Is the 71 Chevelle a good choice?


Asked by Azranaphel Sep 03, 2012 at 09:26 PM about the 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

After some helpful advice I gained in another question, I started to look into the Chevelle line. I'm not particularly familiar with these cars, but I've seen the 73 model in Drive, and I do like the car's styling. Can anyone tell me where in the pantheon of classic cars do the Chevelle's belong? Are they more like VWs or BMWs? Is the 71 a good model year? I've only heard talk about the 67 and 70 years.

I've found a 71 Chevelle for $5000, though I think I can negotiate a lower price. It's a 2 dr hardtop, 3 speed transmission, has a V6 engine and mileage in the 160,000s. The car is mostly original, the only change being that the shifter was moved to the floor. The car runs smooth, and most restoration work would be cosmetic, though I think I'll tackle the mechanics eventually.

Is this a good choice? Both as a keeper and a first project car?

16 Answers

the 71 chevelle is nothing like the 73. not even close to a vw or bmw. how can you compare an American car to a European ? NO comparision ! 71 chevelle is 3rd generation, 70-72. most parts will interchange . Definitely a car for big cube engines . very easy to work on . very desireable for hot rodding. With a v6 would make a good beater . if you want a v8 you would have to change the front springs and radiator & a few other things and upgrade to a 4 speed tranny depending on how fast you want to go. sounds like a good grocery getter. any pics? this car would make a great project car or just cruise around . however i think 5 grand is a little high ,maybe 3,500 is more of a fair price .it's hard to say without seeing it .good luck

2 people found this helpful.

&1 is a great year of chevelle alot of ppl dont know that the reason the chevelle is on the map not becuase of engine or racing its becuase of the rear bumper when anyone see's the 71 rear bumper they just by instict know its a chevelle. i have been building cars for many years and built my first chevelle 2 years ago i love it till this day and still own i. i'm going to pass it too my son one day. so i say go with that joker as long as it aint a rust bucket.

2 people found this helpful.

I drove a 1971 SS Chevelle to high school. Definitely a great first project and definitely a keeper. It is a classic muscle car, more like a Cuda or Torino.. LOL.. Nothing like a BMW or VDub.. I can honestly say I have never seen a 2 door with a V6 though, but transplanting a v8 is quite easy. Good luck with your project.


Thanks guys! This information is really helpful. And sorry about the VW/BMW reference. I was unclear on it, and wasnt actually comparing the cars themselves, but rather, the scale of the cars, i.e. VWs are more of an average consumer car, while BMWs are more upscale cars. Here is a picture of the car, if it helps with any more info!

1 people found this helpful.

And one of the inside. Sorry for posting like this, I don't know how to put multiple pictures into a post.


One of the rear bumper, in case it's relevant.


Nice car. I would give 5k for it if there were no rust or major dents. Inspect around the back window by the trunk. They are notorious for rusting out there. Since the seats need to be replaced/repaired, I would put the bucket seats and floor shifter console in if it were me..


i have a 71 chevelle ls5 454 and you want watch out for rust in the wheel wells and especialy the trunk and always try to jew the price down

1 people found this helpful.

To ljk32 about I drive my 71 SS big block over your anti-semitic ass...


Google 71 Chevelle and look at the pictures of what can be done. If you like it, keep it and work on it. Great project car. All you need is a little money, time and a gear-head girl. You will get to know the junk yard guy and parts store guy quite well. Plan out what direction yuou are going, don't buy a new 4 speed and then decide later on a 5 or 6 speed. A waste of money. Go to car shows and talk to the owners of the cars and ask what problems they ran into and how they worked on it. Knowledge is a time and money saver. Paint and sound will be a head turner. Once it is done, dump the gear-head girl, and get one with a bigger sweater. I have a 4 speed muncie trans out of a 69 Corvette if you need one.

1 people found this helpful.

A little late with this(just read the post). I love the 71 body style. Everyone wants the 70 S.S., My first car was a 71 Chevelle and still wish I had it. I like the dual taillight rear bumper and front grill. Those cars when done nice look just as good as a 70.

1 people found this helpful.

Well it's been long enough, did you buy it, and if so, did you get the price down? Rust is not your friend. I'd have it glass beaded to take it down to the bear metal, inspect ofr rust, and replace what needs to be. A great paint job, maybe even dual stripes, rims and tires, a crate v-8, possible with a drop in and drive motor, hook up to a 5 or 6 speed manual tranny or strong automatic, do the interior, and enjoy. Let us know how it went or is going.


I bought my 1971 Chevelle in 1974 when I was 17 years old. It wasn't an SS, just the basic 307, but I kept in for 10 years.....back end raised as was done in the 70's- differential & gas tank painted pearl white, painted it a rich gold w/cocoa brown vinyl roof, G60 tires on the rear, G78's in front with midnight car parts spoke hubcaps, (thanks JT- no questions asked back then on the east side of Buffalo), & a thrush muffler. Damn, what a nice car..!!! After 10 years, & relocating to Texas...Buffalo's road salt causing an insidious cancer of rust, & a new baby just born that needed an air-conditioned car-I sorrowfully parted with my 1st car to a friend down on his luck that needed a reliable mode of transportation..original motor & transmission..I took care of my daughter that was then, & my car...I still have her as a major part of my life, but miss my Chevelle...Good memories of Buffalo, (as it was back then), & my 1971 Chevelle Malibu.

1 people found this helpful.

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