1965 represented the first year when the Corvette received four-wheel disc brakes as standard. And while the lack of ABS still caused lockup when fully applied, the discs did improve overall braking performance as well as reliability, and would also serve as a key milestone in the Corvette’s evolution as a true sports car.
The 1965 Corvette Sting Ray pictured above is a fully documented pilot car, which also happens to boast a #001 serial number. It was built by John Evans and five fellow coworkers in the old St. Louis Corvette assembly plant on August 6th, 1964. This car was used by General Motors as a display piece to showcase the new four-disc braking system to curious observers on the autoshow circuit. While it was being built, the Silver Pearl paint scheme that was specified was not available at the time, so the decision was made to substitute it with Cadillac ZZ Code 1964 Satin Silver. This unique paint code is found on the car’s trim tag with the trademark purple rivets, revealing its status as a pilot car. After its time on the show circuit, the Corvette eventually ended up in the iconic Bob McDorman Collection before finally finding a home with its current owner.
In addition to its world-class braking hardware, the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray also boasts plenty of potent muscle with the engine bay housing a 327 cubic-inch Small Block V8 which is good for a healthy 365 horsepower. It is hooked up to a 4-speed manual transmission that sends power through a 4:11:1 Positraction rear-end assembly.
The interior also boasts a pair of innovations. In addition to being the first car equipped with a teakwood steering wheel, #001 is also the first Corvette to feature a power-operated antenna for its AM/FM radio, an expensive feature at the time. These innovations, as well its extensive suite of documentation and first-of-its-kind status, should translate to a hefty final bid price when it crosses the block at the Mecum Kissimmee auction happening January 16-25, 2015.