Bad to the bumper. Like a clenched jaw ready for a fight. The beefy, front bumper of a 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle SS juts out from beneath the grille. That bumper was an unstoppable force and the unfortunate face of automotive design from 1973 through the early-1980s. The super-sized, shiny under bite was the result of federal bumper regulations enacted by Congress and the NHTSA for the ’73 model year.
Few would argue that these bumpers could not dish a fatal blow to newer, plastic-bumpered automobiles. However, no one is clamoring to restore these heavy, slow dinosaurs from the 1970s. Could it be the 3-inch offset between the cowcatcher bumper and the body? Hard-to-find filler panels that fill the gap between bumper and body?
Did these bumpers spell doom for a black, 1973 Super Sport that has spent decades rim deep in the north Georgia mud? The Chevelle’s body will rot into two halves before those bumper show any signs of wear.
|Olds wheel on rear, Buick wheel up front? That's the way we roll in a junkyard 1973 Chevelle SS.|
Safety first, insurance companies a close second
Automobiles became safer and cheaper to repair due to new regulations in 1973. Federal bumper regulations mandated that passenger car bumpers withstand 5 mph front and 2 mph rear impacts against a perpendicular barrier without damage to certain safety-related components such as headlamps and fuel systems. Something tells me that the sturdiest American bumpers ever bolted to the frame were produced for the 1973 model year.
Wrecked – meaning pushed in toward the body – shock absorbing GM bumpers can be pulled out using a chain hoist and a tree. Little, or no damage is evident after they are lined-up in their original position. These bumpers may not have the energy-absorbing performance of modern cars but they are a heck of a lot cheaper to repair.
— Junkyard Life
|Four, round tail lights and a unique decklid make the redesigned ’73 Chevelle an easy bet for savvy car spotters.|
|Wide mouth ’73 Chevelle SS grille extends to edges of the massive front bumper. Yes, that’s a Corvair behind the SS.|
|North Georgia is home for this neglected Super Sport.|
|Stationed beside the 1973 Chevelle SS sits a 1981 LeCar by Renault. First time a LeCar has been photographed in the wild in over 12 years.|
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