Secrets of the Chevelle
The Chevelle is one of America’s favorite classic muscle cars. If you turn on your favorite televised classic car auctions at random, chances are that there will be a Chevelle crossing the block. With so much attention, the Chevelle is pretty much an open book, yet here are some lesser-known facts:
- It was built in 10 different GM plants in two countries: Over the course of its 10-year lifespan, the Chevelle was assembled in a whopping 10 different GM plants. For the record, that was: Arlington, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; Baltimore, Md.; Flint, Mich.; Framingham, Mass.; Fremont, Calif.; Kansas City, Kan.; Oshawa, On., Canada; and Sainte-Thérèse, PQ, Canada.
- It shared a platform with El Camino and Monte Carlo: In addition to being produced in convertible, two-door, four-door and station wagon body-styles, the Chevelle’s platform underpinned both the El Camino car/pickup and the personal luxury Monte Carlo.
- It’s gone but certainly not forgotten: The Chevelle nameplate died after the 1978 model year. And in spite of the fact that it is consistently named by auto journalists and bowtie fans as a name they would like Chevy to revive, it’s never come close to happening.
- There was a Canada-only version: GM and Ford formerly had a practice of creating specific models and nameplates for the Canadian market. There was a Canadian version of the Chevelle built in Quebec and Ontario called the Acadian Beaumont, which had a slightly different grille and trim. They’re rare and a very definite curiosity in the Chevelle world.
- Intended to be the successor to the famous Tri-Five 1955-57 Chevies: Designers saw the Chevelle as the spiritual successor to the 1955-57 Bel Air/210, noting that the 115-inch wheelbase was the same, and like the 55-57 Chevy, the Chevelle was offered in two-door coupe, four-door, convertible, and two- and four-door wagon body styles. It’s proven to be the case in the collector car world, too, as younger baby boomers and Gen-Xers opt for the Chevelle as the collectible Chevy of choice over the 55-57 Bel Air of the immediate post-war boomers.