65 impala ss

65 impala ss DEFAULT

We’re guessing here that this 1965 Chevy Impala SS is wearing a Mist Blue paint job — another one of those hues not seen on today’s new cars. Chevy offered 15 solid colors on its full-sized 1965 cars, along with nine two-tone combinations. Check out the chart below, and you’ll see three blues, two greens, and two turquoises, along with black, white, maroon, orchid (!), red, tan, beige, gray, and yellow. Interiors were just as colorful, and you had six different engines to choose from and six transmissions. This blue convertible was seen a few years ago in Niawanda Park in the City of Tonawanda (home of the RealRides corporate headquarters).

Jim Corbran, RRofWNY

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Car of the Week: 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS 396

By Brian Earnest

Dennis Sherman can laugh about it now. He almost returned his beloved 1965 Chevrolet Impala SS hardtop when it wasn’t delivered as he had ordered it. He admits now that would have probably been one of the biggest mistakes of his life.

“After I ordered it, they called me about a week later and said, ‘You might not get your car.’ I about had a heart attack. They said, ‘They shut off our orders in midstream, and your order might have been in it.’ Well, it finally did come in at the end of August or early September, but wasn’t exactly the way I ordered it. I wanted the 4.11 gearing, because I wanted to go street racing. But the car had a 3.31… So I actually let the car sit on the lot for almost a month. I wanted them to change it out, but they wouldn’t do it.

“It got to the point where they said, ‘You’re taking the car or we will sell it to somebody else.’ So I took it, and it never really worked out for street racing, but it’s been a godsend in a way because everybody else was getting 7, 8 mph and I was getting maybe 13, 14 with that 3.31, so that probably saved the car for me. That’s probably the reason I still have it.”

Indeed, not only does Sherman, a resident of Fort Wayne, Ind., still have the car, the full-size muscle monster has become a bit of a celebrity in Chevrolet circles — not only due to the fact that it was a bit of a rarity with its options selections, but the fact that it is an unrestored, one-owner, almost entirely original L-78 SS with a paltry 29,000-plus miles on the odometer. The Impala was supposed to be a car for Sherman to rip around in with his buddies, then became a daily driver for a short time, and now has graduated into a popular show car that has been a hit at events like Bloomington Gold and Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN).

The car is so pristine, even many of the little maintenance-type items are still original: fan belt, rubber seals and gaskets, weather stripping, brakes, plug wires and windshield wipers. “Even the washer fluid in the bottle,” Sherman points out. “I’ve been fortunate. We’ve put in a lot of effort to keep it that way, but we’ve been fortunate that way, too.”

The idea of keeping such a car for more than five decades certainly wasn’t on Sherman’s mind when he first started looking around for some new wheels when he turned 18. He was hoping to find something that would keep up with his car buddies and had caught wind of a new engine that Chevrolet was launching. The 396 sounded like it was right up his alley.

“I saw the engine was coming out and was reading about in the hot rod magazines and Car Craft and it seemed really intriguing to me,” he says. “I worked on my friend’s 409 and it was good engine, but you couldn’t get any RPM out of it. This new engine I thought, wow, that’s pretty cool. I remember I had to give a speech about it in one of my college classes. I just became enamored with it, and then a friend of mine had bought one an early ’65 — one of the first ones out in an Impala — and I got to drive the car and it was just amazing. I thought, well, I was looking at new vehicles anyhow. I had just graduated from high school and was working and knew I had some income. I started looking and kind of had my eyes on a Corvette, but my wife [Rose] — she was my girlfriend at time — she’s short and when she sat down in the Corvette she had a hard time getting out of it … And the Corvette wasn’t really practical as an everyday driver, anyway.

“So I went to check out the Impala and I just loved the lines of the new car. I fell in love with the way it looked. We were looking clear into July, and we had four Chevy dealerships in our area, and each one of them told me I couldn’t that engine in an Impala, couldn’t get that engine in an Impala … But I finally got one of them to say yes and I specially ordered the car exactly the way I wanted it: L-78 396/425 hp; no power brakes; no air conditioning; no power on anything but the engine. I just thought that engine had the performance and durability and was the way to go. I traded in a ’58 Chevy Impala convertible on it. Sometimes I wish I still had that car, too!”

After the car Impala SS arrived with the more pedestrian 3.31 gearing, Sherman decided he would have to be satisfied with a really cool new daily driver and turn another car into his stoplight drag car, and that’s what he did. The big new ’65 became his daily transportation for about a year, but a confluence of events soon relegated it to a weekend toy and hobby car.

“When we couldn’t get Sonoco 260 [racing fuel], we pretty much backed off driving it,” he says. “It just didn’t run right on regular pump gas. And we had other things to drive.

“I actually drove it to work that first year, then the second year I got married and went to work on Feb. 6 and we had a slippery wet snowstorm and a ’66 Plymouth Belvedere slid into the back end and put a little mark on it … My wife got all panicky about us driving it in winter and I said, ‘Well, that’s the last time that car is ever going to see snow, and it’s been in the garage ever since.”


The SS package started life as a midyear option for the full-sized Chevrolet in 1961. It became a lot more available in ’62 and by ’63-’64, the Impala SS was a high-performance icon. In ’65, the SS played a major role in Chevy’s big-car efforts. Chevrolet’s full-size 1965 model was curvier and larger than its counterparts of 1963-1964. It gained nearly 4 inches of length, although using the same 119-inch wheelbase. Curb weights rose more than 125 lbs. over 1964 for most models.

The Impala SS models were in their own separate series for the first time in 1965. The V-8 sport coupe sold for $2,947 and weighed 3,570 lbs. The counterpart convertible was priced at $3,212 and weighed 3,645 lbs.

The 409-cid V-8 came in 340- and 400-hp versions. The more powerful one was available with a Muncie four-speed manual transmission. It had an 11.0:1 compression ratio. However, the 340-hp engine was a better seller by far and is the one that Car and Driver tested. This engine featured a single four-throat Rochester carburetor and a 10.0:1 compression ratio. In the 4,200-lb. test car it provided 0.83 hp per pound.

Equipped with a Powerglide automatic transmission and 3.31:1 final gear ratio, the 340-hp Impala SS sport coupe did 0-to-60 in 8 seconds flat. It took all of 16.4 seconds to scoot down the quarter-mile at 91 mph.

The top of the heap, though, was the L-78 SS 396, which was conservatively rated — in many folks’ experience and opinions, anyway — at 425 horses. The 396 big-block was part of the GM options list from 1965-’70. It was installed in 1,838 full-size Chevys (Bel Air, Biscayne and Impala) that first year, in addition to 2,157 Corvettes. The following year, it was available only in the Chevelle and El Camino, making the ’65 L-78 Impalas one-year wonders.

This is not to say that all Impala Super Sports were performance cars. Continuing a practice that started with the ’62 models, you could get either a sport coupe or convertible with SS markings and an incongruous six-cylinder engine.

The SS was noted by its bright wheelhouse moldings (without bright lower body moldings); Super Sport front fender script; black-filled rear cove band with Impala SS badge at right; and a similar badge on the radiator grille, at the left. Specific Super Sport full wheel covers were used. The SS interior featured full carpeting; all-vinyl trim with front bucket seats and bright seatback outline moldings; combination vinyl and carpet door trim (with bright accents); foam cushions; courtesy lights; SS identification on the door panels; and a console with a built-in, Rally-type clock. A vacuum gauge was standard as well.

For the year, Chevrolet sold more than 1 million Impalas on its way a model year production total of 2,382,509 vehicles.


You don’t need many fingers to count the number of things that Sherman has done to his Impala beyond washing it and changing the oil. He’s swapped in a new battery; put in an “Aoogah” horn, just because he likes it; added an eight-track player and Sun Tach; replaced six different light bulbs around the car; replaced the radiator hoses and cap; replaced the tires and shocks; put in a new right rear exhaust resonator; and replaced the pressure plate and clutch. “Other than that, it’s never been apart,” he says. “The interior is all original. The engine has never been apart. People look at the engine and say I should repaint the engine, but that would devalue it. The only thing on there that has been painted is the water pump.”

He can also name the seven different people that have driven the car in the past 55 years. One of them was his dad — “I was 18 years old so he had to co-sign the loan, and he said if he had to sign the loan then he got to drive it!” — and two of them were mechanics who drove the car in and out of the shop back when it was under warranty. Suffice to say that Sherman doesn’t had over the keys to just anybody.

Of course, he hasn’t babied the big Chevy every day of its life, either. The car wasn’t quick off the line, but the speedometer needle had to move a long way to max out, as Sherman found out occasionally during his young and foolish days.

“I shouldn’t be telling you this, but car has seen 85 [mph] in first gear,” he says sheepishly. “I was 18 back then, and you feel like the car is almost invincible. It was stupid, I know, but I got it up to 8 grand on the tach. Not just once or twice, either. But a handful of times … I would take it out to see if the engine was running just right and adjusting the lifters, and to do that I would rev it up to 75, 80 in first year. I’ve double-clutched this car and laid rubber at 55 with a friend in the car. I had the car up to probably 140 and got scared because it started to float. You feel like you don’t have very much control.”

But that kind of top end speed never made Sherman inclined to take the Impala SS to the track, however. It wasn’t quick enough out of the blocks for his liking, and the thought of breaking anything on his big red beauty queen wasn’t too appealing, either. “Once I found out it didn’t have the gear to come off the line, I wasn’t really interested in racing,” he says. “It’s got the M21 Muncie close-ratio, and that first gear is a higher gear. And with the 3.31, you put those together and it’s like starting out in second gear with most cars. If you come out hard, you burn out your tires. If you wanted to enter one of those burnout contests, that’s what it would be good for.”

After one year as a daily driver, Sherman says the car became pretty much a “Sunday” car. He insists at that he wasn’t trying to preserve the car for the rest of his days, but “it started to evolve into that. I had guys start saying this might be worth something, and I had guys make some offers to buy it back then. But it became just like a member of the family and we started really taking care of it. It just kind of became our baby.”

Sherman jokes that even if he wanted to turn the glorious SS back into his daily driver, even for a short time, it would be hard to afford the cost. “I run straight racing fuel — Sunoco or whatever is available locally. The last few years it’s been about $9 a gallon. Last time I got some it was $9.50 a gallon! We drive it maybe 200 miles a year now, so I can handle that. It sill runs great, no knocking or pinging.”

Sherman says the car gets treated a bit like royalty when he has it on display at MCACN and the other big shows he has attended with it. He laments that the car doesn’t always get appreciated for its rarity and condition at smaller local events, but the more educated and sophisticated muscle car crowd showers the car with plenty of attention when it appears.

“One guy walked up to me one time and handed me his card and said, “I will be the next owner of this car,” Sherman laughs. “He didn’t even ask a price.”

So has he ever been close to selling?

“Mmmm, no. Not close [laughs]. It would take a lot of money to pry it out of my hands, probably more than it’s worth because of the sentimental value to me. I’ve got less than $4,000 in the car, so I’m not going to lose any money on it no matter when I sell it. My son says when I die he’s going to put the car in the ground with me.”


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Chevrolet Impala (fourth generation)

This article is about the fourth-generation Chevrolet Impala. For general Impala information, see Chevrolet Impala.

Motor vehicle

Chevrolet Impala (fourth generation)
1965 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport Coupe (1).JPG

1965 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport Coupe

ManufacturerChevrolet (General Motors)
Model years1965–1970
  • United States: (main plant)
  • Flint, Michigan (Flint Assembly)
  • (branch assembly)
  • Arlington, Texas, (Arlington Assembly)
  • Atlanta, Georgia, (Lakewood Assembly)
  • South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)
  • Framingham, Massachusetts (Framingham Assembly)
  • Janesville, Wisconsin, (Janesville Assembly)
  • Norwood, Ohio, (Norwood Assembly)
  • St. Louis, Missouri (St. Louis Assembly)
  • Sleepy Hollow, New York, (North Tarrytown Assembly)
  • Lordstown, Ohio, (Lordstown Assembly)
  • Wilmington, Delaware, (Wilmington Assembly)
  • Canada:Oshawa, Ontario (Oshawa Car Assembly)
  • Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, (Sainte-Thérèse Assembly)
  • Australia[2][3]
Body style2-door convertible
2-door hardtop (Custom Coupe)
2-door hardtop (Sport Coupe)
4-door hardtop (Sport Sedan)
4-door sedan
4-door station wagon (65-68: Impala, 69-70: Kingswood)
LayoutFR layout
RelatedChevrolet Caprice
Chevrolet Bel Air
Chevrolet Biscayne
Chevrolet Kingswood
Chevrolet Townsman
Chevrolet Brookwood
Engine250 cu in (4.1 L)
Wheelbase119 in (3,023 mm)[4]
Length213.2 in (5,415 mm) (sedan/coupe)
212.4 in (5,395 mm) (wagon)
Width79.9 in (2,029 mm)
Height54.4–56.7 in (1,382–1,440 mm)
PredecessorChevrolet Impala (third generation)
SuccessorChevrolet Impala (fifth generation)

The Chevrolet Impala (fourth generation) are full-size automobiles produced by Chevrolet for the 1965 through 1970 model years. The 1965 Impala was all new, while the 1967 and 1969 models featured new bodies on the same redesigned perimeter frame introduced on the 1965 models. All Impalas of this generation received annual facelifts as well, distinguishing each model year. Throughout the early 1960s, Chevrolet's basic body designs became increasingly subtle, while the bright trim that was part of the Impala package added more than a touch of luxury to the look. The same pattern was followed in the interiors, where the best materials and equipment Chevrolet had to offer were displayed. In short, the Impala was on its way to becoming a kind of junior-grade Cadillac, which, for both the company and its customers, was just fine.[5]



1965 Impala four-door sedan
Interior of a 1965 Impala sedan

Totally redesigned in 1965, the Impala set an all-time industry annual sales record of more than 1 million units in the U.S.; which has never been bettered. The new full-size Chevys featured dramatically rounded sides, and an all-new front end with new hood contours, curved, frameless side glass (for pillarless models), and sharper angled windshield with newly reshaped vent windows. Sport Coupes wore a sleek semi-fastback roofline, and wheel well moldings were revised. Chevrolet promoted the cars' Wide-Stance design, adhesively bonded windshield, and improved full-coil suspension. A two-tone instrument panel put gauges in a recessed area ahead of the driver. The "X" frame was dropped for a new Girder-Guard full-width perimeter frame which reduced the size of the inside driveline tunnel and redesigned suspension. Two-range Powerglide, as well as Synchro-Mesh 3- and 4-speed manual transmissions were available. The Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmission was offered for the first time. As with previous years, Impalas featured more chrome trim inside and out, with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels plus simulated walnut trim on the lower instrument panel.

Engine choices included the inline six-cylinder as well as the famous Chevy small-block and big-block V8s. Automatic transmission buyers were given the option of the newly introduced three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic for the newly introduced Mark IV big-block engine, displacing 396 cubic inches. The old 409-cubic-inch (6.7 L) "W" engine was discontinued early in the 1965 model year, so early-production '65s got the 409, available only in four-barrel 340 and 400 horsepower options. The new 396 Turbo Jet V8 was the first General Motors engine to receive the Rochester Quadra-Jet four-barrel carburetor that would become a mainstay until the early 1980s. The new 396 was available as a 325-horsepower version with 10.25 to 1 compression ratio and hydraulic lifters or a high-performance version with 11 to 1 compression ratio, solid lifters and 425 horsepower.

For $200, an Impala four-door Sport Sedan could be transformed into an Impala Caprice establishing a name destined for decades of life. Referenced as Regular Production Option Z18, the Caprice option group included a black-out grille, vinyl top with Fleur de lis emblems, unique wheel covers, and narrow sill moldings. The new interiors were the most luxurious ever seen in a Chevrolet, and an array of comfort/convenience features. Specially stitched cloth door panels were accented with simulated walnut, and contour-padded seats wore a combination of fabric and vinyl. All of this aimed to give Chevy buyers a "one-of-a-kind" taste of Cadillac's look and ride. Its sales success prompted Chevrolet to make the V8-only Caprice a full series for 1966.


The 1966 Impala received only a minor facelift from its predecessor that included a revised horizontal bar grille up front and new triple rectangular taillights that replaced the triple round lights used on full-sized Chevys each year since 1958 with the exception of 1959, and chrome beltline strips were added in response to complaints about parking lot door dings on the clean-lined '65 models. The standard column-shift three-speed manual was now full synchronized, and a new 250-cubic-inch six-cylinder engine replaced the previous 230-cubic-inch six while the 195-horsepower 283-cubic-inch Turbo Fire V-8 remained the base V-8 engine. Optional engines included a 275-horsepower 327-cubic-inch Turbo Fire V-8, the 396-cubic-inch Turbo-Jet V-8 rated at 325 horsepower, or two new 427-cubic-inch Turbo Jet V8s of 390 horsepower with 10.5 to 1 compression ratio and hydraulic lifters or the high performance version rated at 425 horsepower with 11 to 1 compression ratio and solid lifters. A four-speed manual transmission was offered with all V8 engines, while the two-speed Powerglide was the only automatic transmission offered with the six-cylinder engine and 283 and 327-cubic-inch Turbo Fire V8s, and the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic was limited to the 396 and 390-horsepower version of the 427 V-8. The Impala was the #2-selling convertible in the U.S. in 1966, with 38,000 sold.


The 1967 Chevrolet full-size was redesigned with enhanced Coke bottle styling. Dimensions remained roughly the same, still on a 119-inch wheelbase, four inches longer than the mid-size Chevrolet Chevelle. Impala Sport Coupes had a graceful fastback roof line, which flowed in an unbroken line into the rear deck. In keeping with federal regulations, safety features were built into Impalas during the 1967 and 1968 model years, including a fully collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, side marker lights, and shoulder belts for closed models.

Most engine offerings were carryover from 1966 including the base 250 cubic-inch Turbo Thrift 6 (155 horsepower) and 283 cubic-inch Turbo Fire V-8 (195 horsepower), and optional 275-horsepower 327 cubic-inch Turbo Fire V-8 and 325-horsepower 396 cubic-inch Turbo Jet V-8, with a 385-horsepower 427 cubic-inch Turbo Jet V-8 now the top offering as the high-performance 425-horsepower version of the 427 offered in 1966 was not listed in the 1967 specifications. The two-speed Powerglide automatic was the only shiftless transmission offered with the 250 6 and 283 V-8, but the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic was now available with the 327 V-8 along with the big-block 396 and 427 V-8s.

New options for 1967 included front-disc brakes (standard with the SS-427 option), stereo 8-track player, fiber optic light monitoring system and vacuum power door locks.

Cloth-and-vinyl upholstery was standard in most closed body styles, but all-vinyl upholstery was a new option at extra-cost in several colors on all sedan and coupe body styles (heretofore all-vinyl trim was offered as an option on the Sport Coupe and Sport Sedan hardtop body styles in "black" only since 1963), and remained standard equipment on convertible and station wagon models, again in several colors. All Impala models for 1967 also featured upgraded door panels with carpeting on the lower section.

A black four-door version of this vehicle, nicknamed "Baby," is featured in the CW television show Supernatural.


The 1968 model's front end received a facelift similar to the 1965 model, while rear bumpers held triple "horseshoe" shaped taillights. The formal Custom Coupe, previously a Caprice exclusive, became available as an Impala. Most Chevrolets got hidden windshield wipers. Plush new interiors also helped attract buyers. Impala overwhelmed the sales charts, as it had for years. Full-sized cars could have a 250-cubic-inch six, a 307-cubic-inch V-8, either of a pair of 327s of 250 or 275 horsepower, or a 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8. Topping the list was the big 427, rated at 385 or 425 horsepower. The two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission was still available with the 250 six-cylinder and 307 or 327 V-8s, but the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic could be ordered with all V-8 engines on the Impala Sport Sedan and Custom coupe. "Astro Ventilation" was an option for the Custom Coupe that included fresh-air vents, the same units that were used for the optional air conditioning, sans the center upper vent. Cars equipped with this option got full-length door glass minus the vent windows.


The 1969 Impala and other full-sized Chevrolets were restyled with crisper body lines and front bumpers that wrapped around the grille and ventless front windows were new on all models. The 119-inch (3,023 mm) wheelbase, inner body shell and framework were carried over from the 1965 model – along with the roof lines of pillared four-door sedans and station wagons. The station wagon was renamed the Kingswood - reverting to a pre-1962 Chevrolet practice of using different nameplates on wagons than other models. Inside, front seat headrests were now standard equipment due to a federal safety mandate and the ignition switch moved from the dashboard to the steering column and doubled as a lock for the steering wheel when the key was removed, a Federal mandate that took effect with the 1970 models but introduced a year earlier on all General Motors cars. The instrument panel was restyled and highlighted by a new steering wheel.

The 1969 Impala also offered a new GM-designed variable-ratio power steering unit as optional equipment along with a seldom-ordered "Liquid Tire Chain" option, which was a vacuum activated button that would spray ice melt on the rear tires[6] (UPC option code is "V75"). The standard engine was enlarged to a 235 hp (175 kW) 327 cubic-inch V8 with optional engine choices including a new 350 cubic-inch Turbo Fire V8 rated at 255 and 300 hp (220 kW), a 265 hp (198 kW) 396 cubic-inch Turbo Jet V8, and 427 cubic-inch Turbo Jet V8s rated at 335 and 390 hp (291 kW). The L72 425 horse power engine was available in all B-Bodies. All V8 engines were now available with the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission for the first time though the two-speed Powerglide was still offered with the 327 and 350 V8s. During the 1969 model year Impala production, including Kingswood wagons totaled 777,000 units, compared to 166,000 Caprices and Kingswood Estate wagons, 68,700 Biscaynes and Brookwood wagons, and 155,700 Bel Airs and Townsman wagons. Impala totals for 1969 included 768,000 produced with V-8 engines and 8,700 with six-cylinders.[7]


The 1970 Impala got a minor facelift featuring a more conventional bumper under the grill replacing the wrap-around unit used in 1969 and new triple vertical taillights. Fiberglass-belted tires on 15-inch (380 mm) wheels were made standard equipment along with a larger standard 250 hp (186 kW) 350 cubic-inch Turbo Fire V8, on most models (the 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder engine was now only offered on the 1970 Impala four-door sedan as well that year's lower-line Biscayne and Bel Air four-door sedans). Optional V8s included a 300 hp (220 kW) 350 and a new 265 hp (198 kW) 400 cubic-inch Turbo Fire V8 (not to be confused with Chevrolet's Turbo Jet big-block 402 V8 (essentially a bored out 396) offered on that year's Chevelles and Monte Carlos). At the top of the engine roster, the big block 427 was replaced by a new, longer stroke, 454 cubic-inch Turbo Jet V8 offered in power ratings of 345 hp (257 kW) and 390 hp (290 kW). The 155-horsepower Turbo Thrift six-cylinder, and 250- and 265 hp (198 kW) Turbo Fire engines were designed to use regular gasoline while the 300 hp (220 kW) 350 Turbo Fire and both 454 Turbo Jet engines required premium fuel. A three-speed manual transmission with column shift was standard equipment as in previous years but the floor-mounted four-speed manual with Hurst shifter was dropped from the option list for 1970 as were the Strato bucket seats and center console previously offered on coupes. Automatic transmission options included the two-speed Powerglide on 250 6s and 350 V8s, and three-speed Turbo Hydramatic was available with all engines. Power front disc brakes were standard on the Impala Custom coupe and optional on all other models. The 1970 Impala was one of three remaining Chevrolet convertibles, with only 9,562 were built. Interest in all size rag tops had dwindled. So was the fascination with large sporty cars, prompting abandonment of the Impala Super Sport. Output of full-sized Chevrolets dropped sharply for the 1970 calendar year, below the million mark, partly as a result of a 65-day strike in the fall of 1970 - but that strike affected the production of early 1971 models. Impala sales, as expected, ranked far above other big Chevrolets with 612,800 Impalas built (6,500 six-cylinder and 606,300 V-8s) compared to 92,000 Caprices, 75,800 Bel Airs and 35,400 Biscaynes, plus another 162,000 station wagons for all series.[8]

Right Hand Drive cars were manufactured in Canada for export to some countries such as Australia, UK, etc., until 1969. They used a version of the 1965 Impala dash panel until 1969. Australian models were assembled in Australia from kits as this lessened tax on the cars. A similar arrangement applied in New Zealand although the bodies were supplied from Canada already welded, painted and trimmed.

Impala SS[edit]

1965 Super Sport exteriors differed only slightly from regular Impalas. Rocker panel trim was deleted. "Super Sport" scripts replaced the "Impala" fender badges. The new center console housed a rally-type electric clock, and full instrumentation now included a vacuum gauge. A total of 243,114 Impala SS coupes and convertibles were built for 1965.

The 1966 Impala SS was facelifted with a revised grille and new rectangular taillights that replaced the triple round units. A chrome beltline strip shared with regular Impalas was added in response to complaints about door dings on the clean-lined 1965s. Inside were new "Strato-bucket" front seats with thinner and higher seat backs, and a center console with an optional gauge package available. Sales of the 1966 Impala SS dropped by more than 50% to around 117,000 units; this was mainly due to the sport/performance car market switching from full-sized models to intermediates (including Chevrolet's own Chevelle SS396 and Pontiac GTO), along with the emerging market for the even smaller pony car market created by the Ford Mustang in 1964 that Chevrolet would respond to with the Camaro for 1967.

The 1967 Impala SS was less decorated than other Impalas; Super Sports had black grille accents and black-accented body-side and rear fender moldings. Lesser models leaned more toward brightwork inside and out. Buyers could choose either vinyl bucket seats with a center console, or a Strato-Bench seat with a fold-down center armrest. Standard wheel covers were the same as the optional full covers on other big Chevrolets, but the centers featured the "SS" logo surrounded by tri-color ring of red, white and blue. "Chevrolet" and "Impala" callouts on the body were all replaced by "Impala SS" badges. Of the 76,055 Impala SS models built, just 2,124 were ordered with RPO Z24, a special performance package that included RPO F41 heavy-duty suspension and other performance features, RPO L36 (385 hp (287 kW; 390 PS)) Turbo-Jet 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8, as well as a special trim package that replaced the "Impala SS" badges with large "SS427" emblems on the front grille and rear trim. None of these cars had the name "Impala" anywhere on the body or interior, and Chevrolet often marketed them as the "Chevrolet SS427," sans the "Impala" name. The Z24 package also included a special hood with fake chrome-plated intake. Only about 400 Super Sports had a six-cylinder engine from 1967 to 1968, 390 hp (291 kW; 395 PS) in 1969, or L72 (425 hp (317 kW; 431 PS)) from 1968 to 1969. Special SS427 badging, inside and out, was the rule, but few were sold, since muscle car enthusiasts were seeking big-block intermediates, such as the Chevelle SS396 and Plymouth Road Runner.

In 1968 as Caprice sales escalated, those of the Impala Super Sport suffered a decline. Much of this drop in sales was no doubt due to the availability of big-block engines in the mid-sized (and lighter) Chevelle, and even Novas could be special-ordered with the 396 engine with the new-for-1968 body. No longer a separate series, the Super Sport was a mere $179 option package (Regular Production Option Z03) for the two Impala coupes and the convertible. Only 38,210 Impalas were so-equipped, including 1,778 with the Z24 package, which was carried over from 1967. In 1968 only, SS427s could be ordered without the Z03 SS package, which meant SS427 equipment but no bucket seats, SS door panels, or center console. The Z03 Impala SS could be identified by "Impala Super Sport" badges on the front grille, rear fenders and trunk lid. Z24-optioned cars included "SS427" emblems to replace the "Impala Super Sport" badges, a special layered "pancake" hood, and three "gills" mounted on the front fender aft of the wheel well à la Corvette Stingray.

In 1969, the Impala SS was available only as the Z24 (SS427), coming exclusively with a 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8 of 335 hp (250 kW; 340 PS), 390 hp (291 kW; 395 PS), or 425 hp (317 kW; 431 PS). This was the final year for the Impala SS until 1994. Unlike the previous two years, the 1969s finally got "Impala" script on the front fenders and interior. The 1969 Impala SS had no distinctive SS badging inside the car except for an "SS" logo the steering wheel (again, there was no Z03 offered that year). Like the 1968s, the Z24 could be ordered on the Impala convertible, Sport Coupe, or Custom Coupe. 1969 was the last year that the Impala SS was offered with the Z24 package, but the only year in which front disc brakes and 15-inch (380 mm) wheels were standard; that made the 1969 SS427 mechanically better than the previous versions in standard form. Although sales of 1969 Z24-optioned Impalas increased to approximately 2,455 units from the 1,778 Z03-optioned units of 1968, and high-powered big-block V8 engines continued to be available, there would be no Impala SS for 1970. The 427 was also replaced on the engine offerings list by a new Turbo-Jet 454 producing 390 hp (291 kW; 395 PS)

The 1965–1970 GM B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.


  • 1965 Impala Station Wagon

  • 1967 Impala Hardtop Coupe

  • 1968 Impala four-door Hardtop Sedan


  • Gunnell, John, Editor (1987). The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1946-1975. Kraus Publications. ISBN .CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Impala_(fourth_generation)

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1965 Impala SS vs Base Trim: What's the Difference?

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