Chevy Muscle Cars

Two of my favorite Chevy muscle cars of any era are the 1969 Camaro Z28 and the 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS with cowl induction. Not only were they two of the better performing cars on the road but they were also two of the most beautiful. Both have styling that has stood the test of time.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

The Chevrolet Camaro was and is built by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. It first went on sale on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year and was built to compete with the very successful Ford Mustang, which came out a few years earlier. The Camaro shared its base and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, which was also introduced in 1967 and was also built by GM.

With its combination of looks, power and handling the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 was one of the most sought after muscle cars of any era.

Chevy Muscle Cars - 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Chevy Muscle Cars - 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

If you were willing to add $458 to the base price of a Camaro coupe, you could get the Z28 package which included a better handling suspension, raised white letter tires on seven-inch wide, 15-inch Rally wheels, quicker steering, an aluminum high-rise manifold and twin rally stripes.

Also, if you liked to hide your headlights behind hinged doors, you could also get the the optional Rally Sport (RS) package. The RS package was basically a cosmetic upgrade version that along with the hidden headlights came with minor taillight alterations and RS badges that could be seen throughout the vehicle.

The '69 Camaro Z28 came standard with front disc brakes with four-wheel discs optional for an extra charge of $500. One of the coolest options of the day was the standard (and functional) cowl-induction hood. It had a valve that snapped open at 80-percent throttle to draw in cool air from the base of the windshield.

The Z28 came with a 302 cu. in. V8 and a four-barrel Holley carburetor. Dynamometer tests rated the engine closer to 400 horsepower than the alleged 290-horsepower rating from the factory. The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 also came standard with a Hurst-shifted close-ratio four-speed transmission. Posi-traction was optional.

The Z28 handled great thanks to quick-ratio power steering that was not only quick but also had road feel. The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 that was also equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor could run through the quarter mile in 14.8 seconds at 101 mph. Its road-racing roots were evident with Trans Am titles in 1968 and 1969.

Chevrolet built 20,302 Z28s in 1969 at a base price of $3,185 each.

Chevy Chevelle - American Muscle Car

Chevy Muscle Cars - 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS
Chevy Muscle Cars - 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS
Chevy Muscle Cars - 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS
Chevy Muscle Cars - 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

1970 Chevelle SS

The Chevrolet Chevelle is a mid-sized car built by GM from the 1964 through 1977 model years. The first generation of the Chevy Chevelle was from 1964–1967 and models included coupes, sedans, convertibles and station wagons. The Chevelle was one of the most successful models for Chevrolet. The second generation of the Chevelle was from 1968–1972.

My favorite Chevy Chevelle was the 1970 version. There were two different SS (Super Sport) packages available in 1970. One was the "Z25" SS-396 and the other was the "Z15" SS-454. Buyers who wanted a 396 cu. in. engine in 1970 could choose either one that developed 350 hp and one that developed 375 horsepower.

Engine choices for the 1970 SS-454 was either the 360 horsepower "LS5" and the 450 horsepower "LS6" and somewhat surprisingly, the '70 LS5 Chevelle is actually more rare than the '70 LS6 Chevelle.

For 1970-1972 the standard SS dashboard was different from the plain Malibu dash. The non-SS dash had a wide rectangular speedometer, idiot lights, and no gauges. The SS dash had three large round "pods" and three small round "pods". The large center pod held the speedometer. If the tach option was ordered, then the instruments would be as follows:

LOCATION
SIZE
CONTENTS
center
large
speedometer
left
large
tachometer
right
large
clock
far left
small
battery gauge
far right, upper
small
temperature gauge
far right, lower
small
fuel gauge

Which car would you rather own?

  • '69 Camaro Z28
  • '70 Chevelle SS 454
See results without voting

Hood stripes were an extra cost option as was "Cowl Induction". Cowl Induction was a functional hood scoop that would open automatically when the engine needed extra air. The Cowl Induction option was not standard on any SS as it was always an extra cost item. It did come with the hood stripes, however, you could get one without the other. You could delete the stripes at no cost or you could get the stripes without the Cowl Induction option for an extra charge. Most 1970 SS cars came with hood pins, except for some of the early '70 models that were not ordered with the optional Cowl Induction.

As for the finishing touches, the 1970 Super Sport would come with either the cool looking "SS/396" or "SS/454" emblems on the front fenders. As for my favorite color scheme, it's a red '70 SS with black stripes and of course, cowl induction.

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