The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

By KENNETH HALL – Motoring Tampa Bay correspondent
While some may disagree, the Chevrolet Corvette truly is the sports car of America. The Corvette was originally designed by automotive legend Harley Earl as a concept car, designated as EX-122. When the EX-122 appeared at the New York Auto Show in January 1953, the response was so positive that six months later Chevrolet began a limited production run of 300 hand-built white convertible Corvettes.
Since then, through numerous design changes, the Chevrolet Corvette has retained its reputation for style, performance and desirability. All three of those factors probably came into play seven years ago when Mike Weir, of Odessa, decided to purchase a 1965 Corvette, but he had an additional concern.
“I really was not looking for a car. I was on eBay one night looking at old Corvettes because I like old Corvettes, and old cars in general,” Weir explains. “I happened to see this yellow Corvette that caught my eye. I knew that if I was ever going to buy a car, it would have to appeal to my wife, and I figured that car would probably appeal to my wife.”
When Weir first bought the car, it was original, although it had been repainted, and the seat covers and convertible top had been replaced. The original 327 cubic-inch engine had been swapped out for a 350 cubic-inch ZZ4 crate motor. It may have been a Corvette, but it was still a 50 year-old car, with 50 year-old technology. Some serious upgrades were in order, and Weir was up to the task of performing the work himself.
“When I first got it, it drove terrible,” Weir recalls. “The manual steering has so much slop that I was constantly steering it just to get it to go straight. It drove like a lumber truck. It now has Steeroids rack and pinion power steering and the rear suspension has been replaced with a Shark Bite coil over set up with transverse linkage. I completely re-built the front suspension with adjustable coil over springs, new ball joints and spindles. With the coil overs on all four wheels, I can adjust the suspension for pleasure driving or for the track or for anything in between. Also, I replaced the front brake rotors with drilled and slotted rotors.”
Weir replaced the original four-speed transmission with a Keisler five-speed gearbox, but there was still more to do under the car.
“I installed Flowmaster headers, two-and-a-half-inch exhaust pipes and Flowmaster mufflers,” Weir says. “I replaced the brakes, brake lines and fuel tank, and the entire car has been completely rewired. It now drives like a new car. It goes down the highway well; it corners well; and it handles well.”
The interior needed a few tweaks, so Weir rebuilt the clock, instrument cluster and glove compartment door and replaced the carpet. He redid all of the exterior chrome and bumpers, and installed Torq Thrust American Racing wheels, yet he still has a few more improvements on his checklist.
“The car was repainted the original Goldwood Yellow about nine years ago, but it is starting to show its age,” he says. “It looks good from about ten feet away, but not from up close. It was not a very good paint job to begin with. I am getting ready to replace the rear brake rotors with drilled and slotted rotors for better stopping power.”
Even without a new paint job, the 1965 Corvette draws plenty of attention wherever he takes it.
“It is really fun to drive,” Weir says. “I take it to a lot of car shows, and the reactions I have gotten so far have been pretty favorable.”

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