GM brands Pontiac, Buick and Oldsmobile all came out with a line of compact cars in 1961 that were quickly and handily trumped by Ford with its new 1962 Fairlane, a car that literally invented the “intermediate-sized” car. Larger than GM’s compacts, but smaller than a full-size, they hit the market square on the head. It took GM 2 model years to come out with their own intermediate, spread across their 4 main brands. The Chevy version was the Chevelle, the premium edition also bearing the name “Malibu”. The $164.00 Super Sport or SS option package became available immediately upon the Chevelle’s launch and was available only on top-line Malibu models in both Sport Coupe (actually a pillarless 2-door hardtop) and Convertible. It rode on a 115-inch wheelbase, and was a body-on-frame design with a full perimeter chassis.
1964 CHEVY CHEVELLE EQUIPMENT
The standard engine at the beginning of the 1964 model year was a 220hp 283 V8 with 4-barrle carburetor. It came standard with a 3-speed manual transmission with floor shift, but could be optioned up to a 4-speed Muncie aluminum gearbox or a Powerglide 2-speed automatic, all with floor shifts. The wheels, tires and hubcaps were F70 X 14s straight of the Impala SS. The exterior chromed trim changes from the non-SS Chevelles, and there are the requisite SS emblems on the rear fenders.
THE CHEVELLE FIGHTS IN THE MUSCLE CAR WARS
Very quickly it must have become apparent that a 220hp 283 wasn’t nearly enough to compete with GM’s own Pontiac GTO with a standard 325hp 389, or up to 348hp as an option. It was soon followed by the 310hp Oldsmobile Cutlass 442. So by midyear, Chevy was offering two 4-barrel 327 V8s, one with 250hp and the other with 300hp.
1964 Chevy Chevelle INTERIORS
1964 CHEVY CHEVELLE INTERIORS
The SS package includes vinyl bucket seats, a floor console with floor shifter and an SS-only 4-gauge instrument cluster.
THE CHEVELLE GETS IT RIGHT
The Chevelle and the entire A-body family of cars (from Pontiac, Olds and Buick) got the formula just right in terms of size, style and performance. Whatever they did, it worked, with total Chevelle sales at 370,834 units for the 1964 model year. 65,669 of those were Super Sport Coupes and 11,191 were SS Convertibles. (Exact production numbers seem to vary from source to source).
1964 Chevy Chevelle SPECIFICATIONS
Weight, SS w/6-cyl
Weight, SS w/V8
SS SPORT COUPE
6.50″ X 14″
6.50″ X 14″
Bore & Stroke
194-6 cyl base
3.563″ X 3.250″
3.875″ X 3.250″
Small Block V8
3.875″ X 3.00″
Small Block V8
4.00″ X 3.25″
* Standard 230 6 cylinders came with painted valve covers.
** Hi-Performance 230 6-cylinders came with chromed valve covers.