In the mid-1960s, General Motors was awash with cash and the muscle car wars were upon us. Even though GM instituted a racing ban in 1963, its subsidiaries were still cranking out high-performance road cars. For the 1964 model year, Pontiac released the GTO, Oldsmobile released the 442, and Chevrolet, not wanting to be left out of all the fun, came out with the Chevelle. It was built to slot between the smaller Chevy II and the bigger, more luxurious Impala. This weekend, a second-generation Chevelle SS is going up for sale at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas, and it is a pristine example of one of the best-selling muscle cars ever.
In 1963, the Chevelle’s very first year, Chevrolet sold 338,286 Chevelles. For some contemporary context, Chevy has sold just over 305,000 Camaros over the last five model years. Over the next few years the Chevelle’s success would only grow, and in 1966 and 1967, Chevy sold over 850,000 Chevelles across all of its body styles.
The car on offer at the Las Vegas sale is painted Fathom Blue with a black interior. The engine in this example is Chevy’s classic 396 Turbo Jet making 350 hp and mated to BorgWarner’s M20 four-speed manual gearbox. The Turbo Jet V-8 got hydraulic lifters, a forged crankshaft, ported cylinder heads, and an aluminum intake with a four-barrel carburetor to reach that 350-hp output.
This particular Chevelle has recently undergone a five-year-long, “no expenses spared” restoration, and it shows. The car has a unique domed hood, a black grille as opposed to the standard chrome one, and a unique rear bumper. It’s not an outright custom job, but it is a tasteful restoration of an American classic. And with so many examples on the road, you’ll want to stand out from the crowd.
The 12th annual Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas sale roars into Sin City with more than 650 collector cars October 3-5, 2019, at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort. Every lot this year will be offered with no reserve, so you can expect excitement to be high as both bidders and sellers roll the dice on some of the world’s finest collector cars. The experts from MotorTrend will be there to bring you all the action LIVE from the auction block, so be sure to download the app for exclusive, live coverage!