History of the 1965-1970 Chevrolet Biscayne
The Biscayne name started out as a phenomenal Chevrolet Motorama show car in 1955, and then was tapped as the all-new mid-priced Chevrolet name for 1958. It was a great start, at least until the name was immediately demoted to Chevrolet’s “base level” in 1959.
Nevertheless, the all-new 1965 Chevrolet was a gorgeous car and phenomenal seller in the marketplace, with Biscayne selling some 145,000 vehicles, about 1.5% of the entire auto market for the US in 1965. This was a very impressive figure for just one single model.
Some buyers simply wanted the functionality and reliability of the big comfortable Chevrolet but without all of the doodads associated with upmarket versions. The value was certainly there, with Biscayne pricing starting at $2,363 in 1965 for the two-door six-cylinder sedan. To put it into perspective, that was only a few dollars more than the 1965 Nova two-door hardtop, started at $2,270 and was a full “two sizes smaller”. The average new car sold for $2,650 in 1965.
From 1965 through 1970, the basic cars changed in the exact same ways as the more expensive brethren, Bel Air and Impala, but new car prices remained modest. Naturally, many Biscaynes were sold new to fleets, police agencies, taxicab companies, and individually sold with big-block 409 and 396 cubic inch V-8 engines for racing purposes. About one in four were sold with V-8s of any description, whereas the entire US market penetration of V-8s was significantly higher.
People who really needed the room but were on a budget made up much of the Biscayne market. These were people like salesmen who doubled up their car as a family vehicle or people who had always bought Chevys and who didn’t want “fancy” in order to announce their presence to neighbors.
Today, Biscaynes appeal to people desiring to make cloned copies of famous race cars from back in the day or to people who might want to keep grandpa’s old car running for nostalgic reasons. Values remain reasonable unless there’s a big-block under the hood.