1965 Chevrolet Corvette - Rough Around The Edges

A '65 396/425-Horse Driver That's Not Perfect, But Close Enough

Kevin Shaw Aug 17, 2009 0 Comment(s)
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Though it may consist of a good portion of our edit, Corvette Fever is not a "restoration" magazine. We are a Corvette enthusiast magazine, offering features, technical articles, and information touching upon every aspect of these amazing cars. To know Corvette Fever fanatics is to know that not every one of their cars is a rotisserie-restored, pampered trailer queen. Some of them snort, spit, and boil tires at will. Many of them have chips in the paint, tears in the seats, and bald spots in the carpet. Many leak some fluid or another, and a fair majority have warranted their owner a citation or two from an officer of the peace. To break it down, Corvettes are automobiles, and automobiles are made for transportation. It's just that Corvettes do it a lot faster and with more pizzazz than any other car on the road. So, when it came to this month's issue we knew we might ruffle a few feathers by showing Gregory Janko's super-rare, factory-white '65 396/425hp four-speed street thrasher.

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The L78 option code added an additional $300 to the bill for a $4,300 '65 Corvette. With the addition of the 396 big-block to the engine option list, General Motors felt it necessary to "reinforce" the Corvette's overall performance, making the L78 not only an engine option, but a package altogether. Along with the 425-horse 396, the Corvette came with a slew of accompaniments marked as "standard" for the L78, including a manual Muncie four-speed, a stout live rear axle, a big four-barrel Holley carburetor, transistorized ignition, heavy-duty suspension, half-shafts, and sway bars. The sidepipes were optional (for the first time), but made the look of the high-horse Sting Ray all the more menacing with the big-block specific bulge hood.

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This particular L78 came out of St. Louis, Missouri, in Ermine White with an all-black interior and was one of 2,157 cars built with the potent power package. over the next forty-one years this Corvette would journey from California to a barn in Indiana, where it was parked and covered with a large drop cloth. the years would slowly roll by before it was discovered by Gregory Janko, a Lowell, Indiana, truck driver.




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