396 & 4-Speed: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS

1965 was the first year for the fourth-generation Impala and it was quite a change. They went from quaint, albeit sometimes with a monster under the hood, to being a regular, full-sized car. Although, this generation Impala was only 4-inches longer it sure looks bigger in all dimensions. This is a 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS and it’s on eBay with a current bid price of just over $2,000. You’ll have to pick this one up in Colorado Springs, Colorado as it currently isn’t drivable.

That’s one long, low, sleek ride. The seller says that from what they can tell, and from what the former owner claims, it was a white car. I think they may be right, but I sure love that aqua color on these Chevys.

The classic one-year tail lights are an easy car-spotters feature of the 1965 Chevys. Chevy broke a sales record with this redesigned car and it was a thoroughly modern-looking update. Even more than looking modern, it had a full frame in place of the former X-frame.

As you already know, most every part and piece for these cars is available in the aftermarket world. This car will need a lot of work to bring it back, but it’s worth it. You can see a missing piece on the console there, yes, this is a factory 4-speed manual car! It appears to have an AC system, the “Coldmaster“. Ha, not the most creative name but sometimes being pragmatic is the best option. The seller mentions that it’s a factory AC system, but the jury is still out on that.

Hey, no AC compressor! I bet it needs more than “charged”. This Super Sport has a big-block 396 cubic-inch V8, a very desirable engine to go along with that very desirable transmission choice. 325 hp and 410 ft-lb of torque would have been on tap when this car was new. They must be trying to keep the mice out with that carburetor plate there; not a bad idea. This sure looks like a desirable car with a desirable drivetrain combination, doesn’t it? What would your top dollar be on this car given the amount of work that’s needed?

Fast Finds


  1. Rock On

    The last year that you could get a 409 in an Impala for people suspicious of the 396.

    • David Montanbeau

      Here was my 65. 409 400 4 speed that I bought in 68 with 20k miles. I was 16.

      Like 6
      • Tyler

        I drool a little every time I look at this car. 😀

    • David Montanbeau

      Feb of 65 was the end of the 409 and the beginning for the 396-325-425.
      Here was my dad’s test car for GM. 65 396 425 4 speed. Not the actual car in the picture. But the same colors and drivetrain.

      Like 4
  2. Howard A Member

    This was a really nice car when new. It’s one of my favorite styles, and probably the last Chevy styling I liked. Maybe it’s because my grandfather had a ’65, 4 door I remember as a kid. My ex-BIL raced a stock car like this at Hales Corners Speedway ( now a Menard’s, at least it’s called “Speedway Menard’s” , although, nothing remains of the track itself) in the 90’s. Lot of work here, but could be really nice again. Not many left ( thanks to people like my BIL). At the time, it was a very popular car at the track. Many were destroyed in turn 3. Great find.

    Like 1
  3. pdxmetalman

    As one who has adored the 65’s, as I got my drivers license in the one my folks owned in the 70″s, and Dad driving them new as Company cars (Chevrolet Zone Rep) I am a bit leery of the genuineness of the SS. The A/C is definitely NOT factory, as there is no center vent, the end vents were in the dash, not under it, and the controls appear to be the standard Heat/Defrost one. The SS also didn’t use the woodgrain trim at the bottom of the dash. The bucket seats are 69-72 GM. The Aqua colored panels for the most part are the bolt on panels. Replaced from a donor big block car, perhaps? If it is indeed white, as it appears on the roof, I’d say this was originally a vinyl top car, possibly repainted “Artesian Turquoise.” It is nice to see the brake master cylinder IS original, as they were the threaded cap style like this one has. Also, check the size of the fuel line from tank to pump. It was bigger on BB cars (5/16 vs. 3/8). Not dissing the car or the seller at all. I’d love to have it myself. It would be a marvelous match to my 65 C-10 that I drove in H/S and still have. But you’ll definitely want to do your due diligence. Let’s hope it goes to a good home!

    Like 1
    • Anthony R from RI

      Good points about possibly not being a factory SS. It has the wrong rear trim for a factory SS too. It should be black not stainless like on regular Impalas

      Like 2
      • Danger Dan

        Looks like the black paint just faded away….. like this car

  4. ShaunD

    My favourite incarnation of the Impala. American style at its finest.

  5. Terry J

    Circa 1970, my pal Curt bought a pristine low mileage 1966 Caprice. White with sea green interior 396 4 speed. He wasn’t really a car guy and I suppose to this day doesn’t really know what a COOL car he had. I did though. :-) Terry J

  6. Jeff V

    This I believe was the only year a 396/425hp was offered in the Vette, maybe Chevelle also???

  7. Jon

    While it has an SS VIN, that console is not correct and didn’t the 4 speed cars get the tach and the automatics get the vacuum gauge? Engine has the later long water pump and alternator. I’d tread carefully on this one.

    • Rocco in Florida

      The pic where it shows the “factory” air unit with 2 fan speed knobs(one for the heater defrost, & one for the “Coldmaster” unit, it shows an automatic brake pedal still in the car. Looks like someone through a bunch of random parts at a car.

  8. dj

    Using the free online trim tag decoder. This is a 1965 Ermine White Impala SS with black bucket seats according to the trim tag. The car’s real but the rest has been robbed to clone another car. The buckets would also not have headrests.

    • David Montanbeau

      My 65 did not have head rest.

      Like 2
  9. 68 custom

    seats are out of a 67 or later, and this car has a vacuum gauge which means it had a power-glide originally. console looks like a Pontiac item, demands a closer inspection. does have a 12 bolt rear. kinda looks like a scatter shield instead of a bell housing?

  10. DrinkinGasoline

    In my youth, I had the fortune of owning a ’65 Bel Air four door sedan 283 Powerglide. Dark blue with light blue vinyl. Now, as a Ford guy, I must admit that it was a very solid vehicle that handled well and was appropriately powered for cruising. MPG’s were pretty decent as well. Being young, I dropped the rear 3 inches, added fender skirts and ’64 SS wheel covers along with twin rear slant antennas. Dad talked me into dual exhaust with Smithy’s Glasspacks with scatter tips which really rounded out the total package.
    I truly miss the days of slow cruising Main St. USA at dusk with the park lights on and meeting up with friends who were doing the same, and chewing the fat about what everyone was doing with their cars and trucks. I’m proud to be a Baby Boomer. :)

    Like 2
  11. flmikey

    …would much rather get this car than the GTO featured earlier today…but I bet the goat will fetch twice the money as this one…

  12. Tom Kolde

    It can be restored….but it is missing many factory parts. It is a viable car, but it’s gonna cost a “few” bucks to get it done. In it’s current condition…$4000 would be TOPS for it if I were interested. New paint, new interior, just about ALL of it needs reworked.

  13. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Jon and 68 Custom…..what I’m sure is a Pontiac console in there….what else ?

  14. Eric

    It’s missing the cable support to the a-arm too. The motor mount would break and drop the engine down and bind the throttle to the floor. That’s one of the first signs of a changed engine. We owned a 65 SS 4spd a long time ago and this console is wrong.

  15. Joe Howell

    Sad to see such a great car looking like this. My dad had a little sporting blood, he bought an Ermine White 65 Impala 2 door with the 325 HP 396 and 4 speed and Posi-Trac rear. I was a 16 year old junior in high school and loved that car. Later I treated it to a set of headers and a Crane hydraulic street cam. Got mom to the grocery store pretty quickly :)

  16. kman

    Who cares what’s wrong with. I’m in.

    Like 1
  17. jmuder

    Not looking at Ebay this car is wrong. Glove box door is an SS, has wrong trim on it. Console is wrong, seats are wrong. You could get headrests as an option but those seats are not factory for the car. Heater has 3 levers, meaning an AC car. Dealer option because there are no vents in the corners of the dash.

    • kman

      The glovebox is out of a 66 impala, so are the seats and consol

  18. Tyler

    The 65 Impala is hands down my all time favorite full size car. A 65 convertible is one of my bucket list cars, but I’m pretty sure I could settle for a big block SS hard top…

  19. Danny Neufeld

    I had one a long time ago, would love another. My current project is a 60 Camaro. Not in love with it but it is a solid body. Hum, wonder if a trade is possible, Camaro/Impala?

    Like 1
    • cudaman

      Hey Dan, Wow!!!!! You have a RARE one with a ’60 Camaro!!!!!!!

      Like 4
  20. Scotty Staff

    Auction update: this ’65 Chevy sold for $4,600.

  21. Creigh Photography

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the same car as the picture above? I took this picture last night in Escondido Ca, at Cruisin’ Grand

    • Rocco

      @Creigh; Per your correction request. Your pic above shows a 327 emblem on the front fender as apposed to the 396 emblem with the giant flags. Nice looking car though, if it didn’t have those wheels.

  22. Bob Kinman

    In 1965 I ordered a new Impala at Feld Chevrolet in Kansas City . I ordered a straight Impala 2 door , Cameo beige with black interior , 396 cu. in. engine , Muncie 4 speed , PS & PB and positraction rear . I told the salesman I didn;t care for the vacuum gage in the dash . When the car came it had a factory tach where the vacuum gage would have been and It had a small clock mounted on top of the dash . The salesman said no charge and that the factory schedular probably thought I would prefer this better , which I did . I had this car for 8 years and wish I had it back . It ran awesomely .

    Like 1
    • C M Pritchett

      I purchased 1965 Impala Sport Coupe w/396 325 hp 4spd position. Nassau Blue . Bench seat. It also had an I dash tach/ bullet clock mounted on top of the dash. Lost track of the car after 1971

  23. James Turner

    My mom bought a new 1965 Chevy Impala 327 automatic Turquoise with a black vinyl roof. Within 2 years the vinyl top was peeling off around the rear window and the inside of the trunk and around the taillights both sides were really corroding. Probably the rubber trim around the rear window and / or the trunk rubber was not sealing properly.She had the vinyl top stripped off and painted gloss black. I myself prefer the 1966 Chevy taillights over the 1965. They have a cleaner horizontal look.

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