1965 Chevelle SS
The Chevelle, introduced first in 1964, was Chevy’s answer to the Ford Fairlane. A mid-sized, mid-priced car, the Chevelle proved to be popular for its entire run. One thing that made it such a good seller for the company is the fact that it came in so many different varieties. In the ‘60s, buyers could get nearly any body style, and could choose from low-end to high-end trim levels. And, of course, the Chevelle also included a performance package, the Super Sport.
The 1965 Chevelle SS is an icon of the era of the American muscle car. With Pontiac putting out its impressive GTO, and Oldsmobile the Cutlass 442, Chevy needed its own performance model. The SS package came attached to the upscale trim option on the Chevelle, the Malibu. The 1965 Chevelle SS came with a Malibu SS badge. The option was available on the two-door hardtop coupe and the convertible.
For the 1965 Chevelle SS, updates included a lowered profile and a couple of added inches, along with an extended hood and a grille with a V shape. On the inside, the cars got new vinyl bucket seats. Under the hood, the SS was powered by Chevy’s small block V8, the 327-cubic inch engine with 350 horsepower. The 1965 Chevelle SS was also the first model in which the 396-cubic inch V8 became an option. Chevy put it into just 200 Z16 models and the engine got a whopping 375 horsepower.
The 396 engine proved a popular choice for the 1965 Chevelle SS, and it stuck around for a while as the standard engine in the SS396. The regular old SS was still available, and still popular with its small block 327-cubic inch V8, but only the 396 could really compete with the large-displacement engines of the GTO, 442, and even the Buick Skylark Gran Sport.