Terminology, Abbreviations, etal
As the years go by new generations of Chevelle owners come on board. Terms you'll hear people use over time may confuse you as man have been around for a number of years and have become part of the Chevelle community lexicon. Some terms are just flat wrong but, again, they're ingrained in so many people's mind they become fact as they just assume others know what they are talking about.
So I've taken a couple of days here to share with you what is truly fact and what is fact in some people's mind they just can't shake. I'll try to list them in some sort of alphabetical order to make searching a bit easier. As I find new terms used I'll be sure to add them here so come back often.
* A term used to identify the intermediate GM car line such as Chevrolet's Chevelle 300/300 Deluxe/Malibu/Malibu SS/SS396/SS454 family, Buick's Skylark/Grand Sport/GS family, Oldsmobile's Cutlass/F-85/442 family, and Pontiac's Tempest/LeMans/GTO family from 1964 through 1972.
* Paperwork to assemble a Chevelle consisted of either, what's commonly called a build sheet or, a BODY BROADCAST COPY or CHASSIS BROADCAST COPY sheet have certain codes used to tell the assembly line workers what to put on a particular car. These broadcast codes can be a single number or letter, or multiple letters or numbers depending on the how the computers at the specific assembly plant was programmed. Broadcast codes are not to be confused with RPO (regular production option) codes. An example of a broadcast code might be an engine code for a 1970 L34 engine. On a build sheet the broadcast code could be TX or TW depending on the transmission type where the RPO code for the engine is simply L34.
*All of this assembly paperwork is computer generated based on selected inputs. For example, if one orders the Z25 SS396 equipment option on a 1970 Malibu sport coupe the L34 engine, power disc brakes, SS door emblems instead of Malibu door emblems, etc. is automatically selected. Certain transmissions, rear ends, etc. are available to choose from while others are automatically eliminated; meaning you couldn't get a 1970 SS396 with any small block V8, a sweep (or linear) speedometer dash, you could not get a 10-bolt rear end, and you could not get a Powerglide or TH350 in a 1970 SS396 equipped Malibu. See RPO codes.
* Automobile radiators have 1 (one) core. This core may consist of 2, 3, or 4 rows but still has 1 core. You'll hear things like a
3-core radiator or 4-core radiator simply because people have become accustomed to these terms. But, they are wrong and correct term is 3-row or 4-row radiator. Why 'core' is easier to remember than 'row' is beyond me. This pertains to both original equipment type brass radiators as well as aftermarket aluminum radiators.
* A term used for a rebuildable item that no longer functions as it should but can be rebuilt. Often the part has a 'core' value of the rebuildable portion of the item since it costs less to clean an old part and rebuild it than it does to manufacture a completely new part. Used for such things as rebuildable water pumps, engine blocks/heads, transmissions, starters, generators/alternators, etc. If buying a rebuilt part you may need to put a deposit down for the 'core' until you can return the part that is no longer functioning to be sent back to the rebuilder. When returned you get your core deposit back.
* One wouldn't think this would need an explanation but, sadly, it does. Chevelle is one of several in the Chevrolet lineup of automobiles. Like Camaro, ChevyII/Nova, and Corvette, the Chevelle came in several series and body style configurations. Depending on the model year, each series has certain body styles available to it be it a sedan, coupe, sport coupe, sport sedan, station wagon, or sedan pickup (aka El Camino). Some people can't get past a Chevelle just being a Malibu sport coupe or convertible. Yes, El Caminos are Chevelles. Yes, station wagons are Chevelles. Monte Carlos are Chevelles; they were built at some of the same plants as other Chevelles and were sequenced along side other Chevelles.
* This is more my term and I define choice as multiple selection availability that do not involve additional cost. Anything that costs more money is an option (again, my term). An example would be the color you choose for your Chevelle. If it's one of the standard, available colors, it's a choice since there's no cost involved. An exception would naturally be a special order color, that would be an option because you're paying extra for it. Anything not included with the base price of the car and costs more money is an option. You have the option to buy it or not. Another choice would be the color of a convertible or vinyl top. While a vinyl top is an option you have to pay extra for, the color of the convertible or vinyl top is a choice since one color costs no more than another. In my world, a Malibu is a choice over a 300 Deluxe. You cannot 'upgrade' a 300 Deluxe with a Malibu option. Simple. See option. See RPO Code.
* Beginning with the 1968 model year the 2-door sedan was renamed 2-door coupe. This is a 2-door body style with a B-pillar between the windshield (or A-pillar) and the rear of the roof (or C-pillar). Also often referred to as a 'post' car due to the B-pillar. Prior to 1968 this 2-door body style was called a sedan and carried a body style number of 11. Limited to the 300 and 300 Deluxe series from 1964-1967.
In 1968 the body style number changed to 27 and the sedan name was dropped in favor of coupe. The coupe designation continued to the 1969 model year and the body style was dropped from the lineup for 1970. Limited to the 300 and 300 Deluxe series. The 4-door version of the sedan continued to be called a sedan throughout it's life cycle from 1964-1972 with a body style number of 69 and limited to 300, 300 Deluxe, and Malibu series. See Sedan and Sport Sedan.
* See Fisher Body Number Plate.
* The name most commonly used when referring to the 2-door sedan pickup. GM documentation will show both terms. Yes, El Caminos are Chevelles, just one of the many Chevelle body style. See Sedan Pickup.
Fisher Body Number Plate:
* The real name of the data plate affixed to the front of the firewall just to the left of the windshield wiper motor on 1964-1967 Chevelles and on top of the firewall on the drivers side on 1968-1982 Chevelles. More commonly known as 'trim tag,' 'cowl tag,' 'firewall tag,' 'body plate,' and other names. The plate shows when the body was assembled, the Fisher Body style number, the Fisher Body plant and final assembly plant designation, Fisher Body unit number or GM data processing number, interior trim code, and exterior paint code. Depending on the year and the plant there may be additional codes showing some options, some data processing codes found on the build sheet (where applicable) or, in the case of early Fremont, CA. tags, the dealer's order number.
* Anything that costs money above and beyond the base price of the car (plus any delivery and handling charges the dealer charges). A radio is an option, air conditioning is an option, various engines and transmissions are options. If there is not a cost involved, it's either standard equipment or the particular item is part of a larger option grouping. For example, the RP L34 402/350hp engine in 1970 is part of the Z25 SS396 Equipment option and will not show a cost involved. Same for something like power disc brakes with the SS396 option. If one orders the power disc brakes and does not order the Z25 SS396 option then those power disc brakes will have a cost involved since they are an option over the non-power drum brakes. Some options require other options. For example the RPO ZL2 Special Ducted Hood Air System in 1970 required one of the 2 SS options. In 1971 and 1972 the same ZL2 required one of the two big-block engines, either the 402 or the 454 along with the Z15 SS Equipment option; neither small block Z15 SS Equipment optioned engines could get the ZL2 hood. See Choice. See RPO Code.
* RPO is an acronym for Regular Production Option. Generally, but not always, there are options one could order on a Chevelle if available for that particular year, series, or body style. An RPO code can have ECL codes (or variations) with them on some paperwork but not all and assembly plants don't always include ECL codes on certain paperwork. For example, an M20 4-speed transmission will have an RPO code of M20 but different ECL code depending on the application. Generally, after 1966 any engine with an advertised HP rating under 300hp would get the cast iron Saginaw 4-speed where any engine with an advertised HP rating of 300 or more would get the aluminum Muncie 4-speed. Same for an M40 TH400 transmission, one RPO code but different variations depending on the particular engine being ordered. Same RPO code of M20 but vastly different transmissions. Another example would be a vinyl top option available in different colors. The RPO code for a vinyl top is C08 but to distinguish the color a 2-letter ECL code is added; same for a convertible top. See Broadcast Code.
* A body style name used for 1964-1967 2-door styles with a B-pillar and 1964-1972 4-door body styles with a B-pillar (except station wagons). See Coupe. See Sport Sedan.
* More commonly known by the name El Camino. GM refers to this body style as a 2-door sedan pickup. Yes, El Caminos are Chevelles, just one of the many Chevelle body styles. See El Camino.
* A body style name used for any 2-door hardtop. Limited to the Malibu and Malibu SS series of 1964-1965, the Malibu and SS396 series of 1966-1968, 300 Deluxe and Malibu series in of 1968-1969, and the Chevelle/Standard and Malibu series of 1970-1972.
* A body style introduced in 1966 and continued through 1972. A 4-door hardtop if you will meaning no B-pillar. Limited to the Malibu series.
* See Fisher Body Number Plate.
* Acronym for Vehicle Identification Number. A kind of misnomer since not all characters in a VIN are numbers except for Canadian-built Chevelles prior to 1972. A VIN will contain from 1 to 3 letters depending on the year, but that's being a bit anal. The VIN is the legal identification of a Chevelle and will contain the Chevrolet division number (except 1964), series number, body style number, model year, final assembly plant letter, and a sequence number for that plant for that year. The VIN plate is affixed to the driver side A-pillar on 1964-1967 Chevelles or a plate on the front top of the dash on the driver side where it can be read from outside the car.
Anyone with questions, sent them to