1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible, front view
The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu series included this
convertible model, which boasts SS 396 muscle car equipment.

The 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu lineup continued to attract the eye of muscle-car fans as well as families who didn't really need the extra bulk of a big Chevy.

Immodestly billed as "America's most popular mid-size car," the Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu showed only minor changes for 1969, led by more rounded front-end styling. A single chrome bar connected quad headlights, and a slotted bumper held the parking lights. Taillight lenses were larger and more vertical, flowing into the quarter panels.

Front vent windows began their trek to the dust bin now that Astro Ventilation was sending outside air into several Chevelle models, including the Malibu and 300 Deluxe Sport Coupes. New round instrument pods replaced the former linear layout.

The Chevrolet Chevelle lineup slimmed down to two series: 300 Deluxe and Malibu. No longer a series of its own, the SS 396 turned into a $347.60 option package for any two-door model. That meant not just a convertible or hardtop Sport Coupe, but even the pillared coupe in the lower-rent 300 Deluxe series.

The Super Sport group included a 265- or 325-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V-8 beneath a double-domed hood, along with a black-out grille displaying an SS emblem, black rear panel, and red-stripe tires on chrome sport wheels.

More potent editions of the 396 engine also made the options list, developing 350 or 375 horsepower. A few hundred Chevelles even managed to acquire a 427-cubic-inch V-8, ordinarily installed only in full-size models.

Chevelle station wagons came in three levels: Concours, Nomad, and Greenbrier -- the last a badge formerly used on the boxy Corvair van. A new dual-action tailgate operated either in the traditional manner or as a panel-type door. Wagons stretched 208 inches overall versus only 197 inches for coupes.

Chevelle options included headlight washers, power windows and locks, and a rear defroster.

Chevy's midsize production rose this year, with Malibus far more popular than their less-costly mates. Fewer than seven percent of Malibus had a six-cylinder engine, while more than 86,000 got an SS 396 option.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible with SS 396 package
This two-door 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle convertible
featured the SS 396 package.

1969 Chevrolet Chevelle and Malibu Facts
Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Nomad
3,390-3,600$2,668-$2,800NA
300 Deluxe
3,035-3,230$2,458-$2,61142,000
Greenbrier3,445-3,740$2,779-$3,02045,900
Malibu
3,095-3,340$2,567-$2,889367,100
Concours 3,545-3,755$2,931-$3,266 NA

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