'65 Fuelie

As was the case on most Saturday nights, I was making an appearance at the local drive in restaurant. It was the place to see and be seen on any weekend night, but almost compulsory after a day at the Drags. The hot August night made for a busy night. All the fast and the "wish they were too" cars either lined the islands or cruised slowly through what usually turned into an impromptu car show and staging area for the odd street race. Music drifted in the air from several car radios, with all the latest sounds that the summer of ‘66 had to offer.

Being a confirmed motor head, I was doing my usual bench racing/socializing in the parking lot. Several of us were leaning on a friends ‘57 Chevy hardtop extolling the virtues of small blocks, when something caught my attention. In a sea of high perf cars, it took something different to draw more than a passing glance, in this case it was the assertive exhaust note coupled with the unmistakable sound of .030 lashed solid lifters. I caught sight of the car just as it was loping slowly down the other side of the parking lot. The driver backed it into a parking spot as we made our way over to this glistening Nassau Blue ‘65 coupe. Corvette mid-years were not a very rare sight, but this one was different. Fuel Injection fender badging and the now open hood made this one worth an extra look.

After a quick introduction, the driver proceeded explain to all that would listen about how fast it was, but that it was terribly temperamental and difficult to tune. He was quick to explain the he had a ‘67 427 coupe on order because big-blocks were the beasts of choice now.

I had seen two other fuel cars up close, and always loved the technical intricacies and the look of the units, that set these cars apart from the mainstream vettes. One was a ‘57 and the other a ‘63, but this was the ultimate fuelie..........Duntov had said so himself.

Standing in that crowded parking lot, basking in the warmth of the night , I was totally entranced by this cars presence. That cinched it, I had to have one!!

More than thirty odd years later, the mystique is still as strong as ever.

Our '65 fuelie, was found while I was searching for a good mid-year for a friend, it was too much of a project for what he wanted in a Vette however, so I decided to buy it for myself.

I wasted no time in getting down to serious work, replacing the rear quarter panels and then taking the body off the frame.

The frame was disassembled then sandblasted, painted with the correct semi-gloss finish. Then we started the reassembly of all components. During this time we replaced all the bushings, ball joints, break and fuel lines. Rebuilt the motor, transmission, and the differential. Installing all the running gear on the frame prior to installing the body. The frame was then pushed to one side of the garage and we concentrated our efforts on the body.

Stripping was accomplished by the now familiar method of razor blades. Then the body was block sanded to insure straightness. Primer came next, followed by successive block sanding sessions, finally we were ready for the colour. Six coats of Rally Red lacquer, that we let cure for two weeks, after which time we wet sanded and buffed the car.

We dropped the body back on the frame and installed all the window glass, weatherstrips, bumpers and trim. Finally came the interior, and after a few adjustments to the fuel unit it was ready for it's first spin......:-)

We've enjoyed this car for the years we've owned it, and plan to enjoy it for many more.