Chevelle Community+ ADD YOUR SITE (12 members)
While the car industry continues to grow today and expand into new hybrid power technologies and bigger SUVs, doesnít it seem that cars were so much cooler a few decades ago? Back in the 1970s before gas emissions and gas prices were such a concern, cars were allowed to be cars Ė stylish, strong, rugged, but still sexy. These cars were featured in classic racing movies that were being produced by the day back then, they were used on the race tracks between friends, and they were used to impress the girl or boy that youíve always really liked. Out of this classic era of cars, there is one car that stands out Ė the Chevrolet Chevelle.
The Chevrolet Chevelle was one of the most popular cars of its time, where it dominated sales charts from 1964 to 1977. The chevelle was extraordinarily popular despite the fact that it underwent a drastic redesign in 1973, changing from a sleek muscle car to a stylish passenger car. Despite the change in its design and engineering, the chevy chevelle was such a resounding success due to its combination of speed, style, power, and price. It was such a popular vehicle that it spawned off a station wagon version that would go on to become the equally classic Chevrolet El Camino. The chevelle was also the favorite car of a man in Chicago, whose sons would go on to form an extraordinarily popular alternative rock band that they named Chevelle.
While the Band Chevelle may sing, ďSend the Pain Below,Ē there is no pain when it comes to looking at a Chevy Chevelle. The car was initially designed by the top engineers and designers at Chevrolet as General Motorís entrance into the lucrative muscle car industry. Realizing that they would be facing stiff competition from the popular Ford Fairlane, Chevrolet worked hard to distinguish the Chevy Chevelle. What they came up with would drastically alter the muscle car marketplace.
Introduced in 1964, the Chevrolet Chevelle SS was a sleek machine that was available in a number of trims. Featuring a Malibu SS badge on the rear quarter panel, the chevy chevelle was powered by a V8 engine that allowed such a stylish car to have so much speed. In 1966 and 1967, Chevrolet released a couple of limited edition Chevelles that continue to be popular among car collectors. The 1967 chevelle featured a strut back style and was a 2 door sports couple that would make it one of the most popular cars of its time.
Although it would seem like a daunting task for Chevrolet to replicate the success of the 1967 chevy chevelle, it managed to do so with the 1969 chevelle and the 1970 chevelle. The 1969 chevelle was notable because it came with the option of being a 300 Deluxe two door coupe or a two door sedan. The 1970 chevelle is particularly notable for changing its engine. Up to that point, General Motors had a rule that prevented the use of large engines. However, they had discarded the rule which allowed the 1970 chevelle to use the 454 in LS5 V8 engine that would become legendary. Powered by its new engine, the 70 chevelle could race through a quarter mile in just thirteen seconds.
While it would seem like there was limitless options available for the Chevrolet Chevelle to continue its reign as the ultimate speed demon, things drastically changed in the world that caused changes to occur. Due to changes in government regulations and increase in insurance rates, automakers were forced to change their muscle cars to make it more fuel efficient and diverse. This new environment would lead to the dissolution of many classic muscle cars but the chevelle was able to survive.
Although many people found the Chevy Chevelleís appeal to be in its fast speeds and ability to race, the chevelle was also an excellent economical family car. With its comfortable seating that could easily seat five people and its affordable price, the chevy chavelle continued to be popular. Additionally, Chevrolet continued to show its support to its top selling chevelle by providing convenience items like air conditioning, power steering, power brakes, a stereo radio, and automatic transmission with the chevy chevelle at a time where other automakers didnít.
Faced with a changing environment, Chevrolet decided to drastically overhaul the chevy chevelle. Where the Chevelle had been a sleek muscle car, from 1973 on, the Chevy Chevelle would be available as a 2 door coupe, a 4 door sedan, a 2 door convertible, or a 4 door station wagon. Realizing that more families were attracted to the Chevelle as the right car for them, Chevrolet improved the carís handling and added a colonnade hardtop style that improved the carís durability.
However, Chevrolet understood that they couldnít abandon the fans of the Chevelle that was attracted to the carís speed and style. This second generation of the Chevelle came with nice stylistic touches like a power moon roof and swivel bucket seats. Additionally, the Chevy Chevelle came with the option of coming with a 454 V8 engine. Chevrolet buttressed the chevelleís reputation with its success on the Nascar circuit. From 1973 to 1977, legendary Nascar drivers like Dale Earnhardt, Janet Guthrie, Darrell Waltrip and Junior Johnson found massive success with their chevy chevelle racing stock cars.
Despite the prominent success and promotion that came with all of their NASCAR victories, the Chevy Chevelle would only last until 1977. The automotive industry can be extremely harsh in dealing with a successful carís longevity and Chevrolet decided it was best to retire the chevelle while it was still on top. Throughout the thirteen year history of the Chevrolet Chevelle, the car just won. Whether it was on the saleís sheets or the NASCAR tracks, the chevy chevelle drove away with peopleís hearts. Although it may no longer be produced, the chevy chevelle still holds a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts throughout the world!