Uncovering the 1965 Corvette’s History: 1965 Specifications, History, and More

Discover the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray Specifications and Modifications, Including the Last Fuel-injected L84 and Powerful 425-bhp “big-block” V-8.

We are looking at the powerful engine of the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray and its Specifications. Learn about the 65s iconic features, including the side-mounted exhaust system and four-wheel disc brakes, and explore its variety of engine configurations.

As we look at the 1965 Corvette Specifications of the 1965 Sting Ray, we note that Sting Ray is two words that year – not Stingray. It was manufactured in St. Louis.   As a matter of fact, from 1954 to 1981, Chevrolet manufactured 700,000 Corvettes in St. Louis, Missouri.

Below, posing with their new ’65 Corvette Sting Ray Convertibles in St. Louis, are the Tangier Shriners, who just picked their new convertibles up.

Shop the largest selection of Official Corvette hats and Corvette caps with your favorite logo, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, C8, Stingray Hats, Corvette Racing, Grand Sport, ZR1, and ZO6.
Tangier Shriners 1965 Corvettes in St. Louis.
Tangier Shriners 1965 Corvettes in St. Louis.

The 1965 Vette is the third year of the second generation (C2) of America’s sports car. It was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors for the model years 1963 to 1967.

  • Total Built – 23,562
  • Convertibles – 15,376
  • Coupes – 8,186

The 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray saw significant modifications from its predecessor in 1964, notably the addition of standard four-wheel disc brakes. March of the same year, the option for an L78 396 cid “big-block” V-8 was provided, with 425 bhp and a transistor ignition system. Moreover, a variety of 327 cid engine configurations were also made available – 250 bhp (L30), 300 bhp (L75), 350 bhp (L79), 365 bhp (L76), and 375 bhp (L84). The fuel-injected 375-bhp L84 was the last of its kind before its reintroduction in 1982.

1965 Corvette Magazine Ad about the new Turbo-Jet 396 V8 Engine and is titled 'Cubic inches, that is. We're ready if you are.'
1965 Corvette Magazine Ad about the new Turbo-Jet 396 V8 Engine and is titled ‘Cubic inches, that is. We’re ready if you are.’

In terms of style, the 1965 Corvette included three functional vents in the fenders, with the 396 big-block models particularly prominent due to their hood power bulge. The grille bars turned black, while the instrument faces were given a flat black finish. As an optional feature, side-mounted exhausts could be purchased for $134.50, but only 759 buyers opted for it. Overall, sales rose to 23,564, with coupe sales down to 8186, making convertible models twice as popular. Half of the convertible purchasers (7787) selected the optional hardtop.

The 1965 Corvette was a luxurious ride, with leather seating, a power antenna for the first time, power windows, and optional air conditioning (unavailable for the L78 and L84 engine models). There was also the option of a long-range 36-gallon gas tank, which only 41 people spent an extra $202.30 on. This year, optional center-lock alloy wheels were painted a dark grey, with a total of 1116 people paying an additional $322.80 for the set.

In 1965, the C2 Corvette was the only model to have a combination of fuel injection and disc brakes. It also was the only one to have a 396 cubic inch V8 before it was upgraded to a 427 cubic inchs the following year.

FIBERGLASS FACT: In 1965, a remarkable new feature debuted in the iconic Corvette – the side-mounted exhaust system.

Serial Numbers

The “Vehicle Identification Number” (also known as the VIN or serial number) is placed on a stainless steel plate attached to the right-hand side hinge pillar cross-brace, beneath the glove compartment.

  • Convertible Serial Numbers: 194675S100001 – 194675S123562
  • Coupe Serial numbers: 194375S100001 – 194375S123562

1965 Corvette Specifications

RPO#DESCRIPTIONQUANTITY$ RETAIL
19437Base Corvette Sport Coupe8,1864,321
19467Base Corvette Convertible15,3764,106
n/aGenuine Leather Seats2,12880
A01Soft Ray Tinted Glass, all windows8,75216
A02Soft Ray Tinted Glass, windshield7,62410
A31Power Windows3,80959
C07Auxillary Hardtop (convertible only)7,787236
C48Heater and Defroster Deletion39-100
C60Air Conditioning2,423421
F40Special Front and Rear Suspension97537
G81Positraction Rear Axle19,96543
G91Special Highway Axle, 3.08:1 Ratio1,8862
J50Power Brakes4,04443
J61Drum Brakes (substitution credit)316-64
K66Transistor Ignition System3,68675
L75327ci, 300hp Engine8,35853
L76327ci, 365hp Engine5,011129
L78396ci, 425hp Engine2,157292
L79327ci, 350hp Engine4,716107
L84327ci, 375hp Engine (fuel injection)771538
M204-Speed Manual Transmission21,107188
M35Powerglide Automatic Transmission2,021199
N0336 Gallon Fuel Tank (coupe only)41202
N11Off Road Exhaust System2,46837
N14Side Mount Exhaust System759134
N32Teakwood Steering Wheel2,25948
N36Telescopic Steering Column3,91743
N40Power Steering3,23696
P48Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheels1,116322
P917.75×15 Blackwall Tires16815
P927.75×15 Whitewall Tires19,30031
T017.75×15 Goldwall Tires98950
U69AM-FM Radio22,113203
Z01Comfort and Convenience Group15,39716

1965 Corvette Exterior Color Options

6022 buyers were enticed by Nassau Blue, the newest addition to the color palette, with 3788 enticed by Glen Green, 3688 enticed by Rally Red, 2831 enticed by Milano Maroon, 2552 enticed by Silver Pearl, 2216 enticed by Ermine White, 1275 enticed by Goldwood Yellow, and 1191 enticed by Tuxedo Black.

CODEEXTERIORQUANTITY
AATuxedo Black1,191
CCErmine White2,216
UURally Red3,688
FFNassau Blue6,022
GGGlen Green3,782
XXGoldwood Yellow1,275
QQSilver Pearl2,552
MMMilano Maroon2,831

1965 Corvette Interior Color Options

CODECOLOR
stdBlack Vinyl
402Black Leather
407Red Vinyl
408Red Leather
414Blue Vinyl
415Blue Leather
420Saddle Vinyl
421Saddle Leather
426Silver Vinyl
427Silver Leather
430Green Vinyl
431Green Leather
444White and Red Leather
450White and Blue Vinyl
451White and Blue Leather

1965 Engines and their Cubic inch Displacement

  • 8-cylinder 327 cubic inches with the 250 horsepower four-barrel carburetor L30
  • 8-cylinder 327 cubic inches, 300 horsepower four-barrel carburetor L75
  • 8-cylinder 327 cubic inches, 350 horsepower four-barrel carburetor L79
  • 8-cylinder 327 cubic inches 365 horsepower four-barrel carburetor L76
  • 8-cylinder 327 cubic inches 375 Horsepower Fuel Injected L84
  • 8-cylinder 396 cubic inches 425horsepower four-barrel carburetor L78

FIBERGLASS FACT: In 1965, Corvette introduced the new and powerful 396 cubic inches, 425 horsepower big block engine to appease enthusiasts for the loss of the previous “fuelie” motors. This was the only year for the 396 ci “Turbo Jet” engine. In 1965, the Corvette Stingray was the final edition featuring fuel injection until 1982, when the L83 Cross-Fire system was introduced. Additionally, four-wheel disc brakes were added to handle the increased power and speed.

Corvettes equipped with fuel injection have been top of the American performance car class from 1957 until 1965. At mid-year, the L78-code 425hp 396-cu.in. V-8 became an option and offered an additional 50 horsepower in comparison to the 375hp Ram Jet mechanical fuel injected 327 small-block. While the Ram Jet option costs $538, the 425hp V-8 was priced at only $292.70. Out of the 23,562 Corvettes that were built in 1965, with 8,186 coupes and 15,376 convertibles, a mere 771 were produced with the Ram Jet mechanical fuel injection.

The Ram Jet-injected fuelies provided great performance capabilities. When cornering, the heavy 396-cu.in. big block model was easily noticeable in the Corvette’s front wheels. Featuring a fully independent rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes, the separate chassis was at the same level as European designs. The fuel injected small-block was the perfect option for drivers who wanted to navigate winding back roads. Performance options were created to meet the needs of those looking for a bit more power from their machines, resulting in a higher rate of attrition. Consequently, these cars are less common today.

Dimensions

  • Wheelbase was 98 inches
  • Overall length 69.6 inches
  • Overall height coupe 69.6 inches
  • Standard rear axle ratio 3.36:1
  • Optional rear axle ratio 3.08:1, 3.55:1, 3.70:1, 4.11:1, 4.56:1

How fast was the 1965 Corvette?

With its 396 engine, the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds while achieving the quarter mile in an impressive 13.9 seconds. This performance on the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray completed the same feats in 6.0 and 14.9 seconds, respectively.

We have included with our 1965 Corvette Specifications a historical photo from General Motors Archives.
We have included with our Specifications a historical photo from General Motors Archives.
We have included with our 1965 Corvette Specifications a historical photo from General Motors Archives.
General Motors Archives

What does a 1965 Corvette cost today (2023)?

Our overview of the 1965 Corvette is here to assist you with your buying experience. Its estimated value can be over $100,000, so it is beneficial to be aware of which aspects to examine to ensure you receive the car of your dreams for a great price.

If you’re looking to buy a 1965 Corvette with a 327 cid 250 hp 4bbl l30 engine, you can expect to pay around $104,000 for one in ‘concourse condition.’ Alternatively, an ‘excellent’ condition Corvette will cost around $79,000, with ‘good’ condition setting you back around $59,300 and ‘fair’ condition coming in at $45,100. Prices may be affected by certain extras, such as transmission, power windows, and knock-off wheels. Furthermore, the combination of certain options on a 1965 Corvette may be worth more than the sum of their parts.

Fifteen 1965 Corvettes were offered at the Indy 2023 auction, but the highest bid of $200,000 was not enough to win the car. This Vette was outfitted with a GM LS3 V-8 crate engine and a 4L65E automatic transmission with overdrive. It also featured high-performance upgrades like the Holley Terminator LS MPFI programmable ECM, drive-by-wire throttle body, Holley Sniper intake manifold, and a fuel system kit. It had an oversized aluminum radiator, a front runner system, and a Holley Sniper EFI fuel tank and pump. Stopping power came from Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes, while the custom Sparc steering wheel and new tilt steering column provided directional control through the rack-and-pinion power steering gear. It was equipped with a Vintage Air system for year-round comfort, and custom-fabricated bumpers and Corvette Z06-style wheels completed the look.

Selling for $176,000, an Ermine White 1965 Corvette two-top convertible with its original paint has the original L78 396/425 HP V-8 engine, complete with its CCAS engine block, stamp pad, engine stamp affirmation, body/data tag, Muncie M20 wide-ratio 4-speed transmission, 3.70 Positraction differential, SS brakes, teakwood steering wheel, and transistorized ignition. It was awarded the prestigious Bloomington Gold Benchmark, NCRS Top Flight, and Bowtie Preservation Awards.

With an odometer reading of only 17,542 miles, the 1965 Corvette with its 350 CI V-8 engine, 4-speed manual transmission, and Spinner wheel covers was a remarkable find. Adorned with a Riverside Red finish and White interior, it was equipped with new Whitewall tires and sold for $50,600. This was the lowest price sold 65 Corvette.

To explore the options available, check out Vette Vues’ classified ads for Corvettes for Sale.

1965 Corvette Vehicle Information Kit and Corvette Specifications

NOTE:  This will take a minute to load as it is 99 pages long.

1965 Corvette Specifications (PDF)

Corvette Color History for 1965

1965 Glen Green

1965 Glen Green Corvette
1965 Glen Green Corvette

1965 added “Glen Green” to the list of popular colors borrowed from Watkins Glen International near Watkins Glen, New York. W.G.I. was home to the Formula One United States Grand Prix, the World Sportscar Championship, Trans-Am, Can-Am, IndyCar, and NASCAR have also run there. It opened in 1956, and the track was wildly successful. 1973 saw the Summer Jam rock festival at W.G.I.; headliners were The Allman Brothers, The Grateful Dead, and The Band, and was attended by more than 600,000 fans, which was enough to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest attendance ever at a music festival. Due to poor management, the track filed for bankruptcy and closed in 1981, and two years later, the track was purchased by Corning, fully renovated, reopened, and is still going strong.

1965 Nassau Blue

1965 Nassau Blue Corvette
1965 Nassau Blue Corvette

1965 also saw the addition of the very popular “Nassau Blue” as a tip of the hat to Nassau Oakes Field in Nassau, Bahamas. Laid out on the runways and roads of the former Oakes Field Airport and opened in 1957. The track had a great run and, with location names like “Sassoon Straight,” “Ecky’s Twist,” and the unforgettable “Blackbeard’s Bend,” who wouldn’t want to race there? Stirling Moss took the Nassau Trophy in the track’s second year. The Americans made a big noise in 1963 when Ford and Chevrolet showed up, with Chevrolet sweeping all of the major trophies that year. Unfortunately, political change and island economics took their toll, and the Nassau course was closed permanently in 1966.

If you are in the market for a 1965 Corvette Stingray, then look no further than our Classified Ads section for the perfect vehicle.

Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy:

An Overview of the C2 Corvette Sting Ray (1963-1967)

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Video

1962 Tangier Shrine Parade Corvette

Uncover Latest Corvette News In Our Recent Blog Posts

1965 Custom Corvette Coupe Sold for $187,000 – A Stunning LOT K21

1965 Pilot Line Corvette: From Testing to Mecum’s Auction Block

Retro Designs’ Restored Custom 1965 C2 Corvette

1965 Fuel Injected Corvette Feature

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