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1965 Corvette Dream Machine Giveaway

We inspect the Corvette Dream Giveaway’s 1965 Big-Block Convertible

Walt Thurn Sep 13, 2016
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Dream Giveaway Garage, part of the DG Group family of companies, provides turnkey fundraising promotions that benefit multiple charities. Their program includes purchasing the prizes, staffing, and packaging a well-developed marketing campaign. Since their first giveaway ended in 2009 they have distributed over $12 million (net) to charity. The Corvette Giveaway has been a staple of their fundraising efforts. Other brands are also part of their programs, but our interest, of course, is Corvettes. On February 26, 2016, the 2016 Corvette Dream Giveaway began and it ends on December 28, 2016. The lucky winner will receive a 2016 eight-speed automatic, 800hp Lingenfelter Signature Edition Z06 convertible, Serial No. 001 and a 1965 NCRS Top Flight, 396ci/four-speed convertible. Both Vettes are bad-to-the-bone black. This grand prize also includes $50,000 to pay the taxes that are due for winning this prize.

New Beginning Children’s Homes (NBCH) is a 501(c)(3) organization that is the sole sponsor of this giveaway. NBCH provides long-term residential care to foster children that gives them a safe family atmosphere. The NBCH also distributes grants to other charities as part of the giveaway program. These grant recipients include Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Disabled American Veterans, Bright Pink (women cancer charity), Smile International and the Detroit Rescue Mission (helping the homeless).

The Corvette Dream Giveaway is organized as a giveaway or sweepstakes and anyone can enter without making a donation. However, each $3 ticket donated is tax-deductible. To adequately share the details of these two giveaway Corvettes with you, we are going to provide you with two features.

Team Vette contacted Dream Giveaway Garage Chief Gearhead Mark Breiner requesting permission to inspect these two giveaway Vettes. He agreed, but informed us that the 1965 Corvette was in Florida and the 2016 Z06 was in Detroit.


1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible 2/12

The original 1959 Stingray was owned by Bill Mitchell, GM Vice President of Styling. It was designed by Pete Brock and Larry Shinoda. The second-generation Corvette design, like the Dream Giveaway grand prize, was heavily influenced by this prototype. It is now property of GM.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible 3/12

Model year 1965 was the first year that the N14 (side mount exhaust system) was available for the Corvette. There were 759 customers who ordered this option for a cost of $134.50, including the original owner of this convertible. You can hear the rumble of this exhaust from a block away.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Front 4/12

The most striking design change on the 1965 Corvette was the removal of the hood indentations that were part of the 1963 and 1964 design. It made for a much cleaner look on the car. The large three front fender side louvers were new and functional.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Hood 5/12

New for 1965 was the L78 396ci big-block engine that was fitted into this convertible at the St. Louis Assembly Plant. The hood bulge was necessary to clear the high-rise manifold and four-barrel carburetor.


We chose to inspect the 1965 Tuxedo Black convertible you see here (VIN 194675S115994) first. It was awarded a Top Flight certificate by the National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS). Some might argue that this awe-inspiring classic ’Ray is “over restored,” but it met all of the NCRS criteria when it received its certificate. All of this Vette’s body panels are straight and smooth. The body seams all align and everything looks like it has just been restored. The engine compartment is clean with no traces of oil. All of the switches work as advertised and the engine started effortlessly.

During our photo shoot on the road, the Corvette did everything it was asked to do. It did not show any signs of quirkiness and even when it was hot it started immediately. Anyone who wins this treasure will be blown away by how nice it is.

This rare Sting Ray was built on April 26, 1965, at the St. Louis Assembly Plant and sold new at Smith Chevrolet in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Model year 1965 was the third year for the dramatically restyled second-generation Corvette, which was introduced to the public in the fall of 1962 and became an immediate hit with buyers and the press. Sales rose from 14,231 in 1962 to 21,513 in 1963.

The new design named “Sting Ray” was a tribute to the privately owned 1959 Stingray race car owned by Bill Mitchell, GM Vice President of Styling. It was very successful in that role and won the 1959 and 1960 SCCA National Championship in its class. It made headlines everywhere it went. When it was retired from racing, Mitchell converted it to a street car and drove it around Detroit on the weekends. Many of the original Stingray’s design features were incorporated into the 1963 production car.

Chief Engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov was not a big fan of the second-generation production Sting Ray. He viewed the car as too heavy, underpowered and fitted with inadequate brakes. He set about fixing these shortcomings. By 1965, the year of this giveaway prize car, he had made great strides in correcting these areas. In order to improve the power deficiency, he stuffed a big-block 396ci engine into its small engine compartment. Rated at 425 hp, this engine really woke up the heavy Corvette. Duntov also added four-wheel disc brakes, which helped slow the heavy beast. By 1965, sales continued to grow and production totaled 23,564, of which 15,378 were convertibles. We can tell you firsthand that this black C2 convertible would be a crowning glory to any Corvette enthusiast’s garage.

Follow us now as we inspect and drive the 800hp, eight-speed automatic Lingenfelter Signature Edition Z06. We expect it will be a tuned beast. If you want to try and win these two amazing Corvettes go to www.winthevettes.com. Stay tuned.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Rear 6/12

The spine running down the rear the car is a carryover from the 1963 split-window coupe. On the ’63 model coupes, this feature started at the top of the windshield and ended below the gas cap. Due to poor rearward visibility, the split rear window was eliminated in 1964. However, this spine remained on the roof and rear of the coupes and on the rear deck of the convertibles.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Rear View 7/12

Backup lights became standard in 1965. Cars that were fitted with the N11 exhaust came with a different rear panel under the bumper. This eliminated the holes for the standard exhaust.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible 396ci Engine 8/12

The L78 396ci engine boosted torque to 415 lb-ft compared to the 360 lb-ft from either the L75 or L79 327ci engines. This torque increase, plus the optional 4.11 rear axle, pushes you back into your seat when you push the loud pedal. The restoration of this engine compartment matches the way it left the St. Louis Assembly plant.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Four Wheel Disc Brakes 9/12

Four-wheel disc brakes became standard equipment on all 1965 Corvettes, replacing the previous four-wheel drum brake system. The giveaway convertible is fitted with the J50 power-brake option. This was part of its original equipment when new.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Red Interior 10/12

Red leather seats (408) are a dramatic contrast to the Tuxedo Black (AA) exterior paint. This fully loaded convertible features power windows (A31), power steering (N40), auxiliary hardtop (C07), transistor ignition (K66), convenience package (Z01), close ratio four-speed (M20), 4.11:1 Positraction (G81), telescopic steering column (N36) and AM-FM radio (U69).

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Cast Aluminum Wheels 11/12

The P48 option (Cast Aluminum Knock-Off Wheels) was installed on 1,116 Corvettes and cost $322.80 for this distinctive wheel. These wheels were not part of this Vette’s original equipment, but are a great addition.

1965 Chevy Corvette Convertible Taillights 12/12

Besides the standard backup lights that were included in 1965, any Corvettes ordered with a radio received a no-cost, power-operated antenna.

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