Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Chevrolet Chevelle SS/LS (1966-1970)

Chevrolet Chevelle SS/LS (1966-1970) – One of the most often mentioned muscle cars, the Chevelle went through several redesigns over the years of its popularity. Originating in 1966 as the “Super Sport” package for the ’61 Impala, the recognizable Chevelle SS wasn’t truly brought to market until 1966, when those classic forward-thrusting front fenders, special wheel covers, red-line tires and black-out grill were added to show off the car’s bold new look. The 1966 Chevelle SS 396 was only produced in about 100 models, highly prized today. In fact, the high end of resale has gone from $28,000 to $369,000 in the last decade alone [source: CNNMoney.com].

In 1969, a special-order by Chevy dealers who couldn’t sell the things fast enough was designated the Central Office Production Order, or 427 COPO, and released in a limited run of about 320 cars. It had 450 horsepower capability and an L-72 427-cid V-8 engine, proving the dealers wanted power.

Chevrolet Chevelle SS/LS
Chevrolet Chevelle SS/LS

The last great SS, 1970’s 7.4-liter, had 450 horses and could hit 60 in a flat six seconds. With racing stripes and a nice interior, it was the people’s choice. The Chevy Chevelle is one of the most popular muscle cars. This 1966 model is obviously a classic.

From its 1964 introduction, Chevrolet’s Chevelle was a success, thanks to attractive styling, extensive options and sheer value for the dollar. Although it was powered at first by a number of inline sixes and small-block V8s, performance fans quickly realized that the Chevelle could easily accommodate the new Mark IV “big-block” engine, which arrived for 1965. Starting with the limited-production Z-16 option of 1965 and the all-out racing versions campaigned by famed drivers including Dick Harrell, Malcolm Durham and other Chevy stalwarts, the Chevelle established a formidable reputation.

Chevrolet Chevelle SS/LS
Chevrolet Chevelle SS/LS

However, during the late 1960s, Chevrolet faced an uphill battle in NHRA Super Stock competition against the factory-backed Cobra Jet Mustangs and Hemi-powered Chryslers that dominated the winner’s circle. Chevrolet finally released the limited-production 427-powered COPO Camaros and Chevelles that were raced with great success in 1969. Big changes for 1970 included the end of GM’s corporate edict forbidding engines displacing more than 400 cubic inches in its intermediate models, including the Chevelle.

In turn, Chevrolet’s “big-block” was enlarged to a mammoth 454 cubic inches and formed the basis of the RPO LS6 package, intended to wrest control of Super Stock drag racing from Chrysler. While the LS6 was never officially advertised by Chevrolet as an option for the Chevelle, certain Chevy dealers could, and often did, help their customers obtain the ultimate “bowtie” weapon

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