Live Auctions

42k 1965 Chevrolet Caprice with a 396 and Factory Air

“One of the nicest examples of a first year Caprice I think you’ll find.” Based on the photos, I can’t argue with the seller on that statement. We’ve featured several ’65 Caprices on Barn Finds, but this is one of the best preserved examples we’ve seen. Though it’s listed as a California car, this Caprice currently calls the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota home and is for sale here on eBay for a Buy It Now (or Make An Offer) price of $24,900. We give our friend Larry D a big A+ for sending this great-looking Caprice our way.

No history, background, or its unique story is shared by the seller, but the Caprice comes with its original purchase documentation from Citizens Chevrolet in Eagle Rock, California along with the owners manual and other goodies. And looking at the Chevy’s overall condition outside, inside, and underneath, one imagines it has spent a lot of its 57 years in the Golden State and in a garage. I can’t spot any major flaws on the exterior to write home about. Finished in Ermine White (it’s had one repaint at some point) with the optional black vinyl top, all of the brightwork, trim, Caprice badging, and glass look very good. Even the Super Sport wheel covers, and period-correct whitewalls makes this low-mileage Chevy look like it came right out of the pages of the Caprice sales booklet.

Caprices were available in three “color-keyed” interior colors in ’65: light fawn, medium blue, and black. And the original, upscale, and luxurious (for a Chevrolet) black interior looks great for its age. The seller claims “there are no cracks on the dash or steering wheel, no holes in the headliner, and the Four-Season factory air conditioning is COLD.” The seller does mention and shows a photo of the driver’s seat fabric separating from the vinyl and that the power windows work but “the back ones are a little slow.” All the lights, gauges, and radio works but the clock has stopped. That seems fitting considering this ’65 Caprice seems to be stopped in time as well.

The seller shares that there’s a “numbers-matching 396 big block” under the hood and photos show a presentable engine bay. The current odometer reads 42,450 and while nothing is mentioned about having documentation to prove it, given the overall condition of this Caprice, it could be the original mileage. We don’t know if the engine’s been rebuilt but it’s described in the usual four words: “Runs and drives great.” and recent maintenance includes new brakes, a new fuel tank, and a tune up. Even though the mid-year Caprice was Chevrolet’s way of playing catch up to rival Ford’s luxurious Galaxie 500 LTD, it had a successful, though shortened, first year run with about 40,000 sold. Customers liked this new luxury direction for Chevrolet and the next year the Caprice moved from a trim package option to a full line and added a formal top coupe and station wagon to the lineup. Here’s your chance to own one of the nicest first-year Caprice examples around. Happy bidding!


  1. BlondeUXB Member

    Curious. I’m more familiar with the ‘65 Chevelle. I know about 200 were built with a 396.
    Was the big block offered in full-size Chevy’s in 1965 ?

    • sakingsbury20 Member

      yes….the appox 200 Chevelles you reference were z16 375hp 396s

      Like 4
      • Roman Macias

        201… don’t forget the convertible.

        Like 1
      • jam

        yes, the big block was offered in ’65. early 65 cars came with the 409. The big block was the replacement engine.

  2. LandYacht

    I love the 65 Caprice, my dream ride is this car configured with these exact options, 396, PW & A/C but with a 4 speed. I have never seen a 65 with a 4 speed put I’m almost positive it was an option.
    This is a great looking car, I want it, but it would come with a divorce lawyer, so I guess not worth it. Maybe one day.

    Like 4
  3. Doug Walters

    The Caprice came out very late in the year as did the BB. The BB may have only been available in the Caprice. I remember seeing a few Caprices at the dealer when my parents bought a leftover ’65 SS. They were all BBs.

    Like 2
    • Michael Garner

      What happened with the 65 SS with the big block?

    • Chuck Dickinson

      The 396 was introduced along w/the Caprice mid-way through the model year. The 396 was an RPO, available on any full-size 65 Chevy. Many Caprices had them since they were both new to the line, and Caprices tended to be better optioned cars. It’s too bad that when this car was repainted, the pin stripe was put at the top of the body sides instead of at the mid-body ridge where the factory pin stripe was located. Strange alteration.

      Like 1
  4. David Nelson

    My fave Caprice would be the 66 coupe with 396, power everything, buckets, console automatic, AC and full gauges!

    Like 3
    • Roman Macias

      My dad has that very car, albeit with a fuel injected 496 stroker with 6-speed auto. That thing barely tries on the highway with 3.42 gears.

  5. Jim Muise

    My second car was a 1965 Chevy with a 283 and a power glide tranny. I never won many drag races but it was a great car for any low paid teacher! LOL


    Like 5
  6. Mark Cole

    I have a 396 that is coded for a big car according to code stamped on the block. I have no idea what it came out of, Caprice or Impala

  7. John W Kriegshauser

    From what I’ve read, the 1965 Caprice was introduced late in the model year, and could only be had as a 4-door hardtop. In 1966, you could have a Caprice in a 2-door hardtop as well. My Grandpa had a 1969 Caprice 4-door hardtop with a 327 in Butternut Yellow. Loved that car as a kid, thought it was so luxurious! Most likely cemented my love of Chevrolets all my life.

  8. Mike

    My neighbor had a 65 Caprice 425 horse 396,4 speed bucket seats, console,pwr everything,plus ac. Triple black! My brother had a red 66 ss Impala, 425 horse 427, 4 speed console,BLK int. They raced many times, bro was a car like faster. But I liked the Caprice. Never told them so!!!

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