The Don Davis Collection

27 April 2013

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Lot 154

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 'Fuel-Injected' Coupe

  • Chassis no. 194375S100774

Sold for $134,750

375 bhp, 327 cu. in. V-8 engine with Rochester Ramjet fuel injection, four-speed close-ratio manual transmission, four-wheel fully independent F40 performance suspension, and four-wheel power disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.

  • One of five “Fuelie” coupes built in this color combination
  • Numerous desirable options
  • Triple Crown winner
  • Outstanding condition and authenticity

The year 1965 marked the third year of the second-generation Corvette, the Sting Ray. Hood styling was revised somewhat, as the roof vents had disappeared from coupes, and the “shark gills” behind the front wheels were now fully functional and aided in engine cooling. The disc brakes at all four corners became standard, while the Rochester Ramjet “Fuelie” 327 V-8 made its final appearance, thanks to both cost and the mid-year appearance of the more powerful and less expensive 396-cubic inch “big block.”

The new disc brakes were developed courtesy of Chevrolet engineers, working in concert with Delco-Moraine, who developed an entirely new approach. The novel system allowed the pads to barely touch the discs at all times, providing near-instantaneous pedal response and satisfactorily addressing an early, valid criticism of disc brakes: when they got wet, they failed to work adequately. On the 1965 Corvette, they were faultless.

Don Davis’ “Fuelie” 1965 Corvette must surely be one of the best in the world. Inspecting it from stem to stern, one finds the chassis number plate exactly where it should be, and the engine pad number verifies the fuel-injected V-8 under the hood as being original to this car—which is, carrying serial number 00774, a very early example of the 8,186 Sting Ray Coupes produced this year. Finished in Riverside Red with white vinyl upholstery, the car boasts the four-speed close-ratio manual transmission, 3.70 rear axle, off-road exhaust, F40 performance suspension, power brakes, wood steering wheel, AM/FM radio, clock, power windows, red seatbelts, and original date coded, Kelsey-Hayes knock-off wheels shod in yellow stripe tires, and it shows 48,095 miles on its odometer. It is one of only five “Fuelie” coupes from 1965 known to have been built in this color combination.

The excellent restoration, performed several years ago, saw the original California car refinished appropriately in lacquer paint, and numerous original NOS parts were used to ensure absolute accuracy of all components. It is very clean throughout, with high-quality brightwork and an engine bay and undercarriage that show correct finishes and virtually no road wear or signs of use. Panel fit is excellent, with very nice gaps, and the doors close solidly. As one would expect from such a well-finished car, it has earned its NCRS Top Flight, Bloomington Gold and Vettefest Gold Spinner honors, resulting in the highly coveted Triple Crown honors in 2009—an important stamp of approval on its quality and authenticity, the plaque for which will accompany the car in its sale.

A “Little Red Corvette” has become part of the American way of life, a timeless symbol of youthful exuberance, achieved through the prosperity earned by hard work. Restored in these classic colors, well-optioned for performance and comfort, and with the authenticity of its every nut and bolt blessed by the legendarily knowledgeable judges of the nation’s top Corvette shows, Don Davis’ 1965 “Fuelie” is a simply outstanding example.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

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California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

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California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more