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We've been discussing Corvette HD drum brakes in the '63 Z06 thread, but now this ;-)


Well-known user
The switch over to 4-wheel disc brakes, from drums, occurred in 1965, and here's the meat behind the headlines. From the October 1964 issue of Motor Trend magazine...






CCCUK Member
Interesting article. The first part, about new engine options for '65 mentions the L79, but it seems at this stage the arrival of the big block option was still unknown by the specialized press. And 55 years ago, there wasn't anyone to take a picture of a "mule" car with an unusual hood bulge cruising the Detroit suburbs with their smartphone and share it with the world !


Well-known user
Indeed. How did the World ever function before smartphones. LOL.

The L78 396/425hp big-block came part way through the year, resulting in six different engines in 1965, However, the arrival of the 396 was the death-knell for the fuelie until many years later. And, it's interested to note that 316 Corvettes were built in 1965 with DRUM brakes, the RPO J61 'substitution' option that reduced the car's cost by $64.50 compared with disc brakes. That choice was long gone by the end of the 1965 model run.

Back in the day, it was common for new arrivals, such as the discussed 396 here, and the first Ford Mustangs, etc., to be labelled as half year arrivals. Thus the 1965-1/2 L78 option and the 1964-1/2 Mustang (labelled as a 1965 by Ford even though it arrived 5 months early). Further, due to rear quarter panel wrinkling at the Fisher body plant, the 2nd Generation Camaro arrived 6 months late, thus being referred to as the 1970-1/2 Camaro.

327 ci 250 hp base engine
327 ci 300 (L75)
327 ci 350 (L79)
327 ci 365 (L76)
327 ci 375 (L84) Fuel Injection
396 ci 425 hp (L78) Big-block