1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Sport Coupe
Original price: $2,825.00 base price; $3,033.00 for a convertible
On loan from: Jan Duncan, Cairo, NE; she and her husband restored this car
Number made: 59,685
Engine, etc.: OHV V-8, 396 cu. in., 350 hp; 115” wheelbase; 3,415 lbs.; 0-60 in 6.5 seconds
The SS 396 is one of the legendary muscle cars. The 350 hp engine was fairly mild but still capable of smoking tires between stop lights. It was introduced in 1963 as a mid-sized car in the Chevrolet line-up and was a smaller version of the Impala. Muscle cars were at this time very popular with Detroit car makers and usually had few amenities but large engines. Chevrolet added versatility and convenience.
In 1964 models, the 283 and 327 cu. in. engines were available. In 1965, Chevrolet caught up with the competition and introduced the limited edition 396, the Z-16 package. In 1966, the 396 engine became standard and the 283 and 327 were dropped. Stiffer springs and shocks were added for better handling. The name was changed to SS 396 and exteriors had a new bumper, roof line, and dual hood scoops.
Changes for the 1967 Chevelle SS included better tires which helped road handling especially in cornering, optional disc brakes for $79, and new 14” slotted wheels. The three-speed manual transmission was standard with an optional 4-speed for $105.00. The three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic, a vast improvement over the Powerglide, was offered as a $231 option. Its major advantage was the ability to downshift quickly for better speed in passing.
Federal safety regulations in 1967 required an energy-absorbing steering column and padded instrument panel. The optional tach moved from above the driver’s right knee to the left of the steering wheel. Exterior looks changed little except for minor revisions to the bumper and grille. The hood louvers were again nonfunctional.
The base 396 V-8 with 325 hp could be upgraded to 350 hp for an additional $105.00 This actually was a loss of 10 base horse power because GM forbid any car except Corvette from having more than one bhp per ten pounds of curb weight.
The SS 396 series was dropped in 1969 and the Super Sport became a performance option. In 1970, the SS option was available only in the Malibu series which also had an optional SS 454.
The Chevelle had enough room for a family of five and was popular as a smaller economical family car. Popular options were power steering and brakes, AC, an automatic transmission, and a radio.
By 1978 GM dropped the Chevelle name. All models used the Malibu name.