Chevrolet defined American driving culture during the golden age of muscle. See it all here, inThe Complete Book of Classic Chevrolet Muscle Cars: 1955-1974.
Chevrolet didn't invent the overhead-valve pushrod V-8 engine, but without questionEd Cole and Chevy perfected it. And General Motors' Bowtie division wasn't the first to put the engine design in a production car, but it was thefirst to put the engine design in an affordable production carand make it available to the average driver.
No other automobile in historyso clearly demarcates a before-and-after line in the sand like the1955 Chevrolet. This was the birth of the affordable performance car, and from the moment the car hit the streets, the experience of driving would never be the same.
The impact that an affordable American sedan with apowerful performance enginehad on American society was so great that it not onlychanged the experience of driving; it changed the psychology of a generation. Prior to the introduction of the 1955 Chevrolet with its V-8 engine, cars had been considered necessary appliances, like refrigerators or vacuum cleaners. With a single stroke,Chevrolet turned American culture into a car culture.
Chevrolet dominated the muscle-car scene throughout the classic era. TheImpala SS, with its409 enginepopularized by the Beach Boys, ruled America's drag strips. TheZ16 Chevelle Malibu SS396became the every man's muscle car. TheCamaroturned the pony car genre into genuine muscle cars. TheLS6 enginewas the most powerful of the classic era.
The Complete Book of Classic Chevrolet Muscle Cars: 1955-1974chronicles theall-conquering carsof this incredible 20-year period.
About the Author
Mike Muellerhas worked as an automotive photojournalist since 1991. A lifetime car enthusiast, Mueller has written and photographed more than 30 automotive and truck history books and contributed photography to at least that many more. His byline has appeared in countless magazines over the years, includingVetteandCorvette Fever. Among his long list of titles are Motorbooks'Chevy Chevelle 50 Years,The Complete Book of Classic Dodge and Plymouth Muscle,Camaro: 50 Years of Chevy Performance, andThe Complete Book of Ford Mustang.