Chevrolet Laguna

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The Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna was an automobile made by Chevrolet from 1973-1976. The Laguna was the same as the standard Chevelle and Malibu, except that the Laguna sported a rubber urethane nose, and no front chrome bumper. However, for 1973, it had a rear bumper that was color coded to the body color. 1974-1976 Laguna had chrome rear bumpers.

1973 Laguna

The Laguna was first manufactured in 1973, the first year for all General Motors 'A' body cars to have the "Colonnade" hardtop roof line. For 1973 Chevelles, the Laguna was top of the line. It came in coupé, sedan and wood-trimmed estate wagon models. Interiors were more lavish than the Chevelle Malibu with cloth or vinyl bench seats standard, or optional Strato bucket seats that swiveled 90 degrees for improved exit/entry for the driver and front seat passenger. While all lesser Chevelles except the SS came standard with either a 250 cubic-inch six-cylinder or 307 cubic-inch V8, all Lagunas came standard with a 145-horsepower 350 cubic-inch V8 with two-barrel carburetor. Optional engines included a 175-horsepower 350 four-barrel or a 245 horsepower (183 kW) four-barrel version of the big block 454 cubic-inch V8. A three-speed manual transmission was standard with a four-speed manual optional with the four-barrel carbureted engines and Turbo Hydra-matic an option for all engines.

1974-1976 Laguna Type S-3

For 1974, the Laguna was renamed the Laguna Type S-3, and only a colonnade hardtop coupe was offered as the four-door and station wagon styles offered in '73 were moved to a new Malibu Classic series, which shared the same grillework as other Chevelles while the Laguna S-3 retained the urethane front end from '73 with a revised grille, which was augumented at the rear by new tailights and a federally-mandated 5 mph (8.0 km/h) rear bumper. The '74 Laguna S-3 was also considered a successor to the now-discontinued Chevelle SS series. Standard equipment on the Laguna S-3 included the swiveling Strato bucket seats, center console, gauge package and a vinyl roof. Engine offerings included a standard 145-horsepower 350 rochester two-barrel with optional powerplants including a 150-horsepower 400 two-barrel, 180-horsepower 400 four-barrel and 230-horsepower 454 four-barrel except in California were a 155-horsepower 350 four-barrel V8 was standard and the 400 and 454 engines were optional. Turbo Hydra-matic transmission was standard with a four-speed manual available only with the 454 engine.

The Laguna S-3 was absent when the 1975 Chevrolets debuted in September, 1974, but returned to the lineup at mid-year with a new "shovel" nose designed for improved aerodynamics in NASCAR racing, where the S-3 was very successful. The louvered rear-quarter window that was optional in 1974 was made standard equipment for 1975 and moved from standard to optional equipment were items such as Strato bucket seats, console and vinyl roof. Engine offerings, all now including a new catalytic converter, included the 145-horsepower 350 two-barrel, 180-horsepower 400 four-barrel and 215-horsepower 454 V8, in 49 states. In California, a 155-horsepower 350 four-barrel was standard and the 180-horsepower 400 was the only engine option available. Also Turbo Hydra-matic was the only transmission offered as the four-speed was deleted from the option list.

For 1976, the Laguna S-3 entered its third and final year with the same shovel nose found on the 1975 model but with new rear styling and tailights shared with other Chevelles. The standard engine was a new 140-horsepower 305 V8 with optional engines including the 145-horsepower 350 two-barrel and 180-horsepower 400 four-barrel. The big block 454 V8 was discontinued. Though the Laguna S-3 was a success on the race track and sporty styling, that did not translate to big sales in the showroom as the S-3 was greatly outsold by the Malibu Classic coupe and the personal-luxury Monte Carlo, which shared the same basic chassis and drivetrains as the Chevelles. With that, the Laguna S-3 was discontinued after the 1976 model year though the '75-76 shovel-nosed S-3s continued to be popular in stock-car racing until they were banned by NASCAR in 1978.

also see : Chevrolet Chevelle