1965 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala

The 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS and other full-size cars got rounded bodysides, a higher beltline, and an aggressive rear-quarter bulge that year.
The 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS and other full-size cars got rounded bodysides, a higher beltline, and an aggressive rear-quarter bulge that year.

The 1965 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala, big-bodied cars in any year, managed to grow bigger yet. For 1965 the full-size Chevys featured dramatically rounded sides, curved window glass, and an all-new front end with fresh hood contours. A new Girder-Guard frame reduced the size of the driveline tunnel inside.

Chevrolet also promoted the cars' Wide-Stance design, adhesively bonded windshield, and improved full-coil suspension. Sport Coupes wore a sleek semi-fastback roofline, and wheel well moldings were revised. A two-tone instrument panel put gauges in a recessed area ahead of the driver.

Turbo Hydra-Matic was offered for the first time, the column-shift three-speed could have full synchronization, and a new 250-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine satisfied a fair number of buyers. A 396-cubic-inch Turbo-Jet V-8 became available midway through the model year, packing 325 or 425 horsepower -- the latter with 11:1 compression and solid lifters. The legendary dual-carb 409 was dropped, leaving only 340- and 400-horsepower renditions.

Super Sports differed slightly from regular Impalas, retaining bright windshield moldings but not the rocker panel or lower fender trim. A total of 243,114 Impala SS coupes and convertibles were built. Their new center console housed a rally-type electric clock, and full instrumentation now included a vacuum gauge.

This 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible is shown in the color Evening Orchid.
This 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS convertible is shown in the color Evening Orchid.

For $200, an Impala Sport Sedan could be transformed into a Caprice Custom Sedan, establishing a name destined for decades of life. The Caprice option group included a black-out grille, vinyl top with fleur de lis emblems, unique wheel covers, and narrow sill moldings.

They also got suspension changes and a stiffer frame -- plus the most luxurious interior ever seen in a Chevrolet, and an array of comfort/convenience features. Specially stitched cloth door panels were accented with simulated walnut, and contour-padded seats wore a combination of fabric and vinyl. All of this aimed to give Chevy buyers a "one-of-a-kind" taste of Cadillac's look and ride. Its sales success prompted Chevrolet to make the V-8-only Caprice a full series for '66.

1965 Chevrolet Biscayne, Bel Air, and Impala Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Biscayne3,305-3,900
$2,363-$2,871
145,300 (approx.)
Bel Air
3,310-3,950
$2,465-$3,039
271,400 (approx.)
Impala
3,385-4,005
$2,672-$3,181
803,400 (approx.)
Impala SS
3,435-3,655
$2,839-$3,212
243,114