Chevrolet Bel Air Sixth generation
|1965 to 1970|
|Assembly||Arlington, Texas, Doraville, United States Oshawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe (1965–69) 4-door sedan 4-door wagon (1965–69)|
|Related||Chevrolet Biscayne Chevrolet Impala Chevrolet Caprice|
|Engine||230 cu in (3.8 L) I6 (1965–66) 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6 (1965–70) 283 cu in (4.6 L) V8 (1965–67) 327 cu in (5.4 L) V8 (1965–67) 307 cu in (5.0 L) V8 (1968) 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 (1969–70) 400 cu in (6.6 L) V8 (1969–70) 409 cu in (6.7 L) V8 (1965) 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 (1965–70) 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8 (1966–70)|
|Transmission||3-speed manual 4-speed manual 2-speed Powerglide auto. 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic auto.|
For 1965, the full size Chevrolet was totally restyled, and the cars were stretched to 213.3 in (5,420 mm) overall, even though the wheelbase remained the same. The new stamped grille had a lower extension below the bumper which was slightly veed. Curved window glass and round taillights mounted high characterized the new styling. The interiors were also redesigned and a very attractive dash resulted. The standard V8 remained the 283 CID model of 195 hp (145 kW), but options included two new 396 cu in (6,490 cc) CID engines of 325 and 340 hp (250 kW) and two 409 CID blocks of 400 and 425 hp (317 kW).
The Bel Air utilizes a stainless-steel belt and rocker molding, identifying signature on the rear fenders, a glove compartment light and power tailgate on 9-passenger wagons to distinguish itself from the lower-priced Biscayne series.
For 1966, Chevrolet was in its second season of a totally new body change, so mild facelifting sufficed including forward thrusting, blunted front fenders and a revised grille. At the rear, a break with the traditional round taillamps took place. Bel Air and Biscayne featured dual rectangular lamps with back-up lamps built in. Overall length was 213.2 in (5,420 mm). The standard six-cylinder engine this year was the larger 250 CID version of 155 hp (116 kW). New for the speed set was a 427 cu in (7,000 cc) V8 of 390 or 425 hp (317 kW). Bel Air was readily distinguishable from Biscayne by its full length body side molding and rear fender Bel Air signatures. All-vinyl interiors were now standard on station wagons while cloth and vinyl trims continued on sedans.
For 1967, Full-sized Chevrolets featured a new body with bulging rear fenders, one of this year's styling trends, not necessarily appreciated by everyone. Bel Air 2 and 4-door Sedans continued in addition to 6 and 9-passenger wagons. This year Bel Air featured triple taillights unlike Biscayne's dual units. Standard engines remained the same as the previous year. Optional engines were a 327 CID V8 of 275 hp (205 kW), the 396 CID V8 of 350 hp (260 kW); or the 427 CID V8 of 385 hp (287 kW), plus various speed packages.
For 1968, the Full-sized Chevrolets received some changes but were quite similar to the 1967 models, though they had grown one inch to 214.7 in (5,450 mm). Chevrolet's new grille design bears a strong resemblance to Cadillac's, but Bel Air's dual round taillight design is strictly Chevrolet. In an unusual move, the taillights were mounted in the bumper.
In addition to the 250 CID Six of 155 hp (116 kW), standard engines included the new 307 cu in (5,030 cc) V8 of 200 hp (150 kW). The Bel Air with the standard 250 Six was capable of a top speed of 90 mph (140 km/h) and 18.4 mpg-US (12.8 L/100 km; 22.1 mpg-imp) at cruising speeds. When powered by the new 307 CID V8, the Bel Air series cars had a top speed of 105 mph (169 km/h) and 17.1 mpg-US (13.8 L/100 km; 20.5 mpg-imp) at cruising speeds.
For 1969, the big Chevrolet was totally redesigned, given a new length, new fender and body lines, and a new front and back end, but continued using the basic 1965 chassis, innerbody structure and even the rooflines of pillared two- and four-door sedans. The cars also remained on the 119 in (3,000 mm) wheelbase, but grew to a new length of 219.9 in (5,590 mm), while the wagons grew 4.3 in (110 mm) to a new length of 217.7 Engine offerings included a standard 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder and 235-horsepower 327 V-8, and optional V-8 engines included two 350s of 255 and 300 horsepower, a 396 rated at 265 horsepower and three 427 V8s 335 hp (250 kW), 390 hp (290 kW), and 425 hp (317 kW). This was the final year for the Bel Air 2-door sedan and the Bel Air based station wagon was renamed Townsman, as part of a Chevrolet move to revert to the pre-1962 practice of using different nameplates on station wagons than other models. Three- and four-speed manual transmissions were again offered along with the two-speed Powerglide automatic with the six-cylinder, and 327 and 350 V-8s; and the three-speed Turbo Hydramatic, offered only with the big-block V-8s since its 1965 introduction, was now available with all engines.
For 1970, the Chevrolet line was very little changed and regulated primarily to a new and very attractive front end. The standard Six was still the 250 of 155 HP. The standard V8 in full-size Chevrolets was now the 350 cu in (5,700 cc)of 250 hp (190 kW). Optional V-8 engines included a 300-horsepower 350 and 265-horsepower 400, with the top offering a 454 cu in (7,440 cc) of 345 hp (257 kW). The Bel Air series was now a one model 4-door sedan while the station wagon was again sold under the Townsman nameplate.
The 1965-70 GM B platform is the fourth best selling automobile platform in history after the Volkswagen Beetle, Ford Model T and the Lada Riva.