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10 Classic Chevrolets That Should Be On Every Gearhead's Wishlist

HotCars 9/13/2022 Debidutt Tiwari
© Provided by HotCars

Chevrolet has been making cars for well over 110 years, and throughout that period, it has produced some of the coolest cars to ever grace the street. From affordable hatchbacks and performance-oriented muscle cars to luxurious sports cars, Chevy has created and marketed a wide range of cars over the decades. This legendary American car brand has a long and rich history loaded with trade secrets that have contributed to its ongoing success.

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Related: 10 Classic GM Cars That Should Be On Every Gearhead's Wishlist

While buyers truly adore the current lineup of Chevy on the market, there are undoubtedly some classics that have more than endured the test of time and ought to be on the wishlists of every motorhead and car collector. These classic models put a lot of modern cars to shame with their phenomenal performance, appealing aesthetic, and excellent driving dynamics. Let's look at the ten classic Chevy that every gearhead should have on their wishlist.

1965 Chevrolet Corvair Corsa

Many folks believe that the first-gen Corvair is the oddest Chevy ever made. However, the Corvair's second generation, which started in 1965, offered a new styling, a 140 mph speedometer, an independent suspension modeled after the Corvette, and it replaced its former top-of-the-line Monza Spyder series with a new model dubbed the Corsa.

The 1965 Corvair Corsa is, without a doubt, one of the greatest entry-level options for car enthusiasts that offers superb handling, sports styling cues, and solid performance. It features a 2.7-liter air-cooled flat-6 engine that bumps out 140 horsepower. Its turbocharger option adds another 40 horsepower. Due to its flat-6 engine positioned at the tail, which is strikingly similar to a Porsche 911, it was also frequently touted as an affordable Porsche.

1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409

Early in the ‘60s, Chevy popularized muscle car power in a quest for drag-strip glory, particularly with the 1961 Impala SS 409. This first Super Sport is unquestionably one of the most appealing large coupes ever built in the "bubbleback" roofline style, which also sets the Chevy performance bar for many years to come.

Under the hood is a massive 6.7-liter (409 cubic-inch) V8 engine producing 360 horsepower and 409 lb-ft of torque. It is a rare performance classic considering that, out of the 491,000 Impalas Chevy produced in 1961, only 453 received the SS package and just 142 had the 409 engine.

1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL1

At the heyday of the muscle car conquests, the Chevy Corvette was competing with other muscle and sports cars to be the most potent car on the street. This led to the development of the 1969 Corvette ZL1, the most formidable version of the already powerful L88 engine Corvette. However, Chevy built only two ZL1s.

Related: The 1969 Corvette ZL1 Had More Power Than We Thought It Did

The all-aluminum 7.0-liter big-block L88 engine that powers this performance behemoth cranks out an incredible 430 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. The ZL1 can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and can do the quarter mile in 12.1 seconds with a top speed of 193 mph.

1971 Chevrolet Camaro SS

The 1971 Chevrolet Camaro SS is widely considered as one of the greatest Camaros ever made thanks to its stunning exterior, spacious cabin, powerful engine, and the "SS" badge, which signified that this model is a high-performance Camaro. It's just a magnificent piece of machinery that rules the road.

The two-door classic's monstrous 6.4-liter V8 engine generates a solid 300 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. With a top speed of 145 mph and the ability to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, it can rival even modern Camaros.

1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

For many, the 1963 Corvette Stingray remains the most iconic, and perhaps most desirable, Corvette. It is Chevy's first true sports car, with one of the most daring, svelte, and recognizable car designs ever.

Related: This Is What Made The 1963 Corvette Stingray So Awesome

It’s a dream 'Vette for many enthusiasts and collectors owing to its swooping front and tapered roof with a distinctive rear split window that are still as striking today as they were over 60 years ago. In addition to its visual appeal, it also offers superior handling and performance. A 327-cubic-inch V8 engine mated with a four-speed manual transmission in this two-seater roadster develops 360 horses.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

The 1967 Camaro was Chevy's response to the rush of Mustang sales. Its incredibly attractive appearance and plethora of option packs lured masses of Ford buyers. It immediately multiplied its popularity, selling 220,906 units in its first year. Since then, the Mustang and Camaro have faced off against each other. Even though the standard Camaro was remarkable, it was the Z/28 that gained ultimate fame.

The Camaro Z/28 is a high-performance machine that incorporates serious chassis modifications intended for racing variants. The lighter-weight 302 cubic inch small block V8 engine in this two-door hardtop generates 290 horsepower. Further, enhancing its bold appeal and making it coveted among motor heads are its dual hood, racing stripes on the trunk, and rally wheels.

1963 Chevrolet Impala RPO Z11

The 1963 Impala RPO (Regular Production Option) Z11 is unlike any other Chevy Impala, despite the fact that the moniker has undergone numerous revisions throughout the years. Built during the zenith of drag racing, it was frequently used by many of the leading drag racers of the day and was extremely successful on multiple occasions.

This ferocious muscle car designed for racing sports a mammoth 7.0-liter V8 engine that creates over 430 horsepower. Additionally, it is the first stock drag racer to go faster than 120 mph in a quarter-mile run. With less than 50 still in existence, the Impala Z11 is now a coveted classic, which will certainly appeal to racing enthusiasts and Impala devotees.

1955 Chevrolet Corvette V8

The Corvette has a rich legacy and is widely regarded as the best car Chevy has ever built. Although the first-generation Corvette will always have a flamboyant, classic appearance, it also gained V8 power in 1955, which transformed it into a competitive sports car. This two-seater exotic beauty is a piece of craftsmanship with a dashing exterior and an antique cabin

Related: This Restored 1955 Chevrolet Corvette Is Worth Its Weight In Harvest Gold

The 1955 Corvette introduced the V8 engine to the marque for the first time and branded Chevy as a maker of potent cars. A 4.3-liter small-block V8 engine propels this first of the hot rod 'Vettes, delivering 195 horses and hitting zero to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. Also, available is a three-speed manual transmission, which gives the driver additional control over the vehicle.

1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454

Before taking a long break, the SS badge would continue to adorn outstanding Chevy into the '70s, and the Chevelle SS is no exception. In fact, the Chevelle SS 454 is perhaps one of the first cars that comes to mind when you think of the muscle car era.

A gigantic 7.5-liter (454 cubic-inch) LS6 big block V8 engine that generated an astounding 450 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque in 1970 pushed the Chevelle SS to its most outrageous form. It was among the world's fastest-accelerating road cars, reaching 60 miles per hour in just over 5 seconds. It is now highly collectible and more popular than ever.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The Camaro has a long history with Chevy and is one of their most renowned models. However, it was the legendary performance of the 1969 Camaro ZL1 that elevated the nameplate to a higher level. One of the most formidable and rarest Camaros ever built, this performance beast is ideal for drag racing. Many auto aficionados adore it. Only through Chevy's COPO (Central Office Production Order) program, the ZL1 was available.

It dominated the drag strip thanks to an all-aluminum, compelling 427-cubic-inch big-block V8 engine that was officially rated at 430 hp, but testing showed that the engine actually developed a staggering over 500 hp. In addition to its impressive power, the two-seater also boasts a sleek and stylish appearance and an eye-catching interior, particularly the dash. The ZL1 is one of the priciest Camaros on the market today because just 69 of these monstrously potent cars were ever produced.

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