They’re still out there.
That’s the mantra repeated by Corvette collectors and restorers continuously in search of the next treasure that’s been tucked away out of sight for years. Sometimes those finds are rarer than others like this 1 of 3 known black/black 1965 big tank coupe on display at Bloomington Gold last weekend.
Chevrolet manufactured 23,563 Corvettes in 1965. Of those, only 1,191 (5%) were painted black making it the lowest production hue that year. Under the hood, 5,011 (21%) cars got RPO L76 the 365hp 327ci mill. The 2nd rarest option in 1965 was RPO N03, the 36 gallon gas tank of which only 41 (0.17%) were made. Understandably, “big tank” cars as they’re referred to, have become highly prized by collectors. Discovering one doesn’t happen very often, let alone a real deal black on black car like this one shown last weekend at Bloomington Gold.
The car was discovered by noted restorer Kevin Mackay a couple years ago who since sold it to current owner Doug Fortune. Mackay’s Corvette Repair, Inc. will soon be performing a complete restoration on the barn find.
This particular C2 was born on September 1st, 1964, was driven for 10 years, and then parked in 1974. Prior to its unearthing there were 2 other known black/black 1965 tankers known to exist. Now there are 3.
In addition to the L76 and big tank, the car features a 3.70:1 rear end, 4-speed transmission, power windows, power brakes, tinted glass, telescopic steering column, off road exhaust and AM/FM radio.
Like most big tank cars, this one was raced as evidenced by the bulging fender flares and wildly modified shifter in the cabin. Also take note of the hand crafted center mounted exhaust fitted out back. You’ll also notice the motor brace holding the replacement motor to the chassis.
As you can see, this tanker is ready to be completely reborn and we’re hoping to see it out on the roads soon after it’s completed. We know that the car was in Los Angeles from 1974 to 2012, but if you happen to have more information on it please contact owner Doug Fortune at 203-247-1004 or Kevin Mackay at 516-318-1486. Meanwhile enjoy a few more pix of this unique 1965 Corvette.