Friday, February 28, 2014

Cars in Yards: Bumping into a 1973 Chevelle SS

1973 Chevy Chevelle SS sport big, fat bumpers that are unstoppable and inloved.

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.

 
Big bumpers and fastback roof make 1973 Chevy Chevelle SS look fast sitting still.
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.  

Jody Potter
— Junkyard Life


1973 Chevy Chevelle SS in a junkyard next to a 1981 Renault LeCar.
Four, round tail lights and a unique decklid make the redesigned ’73 Chevelle an easy bet for savvy car spotters.

Massive bumpers signaled the 1973 model Chevelle.
Wide mouth ’73 Chevelle SS grille extends to edges of the massive front bumper. Yes, that’s a Corvair behind the SS.

Four tail lights and a unique decklid are found on 1973 Chevelles.
North Georgia is home for this neglected Super Sport.

Cars in yards: A 1973 Chevy Chevelle SS found next to a 1981 Renault LeCar.
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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