What if GM Built New Performance Versions of the Nova and Chevelle?
With the resurrected Camaro hitting the streets back in late 2009, Chevy performance enthusiasts have had plenty to cheer about in the world of late-model muscle. It was a long time coming, and the fifth-gen arrived with plenty of power, handled well, and like the first-gen, it carried a good amount of attitude. With the addition of upgraded models like the 1LE, ZL1, and the amazing Z/28, the car continued to gain major street cred for the power-hungry folks itching for even more performance. Needless to say, all is good in “Chevyland”… or is it?
It seems Chevy’s two other prominent performers from the muscle car golden era got the short end of the proverbial stick shift; namely, the Chevelle and the Nova. Sure, you could argue that those models were not quite as popular as the Camaro, but these two muscle car icons have been completely ignored in the late-model-performance-car-resurrection wars. Call me crazy, but I’m betting a late-model Chevelle, if done properly would have easily outsold the new Chevy SS. Now, I’ve driven the SS and it’s a great car, but I think simply calling the car an “SS” was a little confusing since, historically speaking, “SS” (Super Sport) has always been known as a performance upgrade to an already-existing Chevy model.
So, should the GM brass look into giving the Nova and Chevelle a shot at this late-model performance car game? Why not? In the early ’60s, these cars paved the way for the Camaro’s very existence. That alone should be worth giving them their day in the sun once more.
With that said, it’s got to be done right. I’m not talking about the embarrassing 1985 version of the Nova (that’s not even funny), I’m talking about the Chevy design team dusting off the old toolbox and incorporating the soul of the 1967 or ’68 Nova and putting it into a badass late-model performer with some sweet styling and aggressive body lines. Same goes for the Chevelle. No, not today’s Malibu, either. I know GM’s talented artists and designers would be able to capture some of that 1970 Chevelle spirit and turn out a killer-looking, modern version packed with a pissed-off LT1. Think about it – we’d have two more models with the ability to wake up the neighborhood and keep Ford and Dodge on their toes and in our rear-view mirrors.
Is this some sort of crazy pipe dream of mine? Probably, but with the popularity of the fifth- and soon-to-be successful sixth-gen Camaro, I can’t help but think there has to be something to chew on for a revised version of the Chevelle at the very least.
So, while you fine folks at GM take my ideas into consideration, you don’t even have to give me credit. In exchange, just send over one of those “old” 2015 Z/28s for a while. Besides, you could probably use the extra room for all those new 2016 Camaros heading your way.