Converted for motorsports in 1972, this 1965 Corvette racer is looking for a new home after a life on the track.
Old race cars present a bit of a problem for collectors, as they generally aren’t street legal and are otherwise just generally unpleasant to drive on public roads as well. As such, even the most prominent vintage race cars generally sell for less than their road-going counterparts in many cases, which makes sense. However, this 1965 Corvette racer up for grabs at Bring a Trailer is pretty special for a number of reasons, including the fact that it’s been in display at the National Corvette Museum.
Whether or not that leads to a bidding frenzy remains to be seen, but this particular 1965 Corvette racer isn’t just some later-model conversion – it’s a real-deal period car that was converted for track use back in 1972. On the outside, there’s no mistaking it for anything else, thanks to a bright red paint job complemented by a chartreuse racing stripe and #81 markings, removable fiberglass body panels with Dzus fasteners, a low-cut windshield, a roll bar, fixed headlights with covers, and enlarged wheel wells.
Those bigger wheel wells make room for a set of timeless American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels wrapped with Hoosier racing tires, which are attached to a modified suspension. Underneath, this C2 has been fitted with a set of custom sway bars, Ohlins adjustable shocks, and upgraded brakes with cross-drilled Coleman rotors.
The interior is all-business, with a Sparco racing bucket, five-point harness, a Hurst shifter, Tilton pedals, Sparco steering wheel, Pro Comp gauges, and little else. The entire cabin has been stripped clean of anything that it doesn’t need, with sheet metal replacing any kind of covered, comfy surface – all in the name of going faster.
Speaking of going fast, that shouldn’t be an issue thanks to the 336 cubic-inch V8 under this Corvette’s hood, which features a Dart block and heads, a Callies crank, Oliver connecting rods, Jesel rocker arms, a Comp Cams camshaft, titanium intake valves, Performance Springs triple valve springs, an Edelbrock intake, a 750-cfm Willy’s racing carburetor, headers, a dry-sump oil system, and Holley electric fuel pumps. The fortified powerplant is mated to a T101 four-speed dog box transmission with a Tilton triple-disc clutch, as well as a Tom’s Differentials Positraction rear differential with 3.73:1 gears.
In recent years, this 1965 Corvette racer has been used in a variety of vintage motorsports series including SCCA, SVRA, and HSR events, but now, it’s looking for someone to carry that torch forward into the coming years. Whether or not they score a bargain on this cool old machine remains to be seen, but we wouldn’t be surprised, given the way things usually go.
Photos: Bring a Trailer