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1965 Corvette
Year - 1965 1965 is an important year for Corvette. A long desired and needed upgrade - disc brakes - became standard equipment. The good news is that they appeared on all four corners, not just the front as was common practice of the day. Racers were particularly happy with this latest development as they had long been suffering with drum brakes. Although special sintered metallic linings had been available, fade under racing conditions was still a problem. Jaguar had been offering four wheel disc brakes on their more expensive E-Type and it wouldn't do for the Corvette to be playing second in any area. The unloved drum brakes were still available as a deletion credit (RPO J61, -$64.50) and 316 1965 Corvettes were so equipped.
1965 Chevrolet Corvette 396 engine Ad introducing the 396 motor

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1965 Chevrolet Corvette Big Block Hood
1965 Corvette big block hood A new era was ushered in when a leading edge class of engine, fondly known as the "Big Block" was introduced late in the 1965 model year. At the time a huge horsepower race was taking place industry wide and the 396 cu. in. Turbo-Jet was the Corvette's ticket to the party. Rated at 425 hp, it furthered the Corvettes' Bad-Boy reputation. It also represented the first time a Corvette motor was rated at over 400 hp.

A new hood was required to clear the massive motor and a handsome new "bubble hood" design (above and left) was introduced. Below: Functional vents in the side nicely broke up the area. Indications are that due to supply problems at the time, a number of small block Corvettes left the factory with the big block hood.

1965 Corvette hood
Most of the horsepower advantage in the new motor could be found in the design of the heads which were nicknamed "porcupine heads", a reference to the way the valves were located at odd angles similar to the quills on a porcupine. The entire big block Corvette was thus sometimes known as the "fiberglass porcupine".

The physically much bigger engine required an enhanced cooling system. There was another drawback; approximately 150 lbs. of added weight, all of it on the front wheels. The weight distribution changed to 51% front / 49% rear, a handling disadvantage compared to the better balanced small block alternative.

1965 Corvette 396 signal
396 side signals signified new respect for impromptu Grand Prix stop light contestants.

1965 Corvette For Sale

1965 Corvette A/C 4spd 350Hp
Price: $0 obo (Trades Considered)
Exterior: red
Interior: black
Miles: 0
Location: Martinsburg

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1965 Red Corvette A/C Just Arrived! Frame off restored 1965 Red Corvette with black interior, 4 spd, numbers matching 327/350 hp, black convertible top, knock off wheels with white wall tires (more)

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1965 Corvette fuel injection insignia
1965 fuel injected Corvette engine A close examination of the specifications and the options list reveals an interesting fact that makes the 1965 'vette particularly interesting to car collectors. 1965 was both the first year for all wheel disc brakes and the last year for the fuel injected engine. The two magic performance features would not appear together until 17 years later in the 1982 Corvette. In 1965, fuel injection cost an extra $538.00, adding over 13% to the price of a convertible. The 396 cu. in. motor added only $292.70 to the bottom line yet was rated at 425 hp; 50 more than the fuelie. With the fuel injection system's reputation for complexity and maintenance requirements well known, the days were numbered for the option that first shook the automotive high performance world in 1957.
1965 Chevrolet Corvette fuel injected engine 1965 Chevrolet Corvette fuel injected engine cutaway

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Comments (8)

You write:
"Indications are that due to supply problems at the time, a number of small block Corvettes left the factory with the big block hood."
Do you happen to know what the serial #'s are of these cars? I think I might have one.
#1 - Andy Olekak - 07/06/2011 - 12:14
1965 Corvette, 327 engine with big block hood
I am also interested to know if it can be verified that big block hoods were installed on small block Corvettes due to supply issues.
#2 - Jeff Irwin - 07/12/2011 - 21:52
Was there a build sheet afixed to the 1965 corvette?
#3 - David Hartman - 07/14/2011 - 17:41
1965 Build Sheet?
Tank stickers, which are copies of the build sheet were attached to the fuel tank starting in 1967 so a '65 Corvette would not have one.
#4 - WebCars! Webmaster - 07/15/2011 - 00:13
There were 1449 radio delete vettes in '65..How many of those were convertibles ..My car has to be somewhat rare..327/365hp,4-speed, radio delete, conv. ..
#5 - don - 01/23/2012 - 12:56
1965 corvette original painting by d.hall (owned by me)
this 1965 corvette 427 is the only one to race at Fiji International Speedway. would like more information regarding this original painting.
#6 - Charli Domingos - 02/01/2012 - 14:10
I also own a 327/365 hp 1965 4-speed convertible..radio delete ..I would like to know how many of the 1449 radio delete corvettes were convertibles ..
#7 - donnie c. quire - 04/08/2012 - 12:35
VIN number
Where can I find the VIN number on the frame of my '65 Corvette?
#8 - Luiz - 06/25/2013 - 14:57
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Corvette Spotter for the iPhone-txt
Introducing the Vette Spotter app for the iPhone.


The Vette Spotter app can identify the year of any Corvette.


All years and generations are covered, from 1953 to 2014. Over 350 photographs and detailed text are included.

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