The Best Chevys of All Time
They say that if you don’t know history, you are doomed to repeat it. Well, in this case, we would be more than happy to repeat some of these moments from Chevrolet history. Knowing the history of America’s beloved brand is important because we can see how far we have come in the last hundred years and get an idea of where the brand is headed in the future. These lessons from the past tell us what Americans have loved most about Chevy: imagination, inspiration, beauty, innovation, and performance.
Chevy was founded in 1911 by Louis Chevrolet and William C. Durant, later merging with General Motors in 1918, a partnership which continues to this day. The company competed with Ford, initiating one of the most famous and long-standing rivalries of the automotive industry. The vehicles we have listed here represent standout moments in the brand’s history. By the time we’re finished, you’ll want to head to your Chevy dealer in Albany, NY or beyond.
The Bel Air from the years spanning 1955 to 1957 was a true American icon. It had everything we associate with cars from the 1950s: chrome, metal, and tail fins. This two door wagon reflected the aesthetics of its time with a balance of design and creativity that made it an icon. And it wasn’t all show; the 1995 Bel Air featured the debut of Chevy’s small block V8 engine. With its beautiful and classic two-tone red and white paint job, how could you not love this icon of the American 50s?
The 1959 Chevy Impala was a true masterpiece of design. It’s long and sharp, stretching all of that steel and chrome, making it desirable for any classic car collector, as Chevy quickly and unfortunately backed off of this design concept. The convertible models nowadays sell for upwards of $100,000 at auction, making it a trophy for any collector.
The Impala had initially been a spinoff of the Bel Air before earning its own place in the Chevy lineup. When the second generation Impala became its own model, it got those signature tail fins, bat wings, and cat eyes that we all know and love. Inside, there were innovative features like a contoured dashboard and a “speedminder” system that would allow you to set a speed limit and sound an alarm when you reached that limit.
Corvette Sting Ray
The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray featured a split rear window, sculpted rear haunches, and a rear hood bulge reminiscent of a stinger, thereby giving the car its name. This wicked iteration of the Corvette is perhaps one of the most iconic versions of the sports car ever released, and it was indeed a game-changer for the Corvette line itself.
The Sting Ray was smaller, lighter, and faster than previous versions of the sports car. On the inside, it featured some important firsts: four-wheel independent suspension and 360 horsepower delivered by the 327 V8 engine. Unfortunately, the iconic rear window split was controversial during its own time, and as such was eliminated by the end of the 1963 model year. However, current car collectors prize the rare split rear window edition.
The Chevy Camaro from the years between 1967 and 1969 was indeed an icon of the American roadway. Its robust and eye-catching design, multiple engine options, and packages of special features allowed it to compete with and beat the Ford Mustang. To give you an idea of how truly customizable the first generation Chevy Camaro was, it had 75 possible builds. That level of customization is mind boggling when looking at modern online builders and customizers.
The Z/28 model is an exceptional example of the Camaro. It offered 290 horsepower with front disc brakes and optional Positraction. Affectionately, the Z/28 was known as a “turn-key” racer, and the model inspired many (illegal) races throughout the years. Only 602 of this special model were made, making today’s auction value well over the $100,000 mark.
Few cars define the 1970s quite like the Chevelle, although the models from 1970 to 1972 are iconic. The Chevelle defined the muscle car era, bringing a squat and square frame to create the iconic low riding muscle car profile. These were the years before emissions ratings, in such the SS or Super Sport model was powered by an engine initially spec’d out at 450 horsepower. In time due to increased environmental regulations, the Chevelle’s horsepower eventually lowered to 350. Though it faded into obscurity after that, is still prized by collectors due to its low production and purring engine.
This one may seem a bit like the oddball member of the list, but the Volt is a signpost to Chevy’s commitment to innovation and technology. The Volt was the first ever mass-produced plug-in electric hybrid, making it completely stand out from the rest of the market. This risky move earned the Chevy and the Volt, historic results.
The Volt creates the perfect marriage between environmentally sound hybrid technology and the performance, comfort, usability, and affordability desired by Chevy’s customers. The Volt is leading the way in hybrid technology, and Chevy would be in a completely different place today without the success of the Volt.
As you can see, Chevy has been doing amazing things with its vehicles for decades. From zippy sports cars, heavy muscle cars, to environmentally friendly hybrids, Chevy is leading the way when it comes to innovation, and the brand always has been. This also doesn’t even begin to cover the brand’s award-winning line of SUVs and trucks, which are perhaps the brand’s current most popular choices. To see what exciting things are in store for Chevy next, visit your local Chevy dealer in Albany, NY or beyond and enjoy all of the exciting opportunities Chevy has to offer you.