In 1964, Americans were headed to worlds unknown with the Mariner Spacecraft program, The Beatles invaded America, and President Lyndon Johnson escalated the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. For Chevrolet, somethings changed, some stayed the same, and some brand-new models were released.
The Chevy II changed very little for 1964. That is, unless you don’t count the addition of a V-8 to the lineup as a big change. The new, 195hp optional V-8 came to the game with 283 cubic-inches. Unfortunately, drop-top fans were not happy, as the convertible went away this year. Now offered with the available SS option, 10,576 Chevy IIs were produced with the Super Sport “SS” option in 1964.
The Impala received a minor restyling, to give it a more rounded look. The 409 cubic-inch engine returned as the big-block option, and was available with dual four-barrel carburetors on the 425hp engines. Super Sport models continued to feature the engine-turned aluminum trim.
New for 1964 was the Chevelle. Initially, the intention was for the Chevelle to go head-to-head with the Ford Fairlane. Two-door hardtop coupes, and convertibles, four-door sedans, and four-door station wagons were offered throughout the entire run. Six-cylinder and V-8 engines were offered on all models. Originally thought to be an upsized model of the Chevy II, GM’s “senior compact” A-platform Chevelle used a body-on-frame construction, using a suspension similar to its full-sized cars, with a four-link rear suspension.
Early 1964 Chevelles had a Malibu SS badges on the rear quarter panel. The $162 Super Sport package was available on the upscale Malibu two-door hardtop and convertible models. The option added special exterior trim and SS emblems. Inside, the bucket-seat interior featured a console on models using the Muncie four-speed-manual or Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission. The available 283 cubic-inch four-barrel V-8 delivered 220-horsepower, which was the same rating as the 1957 Chevy with the Power-Pak 283 cubic-inch engine. The Chevelle could also be ordered with a 327-cubic-inch V-8 with either 250 or 300hp. Both engines used a four-barrel carburetor.
Regardless of what Chevrolet you were driving, you were the envy of others that parked next to you in the drive in, as you watched It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.