There’s absolutely nothing more American than Chevrolet. For 100 years, Chevy and its bowtie logo have identified American motoring, both on the road and on the race track. Established by well-known racecar driver Louis Chevrolet and ousted GM founder William C. Durant on November 3, 1911, the auto company has now witnessed ten decades of success.
Two years later, Louis Chevrolet had distinctions with Durant and sold Durant his share of the firm. A year later, Chevy’s income financed Durant’s repurchase of General Motors. He grew to be president of GM and Chevrolet was quickly merged into GM in 1918. In 1913, its well-known bowtie logo was used after Durant liked a wall paper pattern with a comparable design in a French hotel. At least that’s how the story goes. In celebration of Chevy’s 100th birthday we’ve drawn up this list of the greatest Chevys ever, the six cars that have done the most to develop Chevrolet’s place in auto culture. The vehicles that have motivated people to tattoo the bowtie emblem to different parts of their bodies.
That means we did not limit this list to production cars. Instead the list involves race cars — both those according to production Chevys and those only powered by Chevrolet racing engines — concept cars, showcars, prototypes and even movie cars. Is your favorite on the list?
1. 1971 Corvette ZR2: Only 12 of these race-ready ‘Vettes were built with 425-hp, LS6 454 big-block V8s under their hoods.
2. 1973 Firenza Can Am: Just 100 were built in South Africa and based on the small British Viva coupe. The Firenza Can Am was equipped with the 1969 Camaro Z/28’s 302 small-block V8. It’s the one legendary Chevrolet that never made it to America.
3. 1977 Camaro Z/28: After two years of no Z/28s at all, it returned with a new emphasis on handling and only 170 hp from its 350 four-barrel V8.
4. 1983 Monte Carlo SS: Designed for NASCAR, with a sloping nose that added aggression to the street car. A 175-hp 5.0-liter V8 backed that up.
5. 1988 Callaway Sledgehammer: In 1988, John Lingenfelter drove this twin-turbo, 898-hp monster on the 7.5-mile oval at Ohio’s Transportation Research Center at 254.76 mph. It drove to the test from Connecticut on public roads.
6. 2006 Trailblazer SS: With 391 horsepower from its 6.0-liter LS2 V8, this was one of the least sensible SUVs ever built. Massive burnouts and zero to 60 in 6.3 seconds.
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