When you think of a Chevelle SS, chances are images of a second-gen model will swirl around in your head, and rightly so — it was a stunner. However, Chevy had mastered the art of building the jaw-dropping muscle car the previous year as the photos on this page of the 1967 SS will testify.

The mid-size Chevelle, launched in September 1963, was built on the same A-body platform as the Tempest, Cutlass and Skylark, but it had more swagger than the Pontiac, Oldsmobile and Buick. Unsurprisingly, it was a massive sales success and proved more than a credible rival to the Ford Fairlane.

Available as a four-door estate, it was the two-door sport coupé that really caught the imagination. And when the SS was unveiled, hot rodders couldn’t wait to get their hands on the potent variant.

The ’67 SS was elegant and tough-looking, and it backed up the muscular aesthetics with tyre-melting power thanks to a 393 cubic inch (6.4-litre) V8 making 350 horses mated to four-speed manual. It wasn’t just ideal for the drag strip; when you were done roasting the 14in wheels wrapped around nylon red-stripe tyres and leaving all others for dead at the Christmas tree, it doubled up as a comfortable cruiser, what with its exceptional road manners. Its full-perimeter frame with coil-spring front and rear suspension soaked up the road imperfections and it came with power-assisted front disc brakes. With an all-vinyl interior (available in red, black, blue, bright blue, gold or turquoise), bucket seats, power windows, AC, tilt column, AM/FM push-button stereo and a tape deck, it wasn’t as spartan as other muscle cars of the era either. GM was on a winner.

Over 63,000 SS 396s were built in ’67 so they’re not too hard to come by, but expect to pay around Dh200,000 for the privilege of owning an iconic piece of Americana.