Bare-bones L84 four-speed bound for Bonhams auction
Somebody buy this trash-find ’65 Corvette fuelie and show it some love, please
Barns, shrubberies, beaches… we’ve found cars in some weird places. Sometimes they require literal digging. However, this numbers-matching 1965 Corvette fuelie dug out from a pile of trash in a hoarder’s garage is something new.
As you might guess, a mountain of junk such as this took some time to accumulate. This particular pile took decades to collect around this poor blue-over-blue Corvette which last left the garage in 1984. However, at least the owner meticulously drained the gas tank, took out the battery, and pried off the hubcaps. He tucked those in a paper bag and placed them inside the car. Then, he locked it and walked away.
Even stranger, the thing was actually driven regularly at some point. Judging by the non-original hardtop, its owner clearly wanted year-round drivability, and the odometer currently shows 47,000 miles, which were racked up in as few as three years. We’re not entirely sure about the date range, though; the ’Vette is a ’65, but the original owner’s daughter says he acquired it in 1967, which jives with the earliest maintenance receipts found for the car. Unsurprisingly, much of the paperwork is missing, likely buried in other rooms of the rubbish-filled house.
Speedy’s Towing & Recovery of St. Louisville, Ohio, rolled the Corvette out of the garage upon its first owner’s passing and brought it to Phil Stalling Classic Cars. Phil Stalling, Jr. has since listed it for $50K on eBay and reports no rust on the cage or the frame. The all-original body (casting aside the renegade hard top) has some bumps and bruises but, the listing reports, no panels require replacement. The hubcaps have since been extracted from the paper bag and placed back on the car, though the seller’s family has yet to discover any original paperwork (besides the title), the original keys, or the soft top.
“It’s not as rough as I’d originally imagined from the report,” Hagerty valuation expert Greg Ingold admits. “With the hype built by its crazy story, $50,000 is possible; but otherwise, $50K is higher than buyers would normally pay for a car in this condition.”
“It was literally a needle in a haystack,” Stalling, Jr. says. The original owner’s daughter didn’t even know the ’Vette was in the garage until she was told by a close friend of her father. “The crew she hired to clean out the garage, when they found it, went home and told everyone they know they found a Corvette in this garage.” The building suddenly became a magnet for attention; with the help of Speedy Towing & Recovery, Stalling took charge of the car’s extraction and sale to provide a more streamlined order of business.
“You hear of things like this happening, but when it happens to you, it’s entirely different,” Stalling says. “This is one of the best car finds we’ve had.”
Hagerty’s #4 (Fair) condition value for a numbers-matching 1965 Corvette with a fuel-injected L84 engine starts at $48,200, and, theoretically, this car’s leather seats grant it an additional $1800. It appears to have an AM/FM radio, but other than that, the options list is sparse. Despite that theoretical $50K “fair” value, this car is significantly rougher than our #4 condition allows; a fair car has “experienced hard use and may have some serious defects, but it runs well and easily describes a daily driver.” This ’Vette was driven daily, true, but those days are long in the past. This unfortunate ’Vette hasn’t moved under its own power in 50 years, and with minimal options, the fuel-injected engine—which is original to the car—is the main feature propping up the $50K buy-it-now price.
All we want to see is this Corvette beside a better stablemate than a John Deere riding lawn mower and a dartboard. And some folding chairs. And a giant pile of trash. Do you feel the resurrectionist urge? Let us know below.