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Hot Rods. Jason Lowery. Performance Engines. Performance Parts. Engine Block. Rims And Tires. Sport Cars. Vintage Cars. Old Cars. The Monte Carlo coupe was the biggest seller of the Chevrolet A-body line actually designated A-Special , although the bread-and-butter coupes, sedans, and station wagons also sold well.
Distinctive rear quarter glass on 2-door coupes and new side windows with styled center pillars were featured on 4-door models. Rear windows on coupes no longer opened. In addition to the new roofline, front and rear ends looked markedly different this year as was the year of the federally mandated 5 mph 8. Additional new body features were an acoustical double-panel roof, tighter-fitting glass, and flush style outside door handles. Wheelbase dimensions were retained; a in 2, mm for coupes and in 2, mm for sedans and station wagons, but bodies were five inches mm longer and an inch wider with a 1-inch 25 mm wider wheel track.
The station wagon, available in 6 or 9 passenger seating, featured a new counterbalanced liftgate which allowed for easier entry and loading up to 85 cubic feet. Plans to release the updated A-body lineup was scheduled for the model year but a strike which occurred at some GM assembly plants delayed the release for a full model year, eventually extending the lifecycle of the era generation; the redesigned A-bodies were designed in a studio where it had more of a European influence - at the time of development John Z.
DeLorean was the chairman at the Chevrolet division where he delayed some product releases and extending the lifecycle of some of its products; the redesigned A-bodies had some styling cues lifted from the concurrent second-generation F-bodies - the front suspension was integrated into the A-body redesign with output from respective GM divisions each division had its own sheet metal design. Another structural improvement was side-impact guard beams in the doors, as required by new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
A power moonroof was an option in Headroom was up slightly and shoulder room gains were by 1. Rear seat legroom was up 3. Another was a The unusually thin windshield pillars also contributed to much better visibility. Clearances for spring travel were also revised; the coil springs at each wheel were computer-selected to match the individual car's weight.
Front disc brakes were now standard on all '73 Chevelles. John Z. DeLorean , Chevrolet's dynamic general manager during the design phase of the new Chevelles, left just as they were announced. Five powertrains were available for Chevelle models; the inline-six and 2-barrel V8 both rated at hp 82 kW were std.
The 2-barrel V8 of hp kW was the base Laguna engine. Options for any Chevelle included a 4-barrel V8 of hp kW and a 4-barrel V8 rated at hp kW. Hardened engine valve seats and hydraulic camshafts made these engines reliable and allowed them to accept the increasingly popular unleaded regular gasoline. The 3-speed manual transmission was standard; a 4-speed manual and Turbo Hydra-Matic 3 speed automatic were optional.
Crossflow radiators and coolant reservoirs that prevented air from entering the system prevented overheating. Malibu and the newly named Deluxe series base model featured the new 5 mph 8. Malibu series interiors included cloth and vinyl or all vinyl seat trim and deep-twist carpeting. Deluxe series interiors featured cloth and vinyl or knit vinyl seat trim. Floor coverings were color-keyed in vinyl-coated rubber.
The SS was now a trim option limited to the mid-level Malibu series. It was possible to order an SS station wagon this year - with the option of a cubic-inch V8 engine, but the mix of sport and utilitarian wagon virtues would last only a single season.
Included was a black grill with SS emblem, lower bodyside and wheel opening striping, bright roof drip moldings, color-keyed dual sport mirrors, black taillight bezels, SS fender and rear panel emblems, special front and rear stabilizer bars, 14x7-inch rally wheels, series raised white lettered tires, special instrumentation, and SS interior emblems. Chevrolet honored California beach resorts once again by naming the top Chevelle series Laguna with the Malibu taking the middle spot while the base series was called simply Deluxe.
In addition to the standard 2 barrel V8, Laguna models featured specific front and rear styling including a body-colored urethane front end concealing the new 5 mph bumper system. On minor impact the urethane nose cone, backed up by shock-absorbing cylinders, deflects and rebounds; Laguna models also featured a specific diecast chrome grille with bowtie emblem, a body-colored steel rear bumper , front and rear bumper rub strips, bright roof drip moldings, bright wheel opening moldings, chrome taillight bezels, full wheel covers, and Laguna fender nameplates.
Two Laguna station wagons were introduced, including a Laguna Estate. Laguna interiors were pattern cloth and vinyl or optional breathable all-vinyl upholstery, distinctive door trim with map pockets, deep-twist carpeting, woodgrain vinyl accents, and Laguna nameplates. Chevelle sales remained strong: , of them in the model year, plus 59, station wagons. The more upmarket Malibu continued to sell best by a wide margin and many Chevelles went to the fleet market, but the costlier Laguna coupe and sedan made a respectable showing, with 56, going to customers.
Super Sport options went on 28, Chevelles of which held the big cubic-inch engine. The SS option was dropped at the end of the model year. Annual facelifts continued. The model featured new chrome grilles made of die-cast steel, and single rectangular tail lights replaced the dual round items on all coupes and sedans.
More massive rear bumpers were also added, in accordance with stricter US Federal standards for cars. The Laguna, which had been Chevelle's top-of-the-line model in , became the sporty Laguna Type S-3 and was only available as a coupe. It combined Laguna luxury with the upgraded handling of the SS, which it replaced. It also included GR radial tires.
The new Laguna S-3 featured the urethane front end with a revised grille as well as new front lamps and taillights. The rear bumper on the Laguna S-3 was chrome-plated rather than painted body color as on the car. Standard equipment included a console, a vinyl roof, opera-type vertical rear quarter windows which could be covered with optional horizontal ribs; bodyside striping, Laguna S-3 badging, rally wheels, a 4-spoke steering wheel, firmer springs and shock absorbers , a front anti-roll bar , and HR70x15 radial tires on rally wheels.
Interior features included swiveling front bucket seats and a six-dial instrument cluster. Production totaled 15, cars. Standard engine was cu in 5. Unitized 3-point seat belts were introduced as on all Chevrolet models. The upscale luxury trim level for was the new Malibu Classic, offered in sedan, coupe, and station wagon models. Unlike the Laguna, the Malibu Classic used the same front end and chrome bumper as the lesser models, and had the smaller vertical opera windows and a spring-loaded hood ornament.
Early-production Classic coupes required the vinyl roof option; apparently [ according to whom? This configuration was continued through the end of Chevelle production in Inside, the Malibu Classic interiors had notchback bench seats [ clarification needed ] upholstered in cloth or vinyl, carpeted door panels, and simulated woodgrain instrument panel trim.
Optional on Malibu Classic coupes were swiveling bucket seats in cloth or vinyl. The base Deluxe series was dropped for , making the Malibu the base model. Base engines were the cu in 4. For , Front and rear changes included a vertical grid-patterned grille and new bright trim around the headlights. Rectangular taillights were flush with the body surface, connected by a brushed chrome panel.
Malibu Classic coupes had distinctive opera windows. Landau coupes came with a vinyl roof, full wheel covers, whitewall tires, color-keyed body striping, and dual sport mirrors. Variable-ratio power steering was now standard with V8 models, and all models came with steel-belted radial tires and a catalytic converter.
Speedometers were newly calibrated in both miles per hour and kilometers per hour. The Laguna Type S-3 was delayed until January It now had a slanted, urethane-covered aero-style nose designed for NASCAR, louvered quarter windows, and could be ordered with a vinyl half-roof. The engine option was available for the first half of the model year after which the engine became the top engine. Options included an Econominder gauge package. The Malibu Classic received a crosshatch grille flanked by two stacked rectangular sealed-beam headlamps , while lesser models had a waterfall grille and continued with the previous single round lamps.
Three V8 engines were available: a new cu in 5. An "Econominder" gauge package was optional. In its third and final year, the Laguna Type S-3 was little changed. It again featured quarter window louvers and a sloped, body-color urethane front end.
Lagunas shared their round-gauge instrument panel with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and could be ordered with a four-spoke sport steering wheel as well as swivel front bucket seats and a center console. Lesser models had a dashboard and a linear-readout speedometer. Production of the Laguna edged up to 9, cars. The Chevelles featured new grilles. The lineup consisted of Malibu and Malibu Classic models in coupe, sedan, and station wagon body styles. Estate Wagons and the Laguna Type S-3 were gone.
Malibu Classics, again the top model, switched to a vertical grille pattern and six-section taillights but kept their twin stacked headlights and stand-up hood ornament. Malibu grilles changed little. Fewer engine selections were available though the engines that remained gained a few horses. In standard form, Chevelles had a cu in 4. The sole option beyond that was a hp kW , four-barrel V8, which came as standard equipment in the Malibu Classic station wagon.
Malibu options included an Exterior Decor group, tinted glass, and full wheel covers. A total of 37, Malibu Classic Landau coupes were produced, as opposed to 73, Malibu Classic coupes and 28, Malibu coupes. In four-door sedan form, too, the Malibu Classics outsold base models by a substantial margin. A Chevelle SE special edition was available and provided front and rear spoilers, turbine II wheels, F tires, special graphics and decals, quarter window trim, front and rear sway bars, sport suspension, and a deluxe interior.
Three colors [ which? The models were the last to bear the Chevelle name; with the all-new models, Malibu became the basic name for Chevrolet's midsize cars. We couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell you what a groovy all around car it is even if it can't smoke the quarter-mile in 13 seconds. And what car in '73 can. Motor Trend - Buyers Guide said: "Chevrolet is fielding an all-new intermediate Chevelle series at a time when competitive lines from Ford and Chrysler are one or more years old Nimble, quick and responsive.
The car has a very tight feeling, a by-product of the heavily ribbed underbody and double paneled roof. Strongly in the Laguna's favor is the integrated, body-colored urethane bumper-front end. It's a lot better looking out-front than the big bumper approach. Car and Driver said: " Directional stability is so strong on the highway that the Laguna seems locked on some guidance-beam radiated from your destination.
The Chevelle Laguna in particular was extremely successful allowing Cale Yarborough to win 34 races and earn the first two of three consecutive Grand National championships. Motor Trend said in "While neither Chevrolet or Pontiac are back in racing, the new crop intermediates out of GM's styling studios are curiously aerodynamic.
They are also curiously competing on the NASCAR circuit tracks, and selling as fast as they can be hauled to the dealerships. October 21, American Benny Parsons pits for repairs after an early crash. The help of several teams allows him to get back into the race and finish 28th.
Parsons took the points lead with a third-place finish at Talladega Speedway in early May and never gave up the lead. He held off a late rally by Cale Yarborough to win by only Yarborough won nine races along the way to the first of three consecutive titles. He finished last in the Daytona , but assumed command of the points chase in August. Yarborough beat Richard Petty by points. Yarborough won nine races in 30 starts in his 11 Chevelle and finished points ahead of runner-up Richard Petty.
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Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. ISBN OCLC Retrieved 27 December They were no longer called Chevelles. The Changing U. Auto Industry: A Geographical Analysis. Retrieved 5 December American Cars of the s: A Decade of Diversity.
Krause Publications. Chevrolet SS. MotorBooks International. Standard Catalog of Chevelle JC Publications. Volo Auto sales. Retrieved 17 May Hemmings Classic Car. Retrieved February 27, Flory, p. Archived from the original on Retrieved The ClassicCars. Retrieved 8 November March 29, Retrieved July 5, November 14, Chevrolet , a marque of General Motors , road car timeline, United States market, s—s — next ». Chevrolet vehicles. Established in , a division of General Motors since Category Commons.
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