The name that comes to mind when you hear ‘classic, American muscle car’ is probably Chevy. Their muscle cars offered maximum performance for minimal money. A Chevy gave you great bang for your buck with an attractive, yet affordable automobile.
In the 1960s and 70s, Chevrolet offered the most extensive and popular lineup of muscle cars compared to other manufacturers. Chevrolet already had credibility for performance because of the 1955 small-block V-8. Their V-8 was popular with hot-rodders and racers and built the success of the Corvette. With this great track record, it was well known that Chevrolet could build fast vehicles.
In addition to Chevy’s fast muscle car image, the also offered glamor. In 1961 they introduced the beautiful Impala Super Sport. You could beef up the Impala with a 360-bhp 409. In 1962 they also offered a four-barrel carburetor option, which brought one horsepower per cubic inch to the V-8. Chevy introduced the Chevelle SS in 1964, which had a more compact interior in comparison to the Impala. Later, in 1965, Chevy introduced a less glamorous car that was big on speed, the Chevrolet Nova SS. The Nova had a long life that helped it last until the end of the muscle car era in 1972.
In the middle of the line ranks, Chevrolet offered the Chevelle and the Super Sport version. This became one of the most popular muscle cars of all time. The Chevelle SS was available with multiple engines, but the Chevelle SS 369 became a spate model in 1966. Over 72,000 were sold in 1966 alone. The LS6 SS 454 Cevelles were the fastest muscle cars available.
The only rival to the Chevelle in the Chevy line was the Camaro, introduced in 1964 as a response to Ford’s Mustang. In 1970 Chevy redesigned the Camaro to combine power and handling. The combination of the look and performance of the Camaro has helped it to last over thirty years. Now, Chevy is going to use the Camaro name to help reignite interest in muscle cars for the 21st century.