Stored Since ’78: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS

I quit running a couple of years ago, just to preserve my original joints – knees, ankles, etc. Too many friends and relatives were having knee replacement surgery and I wanted to keep all of my original parts as long as I could. This 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS hasn’t run since 1978 so it’s got a few years of inactivity on me. This dusty but super desirable car can be found here on craigslist in Midland, Washington, just south of Tacoma. The seller wants a firm $9,999.99 for it.

That grille and those triple-popped round taillights are my favorite. 1965 is my personal favorite year Chevy Impala and that this one is a Super Sport is even better. The seller says that this is an original owner car so I’m not sure if they’re selling it for the original owner or they bought it from the original owner or what the story is. It’s decked out with all sorts of lights and horns, for some reason. It looks cool and is certainly interesting, but I’m guessing most people would remove those lights – or most of them.

There are more lights on the rear package shelf. I’m all for safety so if they’re extra brake lights, that’s cool. I might go for a tiny, subtle LED third light at the very top of the inside of the rear window, but that’s just me. The fourth-generation Chevrolet Impala was made for the 1965 through 1970 model years and the 1965 redesign was so popular that Chevrolet sold more than a million of them in the US. They show the original spinner wheel covers in the trunk, nice. They also show a photo of a dent in the LF fender and they mention rust under the vinyl top near the lower corners. They added “custom cabin vents” which I’m assuming are those things on the tops of the quarter panels.

You can see that some things inside look great, like the dash, gauges, and pedals. I really wish that they had included more photos, but that’s always the case. This car has a 4-speed which should have been an M20 Muncie. I can’t zoom in enough to be able to tell what the extra buttons and gauges on the dash are for, do any of you know?

You can see a variety of horns around this big block Chevrolet 396 cubic-inch V8 which had 325 hp. They say that it has flat tappet cam lobe wear and it’ll need belts, hoses, and also a cam. It won’t be cheap to restore this car, would you do that or fix what needs fixing and drive it as it looks now?

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  1. flmikey

    This car’s got more horns than Louis Armstrong…I think those controls below the heater controls are for the stereo…I think it was called retro-sound…this car needs love, and I am sure it will get it…very nice find…

    Like 10
    • lc

      AM FM Radio Multiplex Stereo- front to rear fader, balance, volume and tone…. very cool piece indeed!

      Like 10
      • On and On On and On Member

        Indeed. I’ve been looking for one too for my 65 Corvair. If anyone knows of one, please contact me.

        Like 4
    • Ralph

      Reverb from what I recall.

      Like 7
  2. Superdessucke

    My mom had a ’65 back in the mid-1970s. It was a 283 sedan, not an SS coupe like this. I distinctly remember the green “cold” light that would stay on until the car warmed up. I always thought that was kind of cool. This of course won’t have that as it’s got the optional gauges, which includes the temperature gauge. I was actually kind of disappointed when I saw that, as it would be awesome to have that green light on as the Rat motor loped along cold.

    Like 5
  3. Skorzeny

    Even if the frame is rough, this is an SS (verify) with a manual… It’ll be saved. Doesn’t seem to be a bad price given the photos. I would worry about what any previous owner did with the wiring, I have seen some really bad do-it-to-yourselfer wiring…

    Like 8
  4. Ralph

    I think the box on the top of the dash may be an early radar detector.

    Like 3
  5. PaulG

    This should be taken back to stock (losing 90 pounds of stuff) and repainted. Fix the 396 and roll…
    The lights on the package tray are likely turn signals. Kind of a ’70’s for older guys.

    Like 5
  6. mike b

    What, no CB?

    Like 6
    • Howard Kerr

      Actually, one of the “boxes” under the dash appears to be a CB radio, as there is a hole in the lower left of that box that looks like a microphone input jack.

      Like 4
  7. Weasel

    I’ve been told that all those lights make a car faster. This thing must scream. Lights make you cool.

    I’d just round up to $10,000 as tens, fives, ones and pennies kinda blow to deal with.

    Blocking out the plates is always a good move…very safe. Kudos to the “original” owner for doing that.

    Like 2
    • Lance

      It is not possible to trace an address in Washington State from the license plate number. When you go to the DOT site to renew your tabs and put in all of the info required all you get is a question asking if you still live at the address where you renewed tabs last year. And you have to know the last name of the owner to even get that.

      Like 2
  8. Dusty Stalz

    It’s hilarious that they felt the need to blank out the license plate LOL.

    Like 6
  9. Will Fox

    Sorry, I’d put my $9,999. towards a cleaner `65 but hey–that’s me. I’m sure there’s another 396/4-speed somewhere.

    Like 7
    • frank daloia

      will i have a 1966?with a396 4speedi have ben driving it.has a 4 speed i has lot of parts that go with it car isnt bad runs and drives 396 4speed needs paint and other work . i will take11,000 for it. let me know frank

      • Clipper

        No bueno offering your own vehicle for sale on someone else’s ad…click and post it.

        Like 1
  10. Joseph Defelice

    I see what looks like red lights behind the grille. Maybe the original owner was a fireman? The horns and all the lights tell me he went places in a hurry…

    Like 8
    • Angrymike

      In my town there was a guy that owned a towing company, and he would race to accident scenes to take pictures, I don’t know if it was for the police or not. We kids always thought he was kind of a sicko that liked nasty accidents. The owner of this might have used it for the same basic stuff.

      Like 6
  11. Buffalo Bob

    Somebody had a JCWhitney catalog and waaaaay too much time on his hands.

    Like 19
  12. lawrence f kniveton

    Ouu, Scotty, I know exactly what you mean with the orthopedic issues. Long distance runner for 35 years, had to quit at age 51, right knee couldn’t hold up any longer. Still all original and numbers matching. I can’t gripe about it though, got a lot of good miles out of my legs and they’re still serving me well. Hiking and biking is an excellent alternative. Presidential Range in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is my preferred destination.

    Like 4
  13. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Growing up, I used to put fog lights on my model cars (and trucks). Thought it looked cool. I must have learned that from somewhere….

    Joseph Defelice: Your post reminded me of a family story. Back in the day, there was a volunteer fireman who lived close to my house. Let me say I have plenty of respect for these volunteers, and this guy took it real serious. He had a black 1962 Impala which had quite the array of lights, horns, and sirens– you instantly knew when he was on a call. For the local volunteer fleet he was “Car 8”. Ever since, when my wife or I see a vehicle with extra lights or looks like some sort of government vehicle we call it a “Car 8”, and both of us know what we mean.

    Like 9
    • Howard Kerr

      My aunt and uncle were life long Chevy fans and in 1965 they bought an Impala convertible….the only time they would ever own a convertible. Their’s was this same white and black color scheme, though which V8 it had, I couldn’t tell you. They owned that car less than a year. My aunt was driving her daughter and several of her friends when she had a blow out at “highway speeds”. My aunt was so freaked by the possibility of flipping that car with several kids in it and the lot of them being crushed that they quickly traded it.
      (For those who have never had a blow out with a car rolling on bias ply tires….well, at speed it is scary.)

      Like 4
  14. 370zpp

    JCWhitney and also looks like a few trips to Radio Shack; Quadrophonic/equalizing under dash madness.

    Like 4
  15. Lydel Neer

    By looking at the one picture where part of the plate is showing it looks like an Oregon plate.

    Like 1
  16. Chuck

    Wheel covers pictured are not what came on my 65 SS.

    Like 1
    • local_sheriff

      Not very strange – the 5 wheel covers in the trunk are ’64-’66 OE simulated wire wheel covers. Popular dealer installed upgrade on fullsize Chevs regardless of series

      Like 4
  17. Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

    If nothing else that there is a fine collection of mid century modern tachometers.

    Like 3
  18. Roger

    I would verify the VIN to confirm it’s a factory SS car being the dash trim is simulated wood grain as the SS cars were stainless metal.

    Like 2
  19. David Montanbeau

    In 1968, I was 16 and bought a 1965 Impala SS convertible. Triple black, 409 400 4 speed. Car had 20k miles. 400.00 on a payment plan. I was 16 working part time at 3 jobs. Good times!!

    Like 13
    • Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

      In 1968, I was forcibly removed from someplace warm and cozy only to immediately get smacked on my but and sent on my way. When I turned 16 I tried like the dickens to buy a 1969 Charger. My dad let me stay in the Mopar family by steering me to a 1978 Plymouth Sapporo.

      Automatic. 🥺

      I have no idea why I’m bringing this all up. I just come here for the free doughnuts.

  20. Clipper

    I always liked this year Impala. My parents had a blue ’65 when I was born — and I later picked up a red 65 SS when I was a teenager to have fun with (mid-80s). It was shown at local car shows. One day while waiting to make a left-hand turn a car plowed into the rear — and pushed my Impala into the trunk of the car in front of me. My now-shorter “limpala” was able to still drive off to a side street under its own power for safety. The other two (far newer) cars were completely totaled. Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt (and mine had seat belts). I restored the SS completely.

    Like 7
  21. Gaspumpchas

    This one has all the goodies. Wash state is usually kind to the cars, but do check the frame as these were a huge problem. Got my 66 impala.good luck. 396 4 speed whats not to love.

    Like 5
  22. Mike. Akerman

    Lower bumpers are nice add on as most 65s did not have these. I found a new set at swap meet about 30 years ago and put them on a 65 I bought off an elderly lady whose husband got for her new. It seems one day after he passed it quit on her and she bought a new chevy and had a new set of points installed and stored in it her barn. I happened to drive by and noticed one board missing from barn door , and saw this nice front end of soon to be mine 65 Impala 283 powerglide 2 door white . I took it home put some gaskets in rocker covers , replaced some wheel cylinders and after much cleaning went and took the lady for a ride in the car her late husband bought her as a gift. Out of all the cars I’ve found bought traded in my life , I never felt the emotion I felt when she saw her car. Later on I was hounded by a guy I went to school with and it was exactly like his first car. I eventually sold it to him and always regretted it. Those were the days my friends.

    Like 6
  23. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Could also been a “wide load” support vehicle out in front or behind big truckers in transit of big loads…..neat car….

    Like 1
  24. George Louis

    Question: Was it 1965 or 1966 when Chevrolet had a recall for faulty engine mounts?

    Like 1
    • Clipper

      “On December 4, 1971, General Motor (GM) announced it would recall over 6.68 million 1965-70 Chevrolets with defective engine mounts. The recall covered 1965-69 full-size Chevrolets, 1965-69 Chevy II’s and Novas, 1967-69 Camaros, and 1965-70 Chevrolet/GMC light trucks, all with V8 engines.”

      Like 2
  25. Gaspumpchas

    Yep this was a novel defect, had busted mounts on a 68 impala, The engine shifted, the throttle went to the floor, and the vacuum line on the power brake booster pulled out, making stopping this beast difficult. Talk about hitting the trifecta. had to shut the mill off and jump up and down on the brakes.

    Like 1
  26. 409 Jim

    The box under the dash is a Multiplex. The car also has a AM-FM radio to go with it.

    • Clipper

      I had to look up “multiplex” (this owner REALLY liked his auto accessories!)… “When FM stereo was being introduced around 1960, some FM tuners and receivers had connections for an optional FM multiplex decoder. This was a separate unit that would take the signal from the FM detector, decode the stereo signal, and output two stereo channels. On some systems, a stereo amp was already in place, on others, you needed to buy another amplifier channel and speaker if you wanted stereo. If you have a small unit plugged into your FM multiplex jacks, that’s the decoder. If nothing is plugged in there, you have a mono system. The term “multiplex” simply means “multiple channels at once” (in this case two, of course).” -Tom Albrecht, antique radio forums

      Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        I bought one, AM/FM stereo multiplex out of a wrecked 1966 Caprice in 1967 from a junk yard across the street from JC Whitney in Chicago for $40 (a lot then for a 16y/o) to put in my first car, a 57 Chevy. It was awesome sounding, I put in new large speakers front and rear and had the best auto sound in High School. Again, looking for another one for my 1965 Corvair convertible. They are worth some cash.

        Like 1
  27. frank daloia

    i love all the emails of classic cars. my first car was a 65 corvair convertible had a 327 in it. had a 3 speed. loved the car bought the car before i could drive needed a littlle body work. sold car to one of my teachers made a bunch i have 40 years in the body shop buissness. would like to do that car. sold it to soon. i have now a 66 corvette convertible-a 66 corvette coupe-a 66 mustang coupe a 65 mustang coupe a 69 cutlass 2door a37 plymouth coupe with chevy v8 i have been doing auto body work for about 42 years.i had a 49 chevy coupe. was blue with white top. ihave apile of old motorcycles harleys indians and many parts..

  28. Miguel

    Could this car possibly be worth $10,000 in this condition?

    Has anybody ever seen any 1965 Chevy bring big money, ever?

    • steve

      I don’t see it, but people pay crazy money for stuff now apparently.

    • Jesse Mortensen Staff

      The price does seek high, but then again, it’s a SS 396 convertible. Hagerty values a #1 at $48k and a #4 at $15k.

      • Clipper


      • Miguel

        This looks like a fastback to me.

        Like 1

    here is a story about how stupid i was, back in the mid 70’s my wife calls me and says this lady has a 66 impala for sale cheap just wants it out of her yard. i drive down and it’s a 396 ss automatic running driving car in very nice shape, paid $200 for it and drove it home. a couple years pass and my kid brother in law wwas almost 16 and was going to get his permit, he had fallen in love with the 66 the first time he saw it, sold it to him for a pair of bias ply studded snow tires my sister in law was selling at her garage sale for $10. he bought them for $8. made his day and i really enjoyed the look on his face when he got to drive it the first time down the road. looking back should of held onto it but the look he had on his face was priceless.

  30. George Louis

    To: Mike Reading :
    i can also share a How dumb I was Story when I was younger. I had purchased a 1967 Plymouth Barracuda coupe for $1200.00 . The car had 29950 miles on it when i purchased it in 1978. The car had a 225 six cylinder engine ,auto transmission, black interior, black vinyl top . I drove the car until I turned 70,000 miles and a good friend of mine had a sixteen year old nephew he wanted to get a car for . He asked if I would sell the cuda to him. I did and boy was that a MISTAKE!!!! This kid did not know what he had nor did he appreciate the car. He did his best to tear this car up!! Smashed the front end. Got hit in the rear end. Tore up the interior , cut up the dash to put a stereo in it just a butcher job at that. When I saw the car six months later I was speachless and so discussted that I let that car go. Oh yeah the color of it was that 1963 Dodge Tan .

  31. frank daloia

    sorry, it is a hardtop


    at least you say how stupid i was, i still is, turning 67 tomorrow andd still get in one of my moods and say put it out to the road, get rid of it. i’ve sold many a good driver car just because i get in that mood.

  33. George Louis

    To :Mike Reading: Happy Birthday and many more of them!!!!

    Like 1

    to george louise thank you, sir, time went by very fast

  35. Clipper

    I always thought the triple-round taillights on a 1965 Impala were “concentrated awesome!” Of course they changed it the next year.

  36. Tom Cathey

    If it’s an L78 it would be worth it. (verified of course) Tilt wheel also. I’d like to have that steering column for my SS.

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