A Guide to 1965 Cars

1965 is the model year of the legendary Ford Mustang’s debut, but it wasn’t the only car to make history that year.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 15, 2023
1965 will likely always go down in automotive history as The Year of the Pony, thanks to the record-breaking debut popularity of the
Ford Mustang
. That said, some vehicles made in Britain take the cake for being our favorites.
Lyndon B. Johnson had just been sworn in for a full Presidential term, with the Vietnam War: Operation Rolling Thunder soon underway in March. The year would further go down in history with Martin Luther King Jr.’s civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery and the long-overdue creation of the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans their right to vote. 
At the same time as all this, engineers were working on some far-out science projects involving muscle and V8 engines
In this article, we’re counting down our list of the best cars of 1965, so let's get started!
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

The best cars of 1965

The year that brought the beginning of America’s affordable muscle sensation era also brought some of the coolest offerings from British automakers. In fact, it was a collaboration between Ford and AC that would lead to the production of the car that posted the highest top speed that year.

The best car of 1965: Ford Mustang

Average price: ~$30K to $40K
Powertrain: 3.3 L inline-6 or 4.7 L V8 w/3-speed C4 automatic transmission or 3-or 4-speed manual transmissions of varying levels
What makes it special: 
After 1962 and 1963’s
Ford Mustangs
had garnered incredible hype, its 1964 World’s Fair debut confirmed that this pony car would likely soon become a legend. The first year of Mustangs broke multiple sales records, selling one million units after only 18 months.
Further confirming its legendary status, the first Ford Mustang appeared in car chases in both Goldfinger and Thunderball. It became something of a trope for Bond girls and villains to race
James Bond’s Aston Martins
in Mustangs.
The Mustang would even go on to be the first automobile to win a Tiffany Gold Medal for Excellence in American Design.
All in all, the 1965 Mustang should be regarded as one of the greatest successes in automotive history, pushing forth a new era of driving that would be—if only for a short while—dominated by American muscle.

The best family car of 1965: Vauxhall Viva HA

Average price: ~$2,000
Powertrain: 1,057 cc I4 w/4-speed manual or automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
A stylish English classic from GM, the Vauxhall Viva was everything a British family could want in a family vehicle. It was easy to drive and didn’t require much strength to shift the gears or turn the wheel. The Viva would be the precursor to the Chevette, a wonderful example of a positive relationship between American and European car manufacturers—because we really are just all one big family (but only five of us can fit in the Viva).
By the end of 1965, over 306,000 Vivas had been sold.

The best luxury car of 1965: Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow

Price range: ~$25K to $100K
Powertrain: 6.2 L V8 w/3-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
The Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow was a key player in setting the standard for other luxury vehicles for decades to come. It was equipped with futuristic features like hydropneumatic rear suspension, electric seats, and split-level air-conditioning! Its 172 hp 6.2-liter engine helped make the Silver Shadow an absolute dream to drive.
To get an idea of just how far into luxury territory the British car manufacturer was going with the Silver Shadow, a base model was priced at $70,000. If you adjust for inflation, that’s the same amount of money as $642,500 today. A modern-day Rolls-Royce still starts around $500K.

The best SUV of 1965: International Scout 800

Average Price: $43,367
Powertrain: 2.5 L or 3.2 L I4 w/3-speed or 4-speed manual, or 4-speed Hydra-Matic automatic transmission
What makes it special:
A much more stylish alternative to contemporary Jeeps, the International Harvester Scout is an oddity, but a beautiful oddity to be sure. It seems exactly like something out of a 90s family-friendly safari movie—The Wild Thornberries, anyone?

The best sports car of 1965: Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Coupe

Price range: ~$100K to $200K
Powertrain: 4.2 L I6 w/4-speed manual transmission
What makes it special: 
1965 was a great year for British cars, and one of the greatest British cars—if not one of the greatest sports cars of all time—is the Jaguar E-Type (also marketed as the XK-E in North American Markets).
When Jaguar upgraded the E-Type to its new 4.2-liter engine in 1965, it became what would continue to be the most valuable E-Type money could buy.

The super-est supercar of 1965: AC Shelby Cobra MkIII 427

Price range: ~$1,000,000
Powertrain: 7.0 L V8 w/4-speed manual transmission
What makes it special: 
In keeping with 1965’s British Invasion theme, it was a collaboration between British carmaker AC Cars and American automotive superpower Ford that would go on to post the fastest top speed of any car that year, reaching 165 mph.
But while it did manage to post a great speed when tested by Car and Driver, it ended up being a financial failure for both companies, and Ford stopped importing cars from England entirely by 1967.
Perhaps not so super after all, but these cars are highly sought-after by collectors, as they now carry significant historical value.

The best truck of 1965: Chevrolet C10 Fleetline Pickup truck

Average price: $42,995
Powertrain: 3.3L V6, 2.7- and 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6, and 5.0L V8 engines
What makes it special: 
The Chevrolet C/K series was the top performer of the 1960s in the full-size truck category. The C10 was the classic cab with rear-wheel drive, by far one of the most stylish trucks ever sold.

What cars came out in 1965? 

The Mustang wasn’t the only car that debuted in 1965. Let’s see how it compares in price to other debut models from the same year.
Vehicle type
Average Value
Pony car
3.7-liter V8
The one and only
Aston Martin DB6
Grand tourer
3995 cc straight six
DB5’s successor
T series
Full-size luxury car
582 cc flat twin
The first unibodied Bentley
[Cadillac] Calais(https://getjerry.com/car-insurance/cadillac-insurance-cost)
Full-size luxury car
7 L or 7.7 L V8
The new-to-the-block base model Caddy
Full-size luxury car
3.0 L I6 or 4.0 L or 4.4 L V8
The height of Nissan luxury
Sports car
1.6 L B4
A classic vintage rally car
Compact SUV
2.8 L I6
Another SUV pioneer
Toyota Sports 800
Sports car
790 cc flat twin
Toyota’s first production sports car

How to save money with classic car insurance

Folks who own ‘65 classic cars are willing to protect their trophies with robust insurance—especially if they plan on using them for what they were made for in the first place. Luckily, you may actually be able to save money with
classic car insurance
If you’re finally getting that classic Mustang restored and back on the road, you should definitely look to Jerry to find you the cheapest prices on car insurance! Our average users save over $800 a year on auto insurance alone!
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free