1965 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle front view
The 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle line introduced
the rare Chevelle Malibu SS 396 pictured here.
Only 201 of these muscle cars were built.

The 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle got a mild but crisp facelift for its second year on the market. A new vee-shaped grille and larger taillights were highlights. Bodies were 2.7 inches longer and 1.3 inches lower. Wheelbases remained at 115 inches. A restyled instrument panel had deeper shrouds to eliminate windshield reflections.

Four 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle series went on sale: 300, 300 DeLuxe, Malibu, and Malibu SS, with Malibu the top seller at 152,200 cars. Engine choices started with a Hi-Thrift 120-horsepower 194-cubic-inch six, stepping up to a 140-horsepower 230-cubic-inch six, a 195-horsepower Turbo-Fire 283 V-8, and a trio of 327-cubic-inch V-8s (250, 300, or 350 horsepower).

A new fully synchronized three-speed column-shift transmission became available, but many Chevelles had Powerglide or a four-speed manual gearbox instead.

Super Sport coupes and convertibles wore less brightwork than in '64 and came with any powertrain. Their interiors held front bucket seats in new textured vinyl, a console, and round gauges in a bright metal panel. The new grille with SS treatment and black accents helped lead the trend toward black accents in sport-oriented cars.

Rarest of the 101,577 SS Chevelles issued in '65 was the SS 396, with crossed-flag emblems on its fenders and a new 375-horsepower 396-cubic-inch "porcupine" V-8 underhood. No wonder only 201 were built, because that Z16 package added an eye-popping $1,501 to the car's price.

Changes to Chevelle were slight for 1965, but the model year did produce a genuine rarity: a Malibu SS 396 (V-8) created to pro-mote 1966 models. With a four-speed and 375 horsepower, the SS 396 was a beast; only 201 were built. Included among the year's other Chevelles was the Malibu SS convertible: this one has a 195-horse 283 with automatic.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS convertible rear view
The 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle included this Malibu SS convertible
powered by a 195-horsepower 283-cubic-inch V-8.

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Chevelle 300
2,870-3,320
$2,156-$2,67473,200 (approx.)
Chevelle Malibu2,930-3,355$2,250-$2,755152,200
Chevelle Malibu SS
2,980-3,210$2,539-$2,858101,577

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