RIPLEY'S CORNER - BELIEVE IT OR NOT

1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971 | 1972


1964
  • The 1964 Chevelle Malibu Super Sport (SS) could be ordered with either the 6-cyl  or V8 engine. The Malibu SS series could be identified by the VIN with the 6-cyl sport coupe starting with 45737, the V8 sport coupe starting with 45837, the 6-cyl convertible starting with 45767 and the V8 convertible starting with 45867. The Malibu SS was a separate series and not an option on the Malibu.


1965
  • The 1965 Chevelle Malibu Super Sport (SS) could be ordered with either the 6-cyl or V8 engine. The Malibu SS series could be identified by the VIN with the 6-cyl sport coupe starting with 13737, the V8 sport coupe starting with 13837, the 6-cyl convertible starting with 13767 and the V8 convertible starting with 13867. The Malibu SS was a separate series and not an option on the Malibu.

  • The famous Z16 optioned 396/375hp Chevelle came with many mandatory options such as rear seat belts, custom deluxe front seat belts w/retractors, instrument panel pad, power brakes, M20 4-speed, power steering, tachometer, dash clock, stereo with AM/FM radio, and remote control outside mirror. Only three colors were offered; red, black, and yellow; only black or white interiors; the optional vinyl top only came in black. Convertible frames were used as well as suspension pieces from the Impala passenger car lineup. A real Z16 can be identified from the body number plate (trim tag) by looking for option "M" in the 4th group. ALL production Z16 Chevelles were built in Kansas City, the two prototypes were built in Baltimore. There are commonly reported 201 Z16s being built, 200 sport coupes and one convertible. Whether the prototypes are counted in this figure is unclear.

  • To date, this single Z16 convertible has not been found (but reportedly seen long ago). One rumor is was built special for Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen, a GM executive at the time. In a published interview with Vic Edelbrock, Jr. he stated he helped design and supply the famous Holley 3310 carburetors and only 200 were done for production.  It's also been reported that this convertible was Sierra Tan in color with a fawn interior, not one of the three mandatory colors for Z16s of Red, Black, or Yellow. GM's own press releases state that "...only 200 (all coupes) are to be built" and all were to be built at the Kansas City final assembly plant.  Another, more substantiated rumor, is the convertible was a production run car at the Kansas City final assembly plant but later in the year well after the Z16 introduction and the letter below.

  • CHEVELLESTUFF  All Rights Reserved
    CHEVELLESTUFF  All Rights Reserved
    CHEVELLESTUFF  All Rights Reserved


1966
  • The 1966 Chevelle was the first year the Super Sport 396 (SS396) became its own series. The 1964 and 1965 Malibu SS was a separate series (x37/x38) but were available with any engine and the series was primarily a dress up item. Beginning with the 1966 model year, the SS396 series included the 396 cid engine as standard equipment and can be identified by the VIN beginning with the numbers "138" followed by the model number, either "17" for a sport coupe (more correctly, the 'strut back' styling sport coupe) or "67" for the convertible. The SS396 was a separate series and not an option available on the Malibu. Canada continued to build a Malibu SS but the SS option here consisted of bucket seats and a few styling changes.  See The Obscure Malibu SS of 1966/67.


1967
  • The 1967 Chevelle continued the Super Sport 396 (SS396) series with the same VIN identification as the 1966 Chevelle. Be careful as the 1967 Concours 4-door wagon VIN also began with the numbers "138" for the V8 ("137" for the 6-cyl) but the model type is number "35." The SS396 was a separate series and not an option available on the Malibu.
     
  • The flexible coupling (the part that attaches directly to the steering gear input shaft) is not different for a big block or tilt-wheel car. However, the flange that the flexible coupling attaches to (the part on the intermediate steering shaft) is different. Small blocks without a tilt steering column have a stamped flange that is staked in place on the I-shaft. Big blocks and those equipped with a tilt steering column had a cast detachable flange that clamps on the I-shaft and uses the same part number pinch bolt (7807271) that is used on the flexible coupling to hold it on the I-shaft.

    The mating surfaces between the stamped flange and the cast detachable flange are the same. Therefore, the flex coupling doesn't even know the difference. The big block must have required the detachable flange because of some assembly plant clearance issues relative to assembling the car.

  • The dash strip differed on three series. The Chevelle 300 had no dash strip, the 300 Deluxe got a plain satin-finished strip, the Malibu got a wood grain-finish, and the Super Sport got the black wrinkle-finish. However, I've seen three Atlanta-built and one Baltimore-built SS396 sport coupes with the wood grain-finish dash strip - all in the June/July time frame. Whether these were changed sometime in the life of the car because SS396 strips could not be found or whether they were factory installed due to a shortage (or assembly line error) is not known.

  • The dash was modified slightly from the 1966 model to accommodate the mandated collapsible steering column; hence the dash strips are different due to a relocation of the wiper switch.

  • The 1966 and 1967 heater controls (without A/C) are identical but the A/C equipped 1966 and 1967 cars have different heater controls.

  • Canada continued to build the Malibu SS until sometime around the end of the calendar year when the SS396 was introduced into the lineup. See The Obscure Malibu SS of 1966/67.


1968
  • The first (and only) year the El Camino was offered with the Super Sport option and the VIN starts with "13880."  The model number (4th and 5th digits) reverted back to "37" for the sport coupe and the 'strut back' "17" model was dropped. The SS396 was a separate series and not an option available on the Malibu.

  • The "11" body style designation and "sedan" name was dropped and replaced with a "27" body style designation and even though it retained the "B" pillar like the sedan of previous years it was called a coupe.


1969
  • The Super Sport Equipment package became an option (RPO Z25) and the 1969 Chevelle SS396 can no longer be verified by the VIN as it could from 1966 to 1968. The Super Sport option was available on the Malibu series sport coupe, convertible, and pickup. The Super Sport option was also available on the Chevelle 300 Deluxe 2-door coupe (pillar post), model number "27" and 2-door sport coupe, model number "37" in 1969 only.  The "138" VIN continued only on the V8 Concours station wagon.

  • There were 86,307 models equipped with the Z25 Super Sport option available on the Chevelle 300 Deluxe 2-door coupe, Chevelle 300 Deluxe 2-door sport coupe, the Malibu 2-door coupe and the Malibu 2-door convertible.

  • The "rag joint" connecting the steering column to the steering box are different for a small block and a big block. However, I've seen the "big block" type rag joint on a 307 V8 in a 300 Deluxe.


1970
  • The lift of the GM Corporate ban of 400 cid engines saw the 454 cid introduced with the 450hp, LS6 being the "King of the Hill."  There were 4,298 LS5 and 4,475 LS6 454s sold in 1970. Actually, neither the "L34" nor "LS5" engine were  options and neither appear in Chevrolet's annual production report.  The L34 was the base engine in the Z25 SS Equipment option package and the LS5 was the base engine in the Z15 SS 454 option package.

  • There were 53,599 models equipped with the Z25 SS 396 option and 8,733 models equipped with the Z15 SS 454 option.

  • 1970 was the only year for two different SS Equipment options.  RPO Z25 continued to have the 396 (although now displacing 402 cubic inches) in the base 350hp version and until November the L78 375hp version.  RPO Z15 was the 454 option with the base 454 365hp engine and the optional RPO LS6 450hp version.


1971
  • The parking lights on the 1971 Chevelle are a double lens on each fender.
     
  • There were 19,293 models equipped with the Z15 SS equipment and 9,502 models equipped with the SS-454 equipment. The Z15 equipped cars were badged with "SS" while the SS-454 got the engine size included with the badging. The SS option could be ordered with the 350-2, 350-4, 402-4 and 454-4 engines.  The 454-4 engine required the Z15 SS option. The RPO Z25 option was dropped in favor of the single RPO Z15 option that did NOT include a base engine.

  • SS Equipment - RPO Z15 - $357.05: V8 Malibu sport coupe, convertible, or pickup models with optional engine only. Includes power disc/drum brakes; black-finished grille; special domed hood with locking pins; LH remote-control sport mirror; SS emblems on grille, fender and steering wheel; sport suspension; 15" x 7" wheels with bright lug nuts, special center caps and trim rings; F60-15 white lettered tires and function symbols on instrument knobs.

  • Heavy Chevy - RPO YF3 - $142.20: Model 13437 V8 Chevelle sport coupe only. Includes black accented grille; special side striping; Heavy Chevy decals on hood, front fenders and rear deck; special domed hood with locking pins; 14" x 6" rally type wheels with bright lug nuts and center caps. Choice of either black or white stripes available except when vinyl roof cover, black or white painted roof is specified. Any optional engine EXCEPT the LS5 454 could be ordered with the Heavy Chevy option.


1972
  • The parking lights on the 1972 Chevelle are a single lens on each fender.

  • The Super Sport option can only be verified by the VIN on the 454-equipped Super Sports (and no other available engine). The 1972 model year saw the engine size introduced to the VIN and the 454 engine size was coded with the letter "W" and since the 454 could only be ordered with the SS option, it verifies a true SS car. The SS option could be ordered with the 350-2, 350-4, 402-4 and 454-4 engines and any optional transmission. There is nothing on the trim tag nor in the VIN to indicate the SS option was ordered except as noted with the 454 engine.

  • There were 24,946 models equipped with the Z15 SS equipment and 5,333 models equipped with the SS 454 equipment.
     
  • SS Equipment - RPO Z15 - $365.50: V8 Malibu sport coupe, convertible, or pickup models with optional engine and transmission only. Includes power disc/drum brakes; black-finished grille; special domed hood with locking pins; LH remote-control sport mirror; SS emblems on grille, fender and steering wheel; rear bumper SS decal; sport suspension; 15" x 7" wheels with bright lug nuts, special center caps and trim rings; F60-15 white lettered tires.

  • Heavy Chevy - RPO YF3 - $145.35: Model 13437 V8 Chevelle sport coupe only. Includes black accented grille; special side striping; Heavy Chevy decals on hood, front fenders and rear deck; special domed hood with locking pins; 14" x 6" rally type wheels with bright lug nuts and center caps. Any optional engine EXCEPT the LS5 454 could be ordered with the Heavy Chevy option.

    • With black striping. Not available when Midnight Bronze exterior body color paint is ordered. (YF3/YF8)

    • With white striping. Not available when white exterior body color paint is ordered. (YF3/ZR8)