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1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Convertible 4-speed Custom L78 396

Sale price: $42,500.00 make an offer

Sale type: Fixed price listing

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1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Convertible 4-speed Custom L78 396 for sale

Current customer rating: current rating for this car(2.05) based on 131 votes

1965 Corvette Sting Ray Convertible

Same Owner Since 1977!

Rally Red on Black

80's Mild Custom

73. 16 Miles!



Please. bid only if you can afford to pay within 3 days of auction's end. No zero or low-feedback buyers without contacting me first. You may call me directly at 360-936-9257 with any questions. I am selling this car for a close friend in San Diego. CA. who has owned it since 1977.   I know the car. have driven the car. and am providing a first-hand description below.  


Up for sale is a beautiful 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray convertible believed to have been originally-equipped with the optional high-performance L-78 396/425HP engine and Muncie close-ratio 4-speed transmission.  My friend bought this car in 1977 with the original engine gone. having been replaced with a basic small block.   At the turn of the decade (1980) he had the custom work performed. including the 1967-only big-block "Stinger" hood. Gran Sport-style fender flares. and front chin spoiler.   In addition. he had a late 70's Corvette L-82 350 engine built up for the then-new Ray Jay turbocharger system retrofit.   As you can imagine. this was one of the baddest custom ‘Vettes cruising San Diego back in the day!  In my opinion. it is still one of the best-looking classic sports cars on the road after all these years.   This is a car you could enjoy exactly as-is. or restore back to original if you wished.  


The interior is original and unmolested with the exception of the seats having been recovered years ago.   It has the original gauge cluster with all gauges working. including the big-block only 80# oil pressure gauge and 6. 00 RPM redline tachometer. only offered with the 425HP 396 and the even rarer 375HP fuel-injected 327. The original radio works. but is not connected to the antenna. headlights and mechanisms work properly. tach-drive mechanical tachometer works. speedometer and odometer work. fuel gauge. water temperature. and ammeter gauges all work.   Even the clock still works if you give it a little tap now and then! 


The body panels are in overall extremely straight and nice condition. with wear beginning to show in the expected places (pictured).   The car had its' original big-block power bulge hood on it when he bought it in 1977. but he traded it in in 1980 for the 1967 L88-style functional hood.   I am unsure if this hood is an original GM part. or aftermarket. The hood alignment and fit is exceptional. with no difficulty releasing or latching.   Never wrecked. no body damage to be found. only the beginnings of minor stress cracks. starring. and bonding strip presentation here and there as expected. and found in all Corvettes of this era. The fiberglass work on the flares is excellent; smooth under. no obvious flaws or filler. uniform and symmetrical placement. etc.   Definitely done right.   No rust issues that I could find. and the car has never been intentionally driven in the rain. and garaged when not driven.   He puts maybe 500 miles a year on it. and the mileage is original at 73k.   The original paint color was Rally Red. as it is now. As you can see. it has held up well. and still shows nicely with a polish and wax. The door fitment is great. easy closing and good gaps.   Door glass rolls up and down easily. and the regulators are still tight.


The bumpers have been re-chromed or replaced. and the stainless trim is in fantastic condition.  The convertible top frame is undamaged and original. and wears an as-new high end cloth top.  It laches and unlatches easily and stows as it should.


The big-block front coil springs were replaced with new small-block units with the engine upgrade was performed in 1981.   The suspension is otherwise original. and the car rides nicely.   It drives very easily with properly-added power steering. and brakes well with the original manual four-wheel disc brakes.   The wheels are beautiful polished aluminum. of unknown manufacture; he didn't remember the brand.  I was thinking Boyd Coddington. but not sure. Candidly. it could use wider wheels and tires both front and rear to truly fill out the flared openings; 10's and 8's would do the job nicely.


The optional side exhaust was on the car when he bought it in '77. and is believed to be original GM.   The four-speed transmission is also believed to be “the” original Muncie M-21 close ratio that it was born with.   Strong clutch. easy shifting with good synchros.  and an aftermarket Hurst shifter from the 80's. Classic. and fun.


The engine is a built L-82 4-bolt mains 350 with a performance cam (nice cam lope. great response and acceleration).   It was built for. and still has the Ray Jay high-performance turbocharger kit on it that he had done in 1981.   It is in exceptional running condition. lots of power. and a pleasure to drive.


First year of the big block (only 2. 57 built). only year the 396 was offered in a Corvette (and at 425 HP!). and first year of four-wheel disc brakes make this '65 attractive to restore. or just enjoy as a weekend as-is.   Or. split the difference and put a big-block back in!  If fun. performance. and yes. attention is what you're looking for. this is your car.    

The evidence to support that it was an original big block car includes the BB-only 80# oil pressure gauge. 6. 00 RPM redline tachometer. close-ratio Muncie 4-speed transmission. big-block front coil springs. late 1965 build sequence number (final third of production run). and the original BB hood and emblems being on the car when he bought it.   One could say technically the only true way is to have the numbers-matching engine with the correct suffix code. but at this point one must assess the evidence and draw a conclusion; I am personally convinced it was born as an L78 396.


 Clear CA title. matches VIN exactly for inspection. export. etc.


You may call me directly at 360-936-9257 with any questions you may have.  


While every effort has been made to describe the vehicle as accurately as possible. it is in fact a 52-year-old classic car. and therefore being sold as-is. without warranty or guarantee expressed. written. or implied.  


Please be ready to make payment in full within 3 days of auction's end via deposit into my Bank of America account. or bank wire transfer.


Shipping is the full responsibility of the buyer; I can recommend a reliable and affordable broker who I have used many times. ultimately the choice must be yours alone.


Again. feel free to call me directly at 360-936-9257 with any questions you may have.  




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