I didn’t have to go far back in the Cohort to find a car that spoke to me. And it spoke rather loudly, at that, even with its apparently stock exhaust. Obviously, I have a thing for imperfect/beater old cars still on the road. And I’ve got a big thing for sixes. And I like very mild customs like this, because it shows someone actually cares enough about it to make a few changes, like the missing rear door handles, but it’s also done on a budget. And I really like those wheels, and the fact that the tires are rather narrow and tall, both front and rear. It’s a four door sedan. And most of all, it’s not another Resale Red SS396 coupe clone or tribute.
So in case you’re wondering, I like this Chevelle. And there’s another reason too.
It reminds me of this similar Chevelle I spotted and wrote up in a CC in the early days. That one has a V8 and is a bit more original. Which I can appreciate too. But given the choice, I’ll take the black one, because it’s got more character. I like that in a car, in case you hadn’t noticed.
Posted at the Cohort by nifticus
I love it! I don’t care for the removed door handles but I appreciate the work that went in to them. That car has major presence and character.
I like the real steel bumpers on older cars. With them, especially if they had rubber strips on them, you could push another car without causing even cosmetic damage. In backing into a small parking space, you could gently touch the other two cars and cause no damage. With the modern plastic bumpers, even a minor touch leaves a permanent mark.
With modern plastic bumpers, you cannot even use a bumper jack. With bumper jacks, if you became stuck in snow or mud, you could jack the car up and push it sideways off of the jack thereby getting out of the ruts and on your way.
Some cars with automatic transmissions which had a PNDLR sequence were actually designed to expedite rocking a car by shifting rhythmically between L and R to get unstuck. The owner’s manual even explained how to do it. Now if you get stuck in snow or mud, you are more likely to require assistance to become unstuck.
Not all changes are improvements.
Back in the days of the PNDLR transmissions the roads were far less improved than they are today. I did drive one these transmissions for a number of years, but I don’t recall ever really getting stuck where rocking helped much. What I recall is that one could usually back up for some distance and then move forward, getting a bit further along.
The problem with the PNDLR was downshifting into low for hill holding could easily result in moving all the way to R, with the result being a broken transmission.
That happened in our ’57 Olds 88 Super coming down the road from Mt.Wilson to Angeles Crest Hwy. Dad had been shifting into low and back a few time, when he hit reverse the wheels spun backward with the axle hopping like mad, felt like to axle was going to tear off the springs. He put it back into drive and the car ran perfectly for years after. That Old’s really was built like a tank!
That would have been Hydramatic, which was a complicated beastly heavy thing, but built like a tank. In fact, the Hyrdamatic was built for a tank.
In all my years of driving, I can’t recall “rocking” a car too many times.
Have to give credit to the rear end assembly and connecting parts as well for tolerating all that punishment. That Hydramatic tank transmission was one strong unit.
Only one I ever remember rocking – or needing to – was my ’66 Mustang with a straight six and three-on-the floor. It didn’t do the clutch much good, but it was an easy rhythm to learn and master. Just as well it was the six; I doubt it would have helped much with the 289.
Almost forgot – my granddad would rock his 1959 Rambler sometimes, it was a cinch with the push-button transmission. That B-W unit could start either in low or second, and he’d just go between R and D² until he was freed from the snow.
Some automatic transmissions were designed so that it was impossible to shift to R with with the car moving at more than a walking speed. That was the case with Studebaker, at least the 1951. Thus the argument that the PNDLR sequence was always dangerous was untrue even though that argument was often used. It was a very simple matter to design the valve body to make that impossible although not all manufacturers did.
A coworker of mine had a Chevrolet with Powerglide. While he was driving at highway speed, his young daughter knocked the shift into R. The action was very violent. It even spun the engine backward thereby blowing a vacuum hose off of the intake manifold. However, the PG was sufficiently rugged that no damage resulted. Of course it should have been designed to make that impossible. Bit it did show how rugged the PG was.
My 1967 Plymouth Valiant had the PRND21 sequence. I recall once becoming stuck in snow and because I could not shift rapidly between forward and reverse it was a real struggle becoming unstuck.
With a bit of google searching, you can find articles on rocking cars with L and R next to each other.
I’ve rocked PRND21 cars back and forth from R to D and back many times to get unstuck in snow.
The Olds engine kept running through it all. Impressive the PG could tolerate the abuse as well. Of course today it seems crazy there was not some kind of a safety lockout design built in.
R-N-D vs L-R
I’ve had occasion to rock both types, and I much prefer R-N-D to L-R.
With R-N-D I found it easier to hit a rhythm without a harsh clunk.
Also, with R-N-D once a vehicle was almost free, the vehicle could be “caught” at the peak of the rock and held there with the brakes, then, the transmission could be shifted through Neutral to D, once D was engaged the chassis could be “loaded” against the brakes and when the brakes were released chances were pretty good to get a “launch” out of the hang-up.
Another thing is that during the rocking of a carbureted vehicle they’d tend to load up. With Neutral in between it was a convenient stop to quickly “clear the throat” of a carburetor equipped engine.
As to L-R with a lockout to prevent Reverse engagement… Yes, but even below 8-10 mph, whatever the engagement limit was, it made for a purdy violent engagement when R was inadvertently touched.
But my # 1 reason for preferring R-N-D to L-R is the dynamics of direction changes. When backing out of a driveway, for example, with R-N-D the selector can be slipped into Neutral when the backing is nearly finished, then as the car slows the last bit and the powertrain unloads, D can be selected for a smooth direction change, often without brakes.
With L-R there’s no option for a little coasting between direction changes. If the vehicle is not at a complete stop it’s gonna be a harsh bang. Particularly with a cold engine that’s still revving at high idle, the ability to slip it into Neutral during back-out is nice.
But all that was settled before the Chevelle era. Did I miss something?
With the PRNDL or PRND21 shift pattern, rather than shifting between L and R, I recall one technique for rocking out of snow was to put it into L (or 1), press on the gas pedal, then let up on the gas pedal momentarily until it rolled backward, then repeat, thereby letting the momentum rock you out.
This was one of the benefits of Ford’s Cruisomatic. Unlike GM or Chrysler’s automatics, you could put a Ford directly into second gear from a standstill, which facilitated getting unstuck.
I remember driving a Ford cop car taxi during a very cold and snowy Victoria winter. I just left the shift lever in “2” the whole time.
Being able to start in 2nd is an advantage on slippery surfaces. However, it was not a Ford 1st.
The GM 4-speed Hydramatic had a selector N D4 D3 L R. L was really 2nd. If you shifted to L, it would start in 2nd and stay there.
Ford and Mercury didn’t offer an automatic transmission until 1951. Then, in D, it would start in 2nd and shift into high (3rd). Studebaker did the same. Later Fords had two drive positions; in one position it would start in 2nd and in the other position it would start in 1st. Still later, it was P R N D 2 1 and in 2, it would use only 2nd gear.
It’s interesting how many variations there were in transmission selectors.
’90’s vintage GM light trucks and cop cars with the 4L60E transmission when in “2” started and stayed in second gear. The equivalent Ford transmission did the same. The 4L80E in my 2000 GM truck does not have that feature. I miss it.
Same with the Rambler Flash-O-Matic, a Borg-Warner-sourced unit AMC used before going to Mopar’s Torqueflite in 1969 or ’70. Both the Ford and B-W units were excellent transmissions.
I accidentally put my 1968 Plymouth Fury 318 into reverse while winding the car out, manually shifting (16 years old at the time) Unlike the GM cars in other comments, the engine merely died and I coasted to a silent stop.I expected major damage but she fired right up and away we went.
In the push button Chrysler era and I believe before that with the introduction of the Powerflite automatic putting it in R while going over maybe 10 mph resulted in the transmission shifting into neutral.
Putting a piece of rug or some kitty litter or even a piece of corrugated cardboard box down is a lot more effective than rocking out of an icy snow situation.
I don’t know… in the rural north rocking was just a normal part of winter driving and became second nature. Some days I’m not sure if even an Imperial limousine would’ve had enough space to haul the day’s worth of rug, kitty litter and cardboard if every “rock” got that treatment.
With those rear door handles removed, and if it still has the straight,non folding front seat, how does one access the back seat?
I would imagine there is a provision for opening the rear doors to enter normally. Some folks use a setup similar to the remote that unlocks the doors on a new car. Some hide the button to push. Different ways, but I would imagine at the very lease the insde door handles are still there should you need to open the rear doors.
I like this car as well. Would love to have something like this to tinker with and cruise in on weekends.
Shaved door handles are an old school hotrodding trick. Lead sleds did this a lot back in the day. A set of ‘door poppers’ were installed that use a solenoid to open them up from a hidden switch. Some 4-doors take to it really well, like this one–single pane door glass makes for a convincing ‘stealth coupe’. One of the best examples was a first gen Chrysler 300 with the rear doors shaved. Popper switches were inside the B pillars accessible when the (unshaven) front doors were open. This is a trend I wish was used more. Coupes usually look much cleaner/sleeker than sedans, depending on the overall styling. It works nicely here.
I once looked at buying a Golf that had this done to it. The procedure was to open the front door normally and the back door from the inside. That would make it critically important that the childproof locks NEVER be set, but the seller didn’t think of that (and no, I didn’t do that, it was tempting for a moment though…)
Too bad more of the nose isn’t shown. There is something interesting going on there as well.
It’s nice that a 4-door is getting attention.
For decades, the 4-door A-body was a consolation prize for the poverty stricken enthusiast who really wanted a 2-door. The poor cousin sedans were scrapped at a prodigious rate, simply due to their low value.
These days, modern performance 4-doors are ubiquitous, and vintage 4 door A-bodies no longer look odd or out of place. In this case, the missing rear door handles add a sleek, coupe-like touch. Nicely done.
something about a black car seems to lend an air of “business” to it. it might sound kooky but even a festiva in black almost looks like a real car!
I am not normally a fan of modifieds being a “let the professional designers do their thing, that’s why they are being paid to maximize the look” but in this case I’m all for what was done. Not necessarily for the esthetics but for the fact that this being a stripper 6, it would probably be a Nissan whatever by now if not for the attention paid by it’s owner and for that I am grateful.
My friend in high school (in fact the one whose dad had the ersatz W115 230-4 that I commented on recently, and yes … I did have more than one friend in high school, and all their dads drove cool Euro cars) had a ’67 4 door Chevelle as his first car. It was a V8 with Powerglide, I suppose a 283, though I wasn’t hugely interested in what was under the hood. We did get it stuck in deep sand on a camping trip once, and managed to self-extract eventually. It was uphill, so I suspect we rocked it back and forth, but I can’t say I remember the shift pattern. I do remember it was blue inside and out, and completely stock with dog dish hubcaps.
There is a 1966 Beaumont base that parks on my street a lot of the time. It is a Powerglide, but with no other options. Just the way I like my ’60’s cars.
Viewed at that exact angle, the black one has a very Buick-y front end style. Never noticed that before on the Chevelles.
+1 and I think that the modifications only enhance that effect.
As soon as I looked I wondered if there would be more front end photos….
Nice car, I’ve never been a fan of how Centerline wheels look but I know they’re good wheels .
I’m a big i6 lover too, this car makes me miss my ex Sacramento P.D. metro car, a 1968 base model Malibu sedan, only PowerGlide slushbox was the single option .
Yes, I thought of that as well – reminds me of a Riviera. Whatever is going on with the grille makes it more obvious than on a stock one. Of course there are a lot of similarities among GM cars then with probably some of the same designers working on them.
Ah, you just beat me to it! I was thinking Riviera. I love the way all these different shots show the source of so many designs, like that German car last week that looked like it was the inspiration for the BMW 2002 with the slant back. As with music, everyone in auto design “borrows” (steals) from everyone else.
More proof (not that any is needed) that 1967 was a high-water mark for GM styling. Even 4-door sedans looked good!
Not all power glides always take that hit reverse at 60 miles per hour abuse. A friend of mine had a 67 Pontiac 2 door hardtop with buckets and consol. The car seat ( yes in the late seventies there were car seats lol) was strapped to the consul between mom and dad. Little son was able to kick the shifter from drive to reverse at 60 and the housing split open.
Little son is not so little anymore…. Actually the manager of a lumber yard in our town. So I guess it turned out ok lol…
PG Pontiac eh? With a console, sounds like a Parisienne 2+2. So what part of Canada are YOU from?
Yes it was a Parisienne 2+2. Good call! I live in southern Manitoba. Altona to be exact.
Ha ha, reminds me of my friend’s father’s 1967 Pontiac Tempest with a 326 engine (pretty sure that was it, the number was on the front fenders behind the headlamps) and equipped with buckets, console and a floor-shifted Powerglide.
I like it too. Bought mine in 1974 and gave it a deep copper paint job to replace the chalky tan it came with. Three speed manual on the column and a 230 straight six. I never had a single problem with that car (or the 68 Nova with the same power train that preceded it). Simple case of someone beating me up with dollars. Sort of sorry later.
Just a two door post car and the trunk was large enough to swallow a 350 Jawa that had been bathed in the Pacific ocean. Front wheel removal was all that was necessary. Those two cars gave me a real appreciation for the Chevy straight six.
cool looking car. I got a 67 post sedan had a strate 6 3on the tree in it. I got it from an old mans estate for $1500 it was sitting in a car port. 66000 miles.Got in running but the motor sucked put in a nice stroked 350 I had been saving got rid of the horrid 3 speed manuel swapped in a 4 speed on the floor. Added AC power steering and breaks and flowmasters. I redid the interior got rid of the bench seat put in seats from a 2001 Monte Carlo which is way nicer outlaw steering wheel HID lite up the road big time! Led tail lites and front blinkers and I redid the suspension lowered 3 inches 20 inch American rims are handlals awesome disks up front. I repainted the car 3 staged mica orange like the new chargers come in. it was an ugly pale yellow. when I got more money saved I had a 16000 watt pioneer audio sound system instaled. 24speakers total trunk is big enough for 20in pyle subs in ported bass incloser. also DVD player 2 monators for back seaters. Maxes at 160 dessibels. took me 6 years and lots of$$$ to build my dream classic old skool looks but way better than when it was new.
How about including a rotary woofer in car audio systems?
While this is a pretty cool 4-door Chevelle, I’d probably go with a 1964 simply because of the connection with the Repo Man movie.
Chevy nailed it on the 66-67 Chevelle. Such a handsome, clean design. IMO, they previewed the styling on the 65 Corvair. Proportions and grilles are different, of course, but I always thought those designs came off the same drafting table.
These old sedans look surprisingly modern done this way. The black paint really works with the greenhouse.
Wow, that front end sure reminds me of something…….
I wonder what the original owner of this sedan, plainly chosen as sensible and economical transportation 50 years ago, would think of this.
One of my favourite GM cars! Prefer the boxy 64-65 but this one is nice too. Don’t care for the shaved rear door handles, but hey, different strokes right?