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The 5 best Chevy muscle cars Which aren’t Camaros
It’s still mind blowing off that Pontiac jumped facing Chevrolet and invented the muscle car (based popular opinion, at least). The 1964 GTO, made by Pontiac Chief Engineer John DeLorean and among his senior assistants, Bill Collins and Russ Gee, basically captured their opponents at Chevrolet and the remainder of the business asleep in their merchandise planning meetings. Those guys realized the 389-cubic-inch engine from Pontiac’s full-size version would match in the new smaller and lighter 1964 Tempest. Then they added a title stolen from Ferrari and united performance with picture.
Chevy, of course, had the Corvette, but it required some time for its Bowtie Boys to grab up in the muscle car wars, first using the big-block Chevelle and then with the Camaro, that did not arrive before 1967. For all, the Camaro is considered the quintessential American muscle car. Heck, it’s possibly the most popular muscle car of all time, so hot that it overshadows Chevy’s many other muscle machines.
And we observe them here today. These are our choices for the five finest Chevy muscle cars that aren’t Camaros:
1. 1965 Chevy Chevelle Z16
Annually after the GTO debuted, Chevy still didn’t have a severe midsize muscle car, although its brand new Mark IV big-block engine was about to change this. It appeared on the choice sheet of the Corvette. For $292.70 (roughly $2313 now ), choice code L78 got you a 396-cu-in engine using a good camera, an aluminum intake manifold, and big port heads, rated at 425 horsepower. The engine was also available in the full-size Impala SS.
And after that, late in the design year, Chevy place it in the Chevelle. Choice code RPO Z16 comprised a more powerful boxed framework from the Chevelle convertible and a slightly detuned version of the 396, provided the code L37. Its 11:1 compression ratio has been kept, but it obtained a milder hydraulic cam that dropped its peak power to 375 hp at 5600 rpm and 420 lb-ft torque at 3600 rpm. That’s still 15 hp over the usual tri-power 1965 GTO.
Only 201 of them were constructed, mostly in crimson. Except for one convertible, all were hardtops with four-speeds. It was Chevrolet’s first true big-block muscle car, and it was a signal to the entire world that Chevy was prepared for war.
2. 1968 Chevy Impala SS427 L72
By 1967, midsize muscle automobiles were everywhere. Every American manufacturer short of Cadillac and Lincoln were currently gambling on road performance. You will find Pontiac GTOs, Oldsmobile 442s, Buick’s Skylark GS-400, 440-powered Dodge R/Ts, and Plymouth GTXs, and Chevy was selling a ton of big-block SS Chevelles. But full-size muscle was still something. In’67, the Impala SS 427 was RPO Z24 and included the L36 big-block using a hydraulic cam rated at 385 hp, five horsepower significantly less than it had been rated in the Corvette. Chevy marketed 2124 that year.
Then, in 1968, Chevy cranked it up, dropping the 425-hp, solid-lifter, iron-block L-72 427 to the Impala. It was the exact same engine which powered the hottest 1966 Corvette and it’s the same engine which would go on to electricity COPO Camaros in 1969. In the Impala, the engine cost an additional $542.45 ($3945 today), and it had been accessible with all the Turbo-Hydramatic 400 three-speed automatic or a Muncie four-speed. The 1968 Impala hardtop was a fastback stunner, to which Chevy additionally added bright red 427 badges to each fender and white and red SS 427 badges to its grille and its decklid.
Based on Hemmings, Chevy built nearly 711,000 Impalas in 1968. Only 1778 were SS427s, and of those, just 568 obtained the L72.
3. 1969 Chevy Chevelle COPO 9562
In 1969, in the event that you wanted the newest big-block Chevelle you purchased an L78 powered Chevelle SS 396 with 375 hp. Right? Wrong. You just had to know it existed. Many Chevy dealers did not.
COPO stands for Central Office Production Order, and it had been created so Chevrolet could construct especially equipped trucks and cars for fleets like fire, police, and taxi services. However, the program was prostituted through the muscle car era and enabled Chevrolet to develop 427-powered Camaros and Chevelles, despite GM’s self-imposed ban on engines bigger than 400 cubic inches in mid sized or smaller automobiles. The Corvette was the exception, naturally. Basically, COPO became Chevy’s back door.
These 427 Chevelles are rare, and like COPO Camaros they don’t wear SS badging. They are plain Jane, with only a blue Chevy Bowtie in the center of their grille. According to hemmings.com, Chevy built 323 of them, together with 99 visiting Don Yenko’s Pennsylvania automobile for Yenko S/C badging.
4. 1968 Chevy Nova SS396 L78
The 1967 L79 Chevy II has been a sexy little car. With the 350-hp 327 small-block in the Corvette, it had been drag raced by Bill Grumpy Jenkins and became famous as a giant killer on the street and strip. It remains popular with collectors today. However, Chevy had more serious performance programs for its inexpensive economy car, and Chevy debuted the redesigned Nova at 1968. It was larger and shared with its front clip with all the Camaro. And that supposed Chevy’s mean ol’ big-block engine would fit.
The Nova SS 396 was born, and it is still one of the best high-performance bargains of all time. The Nova wasn’t as hot since the Camaro, but it was cheaper, lighter and less costly to insure. And it was available with the identical 375-hp solid-lifter L78 396 since the Camaro and the Chevelle, with either a Turbo 400 automatic or a Muncie four-speed. (Chevy also provided the 350-hp L34 396.)
Even though the L79 remained accessible for one more year, L78 Nova’s were road beasts–sleepers which could sneak up on unsuspecting 440 Mopars and 428-powered Fords. And they are rare. Chevy only built 667 in 1968, though manufacturing jumped to almost 5000 in 1969 and over 3700 in 1970, according to novaresourse.org.
5. 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 LS6
In 1970, GM raised its internal ban on installing engines bigger than 400 cubic inches from mid-size models. That same year, Chevy’s big-block climbed from 427 cubic inches to 454, and the Chevelle model got a complete redesign that included more muscle lines. The SS version now featured two wide racing stripes across its hood and decklid, and cowl induction was offered for the first time. The planets aligned and the sexy, fresh 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 LS6, packing 450 hp, became the most effective muscle machine of the era and among the most desirable muscle cars of all time.
Author Martyn L. Schorr was an automotive journalist in 1970. |} In his new novel, Day One: An Automotive Journalist’s Muscle-Car Memoir, he writes,”The Chevelle SS 454 championed the assault having an optional 454/450, providing the LS6 Chevelle pavement-pounding power. Few cars, other than Mopar Street Hemis and Buick Stage I Skylarks, could hold their own against the popular Chevelle SS. All 3 cars, especially when tuned and fitted with headers, were effective at delivering low-to-mid-thirteens in 105–107 miles terminal speeds.
Chevy really offered four distinct big-blocks from the 1970 Chevelle SS, for instance, 375-hp L78, as well as the 365-hp LS5 454, which had less compression and a hydraulic camshaft. But the LS6 454, which also cranked out 500 lb-ft of torque, was a radical since it got. The engine featured four-bolt mains, an 11.5:1 compression ratio, rectangle port heads, an aluminum intake manifold, and a large Holley carburetor. And the car was downright common in comparison to several other exotic muscle cars. In accordance with americancarcollector.com, Chevy constructed 4475 LS6 Chevelles at 1970.
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