Chevy introduced the Chevelle in 1964 as a midsized muscle car. Wearing a Malibu SS badge, the Super Sport package was an upgrade offered on the upscale Malibu whether it was a 2-door hardtop or rag top. It bore polished metal work (“brightwork”), SS emblems, 14 inch hub cabs (“wheel covers”) from the Impala SS, vinyl bucket seats with a center floor console on models with the Muncie aluminum 4-speed tranny or the Powerglide 2-speed automatic transmission. It was equipped with a 4 gauge cluster instead of warning lights and provided the option for a dash-mounted tachometer. In ’69, Chevy offered the optional SS 396 package. Although the body was still a Malibu sport coupe or convertible, the SS 396 package got reinforced frames, revised front suspension, higher rated springs, recalibrated shocks, and a thicker front stabilizer bar. But, it came with different exterior trim such as the simulated hood scoop, red stripe tires, metallic trim moldings. Three engines were offered but all were the 396 CID V8: The 325 horsepower rated engine was standard with the 360 hp and 375 hp as options. Next came the short run Z16 in 1965, of which only 200 were produced (not counting the prototype built in Baltimore). Only 75 of these very rare Chevelles are currently accounted for. Chevelle got a new body style in 66 and was touted as a car that would make you want to get out and drive. It came equipped with front disc brakes, dual master cylinder braking system, 14 inch wheels, 3-speed automatic transmission, and, an added safety feature, a collapsible steering column. Missing from the list of options however was the 375 horsepower 396 cubic inch engine but Chevy offered no less than seven transmissions from which to choose.
The REAL Chevelle muscle cars, in my humble opinion, were the 70-73 models, the hardtop coupes with the fabulous SS styling. After ’73 however, there were big changes to body style. Although the front end was big and squared off, it was shapeless and uninteresting. The rear deck was still short and tapered. The hard top became the “Colonade” hard top which provided a slanted rear window that did not open. There were three generations of Chevelle stretching from 1964 to 1977 during which it was the basis for the Malibu, Laguna, El Camino, and the Monte Carlo. After 1977, it was replaced with the smaller, more economical Malibu. Looking for Chevelle parts for your classic muscle restoration? Visit our site or call us today at: