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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Greenlight 1968 and 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle SS



One of my most favorite GM cars, along with the 1969 Camaro, is the 1968-1969 Chevelle.  It is beautiful to look and a very fast one in SS trim.  Out of the variations from different manufacturers, these Greenlights are the best, so let's take a look at the uniqueness of these versions.



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1968-1969 Chevelle: Style meets Substance

The Chevelle was introduced in 1964 as the sportier trim to the Malibu SS line.  The styling was contemporary with boxy surfaces, regular interior, and steel wheels.  However, under the hood lurked a 283 c.c. V8 producing 230 hp. through a four-speed manual.  This was a sleeper street racer!  Over the years the Chevelle gained more power from several additional V8 motors and eventually sleeker styling (and a name of it's own).  The climax was 1968 when the Chevelle arrived with sleeker styling that featured a pointed front with quad headlights (and it's own trim) spanning a grille with SS logo in the center of SS trims.  A hood with dual bulges ending in vents, along with a stripe that starts over the front of the hood, then rides down the sides of the front fender to run along the lower sides of the car.  The rear featured a fastback roofline with horizontal taillights and trunk panel with reverse lights integrated into the rear bumper and those eminent dual exhaust at the bottom.  The styling was no doubt eye-catching!


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Inside the interior has a flat dash like the 1967 Camaro featuring long-overdue dual gauges with integrated tachometer, two-spoke steering wheel, stereo controls in the center, and glovebox on the passenger side.  The front has bucket seats with center console and floor shifter for the 4-speed manual.  The rear sets and door panels on the Greenlight version accurately depicts the 1:1 version.  As does the base with the correct drivetrain components featured underneath in metal.  Of course, the wheels are finished off in Rallye trim with white-lettered rubber tires.  Under the hood features a detailed 396 c.c. V8 with a hugger orange block producing 350 hp. through a 4-speed manual.


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1969 featured a few changes:  The rear now featured stacked taillights with integrated reverse lights, federal-mandated side marker lights, the wrap-around stripe from the 1968 version was dropped, the grille is larger and now incorporates a center bar, and the turn signals in the front bumper move inside the two center scoops in the bumper.  Elsewhere the interior and base carry-over from the 1968 version.  As does the 396 c.c. V8 and 4-speed manual.  One special note is the Yenko Chevelle, featuring white stripes on hood and sides and Yenko badges on the sides.  The front grille has a blue bowtie in the center since Yenko's started out as base Chevelle coupes, modified to feature the largest motor in the 1969 Chevelle: a 427 c.c. V8 from the Corvette featuring 425 hp. through a four-speed automatic with the needed suspension and drivetrain modifications.  Retired race driver Ryan Howell found a way to get around the restrictions around the big motors in small cars by ordering through the Central Office Production Order (COPO) fleet system to get the 427 V8 into regular-trim Chevelle's, to be sent to his dealer who added special badging and sold them as Yenko's.  Today these Yenko's are highly prized by collectors.


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Greenlight 1968 variations

The first release came in 2008 in the Greenlight Muscle Car Garage Stock and Custom series.  A brief history behind the series:  The stock's were ALWAYS POPULAR, while the custom's were ALWAYS LEFT BEHIND!  However that was not the case in the first release of the 1968 Chevelle SS:  Stock was the dark blue with the correct trim details and Rallye wheels.  The Custom was a gorgeous Candy Apple Red Metallic version, clean-slate, with custom chrome Mag wheels that I think was borrowed from the 2008 Shelby GT Mustang's.  Luckily I found both at the same time and boy are they beautiful!  The 1968 has been hiding out for a long time to the 1969, until 2014 in the recent Muscle release it reappears in Grobo Blue Metallic with vinyl top in flat black.  The details carry-over, as does the Rallye wheels, but the rear seems to be more raked on my version, plus it lacks the extra details of the early versions, including the special U.S. state license plate!


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Greenlight's 1969 wayward variations

When I mean wayward, I mean way out there.  The first 1969 Coupe I found was in the revised Muscle Car Garage series (sans the unsuccessful Custom segment) in jet black with Yenko badges.  Say What!!!!  Talk about a unique casting in the group, and equally looks home with the Johnny Lightning 1969 Yenko Nova from 'The Italian Job' movie (not shown, but I do have one).  Now there's been a few 1969 coupe's that eluded me (no thanks to slim retail store selection), but I was sure not to miss the next one, the sole 1969 Convertible from the Barrett-Jackson line.  Decked in metallic blue, it shows off the interior details in all-white.  Note the lack of SS badging in the front suggesting a regular Chevelle convertible modified with a V8 and, strangely, a raked front end (not sure why, but the actual car represented in the B-J auction had the same look as well).  The convertible also gets a white side stripe and Mag wheels from the usual Rallye wheels.  Finally a regular coupe arrived in 2011 in Hugger Orange with black vinyl top and featured an extra set of wheels (the same Mag's on the convertible) along with the standard Rallye wheels on the car.


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*Bonus* 1964 Chevelle SS Malibu


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An even more treat is the very first Chevelle SS released in the Malibu line in 1964.  Check out the sky blue color with matching-colored steel wheels with chrome hubcaps.  The details are top-notch (you can see the CHEVROLET letters on the hood) and look good, plus the dual exhaust in the rear give the plain-Jane Chevelle an aggressive look.  The interior is nicely done in white with the front bucket seats, rear bench, door panels, dash board, and console with floor shifter nicely-detailed.  Just like the 1968-1968, the hood opens to reveal the same engine details as the others (though the hood at least opens easier than the flush-mounted 1968-1969).  The only complaint I have on this casting is the front grille looks a bit too round, but at least looks correct compared to the forward-pointing look of the Hot Wheels 1964 Chevelle.  Unlike the 1968-1969 Chevelle's, the 1964 is my least favorite Chevelle, but this blue sleeper makes an exception.







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