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Lot 442: Chevrolet Corvette 396/425hp Coupe

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* Big-block 396cid V8 * Four-speed manual transmission * Well-optioned example * The best-looking C2 style * Only year for this optional engine * Stunning Glen Green/green combination When people think of sporty cars from the Class of '65, the Mustang and GTO usually come to mind. The GTO in particular had Tri-Power (good for 360 horsepower), was sold in plentiful numbers, and was a tough car to beat on the street. However, when Chevrolet introduced the Mark IV big-block V-8 for the 1965 Corvette, all bets were off. It had only been a few years earlier that a Chevrolet engineer named Zora Arkus-Duntov saved the Corvette from the brink of extinction. He transformed the fiberglass two-seater into a capable contender that challenged the sports car establishment of the time by installing Chevy's new small-block V-8 and racing in various different arenas to prove its credentials. By 1963, a coupe joined the convertible and horsepower was up to 360 with its fuel-injected 327, but it wasn't until 1965 that the Corvette truly became a fire breather with the January introduction of the 396. Putting out 425 rev-happy horses, the new big block added $292.70 to the Corvette's $4,300 base price (compare that to $538 for the Fuelie 327/375) and 200 lbs. to the front end. To accommodate this, stiffer front springs, a thicker stabilizer bar, and a larger radiator were used. And the motor itself? Four-bolt mains, Holley 4150 carburetor atop an aluminum manifold, solid lifters, forged pistons, free-flow cast-iron exhaust manifolds, transistorized ignition, and 17-inch viscous-drive fan sat under a domed, vented hood with "Turbo-Jet 396" badges on the front fenders. Coming or going, it sounded like no Corvette before it, and it was the first in a tradition of big-block monsters. It's also notable that 1965 was the only year that the 396 was used in the Corvette, making this Glen Green coupe with green leather interior an important artifact. A Corvette-only restoration facility performed a body-off restoration on this car with its numbers-matching motor, 4-speed, and original tags. Desirable options include the F40 suspension, N32 teakwood steering wheel, N36 telescoping steering column, A31 power windows, U69 AM/FM radio, P48 knock-offs, and 3.70 Positraction, among others. For the ultimate 1965 Corvette, there's not much need to look further.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeCar
Lot Number442
Estimate$80000-$100000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1965
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number194375 S116394
Engine numberT0326IF S116394
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors