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1965 Corvette Convertible, L79, triple black *SOLD*


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*SOLD*

 

I suddenly find myself awash in second-generation Corvettes and I seem to have all flavors: low-mileage original, nicely optioned cruiser with an automatic transmission, killer resto-mod with modern fuel-injected horsepower, and now this handsome triple-black 1965 convertible with a high-revving L79 and a set of rumbling side pipes. The important thing to know on this Corvette, as with most of its sibilings, is that it's a real L79 car with a date-code-correct HV-stamped block, but it is not numbers-matching. However, that's also why it's not $80,000. Triple black is its original color combination and as far as I can tell, those are factory-issue side pipes, a feature which debuted in 1965 and makes one heck of a difference in the car's on-road entertainment value. The Tuxedo Black finish is in excellent condition, not quite show quality, but not far off, either. It's not one of those imperfectly perfect Corvettes for NCRS judging or anything like that, but it's a very high-grade driver with good factory-style gaps and fiberglass with no stress cracks or signs of previous damage. It does wear a big block hood, which I'd argue is the best-looking of all C2 hood choices, and it probably should have been standard equipment. Nice chrome bumpers, crisp emblems, and folding headlights that work properly are all among this car's virtues.

 

The black vinyl interior was listed as "STD" or "standard" on the trim tag, but the way it looks, that's kind of a misnomer. It's vinyl but it's a high-grade material that feels luxurious, not sticky, and the simple seats are comfortable as well as stylish. Most of the soft parts inside are recent and in very good condition and the seats remain firm and supportive for long trips. I've always liked the big, round dials that the Corvette offers, and this one carries a correct L79 tach with a 6500 RPM redline. The voltmeter and temperature gauge aren't working and the aftermarket AM/FM/cassette radio is offline, but the clock keeps time and the wood-rimmed steering wheel is in excellent condition. You'll note there's a power antenna on the options list and the black convertible top folds easier than expected and feels pretty limber.

 

As I mentioned, the engine is a date-code-correct 327 cubic inch V8 with 350 horsepower. It was rebuilt 500 miles ago and runs superbly once it's warmed up. Like most high-performance engines, it's a bit cranky when it's cold, but you can blame that on the relatively large 650 CFM Holley that was standard equipment on the deep-breathing L79. Contrary to popular belief, the L79 uses a hydraulic cam, not a solid lifter setup, so it's very user-friendly and doesn't foul plugs, but also zings to redline without feeling strained. The torque curve is robust and I'd argue that a big block 396/425 horsepower car isn't notably faster and certainly not when the road starts to twist and turn. The engine bay is nicely detailed with a correct open-element air cleaner, new Chevy Orange paint on the block, and finned Corvette valve covers for a period performance look. 1965 was also the first year for 4-wheel disc brakes, so the car feels confident out on the road and with the lightweight small block, you probably won't even miss the power assist. It's clean underneath, not spotless, but nice enough that you won't worry about hidden dangers and the brakes have been recently rebuilt with new calipers. Knock-off wheels were an expensive option in 1965, and I'm betting these are repros, but they sure look great and are wrapped in brand new 15-inch whitewall radials, and whitewalls are how it was originally delivered.

 

If I were going to own a Corvette, it might be one very much like this. Plenty of power but easy to live with, nicely optioned but not fussy, and a great color combination. We're asking $59,900, the same as all the other mid-year Corvettes in inventory, so all you need to do is pick the color and horsepower that you prefer and come take it home. Thanks for looking!

 

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Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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