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1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle

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1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle

The 1971 Chevelle represented the high point of Chevrolet’s iconic midsize muscle car. Massively restyled and powered by the largest V8s ever offered, the ’71 Chevelle SS took the success of the preceding years to new heights. As the muscle car era hit its prime, Chevrolet produced the ’71 Chevelle as a bold and potent rival to Ford’s Torino and Mercury’s Cyclone to win the sales war. The result was one of the most iconic American performance cars of the era.1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle插图

Fresh Yet Familiar Styling

The ’71 Chevelle wore all-new “fuselage” styling shared across the midsize GM A-body line. Sculpted fender lines and a curvier fastback roof modernized the exterior profile compared to prior years. Dual headlights flanked by rounded grille openings amplified the front end’s visual punch. Coupe, hardtop and convertible body styles carried over along with signature SS trim cues. While thoroughly redesigned, the ’71 Chevelle remained immediately identifiable by blending in evolutionary styling.1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle插图1

Newfound Handling Refinement

Chassis upgrades aimed at delivering greater refinement accompanied the exterior reskinning. Engineers stretched the wheelbase two inches for a smoother ride and improved weight distribution. The front suspension gained new geometry for more precise steering response. Bolstered ZQ3 suspension pack­ages optimized handling on SS models. While the outgoing Chevelle handled respectably, the ’71 brought elevated levels of precision and confidence when driven hard.1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle插图2

Range of Potent V8s

Of course V8 muscle remained central to the Chevelle SS’s character for 1971. The base 165hp 307ci engine returned, but SS buyers looked toward the optional 350, 402 and monstrous LS-6 454ci big blocks making anywhere from 300 to a stout 425 horsepower in the LS-6’s case. The Chevrolet-exclusive 366hp LS-5 454 also garnered attention slotted between those models. With competitive brands turning up the wick on power, Chevrolet produced the 1971 Chevelle SS to lead the horsepower race.1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle插图3

Highly Customizable Packages

Chevrolet offered numerous appearance and performance package options to let ’71 Chevelle customers customize their builds. The SS 454 came powered by the LS-5 V8 but added exterior SS badging. An SS package was available on the lower Malibu series for the first time as well. Cowl induction and domed hoods dressed up performance models. Stripes, wheels, and colors offered infinite visual variety. The wide range of powertrain and trim combinations enabled buyers to opt for the perfect high-performance Chevelle.1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle插图4

The Last Great Classic Chevelle

The ’71 Chevelle represented the final model year before emissions regulations choked output in ’72, marking the end of the unrestricted muscle car era. As such, the powerful and redesigned ’71 SS models mark the peak for Chevelle collectors today. Prices for LS-6 Chevelles in particular have skyrocketed at auction due to rarity and demand. For both Chevelle and muscle car fans, the comprehensively upgraded 1971 edition stands atop one of America’s most revered performance nameplates.1971 Chevelle SS – The Peak of the Classic Muscle Chevelle插图5

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