Millennium Custom Auto - Auto body, Collision Repair, Hot Rod Customs, Restorations, Custom Limousine Builders and Corvette Specialists in Deer Park, Long Island

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1965 Corvette

1965CorvetteThe second generation Corvette was launched in 1963 and saw the debut of the gorgeous Sting Ray body. A two passenger coupe body style joined the convertible for the first time and featured a split rear-window design. The Corvette featured an independent rear suspension (replacing the previous version's straight axle), fuel-injection, and knock off wheels. It even had a racing option, the Z-06. The Z-06 was created by Zora Arkus-Duntoz as a purpose built (through non-descript) racer, although its thunder was stolen by the superior Shelby Cobra. Nevertheless, the Z-06 option consisted of a fuel-injected 327 cid V8, 36.5 gallon fuel tank, heavy-duty brakes, heavy-duty suspension, and knock-off wheels.

1965CorvetteThe heavy-duty brakes consisted of drums with sintered metallic linings, power assisted and backed by a dual circuit master cylinder. "Elephant ear" scoops rammed fresh air to the drums and cooling fans spun with the hub. The 36.5 gallon fuel tank (coded N03), just fit in the back of the coupe body style and helped the Corvette better compete in long distance endurance racing events, such as Daytona. About 60 of the 199 Z-06 Corvettes had the N03, and those Corvettes included inner wheel well housings modified to fit larger-than-stock tires. The knock off wheels, which became synonymous with the 1963 split window Corvette, actually leaded due to porosity of the aluminum and poor sealing at the rims, and no more than a dozen coupes and roadsters got them. Luxury options such as power steering, air conditioning, and leather seats were available for the first time on Corvettes. The 1964 Corvette featured several improvements such as higher horsepower "fuelie" engine options, a smoother ride, and better insulation. The hardtop lost its split rear-window design in favor of a more conventional single-piece rear window, because owners of 1963 Corvettes complained about rear visibility.

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1965 saw several changes to the Corvette. The big news was the addition of standard four-wheel disc brakes. Styling changes were at a minimum, with functional front fender louvers, new wheel covers, and a restyled grille. The hood had no depressions or trim, and thus was not interchangeable with the '63 or '64 Corvettes. Inside, newly styled bucket seats were offered and genuine leather seating surfaces were optional. Options few European cars could match included power steering, power brakes, power windows, air conditioning, AM-FM radio, telescopic steering column, and a wood-rimmed steering wheel.

1965CorvetteUnder the hood, the Corvette offered a wide range of engines. Standard was Chevy's tried-and-true 327 cid Turbo Fire V8 rated at 250 bhp. Next up was a 300 bhp version of the 327 and new for 1965 was the precursor to the famous LT1, a 327 rated at 350 bhp. At the top, was the most powerful carbureted 327, rated at 365 bhp. For true performance buyers, the Ram-Jet Fuel-Injected 327 made its last appearance in 1965. At $538, fuel injection was an expensive option, but it made 327 a 375 bhp stormer. It was the ultimate small block V8. But the introduction in April 1965, of the 396 cid big block MK IV V8 marked the beginning of a new era for the Corvette. Rated at 425 bhp and priced at only $292.70, the 396 V8 big block was a direct descendant of the 427 cid MK II engine that dominated NASCAR in 1963, and made the 327 "fuelie" seem superfluous in an era of cheap, high octane gasoline. A special bulging hood was included when the 396 was ordered.

Interestingly, this would be the only year for the 396 V8. Although the 327 "fuelie" was still available through the 1965 model year, it was quietly dropped when the 1966 Corvettes was introduced. Introduced at the same time as the 396 were new side-mounted exhausts, a $134.50 option. 1965 was a unique and mememorable year for the Corvette. It was the only year that you could buy a fuel-injected, disc-braked Sting Ray. It was the first year for the big block and side-mounted exhausts. And with prices starting at $4,106, the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray was quite a bargin. No wonder that sales reached a record 23,652 units.



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