Rebuildable? 1965 Chevelle Malibu Super Sport

This 1965 Chevelle Malibu SS looks like it was a pinball in a giant pinball machine. Whatever kind of accident it was in, the car has been damaged in all four corners, some points worse than others. This is a shame because it looks like a beautiful machine before misfortune came into its life. Located in Rancho Cordova, California, this Chevy is available with a salvage title here on eBay for the Buy It Now price of $9,900. Serious offers will also be considered by the dealer selling the car. Thanks, Larry D, for finding this tip for us!

Ford downsized the Fairlane in 1962, creating an intermediate offering between the full-size Fords and the compact Falcon. In 1964, Chevy did the same thing with the Chevelle, which was a new nameplate in the sales catalog. The car was quite successful, and little changed in its encore year, 1965. The Chevelle stuck around through three generations until 1978, when the upscale Malibu took the lead. The Chevelle platform would be used to relaunch the El Camino “gentleman’s pickup” and the Monte Carlo, a personal luxury automobile using an extended version of the frame.

The seller’s 1965 Malibu appears to have come with the $162 Super Sport package that was developed a few years earlier for the Impala. That option gave buyers added exterior brightwork with SS emblems and 14-inch full-disc wheel covers from the Impala SS (the seller’s car wears a set of more modern aftermarket wheels). Although this car has a bench seat, other features of the SS were vinyl bucket seats with a floor console and a four-gauge cluster in place of engine warning lights.

We don’t know the circumstances of the accident that sidelined this car, but it has the feel of a multi-car pile-up. Other than the doors and hood, all the sheet metal on this Chevelle looks crunched. The entire car from the rear window back will need replacing and the gas tank is sitting loose and bent inside the trunk. The driver’s side front fender is a mess and both bumpers are toast. Somehow, the passenger side front fender may have escape harm. But the bigger question may be this: did the accident cause any structural damage to the vehicle? No photos of the undercarriage of the car are added to the extensive collection provided.

The interior is in beautiful condition, except for the carpeting which looks old, faded, and burned. And the driver’s seatback looks like it may have been broken in the collision. My opinion is that this car was approaching the finish line of a restoration when it was wrecked, and the owner just hadn’t gotten around to the carpet yet. It may be the photos selected, but the automatic transmission selector looks to be in Park, yet the lever is in the down position, which may mean the linkage was bent in the accident.

A thoroughly detailed 327 V8 looks to be sitting in what’s left of the engine compartment. It wears a fair amount of chrome bling, like the valve covers and air cleaner. The seller says the car runs, but I don’t know how. The radiator looks to have been shifted slightly in the accident and one of the fan belts is askew. If the engine is one of the main reasons for buying this car, you must wonder if it, too, has been damaged.

The seller says the car will come with a California Salvage Certificate, which tells me the insurance company has paid off the car. It’s not currently registered and if the buyer decides to restore the car, he’ll have the additional challenge of converting from salvage to a clean title. This car looks like it was on its way to becoming an auto worth north of $30-40,000 when misfortune arrived. The seller is looking to get nearly $10,000 out of it as-is. You’ll go through money awfully fast putting Humpty Dumpty together again.


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  1. Sam Shive

    They must have some GREAT DRUGS in California.

    Like 43
    • 8banger 8banger Member

      Ha! Like the ’56 a few spots up!

      Like 4
      • Gregory Mason

        I’d also want to see that Vin. Most ss 65 chevelle’s came with bucket seats, console. Gauges not idiot lights. I suspect it’s a 136 sport coupe with ss badging . If it’s a real ss the Vin would start with 138.

    • Tom

      Seriously! Is this really what it’s come to? Wow…

      Like 7
  2. Steve Clinton

    Homey, those ‘shrooms were the shiz!!!

    Like 14
  3. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    When I lived in New Jersey in the 1990s, I had a 1972 Buick Riviera boat tail that I had to convert from a salvage title to a regular title. Royal pain in the ass back then. Don’t know how it is now 25 years later.

    Like 11
    • Kim

      I don’t think it’s possible to clear a branded title today. I have a car that after a divorce ended up with all of the glass broken out. The insurance company bought the car and now even though the car is near perfect condition the title is “rebuilt” some states won’t even register a salvage or rebuilt title car. It’s all about the insurance company and not a potential unsuspecting buyer.

      Like 7
      • ErnieSC

        If you’re willing to spend the Money and make everything Perfect, NC DMV Will do a Stem to Stern Inspection for a Fee and if 100% Dafe, will issue a Clean Title.
        Not ALL BAD as some Insurance Comanies will Total a Car to save as little as $500.

        This one?

        Why? Just Why???

        Like 2
    • Reggie

      That Chevelle is at best a parts car. Oh, yeah someone will disagree on the basis that anything can be fixed. If it’s on EBay, they are testing the market and getting long-distance exposure.

  4. Ian C

    Somebody did a terrible job on on “fixing” those quarters.

    I say buy it at half the ask price, beat the rad support until the left headlamps will aim, and drive it as is.

    Like 11
  5. oilngas

    In Texas not a big deal. DPS looks it over and you are issued a re-conditioned title.
    I would bet somewhere in the story of this damage the owner said, “And that’s when she walked in and caught us.”

    Like 11
  6. DON

    If I were an insane buyer ,I guess one of my question would be – is it a real SS ? only so the vin #s could end up on another Chevelle. That’s the only way those numbers are going to be on the road again.
    Looking at the quarter panels they both seem to have been repaired with cheater panels at one time , and maybe not that well as they dont look like they got welded in completely ; this car may not be as original as it looks. The front seat looks like it was bent back from the rear hit, so even that’s trashed .Sad to say , but this car isnt rare enough to warrant all the work this car needs to be roadworthy again.

    Like 21
  7. Superdessucke

    Passenger front didn’t get hit!

  8. Hoss

    Was this car in the Demo Derby ?

    Like 31
  9. Mutt

    “It’s just a flesh wound”

    Like 22
    • ADM

      “I can fix this.”

      Like 1
  10. CCFisher

    The only way rebuilding this car would make sense is if it were a numbers-matching Z16, and even then, it would be a big challenge to get everything to line up properly. As an SS with a 327, it’s a tragic parts car.

    Like 13
  11. Steve R

    It’s an overpriced parts car. I parted out several cars back in the day, usually the same make and model as a project I was working on. There was an easy way I determined if a car was worth considering, I did a quick walk around adding up the value of the major components such as rear end, seats, console, engine, transmission etc., they needed to add up to the asking price. The “profit” was then made by selling the small parts, the $20-50 parts that nobody considers until they are restoring a car. At most, you pay 50% of the value of the parts, this is a $2,500 car, that is likely too generous.

    Steve R

    Like 32

    It is not an SS. The VIN listed begins 136, so it was a Malibu. Also note the bench seat. All SS’s had bucket seats in 64-65. Parts car at best, and not many good quality usable parts left either!

    Like 24
    • Chuck Dickinson

      SSs also had a floor shift/console. A de-chromed Malibu w/ SS emblems.

      Like 5
  13. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’ll take the discussion in a different direction. Most of the posts above deal with technical issues such as ability to restore, authenticity, value of parts, title, etc. My first thought was concerning the driver/owner. I hope he/she wasn’t hurt. Beyond that, it takes an emotional toll on the owner. Like other such situations in life, one probably doesn’t understand until one experiences it. I have– I lost a collector car under similar circumstances.

    Like 15
    • Howard A Member

      Thanks, Bob. If there ever was a reason NOT to drive your cherished ( 5 or 6 figure) classic on the street, here you go. Obviously an inattentive driver, (in a RAM 2500, get it, RAM?) stuffed it in the back, sending it into another vehicle. Got to be devastating, and I’m not sure what I’d do in a situation like that. 1st response would be to beat the snot out of the driver, but it’s someones loved one, and that’s the risk one takes today, I suppose.

      Like 10
  14. Daniel Wright

    Even $2500 is too generous. There is not a body panel that is not dented and we don’t know the status of the engine. This one is scrap and nothing more.

    Like 9
  15. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Steve R….
    Back in the 1990s when I was restoring a 1972 Buick Riviera, I bought a parts car for $100. All body and interior parts were straight, it just didn’t run.
    After stripping it for all the parts I needed, I sold the trunk lid for $100. Essentially getting the parts car and all those parts i needed for free. Then I sold a few more parts, making a small profit. When the parts car went to the junkyard it was basically just a shell.

    Like 8
  16. That Guy

    If this was a 60s Ferrari, a rebuild would make sense. It’s not, and it doesn’t. I’m sure it can yield a few grand’s worth of parts, assuming the driveline hasn’t suffered fatal damage which is far from assured. After that, I think the best thing for it would be to go out in a blaze of glory on the Destruction Derby field.

    Like 3
  17. Jamie

    This car was hit A LOT harder than tou think. The rear has been pulled back to downplay the severity of the impact. Like most people have said, it’s strictly a parts car. What a shame.

    Like 11
    • Jamie

      I also think that it was a lot crustier than assumed as well. Looking at the eBay ad the passenger quarter peeled away from the inner wheel well revealing a not so good job. Other spots on the car suggest a lipstick and mascara job too. Might not be worth it as a parts car either. Boat anchor motor and trans and everything else all jacked up from the accident leans more toward a full on scrap out.

      Like 8
  18. Mark P

    Back in the 70’s I worked on a car for about 2yrs, ready for paint and the night before it was going to be painted a buddy was doing a burnout and lost control and whacked the front end really hard. A junkyard nose later and it was painted. We won’t even go into the other “friend” that borrowed it later and somehow got into reverse while beating on it, then left it in the parking lot where I work like nothing happened for me to come out to after work.

    Like 3
  19. local_sheriff

    Decodes to an 8cyl Malibu coupe. Despite it’s current Cali location it’s interesting to note it was built at the Atlanta, GA plant. It’s a really sorry sight particularly as I’m very fond of these earliest Chevelles and it’s also wearing my favorite solid color. Probably was a very nice driver prior to the accident, sadly the potential of incidents like this is what we have to take into account when we decide to enjoy our classics.

    Hoping owner is well and that he/she was well covered by the insurance company – as mentioned above this ’65 will never drive again 😢

    Like 7
  20. jimmyx

    Sorry, but once a title in California is branded salvage, there is no such thing as converting it to clean again. It can be cleared for road use after certain inspections are completed, but it is still retains a salvage title.

    Like 5
    • CaCarDude

      Correct you are Jimmyx, I was going to bring that up also and you beat me to it. Seeing this yellow mess that used to be a nice looking Chevelle reminded me so much of a new ford Pinto my wife at the time (my ex after ’76) and I bought in 1972. It was also light yellow and how coincidental that Rancho Cordova is just 10 miles or so from downtown Sac where my wife lost control going on a freeway on ramp in the rain and hit/bounced of every corner of the car totaling it out. She did the pinball dance off the onramp walls, quite the site when she finally came to a stop.
      Our insurance came thru on it and she suffered no major injury. That little Pinto folded up like a tin can for sure.

      Sadly this listed Chevelle is going to be a donor car at best and will never see the road again as mentioned by others.

      Like 2
  21. AMCFAN

    The salvage title ruins the car. Once repaired and taken to a state inspection facility you will get the paperwork to take to the BMV to convert to Salvaged or Rebuilt title. Once branded it is forever after this point. If it was worth keeping the owner would have bought it back for a small percentage. The body and title are ruined forever.

    Like 6
  22. erik johnston

    it would make no since to even think of a repair,Sounds like it not even a ss. That car got wacked beyond words. very little in parts.$1000 at best,

    Like 6
  23. BillyBo

    Looks like my MiL took it for a spin…

    Like 5
  24. Craigo

    An overly optimistic write up

    Like 4
  25. lEMAN

    did they mean $9.90 because that is all this junker would be worth

    Like 3
  26. Doug

    Patch panels on the rear quarters on a CA car? I suspect it came from somewhere else first. Too many parts to replace unless you just like spending your extra time on it .

  27. Cadmanls Member

    Fishing, so says OBO offer 2500. Has discs all around, rear and motor are probably usable. I am in Fl cost to return with parts is too high.

  28. 64 Bonneville

    back half it, then front half it, be sure to put on a frame machine before taking anything off it. $100,000 later you will have an imitation 65 Chevelle SS

    Like 4
  29. Kevin

    What a shame, hopefully it was insured for a good amount, I wonder if punks stole it,and trashed the hell out of it,just out of spite!!,donor car,at best,it will never be the same again, without spending a fortune, way more than its worth!

  30. DuesenbergDino

    Assuming you have a rust free donor rear end this car could be “clipped” in about 2 days time. Set it up on frame machine. Remove windshield, cut A pillar, cut rocker, floor, and other rocker and pull back half off. Prep both halves, line up and weld. Fenders are simple to replace along with core support. In the 70’s and early 80’s this was standard heavy collision 101. It’s a lot of measurements and planning plus dropping rear axle, etc. 2 guys kicking butt could knock this car out in a week. I’ve done probably 100-125 of these type hits and it’s actually exciting bringing them back into specs. The problem remains it’s just a basic car, not high end or rare so the BIN price needs to be realistic. Like $1000 for starters.

    Like 7
  31. ChrisK

    Shouldn’t a ‘Super Sport’ trim include bucket seats?

    They should call this place ‘Bench Finds’ instead of Barn Finds!

  32. Ron Daily

    The frame is bent, look at the way the engine sit in the engine bay. Maybe the RT door can be saved. Even the bench seat is twisted. If this was a Porsche 356, I t would be worth that but as a tarted up Malibu, I don’t think I would be interested.

    Like 1
  33. Comet

    This mess appears to have been a resurrected rust bucket prior to the 360 degrees of body damage. The pictures reveal what appears to be patch panels, and an incredible amount of body filler. As to the question of possible structural damage. The door and panel gaps, as well as the engine leaned over leave no doubt about structural damage.

    Like 3
  34. JagManBill

    too bad Dynacorn doesn’t do early Chevelle bodies. Really…this looks like it was on track somewhere and lost it, spun backwards into the wall then that snapped it around and hit the nose. Still..someones loss.

  35. Mountainwoodie

    Theres not much left to say..well…….. maybe those wheels……..they gotta go…

  36. Gary James Lehman

    George Mattar–why would you make a comment like that??

    Like 5
  37. Harvickfan4

    Unfortunately, It’s all over ,interior parts, dash, glass, engine and transmission, rear end. Scrap the rest


    Get that on a jig in an old school body shop and most can be fixed. Great project for someone with the knowledge.

  39. Richard Pyle

    Not a chance maybe 15.00tops better off being a parts car

  40. Scott

    How did this rude comment get approved for posting on this forum? Whoever allowed it to be posted should be ashamed of themselves. You should too, George. No class!

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