Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage – The 1973 Chevy Chevelle SS Wagon

1973 Chevelle SS Wagon

Welcome to another installment of the Hooniverse Obscure Muscle Car Garage, a regular feature which aims to expand the definition of what a muscle car is, and to discover hidden treasures while doing so. During the 1970s, the age of the fire breathing muscle car was quickly coming to an end, though there were several surprises. One such surprise is the first Chevrolet station wagon that wore the heralded SS badge. Introducing a true paradox, the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle SS Station Wagon.

Recently Updated44

When Chevrolet joined the growing performance car market in 1962, the SS badges on its sporty Chevrolets were known to stand for “Super Sport.” Armed with enhanced performance features and adorned with custom styling touches, the Chevrolet Chevelle SS had earned a deserved place among the top rank of the era’s muscle cars. However, the auto industry’s taste for such cars began turning sour in response to political and economic trends in the early 1970s, but Detroit still issued sports models, and an SS package was created for the completely redesigned 1973 Chevelle.


After five years on the same basic body shells, all General Motors intermediates were totally new for 1973. Wheelbases remained 112 inches for two-door cars and 116 inches for four-doors and station wagons, but convertibles were dropped and closed cars were dressed in new “Colonnade” styling. The two-door hardtops of the past were replaced by true coupes with thick B-pillars and fixed rear side-window glass. Heavy government-mandated five-mph “crash bumpers” were fitted up front.


The mid-size Chevy came in Deluxe, Malibu, and new upscale Laguna trim. Checking off option Z15 and plunking down $243 would make an SS out of any Malibu coupe or — for the only time ever — station wagon equipped with a 350- or 454-cid V-8. Package equipment included a blacked-out grille, dual sport mirrors, color-keyed lower body striping, black-accented taillight bezels (on coupes), black-rimmed round instrument dials, front and rear stabilizer bars, rally wheels, and G70 X 14 white-letter tires. SS identification showed up on the grille, front fenders, rear fascia (or wagon lift-gate), steering wheel, and interior door panels.


Since 1971, GM engines had been detuned to run on low-lead fuel. The 350 engine was rated at 145 net horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor; 175 horses with a four-barrel carb. The optional big-block 454 now netted 245 horses. Automatic transmissions were standard with the SS engines, but four-speed manuals could be ordered for the 454 and the stouter of the two 350s. As it was, the 1973 Chevelle SS was the last one offered, even though 28,647 were ordered, an increase of almost 4,000 from the 1972 totals. The Laguna Type S-3 coupe served as the sportiest Chevelle from 1974 to 1976. These Chevelles have become the “Lost Generation” considering most collectors and parts suppliers focus on pre-1973 Chevelles.


While the SS option cost $243, the 454 option cost another $235, and was only equipped on around 2,500 of those cars. The wagons are very rare, as I could not find any information as to the number sold. So, with the last year of a Chevelle SS offered, and a one year only Station Wagon model, is this a true Obscure Muscle Car, or should it be confined into Station Wagon Hell? Let me know what you think.


[poll id=”196″]


Please Note: All Images are screen grabs from around the web. If you want credit for any image, please let me know in the comments section. Thank You!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here