Tucked away in a farmer’s shed in on the Great Plains of America since 1981, the old coupe had a coat of dust thick enough to almost entirely obscure the original Marina Blue paint. There was no hurry to move the 1965 Corvette, “being as we’re right in the middle of harvest,” Travis Snyder said.
“It’s a 1965 Sting Ray; a 327, 365-horse original motor; original transmission, a four-speed. It’s Marina Blue with a Marina Blue leather interior.”
Snyder owns a body shop in Ness City, Kansas, where he likes to hunt and buy old cars.
“We’re big and open out here. Everything we find is usually on a farm, parked in a machinery shed.”
This Vette was no exception, and like many other old cars in the area, the 1965 model was not for sale and hidden from prying eyes.
“He wouldn’t show it to anybody. He wouldn’t let anybody see it,” Snyder said.
That’s the main reason Travis did not inquire about the old Corvette. It’s the code of the West, to respect another man’s privacy, and to never ask a man how many head of cattle he has.
All that changed a couple of years ago when the farmer with the Corvette brought his pickup to Snyder’s shop for some bodywork. Travis couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“I got him talking on cars and he goes, ‘Yeah, I got a Corvette stuck in a shed.’ I thought to myself, I got you now!”
The farmer had admitted he had an old Corvette so Travis pushed a little harder. Could he come out and look at the car? The answer was yes. Code of the West honored.
“I finished his pickup, but instead of calling him to come and get it, I delivered it to him. I drove out to his place and said ‘Hey, show me that Corvette.’”
The farmer obliged. As they walked past an assortment of combines, tractors and wheat trucks toward the Corvette, Snyder learned that the farmer first tried to buy the 1965 model sometime around 1969 from the original owner. However, the owner was trading the car in. Determined to buy the Vette, the farmer followed the owner to the dealership in Wichita, Kansas. Then, he bought the car right then and there before the 1965 Corvette could get on the lot. The farmer drove the car until 1981, when he parked the car.
“He said it sat in that spot and the car had not moved since 1981.”
Apparently, a divorce had something to do with the car being stashed all these years. “He kind of left it hidden,” Snyder said.
In 1981, the 1965 Corvette coupe was just 16 years old. Snyder believes the Torq-Thrust wheels are the only things not original. The farmer showed him the standard flipper-style hubcaps and a set of four stock steel rims over in the corner that came with the car new.
The old Corvette still wasn’t for sale but Snyder had his foot in the barn door, so to speak. The two kept talking.
“It took the better part of two years” to purchase the 1965 Corvette. As of this write-up in late June 2017, months after the sale, the car was still parked in the machinery shed.
“I just have to get hold of him and let him know I’m coming out sometime, but that would not be a problem, cause I’m not going to move it, we’re in the middle of harvest right now. That car probably won’t get moved until the end of summer, first part of fall, so it is going to be there for several months, yet,” Snyder said.
Our guess is this 1965 coupe, after cleaning, will be a “survivor” with a beautiful patina.
Photos By Jerry Heasley