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Lot 672
1965 Chevrolet Corvette 396/425 Roadster

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Selling on Saturday Evening

CHASSIS NO: 194675S117940

• Numbers matching factory L78 396/425 HP roadster
• Desirable four-speed manual transmission
• NCRS Top Flight award in August of 2021
• Impressive Milano Maroon paint finish and factory knock-off wheels


396 cid V-8 engine, 425 HP, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, front coil spring suspension with trailing arm, transverse leaf spring rear suspension; wheelbase: 98”


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 often 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 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 mid-1965 that the Corvette truly became a fire breather with the January introduction of the 396. Putting out 425 horses, the new big block added $292.70 to the Corvette's $4,300 base price. Stiffer front springs, a thicker stabilizer bar, and a larger radiator were just the beginning of the performance enhancements.

It was the high “state-of-tune” that made the Corvette’s L78 engine produce 425 horsepower out of 396 cubic-inch displacement - more horsepower than any of the other 396 engines manufactured from mid-1965 until 396 production ended. 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. The heads have a unique “porcupine” look, with intake and exhaust valves tilted away from each other. Coming or going, it sounded like no Corvette before it, and it was the first in a tradition of big-block monsters. Get down on your knees for this beauty, because it’s just as clean and correct underneath as it is under the hood.

This Milano Maroon roadster with a unique light gray and saddle interior is desirably outfitted with the one-year-only 396/425HP V-8, with power delivered through a four-speed manual transmission. Among the original factory options in place are the original P48 cast alloy knock-off wheels with the correct Michelin white-stripe radials, N14 side mount exhausts, and U69 AM-FM radio. The paint is fantastic, the door fit excellent, and the car simply looks menacingly fast even while standing still.

There are few more recognized or iconic muscle cars out there than the second generation Corvette. What makes this example stand out from the crowd - it’s an NCRS Top Flight award winner in 2021, indicating a highly accurate vehicle. Then, add in the coveted and rare 396/425 power plant, four-speed manual transmission and it’s obvious this may just be one of the most desirable Corvettes on a sophisticated collector's list. It is fair to say that this particular Corvette would make an excellent candidate to be shown at any event with a strong result ensuing. For those looking to drive the formidable L78, look no further. We are pleased to offer this striking example and encourage all to consider such a worthy addition to your stable.

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