More was soon to come for the 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS. A 327-cid V-8 was approved during Chevelle's first model year, ready to deliver 250 or 300 bhp. The calm family mover was showing signs of turning into a threatening machine, rivaling the new Pontiac GTO and Oldsmobile 4-4-2.
A modest face-lift gave the 1965s a few extra inches and a lower profile, led by a V-shaped grille and extended hood. Super Sports wore less chrome, and were again available with any powertrain.
Flat black SS grille accents actually started a trend toward black-out front ends. During the year, textured vinyl front bucket seats replaced the earlier corduroy pattern. A more potent 350-bhp Turbo-Fire 327 with high-lift cam and chromed dress-up items saw only a handful of installations.
As a hint of things to come, Chevrolet's 396-cid "porcupine" V-8 with 375 bhp saw early duty in 201 Chevelles this year. At $1,501, this Z16 styling/chassis package wasn't for everyone. Chevrolet head Pete Estes favored the idea, so the 396 soon became an official choice.
Major restyling for 1966 brought an adjustment. This time, only Chevelles with the 396 V-8 earned the right to wear the Super Sport designation, known as SS 396.
In fact, the big V-8 wasn't available in "lesser" models. The SS 396 had stronger springs, recalibrated shocks, and thicker front stabilizer bar. Sport Coupes displayed a fresh roofline with deeply inset "tunneled" rear window, and could have a black or beige vinyl top.
Some items included with prior SS packages were optional, such as bucket seats. Styling included dual simulated hood air intakes, color-accented sills, and a black-filled rear cove panel. Body-colored wheels wore plain hubcaps unless covers were ordered.
The 396 V-8 put out 325 bhp in standard trim, or 360 with a hotter camshaft. Fewer than 100 solid-lifter examples rated at 375 bhp were installed, all on special order. Lesser Chevelles added a 350-bhp 327-cid V-8, but few found buyers.
Little changed for 1967, as the 375-bhp engine faded away and Turbo Hydra-Matic joined the familiar Powerglide as an option. By this time, Super Sports cost $285 more than a regular Malibu, with the 325-bhp engine as part of the package.
"If you have a taste for action," declared the catalog, "Here's the satisfier." More and more customers were wholly satisfied with their SS Chevelles, but the next generation was waiting in the wings.
For 1964-1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS specifications, go to the next page.