Introduced on the 26th of September 1963, the Chevelle was available in many different varieties — including everything from 2-door sport coupes to 4-door wagons.
By mid 1964, Chevrolet swapped out it’s top engine from a 220 hp 283 CID V8 to a 300 hp 327 CID small-block V8. This signified GM throwing the Chevelle into the ring as a competitor and marking the beginning of the muscle car era. When the 1965 model year rolled around, Chevrolet pumped up the Chevelle again with the 350 hp L79 engine for the Super Sport.
In 1966, the Chevelle’s body was totally redesigned and the SS became a separate model. Power ranged between 325-327 hp. In 1967, the Chevelle would get a new front and rear fascia, front disc brakes and a dual master cylinder.
1968 brought another total redesign for the Chevelle: a shorter wheelbase, a longer hood, a short deck and tapered fenders — making it an immensely popular body style. The 1969 model reduced the SS back to an engine package, the vent window was removed, the taillights got bigger and a chrome bar stretched over the grille.
The 1970s brought new Chevelle styling and better engine packages. The taillights were moved to the bumper and a cowl induction air scoop boosted performance. This would be the first year the Chevelle SS got twin racing stripes.
Few changes occurred in 1971 including the addition of a low-cost, high-power “Heavy Chevy” trim level. This year was also the start of the government crackdown on gas guzzling cars so the SS was offered with a small-block 350 CID engine. Styling was again revised and 1972 was basically a carryover year.
The new Colonnade body style was rolled out in 1973 and the SS was downgraded to a simple appearance package. The SS would be replaced by the Laguna Type S-3 in 1974. The world said goodbye to the big block Chevelle in 1975. By 1977 the Chevelle had reached the end of it’s life…
The Chevelle wasn’t so much ‘canceled’ as ‘replaced’. GM decided to dramatically reduce its lineup in 1978 and the Chevelle was dropped while the Malibu remained.