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. As with previous years, Impalas featured more chrome trim inside and out, with pleated tufted upholstery and door panels.
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 Impala Caprice was reintroduced as the Chevrolet Caprice in 1966, taking the top position in the full-size Chevrolet lineup. The Impala however, remained Chevrolet’s top-selling model until the late 1970s. The 1967 model was redesigned along the lines of the 1963 Buick Riviera. The Coke bottle shape was strengthened and the curves were biggest with the 1967-68 models. In keeping with Federal regulations, safety features were built into Impalas during the 1967 and ’68 model years, including a fully collapsible energy-absorbing steering column, side marker lights, and shoulder belts for closed models. During the 1969 model year, for example, Impala production topped Caprice production by 611,000 units.
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.
Engine choices included the inline six-cylinder as well as the famous Chevy small-block and big-block V8s. Automatic buyers were given the option of the newly-introduced three-range Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission 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, 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 also available.
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