Chevrolet Classic Muscle Cars from the ‘60s The Chevy Chevelle SS The Chevrolet Chevelle has a detailed and tech-heavy history, including a cinematic phase, believe it or not. The automobile industry during the 1960s changed at a fast pace as manufacturers consistently came up with new designs and new features. The Chevrolet series, produced by General Motors, was one of the major players in the series of changes that occurred during this period. This was a direct response to the success and impact of American motors in the industry of small cars during this period. The 1960s Chevrolet classics hold an important spot in the history of classic muscle cars. The movement that followed their introduction was a huge win for Chevrolet. With three different generational models spanning between 1965 – 1973, this period helped Chevrolet cars enter the competition for classic muscle cars for good. During this period, three major stand-out models made their debut in the automobile industry: the Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport (or simply Chevelle SS), the 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle coupe, and the Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu. Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport The Chevelle was one of Chevrolet’s breakthrough successful models with their noticeable body styles including coupes, convertibles, sedans and station wagons. In response to Ford’s Fairlane, released in 1962, Chevrolet released the Chevelle SS hardtop coupe based on the new platform design from GM. Upon release of this model, the Chevrolet brand made an approximated sale of $338,286 for the year. This model was the muscle car that filled the space between the small Chevy 11 car and the other sized-up Chevrolet models. Chevrolet Chevelle SS Design Based on the A platform design from GM with a 115 inch (2,900 mm) wheelbase, the simplicity, size and shape of the Chevelle SS resembled the standard Chevrolet models built during this period. With a six-cylinder designed-to-fit V8 engine, the Chevelle SS came with a special exterior brightwork option with an SS emblem. The model featured a vinyl interior with an optional Muncie aluminium four-speed manual, compared to the the brand’s usual three-speed manual. The 283 cubic inches V8 automobile had a 220 horsepower rating. Subsequently came options with 250, 300 and 350 horsepower ratings. The Chevelle made a huge sale for Chevrolet during this period. There was a record 338,286 Chevelles sold, of which 8,224 were SS coupes in its very first year of production. Models The Chevrolet Chevelle came in different versions. The Chevelle SS396 later became a series on its own in 1966. It featured the SS396 Super Sports Coupes and the convertibles body frame. Only two hundred Z16 SS396 were produced in the Kansas City plant. This model included a convertible boxed frame plus a host of other Chevelle convenience options. It also came with a well fitted hydraulic lifter turbo-jet V8 engine. Finally, the Chevelle 300 deluxe V8 came in 1967 featuring a welcome facelift. For the 1967 Chevelle sedan the major point of attraction was the interior, which came with different options for the customer’s convenience. Interesting Facts The Chevelle SS appeared in a number of franchise movies. More than 1,600 movies featured different Chevelles over time, most notably in the Fast and Furious movie franchise. At the Mecum auction in 2013, the world’s most expensive Chevelle, the 1970 Chevelle SS 427 LS6, sold at auction for $1,17 million. Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu The Chevrolet Chevelle released in 1968 is known as the Chevelle Malibu. This well-known and at the time all-new automobile release came with some distinct new features. Most noticeably were the elongated frontline and the short-decked beltline, and the GM hideaway wiper system. This model came as a direct response to the reigning Ford Mustang as at that time. Like its predecessor, the Chevelle Malibu was a huge success in the automobile industry at the time. Chevelle Malibu design Built with the intention of making it America’s most popular medium-sized car, a noticeably new single chrome bar connected the quad headlights, while the taillight lenses were much bigger and more vertical. The model used Astro ventilation. Chevelle Malibu automobile used V8 engines, with an option of 325 horsepower. More potential options were soon made available along with more horsepower. The VIN prefix of the Chevelle Malibu would later go on to share the same VIN prefix with the SS396s. For the production between 1969-1972, different designs featured two-door hardtop coupes and 4-door deluxe Chevelle. The Chevelle Malibu was a huge success and led to the production of about 70,000 automobiles. The versions included were the Malibu 4-door wagon, Malibu Sport Coupe, Malibu convertible, Malibu 4-door sedan. Models Through 1968-1972, the Chevelle Malibu had a number of produced versions which includes the Malibu 4-door wagon, Malibu Sport Coupe, Malibu convertible, Malibu 4-door sedan. Interesting facts about the Chevelle Malibu The Chevelle Malibu had a regular spot in dozens of TV commercials over the years. It also appeared in more than 1000 movies over the years, most notably in Netflix’s Narcos TV show (2015-17). Chevrolet Chevelle SS Station Wagon Another classic from Chevrolet is the Chevelle SS Station Wagon, widely referred to as the Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna. This brand new Chevrolet model came at a time when new federal rollover standards were put in place. Distinctively, it now featured an acoustical double-panel roof, better fitted glass and a well-styled exterior door handle. Design of the Chevelle SS Station Wagon The station wagon retained the wheelbase dimension of 112 inches (2,800 mm) for the coupe version and 116 inches (2,900 mm) for the sedan version. The body was about 5 inches longer and an inch wider in size. The station wagon was available for 6 to 9 passenger seating. The chassis was as new as the body, with a larger 8 1/2-inch rear axle, a wider rim width and a redesigned rear control. The car had the signature (at the time) Chevrolet V8 engine. The Chevelle SS station wagon had a 350 two-barrel V8 engine with a 145 horsepower rating. Conclusion There are distinct designs and major differences between the Chevelle SS, Chevelle Convertible and the Chevelle SS station wagon. The designs evolved over time as General Motors introduced new ones. They all boasted a V8 engine and similar wheelbase dimensions. The major differences lay in their distinct design: the Chevelle Super Sport had a differentiating SS emblem, the Malibu a longer frontline and a rounded back belt, while the Station Wagon had a more accommodating passenger seating. Additionally, the Super Sport versions were usually two-door concepts, while the Malibu and the Station Wagon had four. The Chevrolet recently considered continuing the Chevelle series, but talks are still ongoing. For lovers of automobiles and classic muscle cars, news of continuing these classics will make hearts skip a beat. These were cars whose exquisite designs were sung about and featured in people’s daydreams. The surviving Chevelles are classics forever to be cherished, not only as relics but for the memories created through them. Fancy one for yourself? There’s a very good chance we have a Chevelle available here. Have a look!