[American Classics] Chevelle : One of the most successful Chevy

The original 1964 Chevelle. Quite looking like an Impala.

The Chevrolet Chevelle is one of the most popular Chevy in the history. Originally introduced in 1964 to compete with the unreachable Ford Fairlane, the Chevelle also had the goal to replace the original 55-57 Chevrolet Bel Air. In all its history (1964 to 1977), the Chevelle has been offered in multiple forms : hardtops and convertibles, 4-door sedans and even station wagons. Even 4-door hardtops and 2-door station wagons have been available in some years! Only the second generation will be covered in this article (from 1967 to 1972) since i only have diecasts from this generation.

Second generation : Power and pride

67's Chevelle SS396. Started an era of muscle car.

A few words about the first generation : there was a powerful version called the Chevelle SS396, powered by a V8 of 375 hp. In 1967, only 612 of these were built, and Hot Wheels made a great replica of this rare muscle car. First offered as a 2010 new model, the casting reproduces well the overall form of the car. I do have the first color offered, name Metallic Maroon. Side mirrors are missing, but i particularly love the hood details. A few tampos could have been added for the lights though instead of this metallic plastic.

Talking about the real car now, the second generation has been introduced in 1968, with a new body and multiples forms. The 69 Chevelle has been tagged as "America's most popular mid-sized car". It had a convenient style and a large variety of engines to satisfy every customer. In fact, it went from a standard L6 of 230 cube inches to a monstrous V8 454 Big Block. The Chevelle were offering advanced options for those years, such as headlight washers, power windows and locks , as well as a rear defroster.

69 Chevelle SS396.

More than 86000 units were produced with the SS396 option, and the 1969 Chevelle made by Hot Wheels is a great replica of this powerful option. First offered as a 2008 new model, it's made as a lowrider car. I have, in my opinion, the coolest of all made : the 2009 green Muscle Mania version. Side mirrors are missing again and the chrome plastic is a bit cheap, but it has great tampos and really feel the lowrider look.

In 1970, the Chevelle had been revised as a more square-up body. Engine range was even more bigger, from a basic 155 hp to a racing 500 hp big block. GM added Coil Induction to their SS engines, and it became one of the most powerful muscle car of the 1970 year. In fact, the 1970 Chevelle is probably recognized as the cooler Chevelle in the car's history. The Hot Wheels version came out in 1999 in a blue tone with white stripes. About all those Chevelle SS got stripes in these years. This is a well-done diecast for the overall form, but tampos are missing as well as side mirrors. It was one of my favorites as a children though, and i played a lot with it... mine is still in good condition though.

71 Chevelle SS. First model with only 2 front lights.

In 1971, the Chevelle received a small face-lift, but putting out the original 4 front lights. In diecast, Matchbox created a nice replica of the Convertible version of the 71 Chevelle. This model is somewhat special : first offered in 2004 in the New Superfast Special serie, it has only been offered one time in the normal line : in 2008, with a somewhat dull blue color. I have the flashy 2010 yellow one, only offered in the Showroom Models 10-pack. Again, mirrors are missing as well as tampos, but colors are pretty nice and interior is really well made. A nice casting overall.

Beyond 1972, the third generation of Chevelle suffered a lot from the petrol crisis, and became slowly replaced by the Chevrolet Malibu, and the Chevelle name was officially dropped in 1978. Interesting note, the Chevelle had a small but brilliant career in the NASCAR races serie from 1973 to 1977.
76 Chevelle. The car was way uglier than the first ones.

I absolutely need more Chevelles!

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