In 1965 the nine-year reign of the "fuelie" Corvette came to an end. Only 771 cars with the L84 option were built in 1965, making it the lowest production year. It was the only year you could buy a fuel-injected, disc-braked Corvette. This 1965 Glen Green model has traveled only 1,577 miles since new and is in original condition. It has to be one of the finest examples of an original vintage Corvette in existence. The original owner bought a new fuelie 'Vette every year. Upon learning of Chevrolet's plans to discontinue the fuel-injection option, he treated his final one with great respect. He drove the car sparingly and proceeded to store it. When Jim Krughoff purchased the car in 1976, the carpets were covered with newspapers dated November 20, 1965 (the day the car was purchased). The leather seats were covered with towels. Documents with the car include: temporary cardboard license, window sticker, finance papers, temporary registration certificate, manufacturer's application for certificate of title (unexecuted, the car is still on the original factory Certificate of Origin), owner's guide, salesman's business card and all service and gas records with mileage and dates noted. In 1977 at the Bloomington Gold Corral, the car won the "Best of Show" trophy. At the 25th Corvette Anniversary NCRS National Meet, the car won the high point award, competing against Corvettes of all years and production. In 1984, it was featured in Bloomington Gold's first "Special Collection." In 1997, it was inducted into the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame as one of the original inductees.

SCM Analysis


Number Produced:8,168 1965 coupes; 15,376 1965 convertibles
Original List Price:$4,106
SCM Valuation:$27,000-$40,000 (without fuel injection)
Tune Up Cost:$225 (fuel injection problems could triple this)
Distributor Caps:$15
Chassis Number Location:On passenger side beneath glove compartment door, in interior of car
Engine Number Location:On a pad in front of passenger-side cylinder head
Club Info:National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS), 6291 Day Road, Cincinnati, OH 45252-1334; 513/385-8526
Alternatives:Iso Grifo, Jensen Interceptor, Intermeccanica Italia

This car sold for $168,000, including buyer’s premium, at the Mecum Fall Premier in Crystal Lake, Illinois, on November 3, 2000.

The introduction of the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray brought a marked change from prior models. The only significant remnants from 1962 were the engine and transmission-just about every other component was new. The Corvette now came as either a convertible or coupe, and the option list had grown to include luxury touches such as leather, power steering and air conditioning.

Performance was not forgotten, as the horsepower race of the ’60s was just starting to rev up, but styling was the key element of the new-look Corvettes. Bill Mitchell, GM’s Vice President in charge of design, as well as chief Corvette stylist Larry Shinoda and Corvette legend Zora Arkus-Duntov, were all instrumental in the birth of the 1963-67 body style. The bodywork changed little during the production run, really only seeing the replacement of the split rear window in the 1963 car with a single piece of glass in the ’64 -’67 models.

While most collector cars achieve their value ratings through a combination of equipment, condition and mileage, mid-year (C2) Corvettes are different. Here the ranking goes by equipment, equipment and more equipment, followed by condition, with mileage furthest back. Decent 327/300-horsepower mid-year Corvette convertibles can be found below $30K. Add original air conditioning or a rare option and the price goes up. Add fuel injection and the price of the base car can double or triple.

Why is it that indicated mileage is not as big a factor on these early cars? Quite simply, the odometers on this series of ‘Vettes were short lived. I’ve seen dozens of cars with the odometer showing a permanent 32,000 to 42,000 reading. Added to that, the mid-year ‘Vettes were bought and sold as used cars during a time when it was not against the law to roll back an odometer.

The fuel-injected, 375-horsepower, 327-cubic-inch engine was $538-not a lot of money now, but a hefty percentage of the base price of a Corvette convertible, which listed at $4,106. As such, only 771 cars (both coupes and convertibles) were equipped with fuel injection in 1965.

It took a serious Corvette enthusiast to purchase, equip, and store the car shown here. With only 1,577 miles, and with documentation to support the penurious odometer reading, this Corvette is a “time machine,” used by Corvette owners and restorers to determine what is and is not original equipment on similar Corvettes. But $168K?

It is the unique combination of a convertible, equipment, color, miles and condition that makes this car a Corvette lottery winner. By pulling four to five times what a standard convertible might, it showed us exactly how much more than a standard ‘Vette it is worth. Today’s collectors continue to be willing to part with what seems like huge amounts of money for very special, documented cars. However, you’re unlikely to ever see this car outside of a car show or concours. Imagine the incredible depreciation it would suffer with each revolution of the wheel as it rolled down the road. I suggest buying a beater ’65 for Corvette cruise-ins, and leave the big green guy in the garage.-Dave Kinney

(Historical data and photo courtesy of auction company.)

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