Why the Chevrolet Chevelle Is Collectable
Photography by Josh Clason for Petrolicious
The Collector is a weekly series produced in association with Gear Patrol, where we discuss the car, and Gear Patrol discusses the essential gear inspired by the car. (Click here to see the rest of The Collector Series on Petrolicious.)
The Chevrolet Chevelle is pure, American unpretentiousness. It’s simple, straightforward, and designed to do one thing: cover the quarter-mile faster than anything else. The Chevelle belongs to GM’s A-body family, which was completely redesigned for the 1968 model year. More importantly, in 1970 GM finally lifted their ban on engines larger than 400 cubic inches (roughly 6.6L) and the Chevelle was available with a top-of-the-line 454 cubic-inch (7.4L) engine option, making 360hp (there was also a racing engine option, the LS6, that was supposedly conservatively rated at 450hp!). This move was a response to Chrysler’s dominance not only in drag racing, but also in terms of raw numbers. For GM, it was a question of street cred. This was, after all, the zenith of the horsepower wars, they had to become competitive to stay relevant.