Chevrolet never intended the Chevelle to be a groundbreaking car. In fact, they intended it to be anything but a ground-breaking car. It may have been conventional, and it may have used old-fashioned technology, but without a doubt the Chevelle was a very, very good car–one of the best of its era.
Its body-on-frame design, though nothing radical, made it the perfect platform for harnessing the energy about to be unleashed in the coming horsepower wars. When the dust from the muscle-car era settled, the Chevelle, in LS6 form, reigned supreme as the fastest American car ever built. Its stout full-perimeter frame ensured that the car would handle all that energy and still last for the long haul.
The buying public appreciated the Chevelle’s simple virtues and responded by making the car an unqualified sales success. In its first year, Chevrolet sold nearly 400,000 Chevelles, outselling the Ford Falcon by nearly 30 percent. When Chevelles disappeared for good after the 1977 model year, Chevrolet had produced over 7.2 million of them. The Chevelle was built to hold up to anything their owners could throw at them, and hold up they did.
The Chevelle had such a high survival rate that today it is one of the most common cars seen at car shows across the country–and one of the most beloved. Chevy Chevelle: Fifty Years celebrates America’s half-century love affair with this iconic muscle car. Licensed with General Motors, this book showcases never-before-seen archival Chevelle photography to which Motorbooks was given unprecedented access.