Favorite Chevelles

parmparm Member Posts: 724
edited December 2010 in Chevrolet
My discussion is specific to 1965 Chevelles, but figured that was too limiting for a new thread, so I made the topic more generic. So, feel free to throw in your favorite Chevelle.

Before I start, this discussion might have been a bit more interesting earlier today when both of the cars I'm about to present were for sale. But, since this afternoon, the silver '65 got sold.

OK then, let's have at it. Which one of these '65 Chevelles would you rather have?

Red one: http://inventory.bestofshowautomotive.com/CarDetails.asp?VIN=132176

Silver one: http://www.duffys.com/inventory/view/8060662/1965-chevrolet-malibu%20ss/

The red one is a tastefully done (in my opinion) resto-mod that reportedly cost a bundle to build. The paint job alone is claimed to have cost $30K. This one has all of the comfort goodies like A/C, power steering and brakes (4-wheel disc) and a modern stereo along with leather interior. It has appealing running gear with a 350 crate motor and 700R4 trans plus modern suspension components. Looks like it placed 4th in the “conservative” hardtop class for 1960-66 models at the 2009 Detroit Autorama. Geez! Can we be more specific and random at the same time? With classes like that, how could any car at that show NOT win a prize? I would guess this car is pretty well-sorted and could be driven anywhere with only a turn of the key. The asking price is a cool $39,900. This car wasn’t born as a real SS, but as the dealer aptly points out, does that really matter given the amount of work it has received? My only gripe would be, why did they slap a carburetor on there instead of going with a fuel injection system – thereby making it more reliable to live with?

The silver one is more standard stuff with the endearing 327 mated to a Muncie 4-speed. It has power steering, but manual brakes and no A/C. In short, this one is pretty much stock in nature (though that puny air cleaner looks positively retarded) and supposedly was born as a real SS. The asking price is/was $27,950 – though I’d love to know what it sold for.

So, here’s the question. Which of these ’65 Chevelle’s would you rather have (and why?) and how much would you pay for each?


  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,594
    For the most part, I never really got all that excited about Chevelles, mainly because I usually preferred the Pontiac Tempest/LeMans, Buick Special/Skylark, and Olds F-85/Cutlass, which just seemed more stylish and more substantial.

    But, I always thought the '66 was really sharp looking, with the slight forward thrust to the grille. And I like the '68-69 alot, again mainly because the way they did that forward slant that made the car look sleek and tough.

    Of the two you posted, I'd definitely go for the silver one. I just prefer the more stock appearance. And yeah, definitely swap that air cleaner out! My '67 Catalina had a stupid little air cleaner on it like that when I bought it, but thankfully has been reverted to stock appearance. And trust me, it looked even sillier on the larger Pontiac block!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Member Posts: 4,600
    My favorite Chevette Chevelle is the '72.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    edited December 2010
    Purely from a styling standpoint, I like '66 and '67 Chevelles (although I think the instrument panel is goofy, with the switches above the speedometer), and the '71, with the simple grille and the chrome around the wheel openings, and the round taillights. The '72 grille was a last-minute thing I think.

    I will also put myself up for ridicule and say I like '73 Chevelle coupes, as long as they have the mid-year bodycolor panel between the grille and bumper, instead of silver. They were way more substantial feeling than earlier Chevelles, and handled very well for the time...all the mags commented on this at the time.

    I like the '76 Malibu Classic coupe too.

    There's a '64 Chevelle two-door wagon, factory 4-speed, restored with all NOS, that's bone-stock, on eBay that I'm liking a lot now. Customs really don't do anything for me.

    The '68 and '69 Chevelle coupes are good-looking cars, but I remember looking at them on introduction night with my Dad. They seemed significantly smaller than our '67. The coupes had a shorter wheelbase and all bodystyles looked narrower. I do like a lot the hardly-ever-seen '68 Concours coupe model (like an early "Malibu Classic"). They are not even in the brochure or big showroom album.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,594
    I will also put myself up for ridicule and say I like '73 Chevelle coupes, as long as they have the mid-year bodycolor panel between the grille and bumper, instead of silver. They were way more substantial feeling than earlier Chevelles, and handled very well for the time...all the mags commented on this at the time.

    I like the '76 Malibu Classic coupe too.

    I like the '73-77 Chevelle/Malibu in general...just didn't want to be the first one here to fess up to it! :shades: I really liked the taillight treatment on the '73, with the two round taillights on either side. In '74-75, the taillights just seemed too small and ill-fitting, and then in '76-77, seemed like they were trying to ape a '74-76 era Impala/Caprice...not bad looking, but going for more of an upscale, pretentious look than the sportier look that I thought the '73's round taillights suggested.

    And while they were no longer called Chevelle, I'll always have a soft spot for the '78-83 Malibu, as my first car was an '80 Malibu coupe.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    In '74-75, the taillights just seemed too small and ill-fitting

    Boy, agreed! The '74 taillights were pretty uninspired, but the '75's were awful! I remember when I first looked at one upclose. The rear panel, with taillights, below the decklid looked like it was done by some second-rate bodyshop, with a lot of visible breaks and seams. I also hated the '75 full wheelcovers, which looked to me like they were meant to look like a moon hubcap with a trim ring.
  • omarmanomarman Member Posts: 2,702
    My favorite Chevette Chevelle is the '72.
    Haha! Now that's funny. I too liked the '72. When my next door neighbor drove a blue/white-striped SS Malibu back then it was almost as nice looking to me as my favorite: 1969 SS.

    Choosing between the '65 Chevelles, I picked the Silver car by rating it this way:
    The stock appearance/color/lines of 60s cars look more "correct" to me as time goes on. When the streets were filled with those old cars in every day driving, the "Lexus" Red Chevelle's lowered, custom appearance may have looked better to me then. The pure "retro look" Silver car looks better to me now.

    The Red car has more resto-mod upgrades but not all appeal. Its crate engine seems more like an afterthought than a deliberate choice - not exactly what I'd expect to find in a 60s muscle car with "$30,000 worth of modern paint." Vintage A/C blows cold but the digital gauge upgrade sucks. The Silver car has a 4-speed advantage but needs upgrades, brakes especially. If it were mine I could make all the "priority choices" myself with the money saved by passing on the $40k Red car.

    So on Looks, Equipment, Upgrades and Bang-for-the-Buck the Silver car scores better. I also try to rate Rarity and/or Context (historical significance, breakthrough design, etc.) in a comparison, but both choices are just small block '65 Chevelles so the last 2 categories come down to just one thing: Red car is an SS badge clone and the Silver one is (apparently) a factory SS model.

    Overall, my score rates the Silver Chevelle a winner - even with needs compared to the more polished and expensive Red car.
    A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  • wevkwevk Member Posts: 179
    I had a 1964 2dr HT, 283 auto in very nice condition back in 1970 or so. I once
    made the mistake of taking it through a carwash. The window sealing was so
    poor you needed a raincoat.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    OK, I'll jump back in to give my 2 cents. I love all-stock cars as much as the next guy. But, on certain cars and if the work is done tastefully, I really appreciate resto-mods. So then, even though it's an automatic, my vote would be for the red '65 Chevelle. The color is gorgeous and the tilt wheel , A/C and stereo would made it very comfortable to drive. And, I'm sure the crate 350 engine with headers allows this car to get out of its own way quite nicely. The key to this equation is how much could you buy it for. If the price of the silver and red one are the same, I'd buy the red in a heartbeat. But, if the silver one is $10,000+ cheaper, that would get my attention. All other factors being equal, I think the silver one would be FAR more inclined to have ongoing maintenance "issues" which would obviously cost $ to address and at the end of the day, you might be better off with the red one. Of course, when you go to sell, the fact that the silver one is (reportedly) a real SS just might be the trump card that the red one can't ever match.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...but the 1970 model by far is my favorite, especially the 396 SS. I didn't like it when the Chevelle reverted to dual headlamps in 1971. I really didn't like the "colonnade" styling of the 1973-77 Chevelle/Malibu, though I thought the 1973 Laguna S-3 was the nicest looking of that generation.
  • ramair400ramair400 Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2011
    OK I guess I'll jump in with my first post, even though it's a few days late. As you can tell from my screen-name, I'm also a big fan of Pontiacs, I love the 69' GTO ...67'-69' FIrebirds & of course the 69' Trans Am! 428 is my favorite Pontiac motor but Chevy is my Favorite car.

    My favorite Chevelle is the 69' SS, 66' SS...although I really do like the 70' SS. I have owned more 71' & 72's than any other Chevelle, so I really like them too. The 67's are really nice.

    I like most Chevelle's except the 64',65' & 68' models but I can see why the silver 65' sold, it is a really nice car especially with the 327 Muncie 4 speed--->very cool. If I was into the 65's I would definitely buy the silver 65' because that's just the way I like them, I'm really not into the wagon wheels that are hot today like the ones on the burgundy Chevelle....but that's just me. I like the factory SS wheels & the Corvette style wheels with B.F. Goodrich T/A Radials. Anyway for what it's worth... that's my .02 cents. :shades:
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    I love the "wagon wheels" description. Well put. For a non-stock choice, I really like the American Torque Thrusts. When I was a teenager (long, long ago), Cragers SS's where the prevailing choice. As a matter of fact, my very first car had a set and I thought they were totally "bad [non-permissible content removed]" back in the day. :shades: But now, they look "too heavy" to my eye. Regardless of the wheel choice, I'd insist they be on a "proper" tire. Something with ample rubber between the road and the rim. Low profile tires may look great on a $350,000 Chip Foose custom, but not on most collector cars. And, those things must ride like a log truck.

    BTW, looks like the technoids at Edmund's fixed the website problem. I was able to compose this in less than the minimum one hour it took after the site upgrade. Kudos to the geek squad!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Although I can appreciate the money and time that went into the red Chevelle, I would take a pass on it. It is no longer a 1965 Chevelle. It is something else now.

    I couldn't get the silver one to download but it sounds like a nice car. Manual brakes stopped those cars just fine and in those days few had A/C/

    By 1972, the smog police had stepped in and choked those engines to death.

    My favorite would be a 1965 SS 396. yes, they did make a few. I like the 1966's just as well. Give me the 360 HP verson with a Muncie. Yes, I would like A/C/

    Paint it yellow or Marina Blue with a black vinyl top. Rallye wheels and red stripe tires.

    No "crate" engines for me and I don't need fuel injection. The old Quadrajets always worked well for me.

    I'm not the "purist" some think I am but chrome and braided lines under the hood just scream MICKEY MOUSE to me!
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    1965 Malibu SS convert

    Here's a '65 Malibu SS convertible that will go thru the Mecum auction is a couple of weeks in Florida. The ad says its a "true" SS. I know Malibu's and Chevelle's are "somewhat" synonymous. So, I hope this one counts as being worthy of this discussion. Can anybody educate me on the differences between a Malibu & a Chevelle and whether both or just one could be optioned as an SS?

    At any rate, I really like this one. The maroon over black is one of my favorite color combinations.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    All Malibus are Chevelles, and all SS's are Chevelles, but not all Chevelles are Malibus.

    Chevelle is the name of the line of cars. Malibu and SS are models of Chevelle. In '65, there were low-line Chevelles called "300" and "300 Deluxe", as well as the upper-trimmed Malibu and SS.

    Malibus were always the best-selling model of Chevelle, and in '64 and '65 the "SS" models had nameplates on them reading "Malibu SS", so in people's minds, "Chevelle" and "Malibu" became (incorrectly) synonymous. That, plus in '78 the Malibu name replaced the Chevelle name completely.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    You could even order the SS as a 6 cylinder car.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    1965 Malibu SS convert

    OK then. What's this one worth AND any guesses as to what it'll bring at the auction? . . . . . one isn't always the same as the other. :confuse:
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 56,979
    Heck, I once saw a 6cyl Impala SS..."SS" must have stood for something else.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    In the Chevelle line, the last six-cylinder SS was a '65. I'm nearly certain that in the Chevy II and Impala lines, the last six-cylinder SS was a '67.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    edited January 2011
    Well it's a resto-mod, so an incorrect car, incorrect motor, incorrect bits and pieces, rather dated and blah color scheme, so really the price guides don't help too much. I dunno, maybe $20K--$25K if it's real nice? There's a lot about this car I don't like,just looking at the photos.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Mechanically, it's certainly not stock. No question. But c'mon. Maroon over black. What's not to like about that? :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    it's so...yesterday...these are old-fashioned colors IMO for a car of this type. It needs to be white with red seats or a nice bright color with a white top.
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    Not sure how an "old fashioned" color combo (one that was quite in vogue in 1965) isn't in keeping with a 45 year old car, but we can certainly agree to disagree on that. BTW, red over white is a classic combo and would also be quite fetching. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Well yes, it was in fashion in 1965 but it isn't anymore, so it would make for a better sale (and probably more value) if it weren't maroon. But no big deal, someone will like it.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I've always been a sucker for maroon...then and now. Personally, if I didn't see another bright red car the rest of my life (I'm not quite 53), that'd be OK with me. But I know I'm certainly no harbinger of the general market out there!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Some people like to drive fire engines, some people like to drive giant eggplants....your money, your call. :P

    I mean, people used to wear burgundy sport coats and burgundy bell bottoms, so maybe it'll make a comeback.

    One of my dad's favorite sayings when he would see an old fashion become stylish again was: "Oh great, now I get to be sick of it twice".
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,594
    I don't mind a "real" deep red, but I don't like a lot of these so-called reds that are really more of a Hyundai-Excel-orange.

    I tend to think of maroon and burguny as more of an upscale car color, but I think that Chevelle wears it well. Not so much modern cars, though. I think maroon is one of those colors that needs chrome to set it off. It doesn't look as good with today's plastic grays and blacks.

    But, what do I know? I'm still a sucker for the right shade of green!
  • poonamt93poonamt93 Member Posts: 2
    If you comparing Camaro and Chevelle..................then Both Camaro and Chevelle, are equal at around 1970, with a majority of the SS's being produced with 454's and 396's.. The Camaro came out on top being that the Chevelle became a station wagon, and a 4 door family car, completely seperating it from the pack of true "Muscle Cars".. The camaro motored on into the history books through the 80's and into 2002.. I personally am all about the 1970 Chevelle, which is an easy mod for a 71' since it just requires replacing the front clip.. The Camaro is a much more tedious task, and parts are expensive for the SS's of any style.. It just depends on your preference in body style.. Mine is like yours.. Chevelle, Chevelle, Chevelle.. besides, the EL CAMINO of 1970 was the WTF car that had the Chevelle interior, and front clip! Did the Camaro develope a bed to tote Motorcycles?

    Aluminum Boats
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Please don't put any business links in your posts or we'll have to remove the entire post---we don't edit people's posts for content. Solicitation in the forums is not allowed but your participation is welcome, without links to unrelated businesses.

  • onefunkaronefunkar Member Posts: 113
    malibu was the deluxe chevelle. as lemans was to the tempest...cutlass to f85 and skylark to special...
  • parmparm Member Posts: 724
    That's a good way to put it.

    And, I agree about the "over supply" of red cars. When restoring a car, owners need to resist the temptation of changing the color to auction/resale red. I prefer keeping it original. But, if a color change is necessary, the collector car world needs more Gold, Iris Mist and Green. :shades:
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Member Posts: 15,945
    I like the '67 Chevelle, '68 Concours Sport Coupe (extremely rare today) and the '73 Chevelle SS with optional Turbine I wheels, best of all Chevelles.
Sign In or Register to comment.