The ’65 Chevelle Z-16 is a lining legend in the automobile history and industry as well.
The Chevelle range started in 1964 with a 220 hp 283 V8, then in the mid of the year it was introduced on the top of the line with a 300 hp 327 V8. nevertheless it was considered to be relatively slower compared to Pontiac’s first year Tempest based GTO. The 65-model Chevelle introduced a ground-braking option that would put the Chevy A-body on top of GM’s muscle car heap: the l79 350 hp 327 V8, known as RPO Z-16. the new car, the 65 Chevelle Z-16 astonished the car market with Chevy’s new blacktop bruising powerhorse, the L37 396 big block V8 cranking out 375 hp at 5600 rpm and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 3600 rpm, although these ratings were looked as being underrated. Even so Z-16 became one of the most desirable of the 65 Chevelles. It was also one of the rarest with only 201 Z-16’s built in 1965-200 hardtops and one ultra rare convertible.
The Z-16 was totally different from its other 65 Chevelle siblings on the inside. When identifying a Z-16 from the exterior was not so easy due to its subtle differences. For starters, the Z-16 was available in only 3 colors – Regal Red, Tuxedo Black and Crocus Yellow. The Malibu emblems reassigned to the front fenders behind the front wheel wells, the blackened out rear taillight panel and the front fender mounted 396 flag emblems as well as a rear trunk lid Malibu SS 396 emblem, the most significant designations of the Z-16, were subtle identifying cues to distinguish the Z-16 from other models in the Chevelle lineup.
Built on the Malibu SS model, the Z-16 was an impressive showcase of engineering ability. The car included a Muncie 4-speed transmission, slightly wider Firestone Gold-line tires, simulated mag wheel covers. To compensate for the heavier engine-bay-filling 396 V8, the car was built on a stronger convertible frame along with a brawnier suspension that included front and rear sway bars, heavy duty control arms, as well as mammoth 11-inch brakes and hydraulic power-assisted steering for more responsive handling. New interior appointments were added including front and rear seatbelts with retractors, a wood grain steering wheel, a dash-mounted clock, a 160 mph speedometer and 6000 rpm tachometer and a multiplex AM/FM stereo system with underside dash mounted controls and more. All these features increased the base sticker price by more than half.