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Parked Since 1990: 1965 Chevrolet Impala 327/4-Speed

The seller took this 1965 Chevrolet Impala as a trade on another vehicle, but it’s a car they don’t want. There is nothing inherently bad about it, and its drivetrain combination means it should offer respectable performance. However, they feel it would make a worthwhile project for the right person. Its overall solid nature could make it perfect for someone seeking a first or DIY restoration. It is listed here on eBay in Oak Hill, Ohio. Bidding has passed the reserve and sits at $7,200.

The first thing that struck me when I examined the photos of this Cypress Green Impala was the lack of apparent rust. The panels are clean, while the floors seem to wear nothing beyond heavy surface corrosion. If tin worm has penetrated the steel, it isn’t glaringly obvious. As a bare minimum, I would treat the corrosion before it deteriorates further, although stripping and undercoating the underside of this classic would help preserve it for future generations. The paint looks okay, but there is deterioration in the filler panel below the back window. Cleaning the car would be a wise first move because it may reveal that a repaint of that area is all that is required to have the vehicle present well as a survivor. The trim and glass are excellent, although the Impala rolls on a mixed set of wheels. The Rally wheels suit the vehicle’s personality, but a set of the correct steelies and hubcaps may be the best option to maximize the potential value.

It isn’t clear whether the Impala is numbers-matching, but its drivetrain combination is one of the best compromises a buyer could order in 1965. Lifting the hood reveals a 327ci V8, and while buyers could tick the box to get their hands on a 396 or 409ci big-block, this gem pumped out 300hp. The power reached the rear wheels via the original four-speed manual transmission, allowing the car to cover the ¼ mile in 15.7 seconds. The big-block could slash the figure considerably, allowing an Impala with the right engine to achieve a sub-15-second ET. However, the trade-off was an additional 250lbs, most of it hanging over the front axle. The larger engine offered more power, but the car wasn’t as agile when the roads became twisting. The seller states that this car hasn’t seen active duty since 1990 and that the previous owner removed the starter. The 327 turns freely but doesn’t run. He wisely suggests that potential buyers should factor a rebuild into their restoration budget.

Apart from some slightly tired and worn carpet, this Impala’s interior shows promise. The seat upholstery looks nice, with no apparent wear or physical damage. The remaining upholstered surfaces are equally impressive, as are the dash, pad, and headliner. Spending $250 on a carpet set and a few hours in the garage with some high-quality cleaning products could produce a stunning transformation. It isn’t loaded with luxury appointments, but the AM radio, clock, and factory tachometer are all welcome touches.

It isn’t clear why the previous owner parked this 1965 Impala, although we often see cars at Barn Finds where the owner may simply have become bored with the vehicle. That might be the case here, but that will be something for the new owner to determine. Nothing suggests this will be a complex project, although it would be tempting to dismantle the Impala to achieve a perfect restoration. However, that could be something for the future. Its lack of apparent significant rust may make returning it to a mechanically roadworthy state and enjoying the classic motoring experience an achievable short-term goal. It is undoubtedly a tempting idea, but would you follow that path?


  1. nycbjr Member

    Full sized cars with a stick always make me go “hmmmm” wonder what the buyer was thinking in an era where “automagic” was better… perhaps an enthusiast or someone buying on the “cheap”?

  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    It looks like it has Corvair-sized wheels/tires on it.
    They look too small for the car.
    I’ve always thought that big cars with manual transmissions
    were cool.

    Like 9
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      That’s what I have anyway…

      Like 1
  3. Tyler

    Well look at that, a decent car with a reasonable reserve. Wouldn’t surprise me if the final price reaches into the low 20’s though. A 65 Impala is on my bucket list, but unfortunately I have too many projects to finish to take on another.

    Like 3
  4. Emel

    4 on the Floor…and the tail lights are pretty cool

    Plus a bench seat for the seatcover GF & the Drive-in.
    What’s not to like !

    Like 5
  5. gaspumpchas

    Check the frame good, Ohio is a rust belt state and these frames rusted out fast. Sure would be nice fixed up. Good luck.

    Like 3
  6. 19sixty5 Member

    I like it! Full size 4 speed 65, this could be a really fun car to own. You could always set the original engine/trans aside and add a LS with a 6 speed and a vintage air setup. Cruise!

    Like 1
  7. Buffalo Bob

    Always bothers me to open the hood & see universal radiator hoses. The right ones are still readily available, & the ‘make-’em-fit’ hoses put undue stress on the rad. I’ll let someone else go off on the red heater hoses. All that aside, I’d love this project, provided it’s as solid as it looks.

    Like 1
  8. Dirty Jim

    The ’65 is my favorite car – my Dad had a ’65 Biscayne when I was little. A 4-speed SS would be my dream car. This car certainly ticks enough boxes for me, though to choose between a dream car and retirement in a few years, such things will have to remain a dream.

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