It was attractive and stylish, its aggressive stance sending fear into the hearts of even its fiercest competitors. Earning its rightful place among CNN’s top 10 muscle car’s.
Generally a mid-size car with a large, powerful engine (typically, although not universally, a V8 engine) and special trim, intended for maximum acceleration on the street or in drag racing competition, this is the defenition for a muscle car this is the defenition for the Chevrolet Chevelle.
The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle took the automotive industry by storm. The entire Detroit market had been stricken by creating faster, more vehicles. The Chevelle flirted with this definition but went a step farther and added versatility and convenience faimos.
When introduced in 1963, its 327 cubic-inch V8 engine producing 300 horsepower was no match for the 389 cubic-inch V8 that the Pontiac GTO concealed under its hood. In the years that followed, Chevrolet would answer the challenge with larger, more powerful engines.
In the 1970 Chevrolet introduced the RPO-Z15 SS454 option - available in your choice of LS5 or LS6 power - for its 1970 model year Chevelle, sending shockwaves through the automobile industry. Built on top a new A-frame platform and had a 112 inch wheelbase. The suspension was unequal-length double wishbones in the front and a 4-link live-axle rear suspension.
Powering the LS6 was an 454 producing 450 horse power, power output that benefited from a 4.25 x 4.00-inch bore & stroke as well as an 11.25:1 compression ratio combined with large port cylinder heads, four bolt mains, a solid lift camshaft and a forged steel crank in addition to forged aluminum pistons.
Air induction was another popular means to achieving increased horsepower and the 1970 Chevelle SS took full advantage of this feature with an ingeniously designed cowl induction hood. The ZL2 option made use of a unique flapper door that opened at full throttle, feeding cold air to the 454’s 800-cfm Holley carburetor mounted atop an aluminum low-rise intake manifold. Locking the domed hood in place was the job of a pair of functional hood pins, standard on the cowl induction hood.
The vehicle could race from zero-to-sixty in just over 6 seconds. The quarter mile could be reached in 13.7 seconds. It was the 454 that made the Chevelle a legend.
Chevelle SS 454 LS6 came a strikingly bold redesign of the Chevelle’s exterior, featured new rippling fender bulges giving the Chevelle a well defined muscular figure. In addition, several unique design cues from revised front & rear bumpers to dual, individually recessed headlights separated by the Chevelle’s brand new v-shaped front grille differentiated this Chevelle from the rest of its lineage. For the SS models, the all-new grille treatment was blackened out, partitioned by a body-color bar with a center mounted SS logo. A unique black rubber pad fastened between the newly designed rectangular taillights featured a white pinstripe and SS logo.
Also received several design enhancements, the interior featured bench seat & column shifter as standard equipment, optional Strato bucket seats and an optional console with floor-mounted shifter could be ordered. An SS emblazoned steering wheel and SS dash with optional gauge package - which included a 6500rpm tach - were additional components that could be found on the 1970 Chevelle SS.
Many customers, however, chose the Chevelle as an economical family car that, while not as expensive to operate as larger models (including the Chevrolet Impala), had enough room to seat a family of five in reasonable comfort. Popular convenience items ranged from power steering, power brakes, automatic transmission, air conditioning and stereo radio; plus appearance items including vinyl top, full wheel covers and whitewall tires.
The Chevrolet Chevelle will remain a top competitor in the run for the best muscle car and people friendly automobile.