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Lot 236

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Demonstration Stand

Sold for $715,000

Please note that this lot is offered on a Bill of Sale.

327 cu. in. V-8 engine, M-20 four-speed transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes with four-piston calipers. Wheelbase: 98 in.

  • Used on the 1965 show circuit to demonstrate features of the new Corvette
  • Built for GM and Chevrolet from an authentic, road-ready 1965 Coupe
  • Fully functional display piece; sure to be a hit in any collection

The 1965 Corvette Sting Ray sitting atop this demonstration stand was not originally purpose-built for this use. It actually began its life as a road-ready early-production example that was finished in Le Mans Blue and had a white interior. When new, it was shipped to a specialty company that produced dramatic and attention-grabbing exhibits for commercial and industrial shows. There, the car was fully disassembled and rebuilt as this one-of-a-kind display stand for use by General Motors and Chevrolet on the auto show circuit.

In order to properly demonstrate all of the hidden mechanical components of the car, the body was mounted on elevating rams that would raise the exterior nearly two feet off of the chassis, leaving its internal running gear exposed. Careful and well-thought-out incisions were made into all of the major components to further illustrate its build quality and overall operation. The exterior of the engine, transmission, driveshaft, and other mechanical parts were finished in bright red to clearly contrast the body, and the casting of the four-speed manual gearbox was “cut-out” to showcase the clutch and flywheel. The heads received custom-made, transparent valve covers, with additional cut-out panels revealing the critical inner workings of the fuel-injection unit, exhaust, intake manifolds, and the block itself. The muffler’s exhaust chambers, sections of the chassis, and the right front disc brake were exposed as well, to allow for further inspection of their designs.

At the show, a series of electric motors would lift the body off its chassis by its elevating rams, and then it would operate all of the “cut-away” internal components. Rather than function in real time, the components were geared to work at just a few revolutions per minute, as this would allow for observers to fully digest and understand how the underlying mechanical components functioned. Just like any other engine, the turning cam pushed the corresponding intake or exhaust valve, while the crankshaft pushed each piston to and fro. Brightly plated U-joints, which were attached to the Positraction rear axle, drew onlookers’ eyes to where the wheels spun and moved, activating the rear suspension and thus demonstrating the Corvette’s road-holding abilities.

Throughout the display, Chevrolet had placed placards that explained each component’s operation in an effort to demonstrate the Corvette’s performance over its competitors.

After it left the show circuit in 1965, the display stand’s history is largely unknown. It was discovered in South Africa in the mid-1990s, and from there, it was sent back to the United States with a new owner. Later, it became a centerpiece of the famed collection of Al Wiseman and was then purchased by the Andrews’ in 2007.

Under Mr. Wiseman’s ownership, the display stand received a sympathetic restoration, which returned it to the condition that it would have been seen in on the show circuit in 1965. All of the car’s original instrumentation, including the speedometer, tachometer, gauges, a teakwood steering wheel, and amusingly, even its AM/FM radio, are still intact, and the car is still fitted with its original wide sidewall Rayon cord tires. All of the car’s mechanical demonstrations remain in fully functional and working order, including the initial lifting of the body, which is accomplished by the simple push of a button, allowing for its ornate mechanical dance to be enjoyed by all who see it.

This unique Corvette demonstration stand is a highly compelling showpiece from Chevrolet’s marketing team. It is truly captivating, and there is no doubt that it helped to woo clients to the Corvette, as well as demonstrate to budding enthusiasts why the Sting Ray was so special. Be it on display in a private collection or in a public museum, it will continue to wow onlookers of all ages.

For the Sting Ray enthusiast, there is simply no better, more desirable, or bigger “toy.”

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

+1 864 313 6844
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

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
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

+1 203 912 7168
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

+1 415 302 2247
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

+1 617 513 0388
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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California, United States

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

+1 519 352 4575
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

+1 519 784 9300
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

+1 310 559 4575
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

+31 653 84 19 60
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