Gary of Perth, Western Australia purchased the 1965 L78 Corvette in February 2010.

He was looking for a Big Block and after research decided that a rare 65 Coupe would be the best.

Chevrolet’s new L78 396/425 HP Big Block was big news when it arrived as a fresh production option in 1965. After two years into production, the second-generation body style was among first in line to receive the race-bred engine design, one that would initiate the legacy of ultra-performance Corvettes. Introduced in mid-March 1965, (VIN# 12864) the L78 Big Block was installed in 2,157 Corvettes, of these 748 were coupes, before production ended that summer.

In addition, the first big block option was made available in fewer than 2,000 full-size Chevrolets that year. At 425 HP this Mark IV Turbo-Jet was the highest-rated 396 CI displacement engine Chevrolet had ever built. A second milder version of the Mark IV 396 under code L37 was used in the Z16 Chevelles released in mid-year, but Corvette was the only year for the 425 HP L78. Backed with a Muncie 4-speed, the car features 4-wheel disc brakes, power steering, side exhaust, and knock-off style wheels, accented by Firestone-type gold line tires.

This Corvette left the assembly line in May 1965. It is finished in rich silver pearl with a complementary silver interior and features the unique hood bulge that arrived for the big-block’s introduction. Little needs to be written regarding the overall styling of this model, which remains a true icon even by Corvette design standards.

The 396 "Turbo Jet" was $556.65 over the base $4,321.00 price of a standard Coupe and was only offered in 1965. GM also required the purchase of a K66 Transistor Ignition System ($75.35) and M20 4-Speed Manual transmission ($188.30) on top of the $292.70 L78 engine. Included with the engine package were heavier front coil springs, a larger stabilizers and better rear suspension mounts. Air conditioning was not available with the L78 option.

Information from the GM Corvette Shipping data report from the NCRS shows this Corvette was delivered to Cagle Chevrolet, Lake Charles, Louisiana, on the 28 May 1965.

It was restored and at the NCRS Regional Judging Meet at Waco Texas on 12 October 1996, it was judged as “Top Flight”.
Gary presented the Corvette at the Joondalup Chapter Meet Perth, Western Australia, April 2010 at which it achieved “Top Flight”, 97%.

Gary drives his Corvette most weekends and it is well known at NCRS runs and shows in Perth.


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