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1965 Corvette

Corvette was on a roll, sales were climbing and the new Stingrays were gaining respect in the sports car circles. For 1965, Corvette would add refinement, a subtle change to the exterior, and a not so subtle change of brute force to the lineup.

Refinement came in the way Corvette stopped as drum brakes were traded for discs. The brakes were still unassisted as base equipment, but power assist was available. The new discs were 11.75 inches in diameter and used four piston front and two piston rear calipers. The function of the parking brake was handled by a mini drum brake inside the rear rotors that had a pair of tiny shoes in the rotor had. The parking brake still relied on a cable operated by a T-handle under the instrument panel. If desired, and some folks (316) did, drum brakes coukd be substituted for the discs. The drum substitution was worth a $64.50 credit. Unlike previous years of the second generation Corvettes, no heavy duty braking package was available.

Inside Corvette's interior, a telescopic steering wheel became available as RPO N36. The steering column had a friction collar at the top surface of the steering wheel that allowed the steering wheel to be adjustable for reach of about 1 inch. New bucket seats found their way into the interior being slighty wider than the 1963-4 seats. A teakwood steering wheel was offered, however there were few takers with only 2,259 being factory installed. You could still delete the heater and defroster on a Corvette, but fewer and fewer folks opted to to this as on 39 were built with the $100.00 credit, while 2,423 opted to spend $421.80 for air conditioning.

Minor styling changes occurred for 1965. The false front fender vents of the earlier C2s were replacd with a trio of fish like gills. The coloring of the front grilles were changed to black from silver. The base hood eliminated the leading edge depressions. For those Corvettes ordered with the optional 425hp 396 cubic inch V8, the hood had a raised center spine that flared out to a bulged area flanked by a pair of chrome decorative vents. The tires were over a size larger, growing from 6.70 - 15 to a 7.75 - 15. The black and whitewall tires had rayon belts while the belts in the goldwall tires were made of nylon. Side mounted exhaust or "side pipes" became available as a factory installed option. The option required one of the available four speed manual transmissions and was not available with the base 250hp 327 cu in engine.

Engine choices were drastically changed for 1965. The base engine was still a 250hp 327 ci V8, and the first upgrade was the RPO L75 300hp version, the same as 1964. These were the only two engines available with the base 3-speed manual, the M20 4-speed manual, or the M35 Powerglide automatic tramsmissions. All other versions of the 327 ci V8 engine required the close ratio 4-speed manual transmission. Rather than jump right up a higher horsepower solid lifter 327, a mid range 350hp version with the same 11.0:1 compression ratio as the 365hp V8, but with a milder camshaft and hydraulic valve lifters. Both had aluminum intake manifolds, finned valve aluminum covers and a large Holley carburetor. Fuel Injection would be available on a Corvette for the final time until 1982's Cross Fire Injection was adopted. The solid lifter 327 engine still produced 375 horsepower. The cost of the engine was $538.00, and there were only 771 takers of this package. Why would they, as the added compexity of the fuel injection unit only added 10hp more than the L76 engine for a price of that was almost four times more then the asking price of $129.15.

Further sppeding Fuel Injection to the grave was the addition of the Mark IV "big block" to Corvette's option list. The new engine displaced 396 cubic inches and was available as PRO L78 for a mere $292.70. The engine produced 425 horsepower at 6,400 rpm, and a whopping 415 lb/ft of tire shredding torque at 4,000 rpm. The four speed close ratio manual transmission (M20 or M22), transistor ignition (K66), and positraction (G81) were required. The engine was available on coupes or convertibles with a total of 2,157 being installed.

Production of the the 1965 Corvettea, toped 23,000 for the first time, exceeding the mark by 564 cars. The addition of the big block opened a new chapter in the Corvette history book. While the demise of the Rochester mechanical fuel injection would be a blow to the serious sports car enthusiasts, the larger, more tractable big block would be the stuff legends are made of.

Total Production - 23,564
Model Number Description Production Base Price
837 Corvette Coupe 8,186 $4,321.00
867 Corvette Convertible 15,378 $4,106.00

Engine Codes
RPO Cu. In. Horsepower Torque Fuel System Trans Block Code Comp Ratio :1 Air Cond
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Man HE 10.5 No
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Man HI 10.5 Yes
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Auto HO 10.5 No
Base 327 250 @ 4400 350 @ 2800 Carter WCFB 4bbl Auto HQ 10.5 Yes
L75 327 300 @ 5000 350 @ 4000 Carter AFB 4bbl Man HF 10.5 No
L75 327 300 @ 5000 350 @ 4000 Carter AFB 4bbl Man HJ 10.5 Yes
L75 327 300 @ 5000 360 @ 3600 Carter AFB 4bbl Auto HP 10.5 No
L75 327 300 @ 5000 350 @ 4000 Carter AFB 4bbl Auto HR 10.5 Yes
L79 327 350 @ 5800 360 @ 3800 Holley 4bbl Man HT 11.0 No
L79 327 350 @ 5800 360 @ 3800 Holley 4bbl Man HV 11.0 No Transistor Ignition
L79 327 350 @ 5800 360 @ 3800 Holley 4bbl Man HU 11.0 Yes
L79 327 350 @ 5800 360 @ 3800 Holley 4bbl Man HW 11.0 Yes Transistor Ignition
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man HH 11.0 No
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man HL 11.0 No Transistor Ignition
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man HK 11.0 Yes
L76 327 365 @ 6200 350 @ 4000 Holley 4bbl Man HM 11.0 Yes Transistor Ignition
L84 327 375 @ 6200 350 @ 44-4800 Fuel Injection Man HG 11.0 No
L84 327 375 @ 6200 350 @ 44-4800 Fuel Injection Man HN 11.0 No Transistor Ignition
L78 396 425 @ 6400 415 @4000 Holley 4bbl Man IF 11.0 No Transistor Ignition

Color & Trim Codes
Exterior Color Codes Interior Trim Codes
Color Code Color Code - Vinyl Code - Leather
Ermine White CC Black STD 402K
Glen Green GG Blue 414B 415N
Goldwood Yellow XX Green 430X 431L
Milano Maroon MM Maroon 435Z 436V
Nassau Blue FF Red 407D 408M
Rally Red UU Saddle 420C 421J
Silver Pearl QQ Silver / Black 426Y 427P
Tuxedo Black AA White / Black 437F 438S
White / Blue 450H 451U
White / Red 443Q 444T
Dimensions
Corvette Coupe Corvette Convertible
Overall Length 175.3 175.3
Height 49.6 49.8
Width 69.6 69.6
Wheel Base 98 98
Track F / R 56.3 / 57.0 56.3 / 57.0
Curb Weight 3125 3110
Dimensions are in inches, weight in pounds unless otherwise noted.

1963 - Sting Ray & Split-Window
1964 - Function to the Form
1965 - Debut of the Big-Block
1966 - Cubic inches replace Fuel Injection
1967 - End of a Dynasty

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Cover of October 1962 Road & Track magazine is the property of Road & Track.