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Real L79 327/350, 4-speed, knock-offs, side pipes, new top, awesome triple black

For sale: 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Technical specifications

Item location:
Macedonia, Ohio, United States
Number of cylinders:
Interior color:
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


Corvettes have always been about evolution. And just as each successive generation of Corvette got better than the last, ost of that happened because they simply get better each year, oo. The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray was revolutionary, obody will argue that point, ut it’s also worth noting that each successive year in the series was better than the last, ringing innovations and greater performance. Perhaps this is why mid-year Corvettes are so highly sought and cherished by their owners. Add in a long list of optional engines, nd it’s easy to see why Corvettes are collectable.

If you were around in the mid-60s, ou likely already know how hard it was to beat a well-driven L79 327/350 horsepower Chevy, egardless of the car hosting it, rom the humble Nova to the top-of-the-line Corvette. This 1965 Corvette is an original L79 car and carries a correctly date-coded and HV-stamped block, o it’s quite authentic without being 100% matching numbers. It was restored about ten years ago and used sparingly since, o the glossy Tuxedo Black paint still looks fantastic, ar better than you’d expect for a car designed for daily driving duty. Experts will note that it wears a big block hood, hich is arguably the best-looking of all mid-year Corvette hoods and it’s certainly welcome here. Panel gaps are excellent and details like the hood and headlight doors fit very well indeed. None of the usual fiberglass issues are present; no cracking around the headlight openings, o ragged seams, o visible bonding strips. Yes, f you want a perfectly imperfect Corvette for Bloomington Gold, his isn’t it, ut if you want an exceptionally high-quality Corvette to use as intended, ell, hey don’t make them much more entertaining than this car. The chrome bumpers are brilliant, ll the emblems and badges are crisply rendered, nd yes, hose are factory side pipes, hich give it a spectacular engine note.

The black vinyl interior was restored to stock specs, nd checking the trim tag, riple black is definitely how this car was originally ordered. The standard buckets have an upscale look with a simple pattern, nd thanks to durable materials, t’ll look this good for years to come. This car also wears fresh carpets and door panels that are a match for the original equipment, nd Corvette-logo floor mats are a welcome addition. It has a handsome woodgrained steering wheel that warms up the otherwise monochromatic interior, lthough a few splashes of bright chrome and satin-finished metallic trim are quite welcome. The gauges are big and easy to read, ncluding a correct L79 6500 RPM redline tachometer. The voltmeter and temperature gauges appear to be offline, ut the others work properly, ncluding the clock, hich ticks away reliably. There’s an aftermarket AM/FM/cassette stereo that isn’t connected, nd a proper factory-style radio would be a welcome upgrade, ut if you’re listening to the radio in a Corvette roadster with side pipes, ou’re doing it wrong. There’s also a recent black convertible top that folds easily and fits well, ven on the rear deck.

As I mentioned, he 327 cubic inch V8 under the hood is a correctly stamped HV-code L79 unit for a 1965 Corvette with a 4-speed. Contrary to what most folks believe, he L79 used a hydraulic lifter camshaft yet still happily revved to 6000 RPM. It’s docile enough that your mother could drive it to the market, ut driven to its potential, t was shockingly effective on the street. In fact, he L79 camshaft was so effective that it became the most popular cam at GM parts counters for guys looking to upgrade their small blocks’ performance. The engine would stay in tune just about forever, he spark plugs rarely foul, nd it’s happy to idle at 800 RPM in traffic. In short, f you want a Corvette that will pin your ears back but doesn’t ask for a pound of flesh to do so, he L79 is a brilliant choice.

This L79 was completely rebuilt by a reputable speed shop about 500 miles ago and runs superbly. The big Holley means it’s a little grumpy when it’s cold, ut get it warmed up and the slightly lumpy idle is rock stable at 800 RPM and it feels like it could pull forever. It never sounds or feels strained and barks through the gears with shocking ferocity. The block was painted correct Chevy Orange, he finned valve covers were part of the Corvette package, nd it wears a correct open-element air cleaner, hich was standard on the L79. It’s only a set of decals away from being factory-correct. The “ram’s horn” exhaust manifolds were ceramic coated to keep them clean and help control heat, nd there are a few chrome dress-up pieces like the oil filler and water neck, ust to add a little sparkle. Reproduction hoses and correct clamps were used, hich is always a welcome sign of a conscientious builder, nd the original ignition shield remains in place. It always starts easily and reliably, nd driving a high-revving small block with side pipes is one of those automotive experiences that you just shouldn’t miss.

The L79 is ideally suited to the Muncie 4-speed living behind it. Clutch take-up is smooth and progressive, aking it easy to live with in traffic, nd the Muncie will take all the abuse you can dish out, o go ahead and drive it like you stole it. 3.36 gears out back are a good compromise that keep the L79 in the sweet spot of its torque curve without getting annoying on the highway, aking this a car that can go on longer road trips without complaints. The chassis is clean, ut no longer detailed for show, nd it’s remarkable how much space there is underneath with the exhaust heading outboard towards the rockers. 4-wheel disc brakes were a recent addition to the Corvette features list, nd they’ve been fully rebuilt and feel powerful and confident, hile the steering is direct and precise even without power assist (you don’t really need it with a small block anyway). There’s no rust (the floors are fiberglass anyway), o signs of previous accident damage, nd it’s been nicely maintained all its life, o you can drive it with confidence. Finally, t’s fitted with handsome knock-off wheels which totally make the car look wicked, s well as a fresh set of 205/75/15 whitewall radials.

Not a pedigree Corvette but not priced like one, ither, his cool roadster has a long list of virtues and no vices. If you’re the kind of guy who likes to use his equipment and use it as intended, his Corvette will delight you. Pretty enough to turn every head but not so perfect that it needs to be constantly mothered, t’s immensely satisfying in every way. Reliable, ast, un, nd gorgeous, his is how all hobby cars should be. Call today!

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