Tall Man's Bluff

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The last upgrade to the exterior was the lighting system: Xtreme Restorations converted everything to LEDs for safety. The parking lights now serve as daytime running lights, while the headlights use ultra-bright H4 Xenon bulbs.

Retaining the elegance of the mid-year Corvette’s interior was also a priority for Goldstein. The challenge was to seamlessly integrate the classic C2 cockpit with the modern creature comforts available on a C5 or C6. At the center of all of the changes was the increase in leg room. “We did not extend the foot wells on this car,” Goldstein explains. “We did, however, drop the floor under the seats and lengthened it, so the seats are about 2 inches lower and 2 inches further back than the stock configuration. This allowed more comfort, room and visibility than I’d ever experienced in a mid-year Corvette; the ’65 is actually more comfortable than my ’06.”

Part of that comfort can be attributed to the red leather-wrapped C6 seats that were installed. Other obvious additions are the red leather-wrapped C2 steering wheel, the custom roll bar and the leather-wrapped center console that houses an iPod-controlled sound system and Vintage Air air-conditioning system.

However, the car’s subtle details are perhaps the most interesting. The door panels look deceptively stock, but are actually custom-fabricated units using ’63 and ’64 stainless-steel trim, along with ’66 door pulls. Worth noting is the absence of lock knobs and window cranks; these have been replaced with console-mounted switches that actuate the door and vent windows, along with a keyless entry and security system. The instrument bezel and glove-box door were color matched. The instruments were converted to accept data from the various electronically controlled systems in the drivetrain, while the traditional key-start mechanism gave way to a push-button starter.

As a mix of new and old, a restomod like Goldstein’s inevitably involves some compromises—some of the original equipment on the car is simply not up to snuff. “The wipers are antiquated,” says Goldstein. “They work OK, but they don’t compare to the ’06’s.” Though he appreciates the added safety afforded by the car’s shoulder belts and roll bar, he wished he could have included an air-bag system on the list of safety improvements.

Compromises aside, one thing is clear: Goldstein enjoys the comfort and performance of his ’65 restomod. He is logging lots of miles, while also racking up plenty of Best of Show awards. When asked if he has plans for any other Corvette projects, he says, “I certainly hope so. I’d love to do an all-electric Corvette.” We wonder if it will be a mid-year.

Also from Issue 73

  • 2013 427 Convertible
  • 1993 40th Anniversary
  • Buyer's Guide: $15K
  • 1961 Convertible
  • Oak Beach Inn
  • Dick Guldstrand
  • Track Face-off: C3 vs. C5
  • Racing: New Prototype
Buy Corvette magazine 73 cover
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