Four-Door Fun: 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

Pity the four-door sedan, they are the Rodney Dangerfield of cars, they just don’t get any respect. And they should, they’re really the same as their two-door brethren just with more functionality. And here’s a perfectly good example, a 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu four-door sedan, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and available here on craigslist for $7,500. Thanks to local_sheriff for the tip!

I have reviewed several ’64-’65 Chevelles here on Barn Finds but this is the first four-door model that I have encountered. I was going to pass at first (old biases are hard to drop) but then something caught my attention and I thought better.

This listing, while rich on images, is very thin on the description. The seller states, “The photos say it all”. Well, a picture may be worth a 1,000 words but words matter when discussing something as complicated as a car. And the words (and numbers) that caught my attention are 327 Turbo-Fire V-8. The 327 CI V8 came in three flavors in 1965: 250, 300 and 350 HP. While the seller doesn’t state which version this is, my belief is that it a later version, possibly a 250 HP version from ’68. The valve covers/PCV connection are all wrong for a ’65. The front fender badge reads “230” so my guess is that this Malibu originally was six-cylinder powered and then later converted to the 327 engine. As further evidence, the front end of this Chevelle seems to sit up a bit which is keeping with the weight differences between the 230 and the 327 motors. My estimate is that the 327 V8 is probably 60 lbs. lighter. The seller states that it is “fast”, which is a relative term but it’s definitely going to have a lot more go than a 230 CI six-cylinder engine. Gear shifting is conducted with a three-speed manual transmission which will make for a more exciting drive than a two-speed Powerglide automatic.

The red interior is fair. The driver seat is coming apart but the rest of it looks OK. It appears to be worn overall and a bit dirty (or faded?) but it is tidy. I give the seller two thumbs up for not photographing this interior with every odd, somewhat related, detached part of this Malibu littering both seats and the floor. Speaking of the floors, no idea regarding integrity. That’s one of those things where a few words would have been helpful.

The body of this sedan is nice and straight and does not look misaligned, dented or rusted through anywhere. This vintage Chevelle has a tendency to rust in the lower fenders, lower quarters, leading hood edge and trailing trunk lip. I see no evidence of that in any of the images provided. But again, no discussion regarding potential problems that could be hidden, like the entire underside of the car. The over-sized tires really help with the look and stance of this Malibu.

This Chevelle is in nice shape and looks like it would be fun to drive – the elephant in the room is the body style. So, I have to ask, if you were interested in acquiring an older, in this case, “sort of” collectible car would you immediately pass because of the four-door body style or would you give it your consideration?

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Any car with a three-speed on the column is okay by me. This is a pretty decent car; I’m fine with it being a four-door.

    To nitpick, I don’t think the off-brand oversize (?) white-letter tires do much for it. I’m guessing the seller put them on to make it look more “tough”, which maybe it does. But I think it would look better with plain blackwalls or whitewalls. It would allow the car to look more like what it is, a lightly-optioned family car of its day.

    Thanks Jim.

    Like 15
  2. Barzini

    I had no idea that a 327 would be lighter than a 6 cylinder.

    Great color combo.

    Like 7
    • JoeNYWF64

      According to
      http://www.gomog.com/allmorgan/engineweights2.html
      the chevy small block is about 135 lbs heavier than a
      Chevy L6 194-250
      I might be interested in a 4 door if it was an oddball, like a 396 with a 4 speed.
      Well at least it’s not a fastback & has no rear spoiler, like many 4 door modern sedans – so wrong!! & dumb the way headroom is cut in the back seat of today’s sedans.
      The stovebolt 6 of the 50’s IS heavier than a small block.

      Like 5
  3. jerry z

    Chevelle 4 doors are the nicest lookers of them all. Talk out the 3 on the tree and swap in a 4 spd would make this a fun car to drive.

    Like 3
  4. GMoparman

    Very similar to the car in one of the greatest films ever, Repo Man!

    Like 5
    • RayT Member

      You’ve given me an idea…one Tribute Car, coming up!

      Just don’t open the trunk….

      Like 7
  5. Bob C.

    At my age, I’ve grown to like 4 doors. This deserves a thumbs up, but lose the 230 badges.

    Like 9
  6. David Ulrey

    Man alive, if it was do-able for me at all I’d be on this one like flies on a slice of watermelon! I don’t mind the RWL tires one bit. I personally would prefer some BFG T/As but that could happen at a later date. A good quality window tint but no blackout stuff for me. Just enough to help with the sun and heat factor here in AZ since it doesn’t have air. This would be a total daily driver under my ownership. Too cool to only sit and admire it. Absolutely love it!!!

    Like 7
    • PatrickM

      No air…no deal…even if I could. I like my creature comforts in the summer. Other than that, it is a great car. Practical with a little punch. It is barking right up my tree, except for the lack of a/c. It is almost in my wheelhouse. Thinking….thinking…thinking…

      Like 1
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I agree. Comfort is important, particularly during the summer months. I would think A/C would be optional at the time the Chevelle was on the market.

  7. JerryDeeWrench Member

    I think this is a factory 327 and someone put 230 emblems on it.. A real sleeper Ilove it. Would b lots of fun.

    Like 3
  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looked at a 64 once with a 283, powerglide, also a 4 door. At the time as a teenager it wasn’t ‘cool’. Today, it’s a good looking car though the doors need to be wide enough to get in and out of easily. I don’t know if it started life as a 6 or an 8 cylinder, but it’s 8 now so drive it as is. It looks good to me and I’d take it out to cruise any day.

    Like 4
  9. Stevieg

    Between the color combo & the current drivetrain (whether original or not), I see no reason to not love this car. I would lose the 230 emblems, redo the seats to original, & drive it with a big stupid grin on my face.

    Like 10
  10. FordGuy1972 FordGuy1972 Member

    I’m partial to four doors as I’ve had a few (’68 Torino, ’57 Chevy, 69 Ford Custom, ’64 Fairlane 500) and this little Chevelle with a V8 looks like it would be a nice one to have. The black exterior looks good and it’s a popular color today. A red interior always looks good with black, it just needs the seat re-covered along with a good clean. The 327 makes this a much more interesting car and certainly takes to speed modifications if so desired. I don’t see any point in swapping in a 4-speed, I’d keep the column shift. All in all, this would be a great daily driver that you could also bring to your local cruise-ins.

    Like 7
  11. Howard A Member

    Years ago, I had a friend in N.Wis. whose grandmother had a ’65 4 door Chevelle like this, only green. I saw it once, perfect shape, it had like 40K miles and the plastic was still on the seats. Many years passed, and I saw him again, I asked what happened to his grandmas car? He said, they had someone look at it, deemed the frame rusted and gave them like $100 bucks for it. I thought, mm-hmm, somebody scored a nice original Chevelle from an elderly owner with that frame story.

    Like 3
  12. Miguel

    I just saw one of these in Mexico. This one is a 6 cylinder with the 3 on the tree, but it is clean and they are asking about half what they want for the featured car here.

    Like 9
  13. Miguel

    This one says Chevelle Deluxe on the badge. My VIN book says it is a Chevelle 300 Deluxe.

    Like 12
    • local_sheriff

      If it’s for sale and as good as it looks I’d call that 300 a great find! 👍

      Like 6
  14. Altizer Charles Member

    Wish I lived closer to Mexico I would be all over this thanks Miguel

    Like 2
  15. art

    Cool car…looks like a period undercover car. Just needs total black sidewall tires.
    This “cool” car would be a steamy ride in AZ in the summer..oofah.

    Like 4
  16. Car Nut Tacoma

    I agree. I’ve always loved the 1965 Chevelle.

    Like 2
  17. David G

    This body style looks great in a four door configuration. Angle of c pillar is perfect in relation to rear window and rear door window frame. Later ones, ’68-’72 Chevelles, as well as ’68-’74 Novas look awful as four door models. I would love to have this, but alas, my stable is full. Cool that it has HEI. I would swap to dual master cylinder and front discs using all GM parts. Love this car.

    Like 3
  18. 427Turbojet 427Turbojet Member

    While in college, a friend of my roommate had his highschool car, a silver blue 65 Malibu coupe with a 220 hp 283 and a factory 4 speed. Blue bench seat, very clean overall. He wasn’t a car guy at all, just transportation to him. I begged to buy it, but he said he’d just have to get another car. When we were graduating, he got a job in another state and decided to sell the 65. Offered it to me for $500. I already had several cars and had just bought a 74 454 Monte Carlo. Biggest problem was no place to keep another car so I passed. Been kicking myself for 40+ years.

    Like 3
    • Del

      Don’t flog yourself. The factory 4 speed was a Saginaw tranny . I had one. They were slower than hell. Even a 327 intake with 4 bbl never helped

  19. Dennis6605

    The tag on the firewall will tell you if this was born with a 6 or an 8.

    Like 1
  20. Charles Turner

    Install A/C & go for it…….life’s too short to get picky!

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