The automobile featured in this article is the 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu. Chevy introduced the Chevelle model in 1964 as a mid-sized offering. The Chevy Chevelle was to compete directly against the Ford Fairlane. The higher powered Chevelle V-8's competed mainly against the Pontiac GTO and Ford Torino.
The Chevelle was also Chevrolet's entry into the 60's muscle car battles.The muscle car battle of the 1960's was, in part, an extension of the public's desire for more powerful vehicles for an improved highway system. When you look at total production numbers, muscle car sales was a small fraction of the total but did receive outsized publicity. This publicity likely helped the automaker immensely. Some might call it bragging rights.
General Motors built the Chevelle model in three generations for the 1964 through 1977 model years. The Malibu was the top of the line subseries for the Chevelle.
Chevelle Served a Wide Car Buying Public
The Chevrolet Chevelle, a mid-sized automobile, was available in six body styles and with a choice of six engines. Four straight six and two V-8's were offered. By mid-year 1965, a 396 cubic inch 375 hp big-block was optional. The car appealed to families, businessmen and muscle car enthusiasts, quite a large market.
The Chevelle Malibu SS
The top performance / top of the line Chevy Chevelle for 1965 was the Chevelle Malibu. The SS models had the V-8 power plants and top end trim. The 1965 Malibu SS was available in both sport coupe and convertible models and with both straight 6 and V8 engines.
1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu Specifications
As mentioned above, the 65 Chevy Chevelle was built with a choice of six different engine versions. The SS models came with a 283 or 327 cubic inch V-8. The Chevelle Malibu also had four straight six engines available. Later in the year Chevelle came out with a limited edition 396 cubic inch engine known as the Z-16 Package.
The Malibu ranked number one in Chevelle sales. The model had high end tailored fabrics with metallic thread accents. Adding to the Malibu's popularity were the many available options which included the sport coupe, convertible, 4-door sedan, and 2-seat wagon.
Transmissions included an automatic and a four speed manual.
Brakes were four wheel power disc.
Chevy's Chevelle weighed 3,160 lbs which was relatively light. This light weight helped with performance. The car could take either a small or large block engine without difficulty.
Over the thirteen year Chevrolet Chevelle production run, over 5 million models were built. The Chevy Chevelle was one of Chevrolet's most successful models.
See the additional Auto Museum Online articles on the links below...
Two excellent source books on the subject of cars from the 1960's include...American Muscle Cars by authors William G. Holder and Phillip Kunz....American Cars of the 1960's: A decade of Diversity by author John Gunnell.
Chevrolet Chevelle Collector Cars
The Chevy Chevelle is a popular collector car and you'll most likely see one at most car shows and swap / meets. You'll certainly run across restored and unrestored Chevrolet Chevelle's for sale. You may have also seen two door Chevelles that were cut up to race as stock cars.
Because there were so many different body styles with the 1965 Chevelle, you'll find just about any one of them for sale in a variety of conditions. Exact model, originality and car condition will determine the asking price.
As of this writing we see restored 65 Chevy Chevelles priced in the $25,000 to $35,000 range. The SS (Super Sport) models will be on the higher end. For restored Chevelle Malibu models you may see prices in the $45,000 to $60,000 plus range and more. Non-restored Chevelles of course will be priced substantially lower.
(Article and photos copyright 2015 Auto Museum Online)