A dramatic redesign of the Corvair came in 1965. The new body showed influence from the Corvette Stingray and the 1963 Buick Riviera. The mild coke bottle styling set the trend for GM cars for the next fifteen years, foreshadowing the 1967 Camaro. For the first time, none of the passenger cars had a "B" pillar, making all closed models true hardtops. The second generation's styling was rated timeless when new, and considered contemporary today in comparison to the first generation. A new fully independent suspension, similar in design to the Corvette, replaced the original swing axle rear suspension. However, the Corvair used coil springs at each wheel instead of the Corvette's single transverse leaf spring unit.
Car and Driver magazine's David E. Davis Jr. showed enthusiasm for the 1965 Corvair in their October 1964 issue:
"And it is here too, that we have to go on record and say that the Corvair is — in our opinion — the most important new car of the entire crop of '65 models, and the most beautiful car to appear in this country since before World War II." "When the pictures of the '65 Corvair arrived in our offices, the man who opened the envelope actually let out a great shout of delight and amazement on first seeing the car, and in thirty seconds the whole staff was charging around, each wanting to be the first to show somebody else, each wanting the vicarious kick of hearing that characteristic war-whoop from the first-time viewer." "Our ardor had cooled a little by the time we got to drive the cars — then we went nuts all over again. The new rear suspension, the new softer spring rates in front, the bigger brakes, the addition of some more power, all these factors had us driving around like idiots — zooming around the handling loop dragging with each other, standing on the brakes — until we had to reluctantly turn the car over to some other impatient journalist ... The '65 Corvair is an outstanding car. It doesn't go fast enough, but we love it."
The base 95 hp (71 kW) and optional 110 hp (82 kW) engines were carried forward from 1964. The previous 150 hp (112 kW) Spyder engine was replaced by the normally aspirated 140 hp (104 kW) for the new Corsa. The engine was unusual in offering four single-throat carburetors, to which were added larger valves and a dual exhaust system; The 180 hp (134 kW) turbocharged engine was optional on the Corsa, which offered either standard three-speed or optional (US$92) four-speed manual transmissions. The 140 hp (104 kW) engine was optional on 500 and Monza models with manual or Powerglide transmissions.
Many new refinements appeared on the beautiful new 1965 redesign. The Corsa came standard with an instrument panel featuring a 140 mph (230 km/h) speedometer with resettable trip odometer, a 6,000 rpm tachometer, cylinder head temperature gauge, analog clock with a sweeping second hand, a manifold vacuum/pressure gauge and fuel gauge. A much better heater system, larger brakes borrowed from the Chevelle, a stronger differential ring gear, a Delcotron alternator (replacing the generator), and significant chassis refinements were made. AM/FM stereo radio, in-dash All Weather Air Conditioning, telescopically adjustable steering column, and a Special Purpose Chassis Equipment ("Z17") handling package, consisting of a special performance suspension and quick ratio steering box, were significant new options for 1965.
By this time, the station wagon, panel van, and pickup body styles had all been dropped and 1965 was the last year for the Greenbrier window van, which was retained mainly for fleet orders, with 1528 being built. In all, 235,528 Corvairs were built in 1965. Chevrolet replaced the Corvair-based vans with the Chevrolet Sportvan/GMC Handi-Van, which used a traditional front engine/rear drive axle borrowed from the Chevy II.
Source: Wikipedia, 2012