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Free Vin Check, Get Vehicle History Report, Free Car History, Used Car History, Auto History, Free Vehicle History, VIN Number Check, Car History, Lemon, Check - Car History Year 1965

Car History Year 1965
Date: Monday, September 27 @ 00:35:06 UTC
Topic: Cars

Speed was on people's minds in 1965, particularly towards the end of the year. On November 12, Bob Summers pushed the world land speed record for wheel-driven vehicles to 409.277mph at Bonneville, making his Goldenrod car the fastest on earth. Later, on the 15th, Craig Breedlove and his jet-powered "Spirit of America" took the world record for non-wheel-driven cars to 600.601 mph - an absolutely phenomenal achievement.

Meanwhile, safety campaigner Ralph Nader was also looking at speed, when he published his book "Unsafe at any Speed," which condemned, among others, Chevrolet's Corvair. But following in the hoofbeats of Ford's new Mustang, many manufacturers were scrambling to produce sporty models of their own to cash-in on the market for speed among car buyers of all ages. Since few were able to introduce completely new sporty cars like the Mustang, most updated more mundane-looking intermediates from their existing ranges. At Plymouth, 1965 saw the demise of the Sport Fury as the company's leading sporty model. The car had grown in size and had more luxurious appointments than before, something that did not really fit into the sporty image. To replace it, the company introduced the Belvedere Satellite, which came with a V8 engine as standard, albeit a small one, and had lots of performance options depending on how much muscle the buyer wanted to flex - and, of course, on his pocketbook.
Before 1965, the Belvedere name was used on Plymouth's middle-priced, full-size cars, and it was more an indication of the level of trim and equipment than a model in its own right. In '65, however, the Belvedere series comprised a trio of intermediate-size automobiles, based on a 116 inch wheelbase. The three cars varied in their standard level of equipment and trim, being known as Belvedere I, Belvedere II and Belvedere Satellite, the last being the top of the range aimed at buyers who wanted a bit more performance than the norm. Belvedere I and II models could be supplied with 225 cu.in. ohv, six cylinder engines or 273 cu.in. 180 horsepower V8s as standard, backed by a three-speed manual transmission with the option of a Torqueflite automatic. Body styles available comprised 2- and 4- door sedans, 4-door station wagons, a 2-door hardtop coupe and a 2-door convertible. The Belvedere Satellite, however, only came with the V8 as standard, and in hardtop and convertible form. From the outset, it was given a sporty image, with front bucket seats, a center console and full wheel covers that incorporated center spinners. The hardtop also received all-vinyl trim. Emphasizing the performance look of the car, the rear fenders featured a row of louvers, while bright rocker panel moldings were also fitted. The big news for the Satellite, however, was the range of engine options listed. These began with the 230 horsepower Commando 318 cu.in. V8 equipped with a two-barrel carburetor, followed by a similarly-equipped 361 cu.in. Commando engine that developed 265 horsepower, and a 383 with a four-barrel carburetor that was good for 330 horsepower. If that wasn't enough, the buyer could specify the 426-S wedge-head V8, which displaced 426 cu.in. and had a four-barrel, and developed 365 horsepower. The amount these engines added to the cost of the car ranged from $31 to $545, depending on the engine. For those with deep pockets and an urge to burn rubber, however, there was the 425 horsepower, 426 cu.in. Hemi engine with dual four-barrel carburetors, and a price of either $1,150 or $1,800. This included the cost of a four-speed manual transmission. There were two prices because the engines were retrofitted at the factory, and the higher figure applied to cars that had originally been equipped with automatic transmission. The same arrangement applied to the wedge-head engines, with two prices being quoted. Given that the base price of a Satellite 2-door hardtop was $2,612, the Hemi represented a substantial investment and, in truth, these engines were really intended for competition use. Although the four-speed came as standard with the 426 engines, it could also be specified with the 361 and 383 engines, while a positive-traction rear axle was also available for an extra $39. Other performance options included a choice of rear axle ratios (3.23 or 2.93:1) and a tachometer. Not many Satellites had the monster 426 wedge-head or Hemi engines. Most buyers opted for the more tractable 383 V8, which had power and torque aplenty and was much more user-friendly on the street. But the big engines, particularly the Hemis, were in keeping with Chrysler's interest in NASCAR and drag racing. In the former, the Hemi would be fitted to full-sized Dodges and Plymouths run on tracks of over a mile in length, while on shorter tracks, Dodge Coronets and Plymouth Belvederes would use it. In drag racing, too, the Hemi-engined Belvedere was legendary, being campaigned by the likes of Ronnie Sox and Buddy Martin and the "Drag-On-Lady" Shirley Shahan, who used it to set a National S/SA record of 127.30mph with an elapsed time of 11.21 seconds. Such was the company's interest, that they produced an altered-wheelbase drag package for Dodge and Plymouth automobiles so that they could compete in the NHRA Factory Experimental class. The actual body styling of the Belvedere models had been carried over from the previous year, when it had been common to all intermediate Plymouths. For 1965, it was changed by replacing the previous dual head lights with single lights, while the grille was given a cruciform trim with mesh background. The sporting image of the Satellite that resulted from the company's NASCAR and drag racing activities, plus the undoubted performance of the car, helped boost sales and just over 25,000 of the 1965 models were built, most of them hardtops (only 1,860 convertibles left the factory). The car continued with this image for some time, and in 1966 was restyled with a swoopier roofline and more slab-sided contours. The big news for that year, however, would be a more refined 426 Hemi engine that was intended for street use. The Street Hemi had cast-iron cylinder heads rather than aluminum (although these were available as an option), while the inlet manifold was aluminum rather than magnesium. A wilder cam was available, and although compression was down to 10.25:1 from 12,5:1, output was still 425 horsepower. With this came a Sure-Grip axle, whether a four-speed or Torqueflite automatic was fitted. The Street Hemi turned out to be a real winner, offering tractability as well as high performance. Car and Driver said that the car offered the "best combination of brute performance and tractable street manners" that they had ever come across. In their test of the car, they recorded a 0-60mph time of 5.3 seconds, with a 13.8 second quarter mile time and terminal speed of 104mph. Stopping such a projectile needed substantial brakes, of course, and while front discs were not an option, 11 inch police-specification drums were. Although it never looked particularly like a muscle car, Plymouth's Belvedere Satellite was definitely a force to be reckoned with. It would go on in this vein, eventually spawning the famed GTX and Road Runner. Specification PLYMOUTH BELVEDERE SATELLITE Engine V8 - cast iron block Displacement 318 cu. ins Bore and stroke 3.91 x 3.31 ins. Horsepower 230 Body styles Hardtop coupe; Convertible coupe No. of seats 5 Weight (lbs) 3,220 Ibs Price $2,649 - $2,869 Produced 25,000     Specification RAMBLER MARTIN Engine Cast iron - 6 Cylinders in line Displacement 232 cu. ins Bore and stroke 3.75x3.25 ins. Horsepower 145 Body styles Hardtop coupe No. of seats 4-5 Weight (lbs) 3,234 Ibs Price $3,100 Produced 10,327     Specification FORD MUSTANG V8 OPTION Engine V8 - cast iron block Displacement 289 cu. ins Bore and stroke 4.00x2.87 ins. Horsepower <270 Body styles Hardtop coupe; Fastback coupe; Convertible coupe No. of seats 4 Weight (lbs) 2,583 Ibs-2,789 Ibs Price <$3,000 Produced -

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