The Pontiac GTO may be more famous, but Chevrolet’s A-body muscle car earned its own dedicated following thanks to its low-price approach. At the time, the Chevelle SS had an MSRP of around $2,800, which was hundreds less than any mid-size competitor offered. That put muscle car performance within reach of most buyers.
1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS – More Than Just an Engine
It may have been up for a redesign the following year, but the Chevelle got plenty of improvements that greatly enhanced its overall performance. Bias ply tires were replaced by lower profile radials, and the SS added stronger leaf springs and a front sway bar, giving it respectable handling for the time period. Front disc brakes were also added as an option. A padded dash and collapsible steering column were used only in 1967 to meet new safety regulations.
The base transmission was a three-speed manual with a floor shifter, but buyers could also opt for a four-speed manual, the classic two-speed Powerglide or a new three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic. The “Slip-N-Slide” transmission may be a favorite of drag racers today, but a stock Hydra-Matic shifts faster and includes an overdrive gear, giving it a decided advantage over the two-speed model in daily driving.
The Look of the 1967 Chevelle SS
The main reason Chevy was able to sell the SS so cheap was the lack of extras. Aside from a couple exterior badges, an SS could be mistaken for a regular Malibu by passers-by. The same can be said for the interior, which even made bucket seats optional: only a tach hinted at the car’s added performance, and even this was hidden below the gauge cluster next to the driver’s left knee. The result was a car that provided Camaro-like performance without the pony car’s image.
Literally Understated Performance
There was plenty of power available, but like many cars of the era, quoted output was changed to suit Chevrolet’s needs. A 325 bhp version of the 396-cubic-inch V8 was standard, but the optional L34 upgrade somehow made just 350 horsepower for 1967. This was due to GM’s new edict banning any car but the Corvette from having more than one horsepower per 10 pounds of curb weight, resulting in a 10 hp drop over the ’66 on paper despite using an identical design. Likewise, the 375 bhp L78 was technically no longer available although it was still sold as a dealer-installed option
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