1965 Chevy Truck Specsby Ian Kenney
Chevrolet's first pickup truck came with a chassis cowl only. The buyer was expected to purchase or fashion his own cab and body. The chassis was based on the popular 490 model automobile, and represented the first step in a long line of classic trucks that became part of the American landscape. Chevy trucks in the 1960s ushered in the V8 era, making them instantly collectible. Today, a 1965 C/K 10 fully restored can fetch $50,000 or more from enthusiasts.
Engine and Transmission
The standard engine in 1965 two-wheel-drive trucks was a 230-cubic-inch inline six-cylinder, but the '60s saw the introduction of 283- and 327-cubic-inch V8s as an option. Chevy had built a reputation for light-duty trucks and the move to eight cylinders was intended to shore up a medium-duty market. The standard drive was a three-speed manual with the shifter "on the tree" -- the steering column.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Chevy offered under-dash air conditioning as an option, but in 1964, factory in-dash air became the new standard. The 1965 model featured the swept windshield introduced in 1964, which added cabin space and granted easier ingress and egress. Only AM radios were available on the '65 and a vinyl bench seat was standard.
Chassis and Body
Both Fleetside and Stepside models were built for 1965. Model badging was T-shaped and located at the mid-level of the front fenders, which differentiated the '65 from later models that had a horizontal model number badge. In an effort to increase front-axle load, Chevy extended the wheelbase for 1965 to 115 inches and added five inches to the dimension between the back of the cab and the rear axle. The distinctive grille was highly polished, anodized aluminum. Chrome was not available on models between 1960 and 1969. Dual sealed-beam headlights were replaced by a single-headlamp design in 1962 and remained the standard throughout the 1960s.