The 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series introduced new
"Colonnade" styling, as seen on this Malibu Colonnade Coupe.
With a semi-fastback roofline that employed arched door frames and a large rear-quarter window the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu models looked considerably different from prior versions, and the long-lived pillarless hardtop coupe body style was gone.
Wheelbases were unchanged at 112 inches for two-door models and 116 inches for four-doors. But bodies were five inches longer and an inch wider. In addition to the new roofline, front and rear ends looked markedly different this year. Every 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Chevrolet Malibu came with front disc brakes.
New top-of-the-line Laguna coupes and sedans were added above the Malibu versions and helped move Chevelle marketing upscale. Lagunas had a body-colored urethane plastic front end incorporating a chrome-plated die-cast grille that held round parking lights.
The Laguna was created to compete with other GM A-body intermediates, including the Buick Century, Oldsmobile Cutlass, and Pontiac LeMans -- and also to rival Ford's Gran Torino. Two Laguna station wagons became available: a base model and a Laguna Estate.
A Super Sport coupe remained available, but convertibles departed from the Chevelle line. Shoppers could even get an SS station wagon this year -- with the option of a 454-cubic-inch V-8 engine, no less -- but the mix of sport and utilitarian wagon virtues would last only a single season.
As before, the top SS engine was a 454-cubic-inch V-8, developing 245 horsepower. Regular Chevelles had a standard 250-cubic-inch six or 115-horsepower 307-cubic-inch V-8, but the Laguna carried a 145-horsepower 350-cubic-inch engine with a two-barrel carburetor. That engine and a 175-horsepower step-up version also were available in other Chevelles.
Consumers continued to snap up Chevelles: 327,631 of them in the 1973 model year, plus 59,108 station wagons. The Malibu versions of the Chevelle continued to sell best by a wide margin, but the costlier Laguna coupe and sedan made a respectable showing, with 56,036 going to customers.
Super Sport options went on 28,647 Chevelles, of which 2500 held the big 454-cubic-inch engine -- the last of their breed, as it turned out.
The new styling on the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu
Colonnade Coupe gave the car a semi-fastback roofline
with "formed-in" middle roof pillars.
1973 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
||Weight range (lbs.)
||Price range (new)
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