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1964 Chevrolet Chevelle SS


To those in the market for a sensible intermediate in 1964, Chevrolet’s all-new Chevelle SS looked great. It was bigger than the compact Chevy II, but had nearly the interior room of the Impala without the big car’s acres of sheetmetal. The whole range of two- and four-door body styles were available, as well as a cute two-door wagon and a cool open-bed El Camino. Six-cylinder and V-8 power was offered across the board. Of course, enthusiasts seldom take the purely “sensible” view, and they were quick to notice that the Chevelle’s 115-inch wheelbase was the same as that of the 1955-57 Chevy.

The best expression of this revival came in a Chevelle equipped with the $162 Super Sport package. Available on the upscale Malibu two-door hardtop and convertible models, the option added special exterior brightwork with SS emblems and the 14-inch full-disc wheel covers from the Impala SS. Inside was a vinyl bucket-seat interior that featured a floor console for models equipped with the optional Muncie aluminum four-speed-manual or Powerglide two-speed automatic instead of the standard three-speed manual.

Super Sport Malibu also got a four-gauge cluster in place of engine warning lights, and a dash-mounted tachometer was optional. Kinship to those Chevys of yore was sealed by the availability of a 283-cubic-inch four-barrel dual-exhaust V-8 engine rated at 220-horsepower, the exact same rating as the celebrated 1957 Power-Pak 283.

But while the 1964 Malibu SS may have recalled past glories, the future was available over at Pontiac. There, Chevelle’s Tempest corporate cousin had been stuffed with a 389-cubic-inch V-8 to create the 325-horsepower GTO. Oldsmobile followed quickly with a 310-horse 330-cube 4-4-2. That was all it took for Chevy to break GMs 326-cubic-inch ceiling for intermediate-car engines. Starting in mid-1964, the Chevelle could be ordered with the division’s fine 327-cubic-inch V-8, in either 250 or 300 horsepower. Both used a four-barrel carb and 10.5:1 compression, and could hold their own against 289 Fairlanes and 273 Barracudas.

But muscle fans would demand more, and get it. Still, for those “sensible” buyers, the Chevelle was obviously appealing and Chevy built 294,160 this first year, including 76,860 SS models.

Engine Type
V-8/small block
V-8/small block
Displacement (cid)
283
327
Horsepower @ rpm:
195 @ 4800
220 @ 4800*
250 @ 4400
300 @ 5000
350 @ 5800 (1965)
Torque (pounds/feet) @ rpm
285 @ 2400
295 @ 3200
350 @ 2800
360 @ 3200
360 @ 3600 (1965)
Compression Ratio
9.25:1
10.5:1/11.0:1**
Bore (inches)
3.87
4.00
Stroke (inches)
3.00
3.25
Valve Lifters
Hydraulic
Hydraulic
Availability
1964-65
1964-65

*Four-barrel
**350-bhp engine

Times*:

0-60 mph (sec)
8.5
0-100 mph (sec)
27.8
1/4-mile (sec)
16.6**
Top speed (mph)
N/A
Axle ratio
3.08:1
Engine type
283/220

*Source: Car and Driver (1963)
**Trap speed not indicated.

Times*:

0-60 mph (sec)
6.0 (est)
0-100 mph (sec)
15.0 (est)
1/4-mile (sec)
14.66 @ 99.88
Top speed (mph)
115 (est)
Axle ratio
3.65:1
Engine type
396/360

*Source: Car and Driver (1966)

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