History of the First Generation Chevelle (1962-65)
One of Chevy’s most successful nameplates, the first generation Chevelle ran from 1964 to 1967. Chevelle’s body styling was offered in 2-door hardtops (known as the Sport Coupe) and convertibles as well as 4-door hardtop sedans (known as the Sport Sedan) and station wagons. The 115” wheelbase provided a smooth, cloud-like ride for passengers and the Chevelle made an excellent family vehicle. The Station Wagons each had its own exclusive nameplate: Greenbrier, Concours and Concours Estate. Best of all, the Chevelle offered both a 6 cylinder and a V8 engine from which to choose.
Chevelle SS became available in ’64 as a muscle car with the ’64 and ’65 models bearing the Malibu SS badge. The Super Sport package was available on the Malibu 2-door hardtop as well as convertible with exterior SS trim, 14” wheels, bucket seats, 4 gauge cluster and optional dash-mounted tachometer. In 1966 the Chevelle SS 396 was introduced offering a standard 396 CID (cubic inch displacement) V8 engine rated at 325 horsepower and a choice of either a 360 HP or 375 HP optional engine. The Chevelle SS 396 was only available through 1968.
The Z16 Chevelle holds the title of one of the rarest muscle cars ever produced. Only 200 rolled off the assembly line in Kansas City (not including the single prototype built in Baltimore). Built largely on the Impala chassis (with narrowed rear axle, heavy duty suspension, and convertible boxed frame), the Z16 came standard with the Big Block Turbo-Jet V8 as the L37 option. With a bore of 4.094 inches and a stroke of 3.760 inches, the engine was rated for 375 horsepower. As of this writing, only 75 of the 200 Z16 Chevelles are in existence.