The Chevelle was the epitome of the “muscle” concept popular in the 60s – “big motor in a small car” and its popularity was not just deserved, but completely predetermined.
Source: Vintage Car Collector
The Chevelle was a classic American muscle car – one of the most powerful ones in the history of the brand. Americans really fell in love with it. The machine had a harmonious design, excellent technical characteristics, and a very affordable price. The model entered the Chevrolet lineup in 1964, coinciding with the very origins of the “muscle cars” emergence. The vehicle was small by American standards, therefore, putting a good powerful V8 under the hood turned it into a full-fledged projectile in 1965. In general, the Chevelle became a true epitome of the “muscle car” concept and its wide popularity was not just deserved, but completely predetermined.
In October 1963, the Chevelle entered production. From an engineering side, the model had a fairly advanced design for its class: a powerful spar peripheral frame with a kink in the area of the rear axle, a front independent suspension on double wishbones, and a dependent rear suspension on coil springs. A-body was distinguished by good versatility, on its basis it was possible to easily build machines with different body types: from convertible to pickup trucks. But most importantly, it became possible to mount large-sized large-volume engines. However, GM’s corporate executive order prohibited the creation of new models on the A-body platform, with engines larger than 330 cc inches. Nevertheless, Chevrolet didn’t give up on the sports version and prepared a special modification of the Malibu SS (SuperSport). It included a 220-horsepower V8, 280 cc inches (4.6 L), 14″ wheels with hubcaps from the Impala SS, and a sporty interior. The market warmly welcomed the new Chevrolet sports car, and almost 77,000 vehicles were sold in the first year. But that was only the beginning.
In 1965, an updated 5.4-liter engine was registered under the hood of the SuperSport. Engineers increased the compression ratio from 10.5 to 11:1, while increasing power to 350 hp along the way. In addition to the engine, the machine has undergone a light restyling, having received a radiator grille pointed in the middle part and a new interior trim. But most importantly, at the end of the year, Chevrolet released a completely crazy, limited version called the SS 396 Z-16.
In 1966, the model was radically updated. From 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS was considered a separate model, not a modification to the standard model. It was a due response of the company to the release of various “muscle cars” from other corporations. Its price started from $1,501 and the vehicle was sold as the Malibu SS: these symbols were visible on the rear panel. In addition, the machine had different indexes, which depended on the type of body. For example, for a convertible, it was 767, and for a sedan, it was 737. The model tried on a nice body with rounded shapes, with a typical “Coke bottle” style, bulging rear fenders, and a curved waistline. In addition, the engine range has been seriously redesigned. The junior engines were replaced with one 396 cc engine with different boost levels: 325, 350, 365, and 375 hp. The 6.5-liter power unit had 8 cylinders and a V-shaped layout. This CID engine could deliver a variety of hp. But there were differences in the exterior: the machine was equipped with side moldings, air intakes on the hood, as well as tires with a red stripe, applied to them. The famous machine of the first generation lasted on the assembly line until the end of 1968. A total of 275 thousand units were produced, which made the Chevelle SS one of the most popular muscle cars in history. It was replaced by the second generation model.
Source: Mecum Auctions
As a true representative of the powerful class of muscle cars, Malibu SS has played roles in more than one movie. A real procession of the brightest vehicles, you can safely call the film “Need for Speed” 2014 release, where you can meet many legendary machines from different eras, including Malibu SS of 1966 release.
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