Mecum Auto Auction - Kissimmee, Florida - 2015 - Jan. 16-26 - Lot S147
ESTIMATE: $100,000 - $150,000
A straightforward driver's machine with a 327/365 HP small-block under the hood and a 4-speed close at hand, this is the first production 1965 Corvette, serial number 001.
Corvette entered its second generation in 1963 with the Bill Mitchell-designed Sting Ray. While the new car was an advanced design for a production automobile in the context of the time, engineer Zora Arkus Duntov continued to insist on maintaining an ongoing development program that addressed everything from changes in suspension geometry to adapting the mysterious Mark IV big-block engine to production. Of all the improvements Duntov foresaw for his beloved Corvette, none was more important than brakes capable of handling the serious demands of production racing. Finally, in 1965 Duntov and legions of Corvette fans got their wish: for the first time, disc brakes were available as a regular production option on Corvette; not just up front, but at all four corners.
The automotive press collectively leaped at the chance to drive the new car, doing everything possible to expose any weaknesses with torturous testing that would have destroyed a drum brake equipped example, but the new state-of-the-art feature proved up to the task, and the new Corvette was finally judged not only an American status symbol but a genuine high-performance sports car capable of thrilling even the most demanding drivers.
Indeed, the weekend racers who were a core segment of Corvette's constituency recognized the huge advantage afforded them by the combination of a lightweight small-block engine and high-performance disc brakes.
Documented as a pilot car, serial number 001 was built by John Evans and five coworkers at the St. Louis assembly plant on August 6, 1964. It was used as General Motors' display car to show off Corvette's new four-wheel disc brakes introduced in 1965 as standard equipment and served duty touring on the show circuit from August through December 1964. Because the Silver Pearl paint scheduled for 1965 Corvette production was not yet available, the car was finished with 1964 Cadillac ZZ code 1964 Satin Silver, a fact noted in the Corvette Black Book. The code is listed on the car's trim tag, which like many Corvette pilot cars was affixed using Purple rivets.
Once a part of the famed Bob McDorman Collection, it uses the L76 327/365 HP V-8 with a 4-speed and 4.11:1 Positraction rear end and features Kelsey Hayes finned aluminum knock-off wheels shod with Whitewall tires for a truly classic look. It is the only midyear serial number 001 Corvette known to exist and the first Corvette produced with a teakwood steering wheel and a power antenna for the AM/FM radio. Unrestored, driven just 28,000 miles and offered with complete owner history, this is THE car for the serious Corvette collector.
- VIN 194375S100001
- Serial no. 1 and Pilot Car
- Bloomington Gold Special Collection
- GM's 4-wheel disc brake Display Car
- Chevrolet Show Car from August-December 1964
- The first 1965 Corvette was painted 1964 Satin Silver
- Trim code ZZ (Cadillac's trim code for Satin Silver)
- Factory trim tag with GM issued purple pilot rivets
- 327/365 HP engine, 4-speed, 4.11 posi
- First Corvette with teakwood wheel and power antenna
- Power brakes with rare master cylinder
- Kelsey Hayes knock-off wheels
- Complete owner history
- Produced August 6, 1964
- Built by John Evans and 5 men at the St. Louis plant
- The only mid-year Serial #1 known to exist