05/04/11 11:23PM Camaro, Chevelle, Chevy, Corvette, Impala, Muscle Cars

The History of the Great American Chevy Muscle Cars


Friendly Chevrolet, a local Dallas Chevy dealership since 1956, has seen the evolution of the American automobile on the front lines.  We have had the requests for the classic Chevelle, the timeless Corvette, and the power of the Camaro.  In this blog post and the coming posts over the next month, we will talk about the enduring Chevy Muscle cars: The Chevy Chevelle, the Camaro, the Corvette, and the Impala. Enjoy taking a ride through history with Friendly Chevrolet!

The most popular lineups of muscle cars were put on the market by Chevy in the 1960s and early 1970s.  The purpose of a muscle car is to present the owner with an attractive, powerful vehicle at an affordable price.  Chevrolet already had credibility because of the V-8 engines introduced by the company in 1955.  These engines could rev impressively, making them a favorite of hot-rodders, who knew instantly that Chevy knew how to create fast cars.

1961 Chevy Impala SS - Friendly Chevrolet

The Chevy Impala Super Sport was introduced in 1961.  This is considered to be one of the most glamorous America muscle cars, which came with a 360-bhp 409.  Later, 409s were built to produce up to 425 bhp.  Residents of Dallas interested in Chevy cars can still buy an Impala from Friendly Chevrolet’s inventory of new cars.

1969 Chevrolet-Chevelle - Friendly Chevy

The Chevy Chevelle was introduced in 1964.  It was very similar to the Impala, but it had a more compact body.  It was considered an intermediate muscle car, and the Super Sport version became one of the most popular and well-known America muscle cars ever.  The original version offered 283 or 327-cid V-8s with 300 bhp.  In 1965, these levels were bumped up a notch to 396-cid big-blocks featuring 375 bhp.  201 Chevelles were equipped with these features.  In 1966, a separate Chevelle SS 396 model was built, and over 72,000 of them were sold that year.  Finally, in 1970, the most powerful Chevelle LS6 model—one of the quickest muscle cars of all time—was released with 450 bhp, and a 454-civ V-8.

1968 Chevy Nova - Friendly Chevy

A year after the Chevelle was originally introduced, the Chevrolet Nova SS hit the market.  This compact muscle car was short on beauty, perhaps because all the emphasis was placed on speed.  The 396-cid big-block version was introduced in 1968 and could hold its own with just about any muscle car on the road.  Novas lasted a long time and survived until 1972, which is about when Chevy muscle cars stopped being produced.

1953 Chevy Corvette - Friendly Chevrolet

The first Corvette model was a convertible and hit the scene in 1953 as a show car.  The second generation Corvette, also known as a Sting Ray, came out in 1963 in the middle of the Chevy muscle car era and ran through 1967.  In 1965, the 425-bhp big-block engine was introduced.  The Corvette is currently in its sixth generation, which started in 2005.

First Generation Chevy Camaro - Friendly Chevrolet

The Chevy Camaro is one of the best-loved Chevy cars of all time.  The shapely muscle car, introduced in 1964, was Chevy’s response to Ford’s newly-released Mustang.  Even though the go-getter engines in the early models were quite impressive, the Camaro received a redesign in 1970 in an effort to combine power with handling.  The Camaro’s classy combination of looks and power has kept it alive to this day, giving you the chance to buy a revamped Camaro from Friendly Chevrolet in Dallas.

So, as you can see, it is impossible not to speak about Chevy and American history in the same sentence. They truly go hand in hand. Keep reading our blog and in our next post we will expand upon the evolution of the Chevy Camaro.