The rewards of rummaging

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle ClaysI was going through a folder of miscellaneous car pictures and found four labeled “1970 Chevelle clays”.

That’s not sufficient for a Design Notes write up, but interesting enough to share and discuss.

I also included some pictures of production Chevelles, from 1968 through 1971, in the gallery.



Decisions, decisions
Several pictures that I have are mysteries and these fall somewhat into that category. What is clear in this case is their source, that’s because they are watermarked with “Super Chevy”. However, I can’t provide much detail beyond that since I was unable to determine an article source.

The gray-scale pictures below depict clay models of what appear to be face-lifted, second-generation Chevelles, that is to say the 1970 model. While I’m not certain, there are some reasons that make me think that’s the case.

Three of the four subject pictures are dated from late 1967. Since Chevelles were fully redesigned for the 1968 model year, that would indicate these shots were taken too late to have been styling exercises for the full redesign.

1970 chevelle concept (August 2, 1967)

According to the hand-written dates, the image above is the oldest, from August 2, 1967. This broad grille with prominent loop-style bumper would show up on the refreshed face of the 1969 Impalas. I wonder if that wasn’t the inspiration for this rendition? I can even see a little ’67-’68 Impala in the trunk line and rear fenders.

With so many Impala cues, I first questioned whether this even was a Chevelle. I still can’t say for certain but, after comparing it to pictures of production Chevelles, some angles and dimensions do line up.

1970 chevelle concept (October 25, 1967)This photo to the right is dated October 25, 1967. So it’s a couple of months later and things were looking quite different. Although, that doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t working concurrently on multiple designs.

This particular version has a bit of a Buick feel to it. Nevertheless, there is a bow-tie affixed to the center of the grille.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle clay (November 29, 1967)To the left is a picture of another clay, this one dated November 29, 1967.

This front end looks substantially more like the production 1970 Chevelle. The buried and blacked-out headlight treatment is gone and there is the split grille, which would become a Chevrolet hallmark for many generations.

Unlike the prior model (above right), the bumper spans unbroken across the front and extends down to include the parking lights, just as the production model did.

Chevrolet Chevelle clay undated

This image above was undated but grouped with the other files which were titled, “1970 Chevelle clays”. So, your guess is as good as mine.

It interestingly sports a very similar front end to that of the rapidly refreshed 1971 model Chevelle. The major difference from that production car are the large lamps integrated into the front bumpers that appear to be driving lights.

The pictures above are presented in larger sizes in the gallery along with some pictures of production Chevelles from years that relate to the discussion.

This post contains a good dose of conjecture. If you have differing opinions, or even if you agree, feel free to express yourself in the comments section, below.


Continue below to the photo gallery.

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