Classic American Cars: The ’76 Chevy Chevelle
1976 Chevrolet Chevelle
The Chevrolet Chevelle was first introduced in the Chevy lineup in 1964. It was a mid-sized car, originally intended to compete against Ford’s mid-sized car, the Fairlane.
Many consumers choose the Chevelle as an economical alternative to the larger Chevy Impala. The Impala was more expensive to buy and operate. The Chevelle was large enough to seat a family of five comfortably and could seat six if necessary. The brochure for the 1976 Chevelle pictured here states the Chevelle was “comfortable for highway cruising”. It was also easier to maneuver in places like parking lots than were the larger cars. It was a car “ designed especially for people who no longer need, or want, a large car—yet who would not be truly comfortable with a small car”. It was intended as a paired-down version of the larger luxury cars, but without making the consumer give up much in regard to comfort or power, as the Chevelle came with a standard V-8 engine.
Standard equipment on the ’76 Chevelle included power steering and brakes, automatic transmission, air-conditioning and a stereo radio. When it was first introduced, the Malibu was the top trim model of the Chevelle. In 1976 the Malibu Classic was the top trim on the Chevelle. Features exclusive to the Malibu Classic included thickly padded seats covered in a rich knit-cloth and optional all-vinyl swivel bucket front seats. Exterior features on the Malibu Classic included an optional vinyl top, dual sport mirrors, full wheel covers, whitewall tires, dial stacked headlights and the signature diamond-patterned grill.
1977 was the final year that the Chevelle was produced. The following year the model name was changed to just “Malibu”.
Models available in the 1976 Chevelle lineup included:
Malibu Classic Landau
Laguna Type S-3
Chevelle Station Wagon