Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Car of the Day : June 9, 2011

The car for today is the Zylmex 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle.

As the U.S. auto market continued shifting to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars for 1975, Chevrolet focused on its small-car models, including a restyled Nova, new Monza 2+2 and mid-year Monza Towne Coupe, plus the tangential Cosworth Vega twin-cam special. Though unchanged in basic dimensions, the 1975 Chevrolet Chevelle was no longer touted as "standard-sized;" it was now prudently marketed as the mid-size, mid-price Chevrolet. Still, production fell below 285,000 cars.

The 454-cubic-inch V-8, downrated yet again to 215 horsepower, made it into 1975 as a Chevelle option, but this would be its last go-around in the Chevrolet intermediate. It was not available in California, or, curiously, in the Laguna Type S-3, and the optional four-speed stick was no longer offered. Meanwhile, the 250-cubic-inch six standard in Malibu and Malibu Classic coupes and sedans was extensively revamped and promised better fuel economy.

Additional fuel-saving measures were being pursued in places other than under the hood. The new Chevrolet Efficiency System included a federally mandated catalytic converter that helped Chevelles run smoother, cleaner, and, most importantly to buyers in 1975, more economically. (To guard against fouling the converter catalyst with leaded gasoline exhaust, the fuel filler neck was made narrower to accommodate the smaller nozzles of pumps that dispensed unleaded gas.)

A 2.56:1 "highway" axle ratio was available to improve V-8 gas mileage. Furthermore, buyers could now choose an Econominder instrument package that included a vacuum gauge to point out when optimum fuel economy was being attained. Coupes with V-8 engines could still be equipped with a tachometer and cars equipped with the tach or Econominder brought with them the round-gauge instrument cluster adapted from Monte Carlo.

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This is yet another purchase from Kimmo. It's in beater shape & I had planned on giving this one the derby treatment but decided to keep it for the normal collection. 1977 would mark the end of the Chevelle from Chevrolet lineup as the RWD Malibu would continue on without the Chevelle model into 1983.

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