While the 1960s definitely heralded in the age of the American muscle car, the first hi-po cars to roll off of factory assembly lines certainly didn’t look like anything special. Hell, you had to pretty much work at a dealership to even know about all the special packages that Ford, Chevy, and Chrysler offered on their standard sedans.
The 1964 Chevrolet Chevelle Z16 is one of those rare performance packages, with just 200 of these high-output coupes produced. About 65 still survive, and one of these rare Chevelles is slated to cross the Mecum auction block next month reports Hemmings Auto Blog.
The Chevelle Z16 was a direct response to GM’s own Pontiac GTO package on the Tempest mid-size sedan. With the new 396 big-block V8 engine debuting for 1964, Chevy engineers decided their lineup could use some excitement. They crafted the Z16 package under the radar, including the 375 horsepower 396 V8.
That big-block Chevy engine was a good start, but the Z16 package was more than that. It also came with heavy-duty suspension, power brakes, power steering, a four-speed manual transmission, a 160 mph speedometer, and other bits and pieces that created an amazing performance package.
These Z16 Chevelles don’t show up for sale very often This particular example has a numbers-matching engine, rear end, and pretty much everything else except for the interior, which was swapped from red to black during a frame-off restoration. This Chevelle Z16 will bring big bucks at auction, that’s for sure.