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Old 01-30-2013, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by painted jester View Post
Not to split hairs But the 1965 chevelle z 16 was rated at 425 hp the proto type had a decal with 375 hp 425 hp cars had a cast emblem on air filter
Splitting hairs are fine

Real history:

1965 Malibu Z16
In February of ’65, at the GM Proving Ground in Mesa, Arizona, Chevy debuted the 396/325-hp V-8 and a 425-hp solid-lifter version for the ‘Vette.

The Chevelle lacked a big-block option, but one was actually offered via a “secret” program. The Z 16 “Malibu SS 396” was the official name of the hot 365-hp car. It was not promoted, since assemblies were extremely limited.

The reason?

It was specially engineered at a high cost. On the surface, the Z16 looked like a Chevelle with a 396, but it went beyond that. It was more like a big car than a midsize car, and Chevy wasn’t ready to mass produce it. The coupe had an H.D. ragtop frame, reinforced rear suspension, and two added body mounts. “Big-car” 11-inch power drums brakes were fi tted, along with stiff springs and shocks. The L37 V-8 had special left- and right-side exhausts. It was linked to a four-speed. An 8.875-inch ring gear was specified. Features unique to the Z16 included and air cleaner
with metal crossed flags, “396 Turbo-jet” badges, a special taillight board with an SS emblem and a unique ribbed black molding. All Z16 Chevelles had a 160-mph speedo, an AM-FM Multiplex four-speaker stereo, and in-dash tach. Chevy made 201 of the Z16s.

Z16 was the RPO (Regular Production Option) code given to the 396 engine option in the 1965 Chevelle and was used internally by Chevrolet. The Z16 is the 1965 Malibu SS 396 and was almost never referred to by the Z16 RPO number except in a few non-public Chevrolet documents. But the Z16 was much more than just the big 396 in the Chevelle SS. It was a complete package with many special and heavy duty chassis components including: Heavy duty suspension, special heavy duty rear axle, 4 speed transmission, special frame, special heavy duty power brakes, and unique power steering components. The interior was very special too. A 160 mph speedometer was only available with the SS 396. Mandatory options included a tachometer, deluxe front and rear seat belts, AM/FM stereo radio, padded dash and remote mirror. The 396 engine specified for the Z16 was the L37 375 horsepower version. The L37 was a heavy duty engine with forged crank and pistons, 4 bolt main bearing caps, large port heads, an aluminum intake manifold with a Holley carburetor and an hydraulic camshaft. Other Chevrolets would also receive the 396. The full size Chevrolet got the 325 hp and 425 hp version, the Corvette benefited from the 425 hp 396. The Z16’s L37 375 hp and the potent 425 hp engines differed only in their camshafts: the 425 hp version received a more radical, mechanical lifter design. The new Z16 was promoted heavily by Chevrolet. Many automotive magazines road tested or reviewed the special Malibu in the late Spring and Summer of 1965. These include Motor Trend, Car Life, Popular Hot Rodding and Mechanix Illustrated. Celebrities were used for the Z16 promotion including Dan Blocker (“Hoss”) from the top-rated 1960’s television series “Bonanza”. Chevrolet was a major sponsor of the show and felt, apparently, that the muscular Z16 would be well touted in Dan’s hands. Blocker received a car to drive and was reportedly asked to share it with some of the other “Bonanza” stars. This very Z16 is in a collector’s hands today. Nott every dealer received a Z16 - since it was very limited in production - but they were spread out geographically around the country. New York, South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Texas and California dealers all had the 1965 Malibu SS 396. While rare, a few dealers actually got more than one Z16! Naturally, some of the Chevy dealerships that specialized or would specialize in high performance, new Chevrolets would receive cars. Well known dealerships that sold a Z16 include Yenko Chevrolet and Armon R. Smith.

Total Chevelle Malibu SS 396 production was 201 cars with one reportedly a convertible. It is not known to survive. About 65 Z16 coupes in restored or unrestored condition still exist making them one of the rarest and most desirable muscle cars.

A few racers were lucky to get them on factory sponsored teams. It isn't on the list because its so rare and was never an option and I doubt if one's in his truck or is the used engine he found


Last edited by painted jester; 01-30-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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