Ok, readers, I have to tap into your extensive knowledge bank again. In the middle of the night a few days ago, I was hunting down 1973-77 Chevelles just to see what’s out there in the world. Originally, I started out hunting down Craigslist and eBay ads, but when it’s the middle of the night and everything becomes a blur, the internet takes you down the proverbial rabbit hole and the next thing you know, I have what is either one of the coolest mysteries I’ve ever found or a proverbial snipe hunt on my hands. And this is where I ask you to help me out. If you readers can tell me all about a Trans-Am Lincoln, surely somebody out there knows a thing or two about this car and can share with the class.
Looking exclusively at the Chevelle range, there were a few smoldering beacons of performance early on: the Super Sport option remained for 1973 before being discontinued, the Laguna model took the place as the flagship Chevelle through 1976, and there is that one Baldwin-Motion Phase III 1973 Chevelle that we’ve covered before. After that, though…it’s all padded roofs, fluffy interiors, weak-sauce small-blocks and flyer gears, right? Apparently not. The mystery Heavy Chevy is referred to as a 1977 Chevrolet Chevelle SE, and mystery it certainly is. I’ve struggled to find pictures or in-depth information, but here’s what I’ve got so far: there are about fifty of these Chevelles, which were created as part of a dealer’s design…think about what Mecham Pontiac did with Firebirds and Camaros about the same time period and you’ve got the right idea. The base car was a 1977 Malibu Classic with the Laguna-like louvered quarter window, a 350 four-barrel, and a floor-shifted automatic. A special ducktail spoiler, Western turbine mags and the Chevelle SE stripe kit were added…after that, we simply don’t know what else was put on these cars.
Now, the interesting part. Normally, if this was a factory offering, this would be all flash, no dash…another Decal GT musclecar from the late 1970s, an interesting footnote but little else to be bothered with. But if we use cars like the Mecham Macho series of cars as an example, where the dealership added some extra horsepower into the equation, then we might actually be looking at something special. If nothing else, that rear spoiler alone looks pretty decent on the big Malibu and could stand to be reproduced, and there might be a disco fan or two that would like to build a phantom SE for themselves. Have any of you seen one of these, or remember them from when they were new? If so, tell us about them!