1965 was a big year for the Corvette, literally. In March of 1965, the Corvette Magicians at GM unveiled the L78 Turbo-Jet Engine as an option for the 1965 car. This 396 cubic inch big block produced 425 horsepower: the highest output Corvette to date. 1965 also marked the year that Corvette gained new stopping abilities in the form of disc brakes on all four wheels.
In 1962, Duntov and his design team began working on adapting the European disc brake system to stop the heavier-weight Corvette. Although Duntov had employed Girling brakes on his Grand Sport racers, these cars were much lighter than the Corvette. The brakes used on the ‘65 Corvette were much beefier than their European counterparts, and were very resistant to brake fade as compared to the drum brakes used on earlier Corvettes. When unveiled as standard equipment on the 1965 Corvette, the market got excited. For the first time, the Corvette came equipped with powerful brakes that could reign in the incredible horsepower produced by the Corvette engines.
Chevrolet also updated the shape of the hood on the ‘65 car by eliminating the hood depressions left over from the 1963-64 models. 1965 saw a continued increase in Corvette sales. Chevy sold a total of 23,564 1965 Corvettes. Of this, 15,378 were convertibles. The remaining 8,186 were of the coupe variant.
The base prices increased slightly in 1965. Equipped with a 250 hp 327 ci, engine, and a 3 speed manual transmission, the Coupe started at $4,321. Equally equipped, the Convertible based at $4,106. In today’s market, the average 1965 Corvette could sell for anywhere between $38,000 and $100,000.