The second generation Chevelle had a decidedly sporty look that one could trim out for either muscle car styling or a good-looking family ride. Chevelle was available in several packages: The Chevelle SS396; the El Camino pickup (returned from a 3-year drawing-board hiatus); the Malibu; the luxury Concours (ZK5, ZK6, and ZK7); and the Nomad, a one-year wonder.
The second gen Chevelle got a longer hood, short rear deck, a shorter wheelbase (112 inches versus 115 inches from the previous generation); and contoured sides to give it that rounded beltline, “coke-bottle” look. Wider treads entered the picture along with hard tops with semi-fastback styling. The SS396 and Concours trim models got the Hide-a-Way windshield wiper system.
Base model Chevelles were equipped with either the 140horsepowerTurbo-Thrift Six or the 200 horsepower Turbo-Fire 307 V8, an AIR (Air Injection Reactor) smog pump, and manual transmission. The SS396 came standard with 325 horsepower 396 cubic inch Turbo Jet V8 under a dual-domed hood and 14” wheels with optional 350 HP and 375 HP 396 engines available for an additional cost. The Malibu package offered a 307 cubic inch V8 engine and vinyl bucket seats. Concours was the luxury model Chevelle with the interior fleshed out in vinyl upholstery, simulated wood grain trim, and a thickly padded dashboard and instrument panel.
1968 saw the end of the term “2 door sedan” for the two door pillar body style which was replaced with “coupe or sport coupe” or “2-door hardtop.” 1969 through 1972 brought an end to the bat wing, otherwise known as the front vent window, which was replaced by Astro ventilation. The SS396 became an option package available on any 2 door model, including convertibles, sport coupes, and the El Camino. In 1971, Chevy’s specifications included both gross and net horsepower numbers while the SS option became available on any V8 model. SS was a trim package only at this point that did not include performance upgrades. No changes were made to the 71 models and were sold as is in 1972.