The Five Rarest Chevrolet Vehicles Ever Produced

April 29th, 2015 by

For more than 100 years, Chevrolet has been manufacturing cars and trucks to award-winning acclaim and consistent customer satisfaction.

Many of Chevy’s creations are considered iconic, an embodiment of American culture. Some of those are still on the road, but some are so rare, their existence might even surprise Chevy enthusiasts.

If you’re in the market for a Chevrolet vehicle, you’ve already made a wise decision. The team at Albany, NY Chevrolet dealer DePaula Chevrolet is ready to help you narrow down your options and “Find New Roads” in the Chevy of your dreams.

Curious about those rare Chevys?

Well, you’re not likely to spot them among the inventory at Albany, NY Chevrolet dealers. However, what you will find is the same commitment to innovation, performance, and design promised by the Chevrolet badge no matter what model year.

The El…Morocco, the Sum of Its Parts

1957 El Morocco

Let’s start by going way back to the glittery excess of the 1950s Hollywood scene.

Named after the celebrated Manhattan club, El Morocco, Chevy released the 1956 El Morocco. This was the first time an outside contractor had designed and built a car for Chevrolet, which ultimately became a production vehicle with a full factory warranty.

Reminiscent of the 1955-56 Cadillac El Dorado, the 1956 El Morocco was built on a Chevy platform which had fiberglass body panels.

The brainchild of wealthy Canadian businessman and car customizer, Rueben Allender, who enlisted the help of engineer and fiberglass expert, Cyril Olbrich, the goal was to create a car that delivered luxury at an affordable price. The list price of the El Morocco was $3,250.

Of course, Chevrolet continues to nurture this marriage of affordable luxury in all of its creations. But, Allender and Olbrich set the wheels in motion.

The overall design and trim revealed layers of influence from other manufacturers, like Willys, Dodge, and Kaiser-Frazer.

Plymouth, specifically the 1956 model, provided the design inspiration for the taillight lenses and fins, while other features included 1955 Dodge tail lamps, a modified Chevy hood ornament, bumper bullets made of backwards facing Dodge headlight shells, Willy’s fin moldings, and rear bumper bullets from a 1954 Mercury.

The El Morocco badging and custom wheel covers were enhanced by Brougham, pronounced “broom,” or “carriage-like,” style rear edge moldings.

Unfortunately, only ten El Moroccos were created in 1957, due to a falling out over finances and working conditions between Allender and Olbrich.

Between the two model years, an estimated 20-37 El Moroccos were made. Their near-extinct status make them a much coveted collectible among car enthusiasts.

The One and Only

1968 Chevy Camaro Z28 Convertible

Designed specifically for Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes, in 1968, Chevy released the Camaro Z/28, the only first generation Z/28 convertible ever built.

Equipped with auxiliary console-mounted instruments, auxiliary lighting, performance suspension package, four-wheel disc brakes, ‘69 prototype fiberglass hood, cross-ram air and powder coated factory headers, blue light stereo system, positraction, power windows, remote outside mirrors, rear folding seat and custom seat belts, this one of a kind Camaro was the work of the special projects division.

Apparently, the division needed approval to build the Z/28 for the general public. Project managers believed if Pete Estes liked the car enough, he would approve the plan to release the Z/28 to the general public. Because Estes only drove convertibles, and would not drive anything else, the Camaro was reborn into a convertible, which Estes loved, hence the birth of the Camaro Z/28 convertible.

Performance Anxiety

Chevy 454 SS

The Chevy 454 SS, the high-performance racing model of the Chevy 1500 series, only lasted from 1990-93.

The initial MSRP for the 1990 model was about $18,500 and approximately 13,748 of the total 16,953 units sold were sold during that first year.

Initially equipped with a 454 cu in. (7.4-L), 230 horsepower V8 engine with 385 lb.-ft. of torque, and three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic 400 automatic transmission in two-wheel drive, the SS was first available only in Onyx black with interior garnet accents.

Overall performance was enhanced by a 3.73 rear axle ratio, which featured an unusual axle, a 14-bolt semi-floating unit which used standard Chevrolet 5 on 5-inch wheels. This was the only factory-produced 14-bolt axle with this wheel bolt pattern.

By 1993, the truck’s engine was given an upgrade of 255 horsepower with 405 lb.-ft. of torque and the color palette was expanded to include Summit White and Victory Red.

Upgrades aside, this truck lasted only four years, officially discontinued after the 1993 model year.

Pulled the Plug

Chevy S10-EV

In 1997, Chevy introduced the S-10 EV, a truck completely powered by electricity. Of the limited release, only 492 were produced, a mere 60 ever sold before the line was discontinued and destroyed, like its two-seater electric cousin, the Chevy EV1.

Basically a S10 compact pickup, equipped with the EV1 electric drive system, this truck was intended to be used as a fleet utility vehicle and was purchased by the United States Air Force and various power companies.

With its limited range and serious MSRP estimated at $33,305, the truck was discontinued in 1998.

However, unlike the EV1, which was a lease-only option, the S-10 EV was sold. Of those 60 sold, some might still be out there on the roads in their original or perhaps modified form.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Chevrolet Intimidator

Perhaps it’s not surprising that an iconic car and truck manufacturer, like Chevrolet, would release a special edition vehicle in honor of an iconic race car driver.

The 2006 Chevy Silverado Intimidator SS was a special edition tribute truck, made to honor the memory of the late Dale Earnhardt, celebrated NASCAR racecar driver, who died while competing in the 2001 Daytona 500.

Only 1,333 released, each truck featured 345 horsepower with 380 lb.-ft of torque, all-black paint, and “Intimidator” badges.

But more than the badges, the Intimidator also had lowered ride height, performance suspension, two-stage multi-leaf springs, Tenneco shocks, a stiffer front stabilizer bar, harder front jounce bumpers, rear-wheel drive with 3.73 locking differential, standard Chrome 20-inch wheels, silver grill insert, and spoiler mounted on the tailgate.

The standard features of the Silverado: 4-speed automatic transmission, cruise control, keyless entry, radio controls on the steering wheel, power windows, engine oil and transmission fluid coolers, and power front seats, were also included.

The interior is decked out with Dale Earnhardt Legacy logos on the headrests and Earnhardt’s signature on the tachometer. The instrument panel and floor mats also feature “Intimidator” branding.

Sixth in the “signature edition” line, the 2006 Silverado Intimidator SS found good company with the 2002 Dale Earnhardt Signature Edition Monte Carlo (3,333 units), the 2003 Jeff Gordon Signature Edition Monte Carlo (2,424 units), the 2004 Monte Carlo Intimidator SS (4,000 units), the 2004 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Signature Series Supercharged SS Monte Carlo (2,883 units), and the 2005 Tony Stewart Signature Series Supercharged SS (1,020 units).

For every 2006 Silverado sold, Chevy made a donation to the Dale Earnhardt charitable foundation.

Always innovative, it is no wonder that Chevrolet has enjoyed a century’s worth of iconic branding and style. Secure a place for yourself in automotive history by scoping out the inventory at your Albany, NY Chevrolet dealership. With such a commitment to performance and customer satisfaction, purchasing a Chevy is the obvious smart choice.