Best Muscle Cars

1968-1972 Chevrolet Chevelle SS: The Ultimate Muscle Car?

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The Chevrolet Chevelle started life in 1964 as a response to the Ford Fairline. however, it wasn’t until 1968 with the launch of the 2nd generation, the Chevelle became one of the icons of the classic era of muscle cars.

The Second Generation: A Bold New Look

In 1968, the Chevelle underwent a complete redesign, emerging with a sleeker, more aggressive body. Fans still consider this second-gen design the coolest of the car’s entire run. And guess what? The SS was back as a performance package. But the real game-changer came in 1970 when GM lifted its ban on large engines in mid-size models.

The 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

The 1970 Chevelle SS was a game-changer. Its sheet metal makeover gave it that iconic “Coke bottle” shape, which was all the rage during the classic muscle car era. But it wasn’t just about looks—the ’70 Chevelle SS packed serious power. For the first time, GM allowed engines over 400 cubic inches in mid-size cars, and the SS series could now be ordered with the 454ci V-8. Let’s break down the specs:

Model: Chevelle / Chevelle SS 454
Engine: Turbo-Thrift 250 / 454 LS6
Transmission: Fully-Synchronized 3-Speed, 4-Speed, Powerglide, Turbo Hydra-Matic
Horsepower: 450HP
Torque: 235 LB-FT / 500 LB-FT
Driveline: Rear-Wheel Drive
MSRP: $2,800 to $3,600+
Fuel Economy: 9.27 MPG
0-60 MPH: 5.8 seconds
Quarter-Mile: 23.8 seconds

Pros and Cons

Timeless Classic: The Chevelle SS exudes timeless appeal. Its sleek lines and aggressive stance turn heads even today.
Powerful Ride: With a 454ci V8, the Chevelle SS is arguably one of the most potent muscle cars.
Great Investment: A concours condition Chevelle SS can fetch $81,400, with a fair condition version around the asking price of $30,300. The highest price paid was $1,242,000 for a Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454 LS6, 1 of 20. Considering the Chevelle originally cost $3,611, there is a clear investment opportunity here. As with any classic car purchase, expert knowledge is needed to secure a worthwhile example.

Gas-Guzzler: The Chevelle was made in an era when fuel was cheap and abundant. Even on the open highway you would be lucky to get 15MPG, and around town 9 MPG. But there is a price to pay for that thunderous V8 sound which can’t be measured.
Extremely Rare: examples in excellent condition are getting harder to find and more expensive every year.
Very Expensive: As with any classic muscle car in great condition, the price quickly escalates. However, the value of these vehicles does steadily rise if the vehicle is kept for a number of years.

Maintenance and Repairs
Considering Chevrolet sold over 2 million Chevelles from 1968 to 1972, there were only a few recalls within this period. In 1968 there were 2 recalls for linkage clips and throttle linkages, and in 1970  a tire reserve load label. Quite an impressive record.

As with any other car, consumers reported a few problems along the way, all being easily replaceable. Generally, these come under the heading of general maintenance, which you would expect from a high-performance vehicle. These include replacements of the shock absorbers, air filter, power steering pump, control arm assembly, and wheel bearings after excessive use.

Reliability also seems to be up there for the Chevelle SS, with only a few breakdowns reported from those from modded versions. shows the longevity of the Chevelle SS to be up to 101,323 miles.

In the world of muscle cars, the Chevelle SS is an icon. It may on the surface not have the refinement of an Italian thoroughbred, but what it does have is an unapologetic muscular demeanour, with the template of ‘if you need more power, add cylinder units.’ This may be a simple template, but it also produces an elegant vehicle in its own right.
Cars such as the E-type Jaguar usually receive the most praise for their sleek lines. But if you see a Chevrolet Chevelle SS in the flesh, it isn’t necessarily a boxy look that is usually attributed to muscle cars.
One thing is for sure after driving any Chevelle SS, you will come away with a huge smile on your face.


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