“Super Sport” | Photo Challenge – Letters

1970 Chevelle SS-396
1970 Chevelle SS-396

For this week’s photo challenge, I chose one letter, used twice. In the photo you see the letters “SS.” If you look hard, there are also a couple of numbers visible under the right headlights. They don’t count. Of course, there is an historical connotation for these two letters, the infamous “SS” from World War II, but in this case, they represent something much pleasanter.

The picture is of the 1970 Chevelle SS-396 I owned from 1973 to 1975. To anyone my age, at least any American male my age, these two letters represent performance, horsepower and speed – they represent the heyday of American muscle cars. This one was rated at 350 horsepower – and yes, I drove it very fast on occasion. I think the statute of limitations on speeding charges has expired, so I can confess this. The 1970 Chevelle SS also came in a 454 cubic inch, 450 horsepower variant. Both versions are highly desired collectibles. The latest offerings on Hemmings.com include a rare 454 convertible listing for $350,000.


For a little historical context about “SS” badged vehicles produced by Chevrolet, here is some information plagiarized from Wikipedia:

Super Sport, or SS, is the signature performance option package offered by Chevrolet on a limited number of its vehicles. All SS models come with distinctive “SS” markings on their exterior. The package was first made available for the 1961 Impala. Some of the other models bearing the SS badge include the Camaro, Chevelle, El Camino, Monte Carlo, and Nova.

In 1961, the SS “kit” was offered on any Impala for just $53.80. The package included Super Sport trim for both the interior and exterior, chassis reinforcements, stronger springs and shocks, power brakes, spinner wheel covers, and narrow-band whitewall tires. The car’s dashboard received a Corvette style passenger hand bar and a steering column mounted 7000-rpm tachometer. Chevrolet built 491,000 Impalas that year and 453 had the SS package, of which 311 received the 348 cid and 142 received the 409 cid. Since 1994, the SS package has been used on a variety of GM vehicles, including pickup trucks, four-door sedans, and front wheel drive cars.~Wikipedia


Chevy is still producing “SS” badged automobiles. Their latest is the 415-horsepower rear wheel drive performance sedan seen here.

I loved this car. Wish I still had it! If you own, owned or just like muscle cars and you enjoyed reading this, or not, how about taking a minute to vote in the poll I published on Friday. Here’s the link. You’ll feel special if you do.

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