Chevrolet Chevelle

In 1964, the very first Chevy Chevelle came from the assembly line and became the only brand new production car of the year. The original model was designed to beat popular Ford Fairlane on the market and return to previously attractive features of 1950s models.

The Chevelle Super Sedan (SS) represented Chevrolet's attempt to win the muscle car lovers all over United States of America. Produced in early 1964 and 1965 they became known by the Malibu SS badge on the rear quarter panel.

The model in question was priced around $1,500, without the $162 Super Sport package option. However, this option attracted great interest because it included special exterior brightwork with SS emblems and the 14-inch full-disc wheel covers, along with the vinyl bucket-seat interior.

Instead of the standard three-speed manual Muncie aluminum four-speed-manual or Powerglide two-speed automatic were offered as options. The vehicle ran on 283-cubic-inch four-barrel V8 engine rated at 220-horsepower.

The challenge that Chevrolet faced was futuristic muscle car and high performance models of the competition. In example, Pontiac Tempest had a 389-cubic-inch V8 to create the 325 horsepower (242 kW) Pontiac GTO. As a result in late 1964, the Chevelle was offered with the division's 327-cubic-inch V8, in either 250 or 300 hp (224 kW), with four-barrel carb and 10.5:1 compression.

Car lovers wanted even more so in 1965, a 350-hp 327 V8 as Regular Production Option (RPO) L79 was offered to the general public. It took little time before it seriously began to compete with Ford Fairlane and Plymouth Barracudas of the time.

Following the market pulse Chevrolet built 294,160 models in first year of production, including 76,860 SS models. After 1965, the Malibu SS badges disappeared from design board except for the models sold in Canada. Interesting fact, from the original lineup around 75 Z-16 models still exist and are accounted for. With all the many options in body style, engine and transmission there were 22 different possibilities in total for buyers.

The Chevelle SS396 became a series of its own in 1966. Sport coupes and convertibles used the same Malibu sport coupe and convertible bodies with reinforced frames and revised front suspension. New features were higher-rate springs, recalibrated shocks and a thick front stabilizer bar with slightly different exterior. Chevelle Malibu Convertible also had simulated hood scoops, red-stripe tires, and bright trim moldings.

The 1966 and 1967 model years were the only two years of the 'strut back' 2-door sport coupe with style number 17. The Chevrolet Chevelle was produced from 1964 to 1977. In 1978 the model officially became the Malibu, which was previously a package option for the basic Chevelle. During the prototype stage of development, it was carried under the Nova nameplate.

The Chevrolet designers expected for their favorite to bring back the enthusiasm in the Chevy owner community much like the success that 1955-57 Bel Air models brought. Over the time one of the most popular cars in the Chevrolet production line Malibu model became an icon of the era.

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