When the Chevrolet Chevelle was first introduced in 1964, it was hard to believe that it would become one of the most sought after cars in American automotive history. It was nothing spectacular; simple and clean, with no fins and no extravagant use of chrome. But its simplicity and modest elegance did contribute to its destiny as one of the greatest American cars ever made.
The Chevrolet Chevelle entered the battle of midsized muscle cars in the 1960s as Chevrolet’s answer to the highly successful Pontiac GTO and Ford Fairlane. However, with a 327 V8 engine, the 1964 Chevelle could not deliver the kind of performance that was offered by the Pontiac GTO, which was released the same year with a 389 ci engine. While the first Chevelle model was quite forgettable, the following version, which was introduced the next year, sparked great interest among car enthusiasts. Its new 396 V8 engine as well as improvements in suspension and power steering made it one of the most impressive muscle cars in the market.
The 396 V8 engine of the Chevelle did not go through much changes from 1966 to 1969, although major alterations were done to the design, on the wheelbase, hood, deck, and the rear of the car. In 1970, Chevrolet released a new version that featured the LS6 454 engine, the most powerful factory engine in the history of muscle cars. At this point, the Chevrolet Chevelle was widely regarded as the definitive muscle car. However, Chevrolet could not continue to bring its performance to new heights because stricter standards for emissions and higher insurance premium were imposed in 1971.
In 2003, Automobile Inspections LLC reported that around 20% of the cars they inspected were Chevrolet Chevelles.