No matter what you collect or why, there’s no denying that C2 Corvettes (1963-67) remain blue chip investments. In fact, there’s really no such thing as an undesirable C2, and when you start saying the words “Corvette” and “big block” in the same sentence, that desirability takes on a whole new meaning. As Chevrolet’s first big block and only 396 powered Corvette, this awesome 1965 C2 roadster is a highly exclusive rarity which wraps a numbers matching drivetrain in one of the best color combinations in Corvette history. Whether you’re in the market for one of the coolest Corvettes ever made or just an outstanding muscle car, this fully sorted, investment grade Sting Ray is the kind of centerpiece that can anchor a collection or fulfill a lifelong dream.
Before we go any further, I’ll go ahead and break down the VIN and cowl tag so you know exactly what this car is.
* 1 – Chevrolet
* 94 - Corvette
* 67 – Convertible
* 5 – 1965 model year
* S – St. Louis assembly plant
* 122121 – Production sequence
* K29 – Manufactured on June 29th of 1965
* 19467 – Convertible
* A-6812 – A: A.O. Smith body, 6812: Body number
* STD – Black vinyl trim
* M-M – Milano Maroon exterior paint
All Corvettes are red is probably an overstatement, but it’s hard to argue that red Corvettes don’t look awesome. Originally sprayed in Milano Maroon, this slick C2 was recently restored in a glowing coat of bright red paint that looks simply stunning in person. Get up close and personal with the car and it becomes very obvious that its fiberglass body has been correctly prepped and sanded as there are no bonding seams visible from any angle and alignment is good all around. Further examination of the details reveals headlight doors that fit well, details that are crisp, a laser sharp crease that surrounds the entire body and aggressive ‘shark fin’ fenders which show no signs of rounding from an overzealous sander. With a great looking body, excellent finish work and super smooth paint, this C2 is one slick roadster that looks much better than the day it rolled out of a Chevrolet showroom and finally presents an appearance that is worthy of its exceptional design and performance.
Thanks to heavy influence from both motorsports and the original Mako Shark concept car, the second generation Corvette benefitted from a much more sporty and striking appearance. At the front of the car, a body width grille sits inside show worthy stainless that is flanked by two chrome trimmed marker lights and an excellent looking razor sharp front bumper. Above the bumper, a red, white and black Corvette C2 crossed flag emblem is affixed in front of a functional ‘power blister’ air scoop that was needed to accommodate the cars 396 big block engine. Behind the hood, stainless windshield wipers clear great looking factory tinted glass that is framed by well-maintained stainless trim and a black canvas top with a plastic rear window. At the sides of the car, vertical heat extractors sit below pristine “396 Turbo-Jet” crossed flag emblems, and great looking stainless rocker moldings sit above correct side pipes which are equipped with traditional finned stainless heat shields. At the back of the car, a standard equipment power antenna sits beside a chrome trimmed center mounted Corvette fuel filler and a fresh black and chrome “Corvette Sting Ray” emblem. Below that pristine emblem, the car’s rear valence holds four traditional round Corvette tail lights above a chrome trimmed tag bracket and two more razor blade style bumpers.
Tip the hood forward and you’ll find a 1965-exclusive L78 396 V8 which carries a 3855962 casting number and, according to its May (E) 26th (26) of 1965 (5) casting date, is original to the car. Introduced to combat higher horsepower muscle cars from competing automakers, Chevrolet’s High Performance 396 utilizes forged pop-top pistons, a steel crankshaft, a solid lifter cam, rectangular port closed chamber heads and 4-bolt main caps to create a stout 11 to 1 compression ratio and 425 horsepower. At the top of the engine, a satin black air filter feeds a correct Holley carburetor and Winter aluminum intake. At the back of the engine, a correct transistor ignition sends spark through sleeved wires that snake around correct exhaust manifolds; and at the front of the engine, a correct Harrison radiator sends coolant through new hoses and correct tower clamps. Whoever performed the restoration on this Corvette did an excellent job of creating a great looking, reliable engine bay that is as well detailed as the rest of the car. Bright Chevy Orange paint covers the block from oil pan to valve covers and, as always, looks great against the satin black engine bay. Correct decals are present and accounted for, and nice details like an AC fuel filter and new belts ensure that this car runs as good as it looks.
Behind the big block engine you’ll find an original Muncie 4-speed transmission which delivers the potent acceleration that Corvettes are famous for. At the sides of that Muncie, the cars straight and clean frame wears a good looking coat of satin black paint, and above that Muncie original looking fiberglass floor tubs present well and still wear a moderate layer of undercoating. The cars original double A-arm and independent rear suspension appears to be in excellent operating condition and standard 4-wheel disc brakes provide quick stops and tighter cornering. Based on appearance, everything under this C2 Corvette appears to be fully sorted and in tip-top shape and there are no significant leaks or trouble spots of any kind. At the corners of the car, classic 15 inch ‘turbine’ aluminum wheels wear authentic aluminum knock offs and a fresh set of 215/70 Firestone FR680 radials.
The cars correct standard black vinyl interior contrasts its bright red exterior well and still looks extremely fresh. The foam underneath the seats covers has seen just enough road trips to both keep its composure and feel comfortable. The carpets still feature their correct jet black color and are protected by correct black rubber floor mats. At the front of the car, stylish aircraft-inspired gauges appear to be original, and look fantastic next to the brushed metal panel on the glove box and center console. The center of the dash creates what is commonly called a waterfall design, and holds a continuous motion clock above a correct vertically mounted AM/FM radio and fully functional chrome shifter. At the sides of the car, great looking stainless trimmed door panels hold chrome handles for the cars doors and windows above perfectly placed armrests. And in front of the driver, a nicely restored 3-spoke Rally wheel features a satin finish, a wood rim and a pristine C2 Corvette cross flag horn button.
Look at the price books, the market analysis, and the classifieds in your favorite magazine, and you’ll see that Corvette prices have been virtually immune to dips and recessions. The reason is simple; they’ re great cars to own, and people who know Corvettes know that the big block cars drive like nothing else. This awesome 1965 roadster is a nicely restored piece that runs exceptionally well and offers an outstanding ownership experience. If you’ve been looking for a mid-year Corvette that you can show with pride or keep for a while and make a nice return on, your search is over.