The 1964-1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS was the company's mid-size offering, and it was introduced at just the right time. Continue reading to learn more about the introduction to the 1964-1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS.
As American car buyers took a fancy to the mid-size phenomenon of the mid-1960s, Chevrolet was left with a gap in its lineup. Bel Airs and Impalas were too big for some; Chevy II and Corvair too tiny. The answer came in the form of the A-body Chevelle, traditional in both engineering and upright styling -- actually harking back in size and shape to the "classic" 1955-1957 models.
Apart from curved side glass, little was extraordinary about these first Chevelles, which rode a perimeter-type frame with 115-inch wheelbase. Base engine was a 120-bhp Hi-Thrift 194-cid six; optional was a larger (230-cid) six developing 155 bhp.
Ah, but either of those sixes left a promising expanse of space under the hood, space that could easily accommodate a V-8-which it did: Chevrolet's long-familiar 283-cid V-8, to be exact, with a moderate 195 horses at the ready.
Add dual exhausts and a four-barrel carburetor, and the rating rose to 220 bhp. Just as interesting was the availability of a four-speed gearbox in place of the usual three-speed, overdrive, or Powerglide.
That wasn't all. "Everyone has a bit of swashbuckler in him," warned the sales catalog, a trait that could be indulged by purchasing a Super Sport. Offered on the top-rung Malibu Sport Coupe (hardtop) and convertible, the $162 SS package was similar to Impala's, including a black or white vinyl interior, front bucket seats, quartet of gauges, console, and radial-pattern wheel covers.
Deletion of the Malibu's wide beltline trim strip gave SS two-doors a cleaner, even less cluttered appearance, though it meant greater vulnerability to damage.
A fist-size ball atop the four-speed's gearshift suggested the car's intended audience, though a tachometer cost extra. A heavy-duty suspension added less than five dollars.
Close to half of the Malibu coupes and convertibles built for 1964 had Super Sport equipment. Performance with the 283, if not exactly overwhelming, qualified as respectable. Motor Trend sent a 220-bhp edition with four-speed to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, completing the quarter-mile in 17.5 seconds.
More changes were in store for the Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS. Continue on to the next page to learn more about the styling and engineering features of the 1964-1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS.
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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.
For more information on cars, see:
1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS Specifications
The 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS was the company's mid-size offering during the 1960s. It quickly developed into a powerful machine, competing with the Pontiac GTO and the Oldsmobile 4-4-2.
Engines: 1964-1965 ohv I-6, 194 cid (3.56 × 3.25), 120 bhp; 230 cid (3.88 × 3.25), 140/155 bhp; ohv V-8, 283 cid (3.88 × 3.00), 195/220 bhp; 327 cid (4.00 × 3.25), 250/300/350 bhp; 396 cid (4.09 × 3.76) 1965 375 bhp 1966-1967 396 cid only, 325/350/360/375 bhp
Transmissions: 3-speed manual; 4-speed manual, 2-speed Powerglide and (1967) 3-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic optional
Suspension, front: upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension, rear: live axle, coil springs
Brakes: front/rear drums (front discs optional in 1967)
Wheelbase (in.): 115.0
Weight (lbs.): 2,875-3,485
Top speed (mph): V8-283 109-110 SS 396 115-135
0-60 mph (sec): V8-283 8.5-9.7 SS 396 6.0-7.5