396 Turbo-Jet Sedan: 1965 Chevrolet Caprice

In the 1960s, Ford was giving Chevrolet a run for its money. Ford brought out such great sellers as the Falcon, the Mustang, and in 1965, the more luxurious Galaxie 500 LTD. Ford decided it should get some of the luxury sales from the mid-price full-size cars, so Chevrolet had to follow the lead. The Caprice was brought out mid-year 1965 as an option for the Impala 4 door sports sedan. It had a nicer interior as well as Super Sport type wheel covers and rear paneling. Here is a 1965 Chevrolet Caprice Custom Sedan for sale here on Craigslist in Yorba Linda, California. Thanks to Barnfinds reader Pat L. for bringing this car to our attention.

The car’s exterior appears to be in good condition except for a bump on the left side of the rear bumper that also did a little damage up near the taillights. The seller describes the paint as excellent. It has five new white sidewall tires, including the spare.

The Caprice interior was a little more elegant than the Impala. This included the appearance of hand-rubbed walnut on the lower instrument panel and steering wheel. Chrome accents on the accelerator and brake added further touches. The seats were upholstered in a richly patterned fabric in a nicer pattern with vinyl accents. The rear seat included a center fold-down armrest. The interior is described as super clean, but it does appear to have a rip or stain on the driver’s side seat. Unfortunately, the air conditioning is not working.

The optional 396 V-8 Turbo-Jet engine runs great. There was a 325 and a 425 horsepower version offered of the 396 on the Caprice in 1965. The seller does not state which one this is. The car has been driven 74,000 miles. The seller is the second owner of the car. So for $13,800, it’s ready for its third owner, could that be you?

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Comments

  1. TimS Member

    Big block, A/C and a nice interior for 13K? If I were after this year of Impala, the 4-door haters could all go take a flying leap.

    29
    • Nick

      I couldn’t agree with you more!! For a perfect family car, for the parents who like AC and lots of Get up and Go! This car would be fun as hell to own!

      17
    • Mark

      I agree. Good price! Buy it leave it the way it is and drive it! Very nice clean car!

      6
  2. Grumpyboy

    This is not a sedan it’s a hardtop, hardtops have no window frames, no pillar between front and back doors, and are more valuable than sedans.
    Sedans were more common as fleet cars such as government cars, cop cars, and taxis.

    27
    • racer417

      Wish more people would understand the difference!

      20
    • NMCarNut

      While you are technically correct Chevrolet did call this a Custom Sedan. Go figure.

      15
      • Terry

        I think they called them sport sedans.

        8
    • Mauro

      Technically, this is a hardtop sedan…

      1
  3. Keith

    Nice car and a big block to boot! Too many doors though.

    8
  4. Djs

    Would love to know if its got power windows ,locks act. I had a 66 with it all . Sin I was 18 and did not know what i had traded it in on a 72 mustang convertable in 73 left over , what a lemon that was

    5
  5. Fred W

    The ultimate sleeper- Grandma with a 396!

    8
  6. sir mike

    Yes the good old days…yes i’m old…go to the dealership and check the boxes you want on the order sheet….

    8
  7. Ralph

    I see something else nice, looks like its a TH400 and not a PowerGlide, I like it, looks like there is a little damage on the drivers seat, these had that cool silk-like upholstery, nice car. Emblems look a little off, may have been painted. Lots of dough for a sedan, even with a BB, but it is probably the prettiest if not at least in the top 3 prettiest full size Chevrolet sedans from the 60’s.

    3
    • Daved

      A vast improvement over the 64 full-size! No wonder they sold so many!!!

  8. NMCarNut

    The RPO L78 425 HP 396 came with an aluminum high rise intake, dual snorkel air cleaner, and was unavailable with an automatic transmission; meaning this car has the RPO L35 325 HP 396.

    7
  9. NMCarNut

    fyi

    7
    • dweezilaz

      Still a hardtop. MINI claims it sells “hardtops”. They aren’t. “Club Sedan” is a fancy name used for two door sedans. Or four door ‘coupes’.

      Marketing.

  10. Billy007

    These were everywhere. Brings back fond memories. Of course, all I ever saw were sixes and 283s, who bought engines like this?

    3
  11. Troy s

    Good looking car with enough torque to move on down the highway, plus the 396 had better top end power than the comparable 390 Ford or 383 Dodge/Plymouth. Too bad Chevrolet never got the chance to prove this engine in NASCAR with full factory support. Darn GM and their rules.

    3
    • Dick Johnson

      Speaking of torque; Chebby had a different motor mount isolation idea in the early ’70s. They were soft and pliable, especially when engine oil would make ’em even more pliable. When you hit the kickdown during a pass or a hill, the 396s/402s ( pronounced four OHH too) would rip out of the mounts.

      Chebby had a fix: put a hold down cable around the mount. 3- tenths was paid by Chebby. The engines would come into the garage hot, and 6- tenths later, we were done, plus burn treatment at the first aid station. The service mgr was brutal about the overage until he had to put a set on.

      1
      • Gaspumpchas

        Yea Dick I drove one of these that had power brakes, a customers car and I hit the trifecta- when the engine shifted It jammed the throttle linkage in the full down position, pulled the vacuum line out of the booster–so its hammer down with no brakes woo hoo—-the GM fix was a joke. replaced a lot of these and the new ones wouldn’t let the mount come completely when it broke.

      • Dick Johnson

        Remember that well, Gaspump. One Chebby rep suggested that a dash mounted cable to the throttle linkge be a retrofit to prevent a runaway problem. Cruise control stuck throttles were equally exciting.

  12. Miguel

    It is odd how many Fords had the 390 while comparatively few Chevrolets had the 396.

    5
  13. Shawn Fox Firth

    I would love to have this – I’d call up Scott Shafiroff for an Aluminium Low Deck 598 and put in a 6-speed Tremac ..

    1
  14. XMA0891

    I have never seen one of these in a four-door hardtop configuration! Great find! May as well use this opportunity to ask someone to please educate me – You look under the hood and see it is a 396 – Assuming it isn’t on the air cleaner cover; how do you tell the horsepower?

    1
  15. bobk

    I had a ’66 Caprice SS 396 4 speed, way back in my youth. That thing would float down the 2 lane highways of my youth at 90 – 100 mph all day long (between fuel stops).

    As with many of my other rides, I was too young and dumb to realize what I had.

    3
  16. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Wow I have all kinds of love for this Caprice. There is nothing not to like about it. I can’t even imagine how big the smile on my face as the Honda fanboy downshifts and thinks he’s going to blow by on a freeway on-ramp.

    3
  17. Del

    We used to call this a 4 Door Hardtop.

    They are rare , especially with a big block.

    The price is good too.

    Lets grab it ? 😎

    4
    • dweezilaz

      And still do.Because that’s what they are, Del, regardless of what the manufacturers or the confused [not the author] called them.

      No one ever made a “post” sedan. The hardtop sedan is the outlier.

      “Post sedan” is something someone pulled out of thin air trying to sound more informed that he was.

      And the redundant word weed took root.

      1
  18. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking Chevy Caprice. I’ve always loved the 1965-66 Chevy Impala and Caprice. It’s a shame that there are only 8 pics posted on Craigslist. I would expect more photos of the car, to show everything about the car as can be shown. Patina, as long as it doesn’t penetrate into the car, should be shown. 🙂

  19. Charlie

    Looks like the twin to my 65 Impala sedan! Same colors in and out, engine, transmission, A/C!

  20. SamM

    What’s cool to me is early 65s could be had with the 409. Dad had an SS convert with the 327 4 spd. Bought it new and sold it just before it turned completely to dust. Rusted real bad

    2
  21. Chebby Member

    If only it was turquoise inside….what a beauty. The price isn’t bad but I feel like $8k would be a good deal for it. You can still get full size GM convertibles in the 10-14k range.

  22. Joe Howell

    Nice car but too many doors, I say this because I had an Ermine White 65 Impala Sport Coupe (two door hardtop) 396/325HP with bench seat, 4 speed and posi-traction. With a black interior it was a sporty and beautiful family car that was a tire smoking sleeper. Never had any engine mount problems like people are talking about. Did destroy the close ratio Munice 4 speed once and tore the differential housing’s trailing arms from the frame. The somewhat puzzled Chevy dealer welded them back in place. Fond memories, wish I had it now, or my 68 Vette or my 63 Spyder, etc., etc. You guys know the sad story.

    1
  23. Craig Gaier

    My folks bought a new 1965 Caprice back then. Like the article says the Caprice was an upgrade option on the Impala and only available in a 4 door hard-top (whatever Chevrolet wanted to call it that year)in 1965, becoming a line of it’s own in 1966 with 2-door versions.. It had a 327V8 and powerglide transmission, however, in later years I had one of my own with a 396V8 (325hp) as the larger hp one was 4 speed only and there were probably none built. Chevrolet had a knack for putting things in their literature that they never built [still waiting for my 1970 Monte Carlo convertible :)] My 396 had the 400 3-speed automatic transmission and succumbed to the main bearings turning problem that the big blocks had back then if you pulled the transmission down into low to use as part of your braking (not good for the engine I found out), then a horrific hail storm totaled the rest of the car out and I sold it off to a body shop for parts (I still have the spinner SS style wheel covers though). I’ve seen a number of 1965 Caprices through the years and about 75% had the 396 engine….actually one with a small block is rarer ….remember this was Chevrolet’s luxury car, so most had the comfort options of AC and the 396 engine.

    2
  24. Charlie

    The fraternal twin to my 4 door bib block sedan. Even the same options!

    1

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