1974 Chevelles featured new grilles, new taillights and 5 mph (8.0 km/h) rear bumpers (in addition to the 5 mph (8.0 km/h) front bumper added in '73) The Laguna name had debuted on the 1973 Chevelle as the top-line series in all body-styles, but the 1974 Laguna Type S-3 came only as a coupe, which combined Laguna luxury with the superior road manners of the SS which it replaced. Handling was further enhanced with the addition of new GR70-15 radial-ply tires. The new Laguna S-3 sported the urethane front end with a revised grill and new parking lamps, augmented at the rear by new taillights. A federally-mandated 5 mph (8.0 km/h) chrome rear bumper replaced the body-colored steel 2.5 mph (4.0 km/h) version from '73. Standard equipment included a console, a vinyl roof, opera-type vertical rear quarter windows which could be covered with horizontal ribs for a few dollars extra; body side striping, Laguna S3 badging, rally wheels, 4 spoke steering wheel as well as firmer shocks/springs, a front stabilizer bar, and fat HR70x15 tires on Rally wheels. Front occupants rode in swivel bucket seats, and the driver faced a six-dial instrument cluster. Production totaled 15,792 cars, with prices starting at $3,723 - but with plenty of options to send the bottom line past $5,000. Engine offerings included a standard 145 horsepower (108 kW) 350 two-barrel V8, with optional powerplants including a 150 horsepower (110 kW) 400 two-barrel V8, 180 horsepower (130 kW) 400 four-barrel V8 and 230 horsepower (170 kW) 454 four-barrel V8, except in California where a 155 horsepower (116 kW) 350 four-barrel V8 was standard and the 400 and 454 engines were optional. The 454 was available with the Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic 400 or Muncie 4 speed manual transmissions. 3-point seat belts with integrated shoulder belts were introduced as on all Chevrolet models.
With the Laguna nameplate now bearing the sporty model in the Chevelle line, the top-line series for 1974 was the new Malibu Classic series, offered in sedan, coupe and station wagon models. Unlike the 1973 Laguna, the Malibu Classic used the same front end and chrome bumper as the lesser (Malibu) models, but the smaller vertical rear quarter "opera" windows and a spring-loaded hood ornament were featured. Early '74 Classic coupes required the vinyl roof option; apparently inserts were used to cover part of the big rear quarter window. Later '74s were available with a standard painted roof that included the smaller "opera" window. Inside, the Malibu Classic featured luxurious interiors with notchback bench seats upholstered in cloth or vinyl, carpeted door panels and woodgrain instrument panel trim. Optional on Malibu Classic coupes were swivel bucket seats (with console) in cloth or vinyl. The base Deluxe series was dropped for 1974, making the Malibu the base model. Base engines were the 250-cubic-inch six and the 350-cubic-inch V8.
Source: Wikipedia, 2012