1965 Chevrolet Corvette
Year of manufacture1965
Offered from The Chester Collection
1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray Coupé
Registration no. FDS 326C
Chassis no. 194375S103663
Back in 1953, Chevrolet's launch of the two-seater Corvette sports car was a radical departure for a marque hitherto associated almost exclusively with sensible family transport. Sales were sluggish initially and the Corvette came close to being axed, surviving thanks to Chevrolet's need to compete with Ford's Thunderbird. A V8 engine for 1955 and a radical restyle for '56 consolidated the Vette's position in the market before the arrival of the heavily revised 'Sting Ray' version.
Introduced for 1963, the Sting Ray incorporated a totally new ladder-type chassis, and for the first time there was a Gran Turismo coupé in the range. As had been the case with the previous (1956-1962) generation of Corvettes, development proceeded slowly, being characterised by annual facelifts and few engineering changes of note. On the latter front, the long-overdue arrival of four-wheel disc brakes was the most significant development for 1965.
A 1965 model, this Sting Ray was purchased new by one Frank Hayashi of Wisconsin on 31st December 1964 from Hult Chevrolet in Madison, WI. The car has the 300bhp 327ci (5.3-litre) V8 engine and the desirable four-speed manual gearbox, and left the factory equipped with the Positraction rear axle; special highway axle (3.08:1); Comfort and Convenience Group; AM/FM radio; and whitewall tyres.
The Corvette remained in the same ownership until 2011 when it was brought by one Bruce D Nelson of Hudson, New Hampshire. Before then, in 2010, the car had undergone a no-expense-spared restoration to National Corvette Restorers Society standards - even the correct paint marks on the chassis were recreated. The Corvette was first registered in the UK on 1st September 2014 and was acquired by the current vendor in October 2016, since when it has been repainted black (from Nassau Blue). While in the vendor's care the car has been carefully stored at a professional facility and checked over regularly by his own mechanic.
Contained in three large binders, the comprehensive history includes a photographic record of the 2010 restoration and every service invoice from new. The files also include correspondence between the supplying dealer and the owner; the original sales invoice; the original title; instruction books; and even the original 'Protect-o-Plate'. One of the finest examples of its type currently available, this superb Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray is worthy of a place in any private collection.