Regal Red w/White interior, 396c.i. big block, 375hp, 4-spd. manual transmission.
When Pontiac introduced the G.T.O. in ’64 to much fanfare, the rest of the automakers in GM and beyond were anxious to cram a large engine into an otherwise small chassis. Chevrolet’s Chevelle seemed like the obvious choice to showcase it’s brand new for ’65 396ci.375hp solid lifter big block! Thus, the Z16 was born. Although fitting this very large (in both displacement and physical size) engine between the fenders of a Chevelle and beefing everything up to handle it proved more difficult than anticipated. Starting with a boxed Chevelle Convertible frame the powers that be chose brakes from the full-size big block Impala. The suspension was also heavy-duty, as was the 4-spd transmission; the only transmission available with the Z16 pkg. The special L37 engine required different manifolds on each side to clear the frame. There was an 11″ “King Kong” clutch and a rear axle almost 1″ larger than stock to handle all that torque! The wheels were also 1″ wider than the stock 5 inchers. As a result, only 201 of these beasts ever made it off the assembly line including two prototypes and a one-off Convertible. The end result cost $200.00 more than a Corvette and was carefully distributed to celebrities like A.J. Foyt, Phil Hill. Briggs Cunningham and Dan Blocker (Hoss from TV’s Bonanza). Other one-off parts include the air cleaner with metal crossed flags, 396 Turbo-Jet script on the fenders and a modified rear panel from a Chevrolet 300. Today, only about 72 Z16’s are believed to still exist.
The awesome example presented here has been completely restored with excellent Red paint, very good panel fit, brightwork and stunning White interior with Black carpet. Options include; power steering, power brakes, console, AM/FM radio and dash mounted clock. Although some of the body panels and original engine were replaced during the restoration, the V.I.N. and Cowl Tags are original and this is a real factory Z16 listed in the Z16 Registry. This is the “Holy Grail” of Chevelles and a must have for any serious muscle car collector. Stk #5964
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