1965 Corvette Fuel Injected Convertible
1965 Corvette Fuel Injected Convertible
This spectacular 1965 Corvette convertible was famously purchased in 1976 for the then-incredible sum of $42,000. Today it remains virtually flawless, its original Glen Green paint, Saddle leather interior, Beige soft top and auxiliary hard top exceeding all expectations. It is also significant that this is one of the last in the great line of Rochester Fuel Injection Corvettes, equipped with the mighty L84 327/375 HP small block, Muncie M20 4-speed manual transmission and 3.08 Positraction third member. The car’s performance potential was maximized with K66 Transistor Ignition, F40 Special Suspension and J50 Power Brakes, with tinted glass, a telescopic steering column, finned aluminum knock-off wheels with Goldline tires, AM/FM radio and the Comfort and Convenience Group filling out the specifications.
Those are the facts, and while important to any mid-year Fuelie aficionado, they are only part of a much bigger story that begins with the seemingly outlandish money it demanded. After all, $42,000 was an astronomical price for a ‘slightly used’ 1965 Corvette in 1976—four times the price of a brand-new loaded 1976 Corvette! However, Chicago marketer Richard Buxbaum had the audacity to ask it and collector Jim Krughoff had the bank account to answer. History was made; word circulated immediately among the ‘insiders’ of the day and the Corvette world changed forever. Suddenly Corvette ownership was no longer just a hobby but a potential investment, and that simple fact spawned an entire industry.
This is the car that jump-started the realization that certain Corvettes were more than just used cars. From then on, the demand for pristine original high-performance Corvettes soared and the prices exploded from the previous $3-5,000 range for cars of similar vintage. And they have kept climbing ever since.
What was so special about this car? Not only was it a rare 1965 Fuel Injected convertible, it had little more than 1,500 miles on the odometer, unheard of in an era of customized and worn out 10-year-old Sting Rays. The original owner (who never even registered it) realized this was one of but 771 Fuelies to be built in the final year of production, and presumed it would one day be collectible. If he only knew how right he was. He covered the floor with newspapers (the Daily News, dated Nov. 20, 1965), covered the seats with Holiday Inn towels, and simply parked it in safe keeping for a decade.
This 1965 Corvette was discovered in New York State by Corvette sleuth Bill Stephenson, the car was transferred into the hands of Chicago marketer Richard Buxbaum to find someone who would recognize its rarity and quality of preservation—and pay for it. Because some deterioration of the engine compartment and chassis had occurred due to long-term storage, those areas required some cosmetic rehabilitation before the car was offered for sale. The aforementioned Jim Krughoff, a noted collector of unrestored original Corvettes, stepped forward. Krughoff’s purchase stamped this legendary Fuelie as one of America’s most well-preserved and lowest-mileage 1963-67 Corvettes in existence, not to mention 1965 Fuelies in particular.
This 1965 Corvette was one of the low-mileage jewels in the Krughoff Collection for decades. Immediately after winning Best of Show at Bloomington 1977, it was featured in Corvette mainstay magazine Vette Vues. The following year it won the High Point Award at the 25th Corvette Anniversary NCRS National Meet and was the subject of a 16-page feature in Volume 3, Number 3 of Mike Antonick’s Corvette: The Sensuous American. It was invited to the first Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1984 and, 25 years later, to the 2009 Grand Finale Special Collection. A 1997 inductee into the Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame, in 2000 it was purchased by Ed Foss and was re-introduced to a new generation of Corvette enthusiasts, winning Bloomington Gold Survivor, Benchmark and Gold Certification in 2001, when it also scored the NCRS Duntov Award of Excellence and 3-Star Preservation Award. Naturally, it has also won Chevy Vettefest Showcase and Triple Crown honors.
A full 40 years after its discovery by Bill Stephenson, this 1965 Corvette has had fewer than 100 miles added to the current total of 1,652. However, to many, the condition of the vehicle could pass for 16 miles instead of 1,600 miles. Not only was this low-mileage 1965 Corvette inducted into the Great Hall, so too were Jim Krughoff and Richard Buxbaum for their pioneering roles in Corvette collecting. It will be interesting to see if history repeats itself this summer, if a new owner has the same insights that Jim Krughoff had 40 years ago, and that the original owner had in 1965.
– Unrestored 1965 Corvette with 1,652 original miles – The first expensive collector Corvette, this fuelie sold for $42,000 in 1976 – Bloomington Gold Benchmark, Survivor and Gold certified in 2001 – Bloomington Gold Hall of Fame inductee in 1997 – Bloomington Gold Great Hall inductee in 2010 – Invited to the first Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 1984 and the Grand Finale Special Collection in 2009 – Won the Best of Show Trophy at Bloomington Gold in 1977 – NCRS Duntov Award and 3-Star Preservation Award in 2001 – Won the High Point Award at the 25th Corvette Anniversary NCRS National Meet in 1978 – Chevy VetteFest Showcase and Triple Crown – Original Glen Green paint – Original Saddle leather interior – Beige soft top and auxiliary hardtop – L84 fuel injected 327/375 V-8 engine – 4-speed transmission, 3.08 Positraction – F40 special suspension, J50 power brakes – Transistorized ignition, telescopic column – Knock-off wheels, Goldline tires – Comfort and convenience group – Documented with the Protect-O-Plate, window sticker, temporary license plate and title application – Formerly part of the Jim Krughoff Collection
This Corvette sold for $390,000 in August 2015
Source: Mecum Auctions