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Disc Brakes for the Corvette Stingray

The final performance frontier

1965 Corvette Stingray
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 Stingray 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 Corvette Stingrays were so equipped.

New Kid In Town: Big Block Debut

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 396 engine Ad introducing the 396 motor
1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Big Block Hood
1965 Corvette Stingray big block hood A new Corvette 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 Stingray big block hood
Most of the horsepower advantage in the new engine 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 Stingray 396 signal
396 side emblems signified new respect for impromptu Grand Prix stop light contestants.

1965 Corvette StingRay For Sale

1965 Factory Air Coupe
Price: $38,000 (Trades Considered)
Exterior: Black
Interior: Black
Miles: 0
Location: Napoleon, Ohio

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1965 Corvette Factory Air Coupe, 327-300 hp, 4 speed, numbers match. Also has factory original body/trim tag which shows the original colors of Tuxedo Black with Black interior (more)

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1965 Corvette: Fuel Injection Swan Song

1965 Corvette Stingray fuel injection insignia
1965 fuel injected Corvette Stingray engine A close examination of the specifications and the options list reveals an interesting fact that makes the 1965 Stingray 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 Stingray fuel injected engine 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray fuel injected engine David Kimble cutaway

1965 Corvette Options, Prices

RPO Description Production Price
Genuine Leather Seats 2,128 (9.03%) $80.70
A01 Soft Ray Tinted Glass, all windows 8,752 (37.14%) $16.00
A02 Soft Ray Tinted Glass, windshield 7,624 (32.35%) $10.80
A31 Power Windows 3,809 (16.16%) $59.20
C07 Auxiliary Hardtop (for convertible) 7,787 (33.05%) $236.75
C48 Heater and Defroster Deletion (credit) 39 (0.17%) n/a
C60 Air Conditioning 2,423 (10.28%) $421.80
F40 Special Front and Rear Suspension 975 (4.14%) $37.70
G81 Positraction Rear Axle, all ratios 19,965 (84.73%) $43.05
G91 Special Highway Axle, 3.08:1 ratio 1,886 (8.00%) $2.20
J50 Power Brakes 19,965 (84.73%) $43.05
J61 Drum Brakes (substitution credit) 316 (1.34%) n/a
K66 Transistor Ignition System 3,686 (15.64%) $75.35
L75 327 cu. in. 300hp Engine 8,358 (35.47%) $53.80
L76 327 cu. in. 365hp Engine 5,011 (21.27%) $129.15
L78 396 cu. in. 425hp Engine 2,157 (9.15%) $292.70
L79 327 cu. in. 350hp Engine 4,716 (20.01%) $107.60
L84 327 cu. in. 375hp Engine (fuel injection) 771 (3.27%) $538.00
M20 4-Speed Manual Transmission 21,107 (89.57%) $188.30
M35 Powerglide Automatic Transmission 2,021 (8.58%) $199.10
N03 36 Gallon Fuel Tank (Coupe only) 41 (0.17%) $202.30
N11 Off Road Exhaust System 2,468 (10.47%) $37.70
N14 Side Mount Exhaust System 759 (3.22%) $134.50
N32 Teakwood Steering Wheel 2,259 (9.59%) $48.45
N36 Telescopic Steering Column 3,917 (16.62%) $43.05
N40 Power Steering 3,236 (13.73%) $96.85
P48 Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheels (5) 1,116 (4.74%) $322.80
P91 Blackwall Tires, 7.75x15 (nylon cord) 168 (0.71%) $15.70
P92 Whitewall Tires, 7.75x1 (rayon cord) 19,300 (81.90%) $31.85
T01 Goldwall Tires, 7.75x15 (nylon cord) 989 (4.20%) $50.05
U69 AM-FM Radio 22,113 (93.84%) $203.40
Z01 Comfort and Convenience Group 15,397 (65.34%) $16.15

Total Production: 23,564
Coupe: 8,186 (34.74%)
Convertible: 15,378 (65.26%)

Notes: Base Corvette Coupe with 327 cu. in. 250 hp engine and three speed manual transmission: $4,321.00.
Base Corvette Convertible with 327 cu. in. 250 hp engine and three speed manual transmission: $4,106.00.

Colors

Code Exterior Quantity Interior Soft Top Wheels
AA Tuxedo Black 1,191 (5.05%) Black / Blue / Green / Maroon / Red / Saddle / Silver / White Black / White / Beige Black
CC Ermine White 2,216 (9.40%) Black / Blue / Green / Maroon / Red / Saddle / Silver / White Black / White / Beige Black
FF Nassau Blue 6,022 (25.56%) Black / Blue / White Black / White / Beige Black
GG Glen Green 3,782 (16.05%) Black / Green / Saddle / White Black / White / Beige Black
MM Milano Maroon 2,831 (12.01%) Black / Red / Maroon / Saddle / White Black / White / Beige Black
QQ Silver Pearl 2,552 (10.83%) Black / Red / Silver Black / White / Beige Black
UU Rally Red 3,688 (15.65%) Black / Red / White Black / White / Beige Black
XX Goldwood Yellow 1,275 (5.41%) Black / White Black / White / Beige Black
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