbureted
  • Displacement:
    327 cubic inches
  • 0-60 time:
    6.0 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, Rear Drive
  • Price:
    4233 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Exterior
- image 599834
1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Exterior
- image 599833
1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Exterior
- image 599825

The 1965 Corvette’s exterior is an interesting combination of angles and swoops, accented by its bulging fenders, chrome grille, and upright cockpit. The long hood features the piercing accent bulge that holds the Corvette’s crossed flags. Twin pop-up headlights run along the hard edge on the front of the car. Small air intakes below that help feed the radiator cool air. Side gills behind the front tire help evaluate the hot air while tying in the whole sea-life theme. The center hood bulge runs rearward and over the cabin, finishing out back in a signature boat tail design with the fuel filler acting as the final piece a eye candy.

Interior

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Interior
- image 599828

Corvettes in 1965 sported two small seats with little in the way of bolstering. A large cargo area behind the seats offered a touch of functionality, though hauling objects isn’t the Vette’s strong suit.

Behind the large teakwood steering wheel lies the twin main gauges showing engine and ground speed. Ancillary gauges lay off to the slides. Manual windows and door locks were standard fair for ’65. Also manual is the four-speed transmission.

Drivetrain

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Drivetrain
- image 599830

The second-generation Corvette had five engine options as a whole, though each wasn’t offered every year. A basic 327-cubic-inch small block was the most pervasive, lasting from 1963 through 1967 with varying amounts of horsepower. A fuel-injected version lasted from 1963 through 1965, but slow sales and the complicated injection system proved its demise. Two versions of the massive 427 big block were offered in the later years, 1966 through 1967, and offered two horsepower outputs per version. The standard 427 came with the single four-barrel carburetor and the upgraded mill came with three two-barrel carbs.

Lastly, the first big block to ever power a Corvette was offered in 1965 alone. It was the 369 mill and it made an impressive 425 horsepower and helped propel the Corvette nameplate deep into the realms of the sports car culture.

The Corvette in question here is powered by the most-powerful version of the carbureted 327s. Making 365 horsepower, the small block sent power to the rear tires through a four-speed manual transmission and 4.11:1 gears.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type L76 327 V-8
Horsepower 365 HP
Transmission 4-speed

Prices

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Exterior
- image 599836

Mecum doesn’t list a reserve for the 1965 Corvette 001 heading to auction, but the starting bit is sure to be high. With this car being such a unique piece of Corvette and General Motors history, plus its mere 28,000 original miles and unrestored condition, it’s sure to command top dollar. I suspect bidding will quickly enter the six-digit territory with the winning bit landing somewhere close to the $400,000 mark. The original base MSRP of the 1965 Corvette was just $4,233 — bet you wish you had a time machine.

Competition

Ford Mustang

1964 - 2006 Ford Mustang History
- image 55740
Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is America’s first pony car and represented a cross between a sedan and a sports car. Debuting for 1964, the car came with a variety of engines, with two inline six-cylinders and three V-8 options. Though the early Mustangs couldn’t really compete with the Corvette on the drag strip, the Mustang still provided sales competition.

The Mustang was offered in three roof choices : convertible, hard top, and fast back. Of course, both manual and automatic transmissions were offered.

Chevrolet Camaro

1968 - 2002 Chevrolet Camaro History
- image 54190

Though the Camaro comes from the same camp as the Corvette, that didn’t stop guys from racing them at the drag strip. The Camaro made its debut for 1967 and came powered with a variety of engines, including a pair of inline six-cylinders and V-8s including the 302, 307, 327, 350, 396, and 427.

Offered with a manual or automatic transmission, along with a coupe and convertible top, the Camaro gave a wide variety to customers.

Conclusion

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe Exterior
- image 599827

The mid-year Corvettes have really gained in popularity, especially since the 1963 through 1967 Vettes were really what put the Corvette nameplate on the map. Sure, the first-generation Corvette was a great car, but its six-cylinder engine left a lot of horsepower to be desired. The C2 fixed that problem. Starting with this particular car, all other Corvettes would come standard with four-wheel disc brakes — a huge advantage in performance driving that not many sports cars could boast of.

  • Leave it
    • Becoming harder and harder to find
    • Doesn’t hold a candle to most of today’s sports cars, in terms of performance

Source: Mecum

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