American Car Spotters Guide - 1965

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American Car Spotters Guide - 1965


Acclaimed motoring magazine MOTOR TREND gave the 1965 Car of the Year gong to Pontiac (General Motors) for styling and engineering leadership in the development of personalized passenger cars. It was the third time Pontiac had graced their trophy room with this award. In 1959, when the big, luxury feel was all the rage among car buyers and performance engines were in the process of gaining popularity, Pontiac was successful in improving handling of their vehicles with suspension changes, wider tread, and more positive steering. Their leadership set the pattern for firmer ride, more positive steering, and a styling concept that found immediate acceptance.

The 1961 Tempest, featuring transaxle, curved driveshaft, and independent rear suspension, brought Pontiac another Car of the Year award. We cannot explain the lack of public acceptance of the earlier Tempest concepts, but buyers had a natural tendency to be slow in acknowledging anything too different and in learning to use something in order to extract the most from it. Motor Trend conducted rather extensive tests on the swing-axle Tempest, including a cross-country run over the Continental Divide in heavy winter snow without chains or snow tyres as a test of handling and traction. It had noticeable advantages over solid-axle suspensions.

1965 was also another banner sales year for the industry. All major makers were offering more models than ever before. All-new styling changes were certainly more evident among certain lines, standing out as 1965 models against competitors' cars with all-new sheet metal but only minor styling changes. In styling, Pontiac shared body shells with other GM cars. The theme for 1965 US cars was disc brakes, larger dimensions, and several hot new models. The release date for most of the manufacturers was September 25 or a little later, but General Motors and American Motors were slower than Chrysler and Ford in announcing their 1965 range.

Ford For '65



Ford styling had squared off the wings of most of its cars and slightly soothed down the brutal, massive look which was built in for 1964 in line with its selling phrase "Total Performance". Disc brakes on the front were standard equipment on the 1965 Lincoln Continental and Ford Thunderbird, and other major developments included fastback styling for the so-called Two-Plus-Two version of the Ford Mustang. However, from a marketing point of view Ford's biggest weapon was the new Mercury, aimed obviously at giving the company a really competitive car - which it had never had - in the big-selling medium price range then dominated by the Chevrolet Impala. The Mercury was three inches longer and infinitely more luxurious; Ford claimed it as the most extensive change in the nameplate's then 26-year history. It had been given styling very close to that of the top-of-the-heap Lincoln Continental, and was built on a big 123 inch wheelbase. It had new sub-frame design, redesigned front and rear suspensions, and most unusual rear quarter roof panel treatment.

The Mercury Comet



The other top Ford compact, the Mercury Comet, retained the basic outline of the Falcon-Comet shape, but got new front sheet metal to incorporate more effective over-and-under (stacked) headlights, in the tradition set by Pontiac. It had 11 models in three series, and all had an alternator as standard. Mustang's Two-Plus-Two was the third model on the range - additional to the hardtop and convertible first announced in April 1964. It used fastback styling on the basic Mustang shape, and the result was fairly effective, even if the ventilation louvres in the rear quarter panels looked a little fussy. Most of the goodies were inside - fold-down rear seats, buckets, nylon carpeting, central gearshift, and padded instrument panel.

The '65 Thunderbird



The 1965 Thunderbird came with discs on the front, and other standard equipment like light-patterned trafficators, reversible ignition and boot keys, and keyless door locking. Options included AM or PM radio, power radio aerial, power quarter-vents, and limited slip differential. The Thunderbird came in three models - Landau, Convertible and Hardtop. Styling changes had, however, only been minor. Similarly, the 1965 Lincoln Continental had only minor styling changes. Major improvements were discs and alterations to chassis and body construction. Body options were a four-door Convertible and four-door Sedan.

Chryslers '65 Lineup



Chrysler Corporation offered its biggest model line-up to date, with 81 from the Chrysler-Plymouth division and 50 with the Dodge nameplate. Chrysler concentrated mainly on rebuilding and restyling its existing nameplates, but there were several promising new models added. Overall styling emphasised the low, clean-cut look, with influences of the Chrysler turbine theme. Dodge for the first time got an entry into the intermediate field with a 117 inch wheelbase new model called the Coronet, to appear in 17 models in three series. It had a high, square rear, rectangular taillight assemblies, ridges along the wings, and quad headlights. It had the usual enormous range of seating, trim and transmission options; standard engines were the Valiant "slant six" or 273 cu in. V8, but options started with a 318 cu in. V8 and ran right up to the three 426 cu in. high performance engines, including the 426 hemi-head.

The Dodge Monaco



The other new Dodge model was the Monaco, a top-of-the-line two-door hardtop featuring bucket seats front and rear, and full-length console, and vinyl-covered roof. The seats were backed in natural wicker, with matching wicker across the doors. Built on a 121 inch wheelbase, it offered V8 engines from 383 cu in. up to 426 cu in. The other Dodge models, Polara, Custom 880 and Dart, were extensively restyled. The Polara had curved side windows, massive grille, and redesigned instrument panel. The Custom 880, in the medium-price field, claimed luxury appointments, right down to wood-grained finish on the station wagons. The compact Dart range had new front and rear treatment, boosted power train and engines, and a two-door hardtop for the first time.

Plymouth for '65



In Chrysler-Plymouth, the biggest redesign job was on the hot-selling Fury, which got a 119 inch wheelbase, wider front and rear track, and more overall width. Side windows were curved, instrument panels redesigned, and - as in all the corporation's models - transmission selector moved from the instrument panel to the column. The Plymouth Belvedere got an extra 10 models, big body redesign, more options, and was aimed hard at the low-priced market. The Valiant got s new grille, wings, boot lid and interior trim, although retaining its 106 inch wheel-base. In 18 different models, it had - like all 1965 Chrysler cars - acrylic enamel exterior finishes.

Instruments were redesigned, with new trim, transmission selectors moved to the steering column, and more durable spark plugs, alternators and starter motors. An extra engine option was the new 273 cu in. high-performance V8 on 10.5 to 1 compression. A new rally package of suspension options was also available. The 1965 Chrysler (New Yorker, Chrysler 300, 300-L and Newport) were redesigned and wheel-base wert up 2 in. to 124 in. Styling included six-window treatment and curved side glass. In the Imperial, flagship of the line, there was little restyling but plenty of attention to the interior. A new signal in the instrument cluster flashed "Check gauges" whenever excessive engine temperature, low fuel, or low oil pressure happened. Plymouth's fastback Barracuda retained most of its styling, but got more sports options like disc brakes and "sports stripe" paint over its roof.

Also see: The American Muscle Car Era - 1965
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1965 American Motors Ambassador
USA

American Motors Ambassador

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
 
Introduced on 7th October, 1965 as a 1966 model, the Ambassador was available with a 232 CID 155 hp Six or 287 CID 198 hp V8, in sedan, 2 door coupe, convertible and station wagon iterations.
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1965 American Motors Marlin
USA

American Motors Marlin

  Also see: AMC Road Tests and Reviews | AMC Brochures
 
The Marlin by Rambler was introduced as the "Newest of the Sensible Spectaculars". It is most easily identified by the unique fastback rear styling, however the front was a little less spectacular. Power disc brakes were standard (tyres were 7.35 or 7.75 x 14), and the Marlin featured reclining seats. The wheelbase was 116 inches, and engines included the 232 CID 155 hp six, 287 CID 198 hp V8, and 327 CID 270 hp V8. Prices started at $3143, and 10,327 were manufactured in 1965.
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1965 AMC Rambler Ambassador 4 Door
USA

AMC Rambler Ambassador 4 Door

  Also see: AMC Rambler Road Tests and Reviews
 
For its third generation, the American emerged with what would be its only completely new design. The entire line was treated to neat and trim lines with pleasing simplicity (compared to the more boxy predecessors) with characteristic tunneled headlights with a simple horizontal grille between them.
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1965 AMC Rambler American 330 Wagon
USA

AMC Rambler American 330 Wagon

  Also see: AMC Rambler Road Tests and Reviews
 
The Rambler American's wheelbase grew by six-inches or 152 mm (to 106 in or 2692 mm). Full coil front springs along with soft rear leaf units, gave the new American an unusually smooth ride, better than many larger domestic cars. The new models also incorporated various parts and components (such as doors) that were interchangeable with AMC's larger cars.
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1965 AMC Rambler American 440 Convertible
USA

AMC Rambler American 440 Convertible

  Also see: AMC Rambler Road Tests and Reviews
 
The new styling was the work of famous designer Richard A. Teague, who would go on to design the 1968 Javelin and AMX. Many viewed the newly designed station wagon as the best-looking of any American wagon, with its new, trim lines and ample passenger and cargo room. Led by the top-line 440-series convertible, they were arguably the 1965's most attractive Detroit compacts.
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1965 AMC Rambler American 440 Convertible
USA

AMC Rambler American Hardtop

  Also see: AMC Rambler Road Tests and Reviews
 
Advertised as "The Sensible Spectaculars" as part of Roy Abernethy's strategy for AMC to shed its "economy car" reputation and take on the domestic Big Three automakers in new market segments. The year also saw the introduction of a entirely new 232 cu in 3.8 litre overhead valve straight-6 engine that AMC would use through 1979, with a smaller 199 cu in 3.3 litre version being used only during 1966-1970. The same engine was later available in a larger 258 cu in 4.2 litre version (used from 1971-1989) and a 242 cu in 4 litre version that debuted in 1987, known as the Jeep 4.0, which Chrysler would continue through 2006 after its purchase of AMC in 1987.
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1965 AMC Rambler Classic 2 Door
USA

AMC Rambler Classic 2 Door

  Also see: AMC Rambler Road Tests and Reviews
   
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1965 AMC Rambler Classic 770 Sedan
USA

AMC Rambler Classic 770 Sedan

  Also see: AMC Rambler Road Tests and Reviews
   
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1965 Cadillac DeVille
USA

Cadillac DeVille

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
   
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1965 Cadillac Fleetwood
USA

Cadillac Fleetwood

  Also see: Cadillac Road Tests and Reviews | Cadillac Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Corvair
USA

Chevrolet Corvair

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa
USA

Chevrolet Corvair Corsa

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Coupe
USA

Chevrolet Corvair Corsa Coupe

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza
USA

Chevrolet Corvair Monza

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Corvair Monza Sport
USA

Chevrolet Corvair Monza Sport

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Impala Caprice
USA

Chevrolet Impala Caprice

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
 
Redesigned again 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. All new full-size Chevys eschewed the "X" frame for a full-width perimeter frame, a totally new body which featured curved, frameless side glass (for pillarless models), sharper angled windshield with newly-reshaped vent windows, and redesigned full-coil suspension. In 1965, Chevrolet introduced the Impala Caprice.

Beginning with the four-door hardtop sedan body, Impala Caprices received unique upholstery, wood grained accents on the dashboard and specialty pulls on the insides of the doors. The old 409-cubic-inch (6.7 Litre) "W" engine was discontinued early in the 1965 model year, so early-production '65s got the 409, where later-built cars had the 396-cubic-inch (6.5 L) as the big-block option. Two-range Powerglide, as well as Synchro-Mesh 3 and 4-speed manual transmissions were available. As with previous years, Impalas featured more chrome trim inside and out, with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels.
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1965 Chevrolet_Malibu
USA

Chevrolet Malibu

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chevrolet Nova SS
USA

Chevrolet Nova SS

  Also see: Chevrolet Road Tests and Reviews | Chevrolet Brochures
   
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1965 Chrysler 300
USA

Chrysler 300

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
 
Chrysler Corporation spent 300 million dollars tooling up for the 1965 model year. The Chrysler received an all new body and longer wheelbase of 124.0 inches. Galvanized sills and full front wheelhouses gave important corrosion protection, and the luxury ride of the New Yorker was enhanced by a constant-velocity joint added to the drive line.
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1965 Chrysler New Yorker
USA

Chrysler New Yorker

  Also see: Chrysler Road Tests and Reviews | Chrysler Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Coronet
USA

Dodge Coronet

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Coronet Super Bee
USA

Dodge Coronet Super Bee

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Custom 880
USA

Dodge Custom 880

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Dart
USA

Dodge Dart

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Dart GT
USA

Dodge Dart GT

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge_Dart_GT
USA

Dodge_Dart_GT

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Monaco 2 Door
USA

Dodge Monaco 2 Door

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Monaco Coupe
USA

Dodge Monaco Coupe

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Dodge Polara
USA

Dodge Polara

  Also see: Dodge Road Tests and Reviews | Dodge Brochures
   
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1965 Lincoln Continental
USA

Lincoln Continental

  Also see: Lincoln Road Tests and Reviews | Lincoln Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88
USA

Oldsmobile Dynamic 88

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Delta Holiday
USA

Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Delta Holiday

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Holiday Coupe
USA

Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Holiday Coupe

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass Convertible
USA

Oldsmobile F-85 Cutlass Convertible

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile F-85 Holiday Cutlas
USA

Oldsmobile F-85 Holiday Cutlas

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 Convertible
USA

Oldsmobile Jetstar 88 Convertible

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Jetstar Coupe
USA

Oldsmobile Jetstar Coupe

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Luxury Sedan
USA

Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Luxury Sedan

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible
USA

Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe
USA

Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe

  Also see: Oldsmobile Road Tests and Reviews | Oldsmobile Brochures
   
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1965 Pontiac Catalina Convertible
USA

Pontiac Catalina Convertible

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
   
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1965 Pontiac Grand Prix
USA

Pontiac Grand Prix

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
   
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1965 Pontiac Star Chief Vista 4 Door
USA

Pontiac Star Chief Vista 4 Door

  Also see: Pontiac Road Tests and Reviews | Pontiac Brochures
   
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