43k Genuine Miles: 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air

UPDATE 5/14/2020 – The seller sent us additional photos of this Bel Air, which you can find in their classified! Be sure to take a closer look and make them an offer.

FROM 5/8/2020 – Until recently, this 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air has been parked-up in a shed. It had occupied that spot since 1995, but it has now been brought out into the light of day and returned to a roadworthy state. With a genuine 43,500 miles on its odometer, this is a car that had seen very little work before it was placed into hibernation. It is now ready for someone to grab it and either treat it to some form of restoration work or to just enjoy being the owner of an original survivor that is a stereotypical “one owner, little old lady” vehicle. The Bel Air is located in Billings, Montana, and has been listed for sale here on Barn Finds classifieds. All you need to do is hand the owner $6,000 and you can drive away in this great American classic.

The Bel Air was previously owned by an elderly lady who only used it as her “town car.” It is finished in Glacier Gray and as is the case with so much of this car, that paint is original. It isn’t perfect, with a few chips and marks around the place. There is also some minor damage to the rear bumper and the trim near the tail-light on the driver’s side. I suspect that the elderly lady who was the Bel Air’s original owner may have experienced some issues with reversing the car at some point. None of the damage is bad, and it should be a pretty easy fix. There is some rust just beginning to appear under the chrome trim around the rear window, but this is of a very minor nature, and addressing this should be a fairly inexpensive proposition. Beyond those few minor issues, the Chevy appears to be both very straight, and as solid as a rock.

Opening the hood of the Bel Air reveals a 230ci 6-cylinder engine, which is backed by a 2-speed Powerglide transmission. These 230s are a surprisingly punchy engine and produce a respectable 140hp. With only 43,500 miles under its belt, this is not a drivetrain that has done a lot of work and will have many years of life left in it. After pulling the Bel Air from hiding, the owner went through the braking system to ensure that everything was in working order. He also treated the vehicle to a new radiator and a new battery. It now appears to be in sound mechanical health and is ready to be driven and enjoyed.

The interior of the Chevrolet is a pleasant surprise because overall, it is in very nice condition. The front seat has a few marks on it, but I really believe that a professional interior detailer would be able to remove these quite effectively. The carpet on the driver’s side has the same issue, but I believe that this would also respond to the same sort of treatment. When you look at the condition of the rear seat and carpet, I doubt that anyone has spent any time back there, because the condition is close to perfect. The dash is in the same sort of state, with not a sign of a crack anywhere. The original radio remains in place, but it currently doesn’t work. The choice comes down to either replacing it or having somebody attempt to restore it. I would be favoring the latter option because I would like to see the Bel Air retain its originality.

With an asking price of $6,000, this 1965 Bel Air is not an expensive vehicle. It looks to be solid and original, and the odometer reading is extremely low for a vehicle of this age. I firmly believe that this is the sort of car that would be ideally suited to a family who would like to own a practical classic but doesn’t have a lot of cash to splash around. It is a car that should be easy and inexpensive to maintain and should serve them faithfully for many years to come. If that sounds like you, then this is a car that you should seriously consider.

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Comments

  1. TimS Member

    Sort the little details and have a nice family/pals cruiser. Take it to a show and tick off the guy with the $75,000 red Camaro when your car gets more attention than his.

    Like 22
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      …. and you wouldn’t have a coronary when some hyperactive little kid walks near it.

      Like 17
    • Steve R

      Neither this car nor many red $75,000 Camaros are particularly interesting. I don’t think I‘d spend much if any time looking at either one. There are plenty of nice cars at shows, that alone isn’t enough anymore, many are boring.

      Steve R

      Like 3
      • TimS Member

        So don’t look or even go then. You’ve worked in a lot of cars. You know where to find the ones that are good enough for your time.

        Like 16
      • Ike Bonham

        Steve, thank you for the negativity. I’m sure all of us here greatly appreciate it. Sheeesh!!

        Like 7
      • Bry593

        Damn it you kids! Get off my lawn! Grumble, grumble…. :-)

        Like 4
  2. Howard A Member

    I’m certainly not alone with this statement, but my Grandpa Sam( the Packard grandpa) had a ’65 Chevy, only an Impala. Giving Adam the benefit from not living here, he didn’t mention the ’65 Chevy was THE most popular selling Chevy, selling over 1 million full size cars. They had an option list 2 miles long, and fit just about everybody’s taste. This shows how spartan one could get these. Aside from interior trim and automatic,, this person didn’t “tick many boxes”, sorry, couldn’t resist, and again with the engine heater. In case some of you southern folks aren’t familiar with those, like on the ’51 Ford truck, it turns a frigid winter morn, into a Spring day. They suck the juice, but few things equal that slow “rrrr-rrr”, click, click 1st thing, as opposed to, “ZOOM”, and instant heat. Great find, and I absolutely LOVE Tim’s comment about the Camaro,,good one!

    Like 15
    • Weasel

      Howard: Ticking boxes has always been an odd phrase to me also. I think of Ted Kaczynski whenever I read that.

      Like 1
    • Bry593

      Actually, it was this chassis 65-70 that was GM’s all time highest volume. And as for gas mileage, my ’70 gets up to 24mpg, albeit highway cruise at 65mph. In town gets about 12. An overdrive would cure most of that, but it ain’t really broke, so I ain’t fixed it. 413 CID (400 bored 60), th400, 2.56 12-bolt.

      • Stevieg

        Bry593, fairly impressive gas mileage for one of these. I hope mine does that well. I am on the home stretch for getting a 1970 BelAir I bought last year running and driving safely & reliably. It has a 350 with turbo 350 transmission, I have no clue on the rear end gears. I just installed a new Edelbrock intake & a Holley 650 carb because the original 2 barrel intake was pitted from corrosion, causing a vacuum leak. I will be very pleased if I can achieve mid 20’s on the highway.
        Just curiosity, what model do you have? Impala? BelAir? Sedan? Wagon?

        Like 1
      • Bry593

        It’s a ’70 Caprice Custom Coupe. You won’t get 24 without a proper engine build and tune. Engine has Summit\Dart heads to increase CR and volumetric efficiency. Cam is small Crane grind, .427/.427 for max torque and economy. GM iron manifold with custom tuned quadrajet. Stock rams horns into dual 2.25″ with long super turbos. Ignition is GM HEI with tuned mech and vac advance. Initial timing 16 degrees + 18 centrifugal + 16 vacuum. Runs almost like fuel injection.

      • Stevieg

        That sounds like a really cool car. Due to budget and time constraints, mine is not going to be that cool when I am done. Reality is, mine was probably a beater 20 years ago and has not improved much since lol.
        Always liked the Caprice trim on these bodies!

  3. George Mattar

    I had a 65 Impala 283 Powerglide 30 years ago. Daily driver in snow wind rain. Probably the most reliable car I ever had of the 40 plus cars I have owned. Simple to fix. Parts cheap. Had 210,000 miles when I finally sold it in 2001. Got it from my grandmother who nought it new in Tampa. This Biscayne is the best deal on barn finds and yes will get more attention at car shows than some over restored dine a dozen Camaro. Lost my job thanks to this stupid virus or I would be on my way out west with my trailer.

    Like 17
    • Bill M Woodman

      I hear yuh George. It’s a lot of car for the money. I still own my ’65 SS 327 Impala. I just don’t need two or I would be seriously looking at this one. If just by chance it was a 2-door well I would be owning it now.

      Like 1
  4. Bob C.

    True time capsule. The 65s were a very attractive year, even in plain Jane Belair form. Any of you notice the vacuum booster? This car actually has power brakes!

    Like 8
    • Howard A Member

      I saw that, but no power steering. You’d think it would be t’other way ’round. People sure ordered their cars differently.

      Like 2
      • Stevieg

        Like the 1977 Fury I had, 4 door, slant 6, 3 on the tree (yup, even in 1977), manual steering and power brakes. What a freak!
        Yet another one I really would like to have.
        Once I am done with my little nightmare I have here in Wisconsin, I plan on moving to the southwest. Once I live there, I want to go to California on weekends and see if I can’t start a comedy career (might be a little late for that one lol). If I can make myself wealthy & famous, I will have a garage as grand as Leno. I might live in a trailer lol, but I will have that garage!

        Like 2
  5. DrillnFill

    Love the color-keyed steelies and poverty caps. Just need some white-letter tires to set em off. These mid-late ‘60s Impala-types have a roofline that took good to being a four-door. I like it :)

    Like 3
  6. LandYacht

    These are great to see, this is the bulk of the rides people probably saw back in the day, but must of these are now gone, mostly SS, converts and big block cars survived or were saved. I wish this had a 3 on tree and was in Florida and I’d take a look.
    Nice Find

    Like 3
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Another plain jane workhorse. Nice to see these coming back on BF. Joe Sixpack drove this to work and hauled his family around in it. Price is ok for this, thought it was a little high but what do you compare this to? Good luck and stay safe.
    Cheers
    GPC

    Like 4
  8. norm bissonnette

    Always liked these cars ,no matter what model or number of doors .

    Like 2
  9. jerry z

    “Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry” comes to mind when I see this car.

    Like 6
    • Dave

      That one was a ’66, but the Charger gets all the attention anyway. My mom had a maroon ’65, I still remember the day Dad brought it home.

    • Barzini

      Reminds me more of Tony Baretta’s car though that was a 19666 too.

  10. Maestro1 Member

    Yes indeed, another member of the Ultimate Driver Group. Buy this and you won’t be disappointed. Parts are everywhere, they run forever if you have religion about their minimal maintenance requirements.

    Like 3
  11. IkeyHeyman

    I had the same color ’65 Bel Air but with a 283 and black interior. I bought it used from a small New Jersey college and it had “Campus Security” painted on the front doors. One day my buddy and I drove around a couple PA college campuses yelling out the windows at students, things like “Hey you, get a haircut!” and “We’re watching you, pal, better straighten up!” We obviously had too much time on our hands.

    Like 10
  12. jwzg

    Ol Memaw had some guns to be able to maneuver this beast around with no power steering. I know because I had one.

    Like 2
  13. Troy s

    Enjoying all the comments on this one. Hey, if we parked this next to that 427 Galaxie posted earlier the Chevy would be more “suspect” of having some real guts under the hood. Of course once started up the old Ford would raise a few eyebrows these days, that’s for sure.
    You guys up their and the tarred and feathered 75,000 dollar red Camaro, I get it completely, if I saw this at a show parked next to the red headed stepchild I would expect a souped up small block at least. The six just blows it for me. Everybody has their likes and pet peeves in this car thing.

  14. PatrickM

    Billings is in the mountains of Montana. If I were to buy it, I would necessarily have to make a few changes: Swap the little 6 for a 327, (more hp, better mpg), replace the powerglide with a TH350., install a/c, (a must here in Maryland), add power steering (a must for us oldsters). Other than that, it’s a great car. I just don’t see how they got around with that little 6 in that area. I live in Cheyenne, Wyoming for 27 years. 6,062 ft. above sea level and still on flat land. Small 6’s did fair too well.

    Like 1
    • Bill M Woodman

      I think it’s all in that power guide tranny, up the hills, steep ones, I’d think a car with that transmission (2speed) would be in 1st gear most of the time. No problems.

      Like 2
  15. 86_Vette_Convertible

    My folks had a 65 BelAir, same color with blue interior. 283 with a 3 on the tree. Not a fast car but you could load it up for the $1 night at the drive-in. Remember spending many a summer evening in town enjoying the view.

    Like 1
  16. Will

    These Chevs were very quality built automobiles. Would love to find any model or body style and wouldn’t complain a bit. No wonder Chevrolet sold a record number of them at that time. Great stuff!

    Like 2
  17. Bill M Woodman

    There your car Will. It’s only $6000.00. A lot of car for the price. Even if you are only 25 yrs. old, it’ll last you the rest of you’re life. Just sittin there aint gonna get it. Just say in, and good luck and have fun with it.

    Like 2
  18. Mark

    Neighbor down the street owns an unrestored, like new 20+k mile original akin to this thats even nicer. Same color (paint still shines), dog dishes and 6 cyl only his has the blue interior and 3 on the tree.
    This car should do well. Just the basics. I miss those days.

    GLWTS.

    Like 1
  19. Kurt

    The last pic of the Belair’s lower left rear. Near the banged bumper. It looks like a bondo crack.

  20. Dean D

    Im thinking period correct looking 327 with a 4 speed. Id even leave the dog dishes.

    Like 1
  21. JoeNYWF64

    Is that coolant heater thats attached to heater hose on lower drivers side under the hood – an aftermkt one?
    If i got a big chevy with a 6, it would be the 250 with a 3:08 rear. Unless it would not encounter any steep hills.
    Power drum brakes require a gentle touch on the pedal.
    With manual drums, its the direct opposite. lol
    I guess seat belts are rare on a ’65.
    I don’t see any backup lights! Optional on belair?

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