Posted Juerg Weidmann on May 05, 2011
The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle was known as "America's most popular mid-size car", and for good reason.
The Chevelle was marketed to target a wide audience, from families with kids to the teens who wanted a muscle car for date night. Chevelle was General Motors' do-it-all model for a number of years, and the 1970 version had a huge number of optional packages that crossed over a large segment of the buying audience. Leading Up To 1970 The Chevelle was first produced in 1964 and was available as a 2-door hardtop, coupe, sedan, convertible or wagon. The 4-door variety was also built as either a sedan or wagon, and the public had a good number of packaging options for this mid-to-full size automobile.
The engines ranged in size from the small 194 cubic inch in-line 6-cylinder to the large 396 cubic inch V-8, and by the late 1960s the body had been lengthened and a more sporty, muscle-type front end was introduced. Nearly all the innovative technological advances in design and safety being incorporated into American cars found their way immediately into the Chevelle, including the dual master cylinder braking system and collapsible steering columns. By 1970, the Chevelle rode lower to the ground, had a more shapely tapered front end and included the new shoulder belts for outboard front seats as well as side lighting and Astro Ventilation.
The 1970 Chevelle Models Chevrolet decided that it was time to market the Chevelle as a true muscle car as well as a family sedan, and in that year introduced the vehicle with the optional LS-6 trim. This car had a very powerful 454 cubic inch V-8 engine, giving Chevelle the right to be called a fearless roadster, despite its larger size. The cowl induction hood, dual exhaust and rectangular port cylinder heads all gave the vehicle a monster look that was in sharp contrast to the more conservative trims being purchased by middle class America. Despite this aggressive foray into the performance niche, Chevelle remained first and foremost a mid-size sedan, available with either a 6-cylinder or 350 cubic inch V-8, and built as either a 2-door sedan or 4-door coupe.
The Nomad variety and the Concours editions were part of the two-series lineup now known as Deluxe and Malibu. The 396 cubic inch engine was being discontinued, offered only as an options package. About 355,000 Chevelles were manufactured with the smaller V-8 during 1970, and approximately 50,000 of the SS396 option model were built during the year. In addition, about 35,000 Chevelle station wagons were produced for the model year 1970; they were also fitted with the standard V-8 engine.
Nearly all the V-8 engines installed in the 1970 Chevelle trims were either 327 cubic inch or 350 cubic inch size. At the time, Chevelle was in basically the same automobile class as the Nova in terms of vehicle size, and only slightly smaller than the full-size Impala, which was the top-selling auto in the U.S. for 1970 and 1971. A base model Chevelle retailed for about $2,700-$3,200, depending on trim level and optional extras. The limited SS396 sold for about $3,500 for the Sport Coupe and about $3,700 for the convertible style.
A new generation of Chevelle autos were produced between 1973 and 1977, and although sales were more than satisfactory, Chevrolet decided to discontinue the car before the '78 models were announced. And today the 1970 Chevelle 458 V-8 engine edition is one of the most treasured collectibles in the automobile world.
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