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Chevrolet Chevelle

1964 Chevelle Malibu SS Convertible Car

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1964 Chevelle Malibu SS Convertible

The Chevrolet Chevelle was a mid-sized automobile from Chevrolet debuting for the 1964 model year. It was produced from 1963 through 1977, and was one of General Motors' successful nameplates.

 

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Chevelle models included economical family-type sedans, station wagons, coupes, and convertibles, as well as several performance-oriented variants. The Malibu, at first the top trim level in the Chevelle line, replaced the Chevelle name entirely after 1977. The Chevelle chassis (based on the reengineered GM A platform) provided the platform for the Chevrolet Monte Carlo in 1970. A utility pickup, the El Camino, was part of the lineup and, depending on the year, was available in 300, 300 Deluxe, or Malibu trim levels, as well as a one-year only SS396 version. The El Camino, and its GMC counterpart, outlived the passenger car versions until their demise after the 1987 model year.

1964-1972

1969 Chevelle SS396 Car

GNU Free Documentation License

1969 Chevelle SS396

The Chevelle was supposed to contend with the equally sized Ford Fairlane, and to come back to the Chevrolet line-up a model similar in size and thought to the favoured 1955-57 models.

Early design photos show what would eventually be the Chevelle wearing Nova nameplates; the name then being used for the top trim level in the smaller Chevy II series. The Chevelle was the basis for the Beaumont, a re-trimmed model sold only in Canada by Pontiac dealers.

Four-door hardtop sedans, dubbed Sport Sedans, were accessible from 1964 to 1972. A two-door car was obtainable in 1964 and 1965 in the bottom-line Chevelle three hundred series.____

Two-door hardtop coupes and convertibles were produced from 1964 to 1972, while four-door sedans and four-door wagons were offered throughout the entire run. Various models of wagons were sold with exclusive nameplates: Nomad, Nomad Custom (1968), Greenbrier, Concours, and Concours Estate. In line with other Chevrolet series, the two-door hardtops were called Sport Coupes.

Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

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Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu

Chevelle SS

The Chevelle SS represented Chevrolet's entry into the muscle car battle. Early 1964 and 1965 Chevelles had a Malibu SS badge on the rear quarter panel (part of the Z16 option priced at US$1,501 in 1965,[1] had the emblem on the front fender, as well as distinct in-house style numbers, 737 for the hardtop, 767 for the convertible;[2] 201 Malibu SS396s were produced); after 1965, the Malibu SS badge disappeared except for those sold in Canada. The Chevelle SS, which became a regular series of its own in 1966 called the SS396 (style numbers 817 and 867 that year),[3] was the high performance version and had its own line of engines and performance equipment. The performance engines available included 396 CID V8s – rated at 325 hp (242 kW), 350 hp (260 kW), and 375 hp (280 kW) respectively (the mid horsepower 396 was rated at 360 hp (270 kW) for 1966 only and 350 hp (260 kW) thereafter). The SS396 series only lasted three years from 1966 through 1968 before being relegated to an option package, just like air conditioning or a radio. The 1966 and 1967 model years also saw the limited run of the 'strut back' two-door sport coupe with its own syle number, 17.[3]

Two prototype Z16 Chevelles were built at the Baltimore plant and all regular production Z16 Chevelles were built at the Kansas City plant. Whether these two prototypes and the one reported convertible are included in this 201 figure isn't known. The one convertible was reportedly special built for Chevy General Manager Semon "Bunkie" Knudsen but is commonly called the 201st Z16 Chevelle and is commonly understood to have been destroyed. The original Z16 convertible supposedly surfaced in Art Astor's famous auto collection; it has been proven to be a fake.

The Z16 option included a convertible boxed frame, a narrowed rear axle and brake assemblies from the contemporary Impala, heavy-duty suspension, plus virtually all Chevelle comfort and convenience options. The Z16 standard big-block 396 Turbo-Jet V8 came only with the Muncie wide-ratio four-speed manual transmission. The rear of the Z16 had a unique black and chrome trim panel which framed untrimmed Chevelle 300-style taillights (Malibu and Malibu SS models had bright metal trim attached to the lenses).

 

1966 saw a complete restyle of the Chevelle on the old frame. The new body reflected the "Coke bottle" body shape that became the fad for American cars in the mid-1960s. Bulging rear fender lines and a "flying buttress" roofline (where the rear window was recessed into the "C" pillar) were highlights of the '66 hardtops, shared with other GM "A" body models. The SS396 became a separate model, and the only Super Sport available. It was produced as a regular production model, and quite a few were sold. 1967 saw a slight restyle of the '66 body, but an entire host of new safety equipment became standard that year,[citation needed] making the '67 a much safer car to be in the event of a collision. The SS396 continued as the only Super Sport model, in both Sport Coupe and Convertible body styles.

Oil - The Lifeblood Of Your Car - some useful information

For 1968, a new body style (though still under the 817 and 817 internal designations)[4] emphasized the "Coke bottle" look even more, and a semi-fastback roofline for hardtop coupes became extremely popular. New Federal safety-mandated equipment included side marker lights on each fender, as well as shoulder belts for outboard front seat occupants on cars built after December 1, 1967. This explains why some '68s had shoulder belts, and some early-production cars did not. All '68s had anchors for the belts, however. Manaul transmission cars got GM's "Air Injection Reactor (A.I.R)" smog pump, which added complexity under the hood.

For the 1969 model year, the SS396 series was dropped and the Super Sport became a performance option. In 1969 the SS option could be ordered on the 300 Deluxe 2-door Sport Coupe (style number 13337)[5] and 2-door sedan (13327)[5] as well as the Malibu 2-door Sport Coupe (13537)[5] and convertible (13567),[5] as well as the El Camino (13580). All '69 Chevelles also got a new locking steering column, one year ahead of the Federal requirement. Headrests, required for all cars sold in the U.S. after January 1, 1969, were installed on all '69 GM cars, but on cars sold before the law went to effect had the option of deleting them. In 1970 the SS option was limited to the Malibu series (2-door Sport Coupe, convertible, and El Camino). In both 1969 and 1970 the SS option included the 396/402 as the base engine keeping the option alive as a performance-oriented choice. This changed in 1971 when the SS option could be ordered with any optional V8 and became more of a dress-up option than a performance option.

1964 Chevelle Malibu SS Car

This image is copyrighted. The copyright holder allows anyone to use it for any purpose. Geoff Chandler

1964 Chevelle Malibu SS;The first year of Chevelle Production

Prior to 1970, GM had a restriction stating no mid-size car could have an engine with a displacement over 400 cu in (6.6 L). Don Yenko, a Chevy dealer outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, discovered a way to get around that edict. Don used the Central Office Production Order system, which normally filled special-equipment fleet orders, to create a special COPO that included the L72 427 cubic inch 425 425 hp (317 kW) engine and the needed drive train upgrades. A few other dealers ordered the package Yenko created and sold them as their own supercars. (Berger, Sunico, etc)

In 1970, GM dropped the displacement rule, and bigger engines became available as regular production options, resulting the addition of an SS454 option to the existing SS396. The 454 cu in (7.4 L) LS5 V8 was rated at 360 hp (270 kW) (390 hp (290 kW) in Corvettes) and the LS6 at 450 hp (340 kW). The LS6, with 450 hp (340 kW) and 500 ft·lbf (680 N·m) of torque, would provide 14 mi (400 m) strip performances in the low to mid-13 second range at 105–108 mph (169–174 km/h). In fact, the stock 450 hp (340 kW) LS6 tied the 1966 Corvette early production 427/450 hp as the highest horsepower engines offered by any manufacturer during the muscle car era.

There were more powerful engines offered by GM during those years but they were underrated to keep the less savvy buyers from ordering them for street use. The ZL1 and L88 427s both were rated at 430 hp (320 kW), but actually produced well over 500 hp (373 kW) in stock configurations. They were "race only" engines and very very few were ever installed in production cars. Most were ordered by racers who had factory connections or sold over the counter parts.

For 1971, GM mandated all divisions design their engines to run on lower-octane regular, low-lead or unleaded gasoline due to tightening emission requirements and in anticipation of the catalytic converter that would be used on 1975 and later models, necessitating the use of unleaded fuel. To permit usage of the lower-octane fuels, all engines featured low compression ratios (9:1 and lower; well below the 10.25-11.25:1 range on high-performance engines of 1970 and earlier). This move reduced horsepower ratings on the big-block engines to 300 for the 402 cubic-inch V8 but surprisingly, the LS-5 454 option got an "advertised" five-horsepower increase to 365. The LS-6 454 option, which was originally announced as a regular production option on the Chevelle SS for 1971, was dropped early in the model year and no official records indicate that any 1971 Chevelles were assembled with the LS-6 engine.

In the face of declining musclecar sales following the "insurance surcharge" wrath of 1970, the Chevelle SS – at least in base form – changed from a specific performance car to a trim package, much like the original Chevelle SS models that pre-dated the introduction of the SS396 in 1966. For 1971, the base Chevelle SS engine was a two-barrel 350-cubic-inch V8 rated at 245 gross (165 net) horsepower and optionally available was a four-barrel carbureted version of the 350 V8 rated at 275 gross (200 net) horsepower. The big block engines of previous years were now extra-cost options including the 402 V8 rated at 300 gross (270 net) horsepower; and LS-5 454 V8 with 365 gross and 285 net horsepower. Chevrolet specifications for 1971 included both "gross" and "net" horsepower figures for all engines to ease the transition to 1972 and later years, when Chevy and other manufacturers only listed the "net" horsepower ratings.

Chevrolet Chevelle SS Convertible Automobile

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Chevrolet Chevelle SS Convertible

The 1972 Chevelle SS had a top engine rated at 270 net hp (201 kW) conforming with GM's decree that all engines were to be rated at their net engine ratings. Despite the lower rating there was no evidence that power had actually changed on production cars of that year. All other engines on the SS roster were unchanged from 1971.

In mid-1971 and continued through 1972, the base Chevelle Sport Coupe was offered as the "Heavy Chevy" model featuring special striping and other appearance items. The "Heavy Chevy" was available with any V8 engine offered in the Chevelle roster ranging from the 307 two-barrel to the 402 four-barrel. However, the 454 big-block was only offered with the "SS" package and not available with the "Heavy Chevy" option.

The Yenko Chevelles

Retired race car driver Don Yenko, (at the time making a living as a Chevrolet dealer), developed his own line of signature Chevelles, along with his own models of Camaros and Novas, which became the Yenko Super Cars. At the time, the largest engine being installed in Chevelle SS's was the 396 cid V8. Yenko decided to equip his acquired models with the Chevrolet 427 cid V8. While being an extremely limited edition of Chevelles, they nonetheless proved very popular among Chevy lovers across the country. Today at auction, the Yenko Super Cars can bring as much as $2.2 million.

1973-1977

The Chevelle underwent a redesign for the 1973 model year. The so-called "colonnade hardtop" styling featured frameless door glass and fixed "B" pillars. Rear windows on coupes no longer could be opened, no doubt encouragement from GM to purchase the increasingly popular optional air conditioning. Front suspension was based on the Camaro/Firebird which greatly enhanced handling. Engine choices ranged from the 250 I6 to the venerable 454 V8. Hardened engine valve seats and hydraulic camshafts made these engines reliable for many miles, and allowed them to accept the increasingly popular unleaded regular gasoline. Crossflow radiators and coolant reservoirs that prevented air from entering the system prevented overheating. Swivel bucket seats and center console for automatic and manual shift cars were offered in every model as was the instrument gauge cluster. Power front disc and rear drum brakes were standard. Power accessories, air conditioning and AM/FM tape stereo were more prevalent these years and provided a pleasing drive. A power moonroof was an option in 73-75.

The station wagon, available in 6 or 9 passenger seating, featured a rear hatchback door which allowed for easier entry and loading.

The Chevrolet El Camino and GMC Sprint were still based on the Chevelle in North America. In South Africa, GM had stoped selling their Canadian Chevys in favor of rebadged Australian Holdens, including the Holden Commodore utility sold as the Chevrolet El Camino and later the Chevrolet Lumina Ute.

Yearly design changes to the front and rear mark the aesthetic differences as in previous years. The Chevelles were top sellers for GM as was the Oldsmobile Cutlass, which used the same corporate A-body platform.

1973 model offerings started with the top luxury Laguna series with its distinct urethane nose, followed by Malibu and then Deluxe models. An SS package was available for Malibu coupes and for the only time, station wagons. The SS option included a black front grille, SS badging on the interior and exterior, body side striping, rally wheels with white letter tires, F41 sport suspension with front and rear sway bars, and a 350 or 454 V8. A 4 speed Muncie transmission was available with 350 or 454 equipped cars on any model.

For 1974 the Laguna S3 coupe replaced the "SS" as the sporty/performance option on the Chevelle. The nomenclature S3 referred to sport and 3rd generation Chevelle. It sported a special urethane nose, body side striping, Laguna S3 badging, rally wheels, 4 spoke steering wheel and F41 sport suspension with front and rear sway bars. Radial tires on 15" wheels and radial tuned suspension provided road grip and retractable 3 point seat belts were introduced and still used in new cars today. A 400 engine was new this year. The 454 was the top engine and available with the Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic 400 or Muncie 4 speed manual transmissions.

With the Laguna nameplate now bearing the sporty model in the Chevelle line, the top-line series for 1974 became the Malibu Classic, offered in sedan, coupe and station wagon models. Unlike the '73 Laguna, the Malibu Classic used the same grillework as lesser Chevelle models but added a spring-loaded hood ornament. Inside, Malibu Classic featured luxurious interiors with notchback bench seats (or optional Strato bucket seats) upholstered in cloth or vinyl, carpeted door panels and woodgrain instrument panel trim, and vertical opera windows on coupes or exterior wood trim on station wagons. Also for 1974, the base Chevelle Deluxe series was dropped, leaving the plain Malibu as the low-end series.

The 1975 Laguna S-3 debuted as a 1/2 year model in February and sported a new sloped front nose designed for NASCAR. H.E.I. or High Energy Ignition provided spark to the spark plugs with minimal maintenance and increased power. The larger distributor cap also provided better high RPM performance by decreasing the likelihood of the spark conducting to the wrong terminal. The 454 and Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 transmission was available for the first half of the model year and then the 400 was the top engine choice.

 

For 1976, Chevelle was available with the new 5.0 liter 305 V8 the 350 and the 400. Malibu Classic models now featured the new rectangular headlights that other high-end GM cars were sporting. These were quad units in stacked arrangement, replacing the previous single round headlights (which were still used for the cheaper Malibu series).

1977 offered the Malibu Classic as the top model and the 350 was the top engine. A Chevelle S.E. or special edition was available and provided front and rear spoilers, turbin II wheels, F60x15 tires, special graphics and decals, laguna quarter window trim, front and rear sway bars, f41 sport suspension, deluxe interior. Three colors were available. Only 50 (fifty) or so of these rare cars were built.

When GM downsized its intermediate models for 1978, the Chevelle name was dropped and all models took the Chevrolet Malibu name.

References and Notes

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Pictures and Stories of your Car

Send a picture or story of your car attached to this Email and we'll show it here.

Chevrolet Chevelle Cars
Both of these  chevelles are '67  396, 4 speed cars. Low miles on each and are only driven on sunny days. The red one is my bosses and the green one is a good friend of his. They both live in port Dover Ontario Canada. - from Kim
Chevrolet Chevelle Car
This is a '67 biscayne it is a 454, 4 speed car, with a bench seat. Nice car in great shape. - from Kim

 

Comments

I LUV THESE CARS!

those cars are very beautiful those are luxus cars

The earlier writer is correct.  The grey Biscayne is a '68 and was apparently originally a 6 cylinder car based on the front fender light, and being a full-sized Chevy it is not a Chevelle, which is how the photo is labelled.

Hi, The silver Biscayne is a 68.Thanks for the pics!

i think these cars are great to work on

The King of muscle cars - LS6 rules, and the I have a soft spot for the Heavy Chevy (a package beneath the Super Sport)

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Car

GNU Free Documentation License - Morven

1972 Chevrolet Chevelle—last year of this body style

 

Text and images from Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia. under the GNU Free Documentation License  - Disclaimers  Please verify all information from other sources  as no liability can be accepted for the accuracy of this page.Published by Y2U.co.uk

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