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1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

The first-gen Chevelle at the peak of its refinement

The 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle was the windup of the first generation of this American classic. It came with a facelift compared to 1966 and, just like before, numerous body styles were available as well as a wide palette of trim levels to appeal to every GM buyer. This one, a 2-door SS, was the boldest of all Chevelles.

It was back in 1964 that Chevrolet introduced the Chevelle as a mid-size as a direct response to Ford’s Fairlane and AMC’s Classic models that were at the top of their game in the intermediate class. The production-ready Chevelle wasn’t conceived as a unibody model. Instead, GM decided to put the only new American car of 1964 on the A-body platform which was quite a novelty at the time.

By 1967, the Chevelle was reaching the end of the first generation’s production run and, before a new car was introduced for 1968, the restyled first-generation model soldiered on and, by now, the Super Sport (SS) model was standalone. Meanwhile, the Malibu remained the top trim level option for the Chevelle and actually went on to replace the Chevelle nameplate altogether 11 years later.

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1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS

1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS

Everyone’s favorite car-turned-truck

The Chevrolet El Camino coupe utility vehicle was classified as an SUV at the time. It was based on the chassis of a sedan but offered a sizeable bed behind the seats. The third generation El Camino was the second to last to be based on the Chevelle platform.

The El Camino was GM’s answer to the Ford Ranchero. Apparently, GM’s Harley Earl had thought about introducing a coupe utility vehicle a full five years before Ford debuted the Ranchero but internal decision-making delayed the concept which was only green-lighted after GM noticed that the Ranchero had a market.

The El Camino became, arguably, the most practical muscle car by 1970 as a response to the Ranchero which was, by now, based on the Ford Falcon. That’s why you could get an El Camino with the Super Sport package and an almighty engine under the hood. This particular example comes with the 7.0-liter 550 horsepower V-8 engine which wasn’t available on the El Camino at the time.

Keep reading to learn more about the 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS

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1961 Chevrolet Impala

1961 Chevrolet Impala

The first step forward for the Impala

The Chevrolet Impala was rejuvenated again for 1961, officially the year when the third generation rolled into production. Chevy’s flagship full-size model was now entirely modern and, more importantly, an SS version became available.

The Impala debuted in 1958 as the top trim level for the Bel Air known as the Bel Air Impala. 1958 was the year of GM’s 50th anniversary, and the Bel Air Impala was the anniversary Chevrolet model. It featured different styling compared to lesser Bel Airs and people bought into it. So much so that, only one year later, the Impala became a model of its own - which is now considered the second generation Impala.

The 1961 Impala was still based on the B-body platform and sat on an X-frame chassis without side rails that were said to improve rigidity and lower the center of gravity. It had already been in use for two years on the previous Impala iteration. The new car came as a Hardtop 2-door Coupe, a Convertible, a 2-door Sedan, a 4-door Sedan, and a 4-door Station Wagon.

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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

One of the best Chevy Classics that money can buy

The Chevy Bel Air was pretty much an instant classic when it hit showrooms back in 1950. The first generation, which ran between 1950 and 1954) sported a revolutionary design, with hardtop models designed as a convertible with a non-removable hard top. It was a design that had been around since the early 1920s, but up until the Bel Air, as well as other models from Chevy and Cadillac, the design hadn’t really seen too much success. The model we’re here to talk about today is a 1957 Bel Air convertible that will be going under the hammer in August of 2016 at the Mecum auction during Monterey Car Week.

This specific model isn’t exactly your everyday ’57 Chevy, though. This thing has gone through restoration, is completely rust free, and has been upgraded with a 5.7-liter Corvette-derived LS1 that is backed by the near bullet-proof 4L60-E four-speed automatic (the modern version of the 700R4 transmission.) Outside of this, there are lots of other goodies and features that make this Bel Air convertible a true one-of-a-kind model. So, let’s get on with my review before I make this introduction just way too long.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible.

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1956 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

1956 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup

The classic 1950s look embodied in a pickup

The 1950s were a special time for American automobiles. Chrome, big fenders, narrow wheels, and futuristic comfort features were all the rage. Chevrolet was perhaps the most pervasive brand of the era thanks to big hits like the 1956 Bel Air. This popular trend extended even into Chevy’s pickup lineup. Introduced in 1955, the Chevrolet Task Force pickups featured all the right stuff, plus offered a heavier duty chassis than the Advance Design pickup series it replaced.

The Chevy Task Force came with a striking new design that mirrored Chevy’s passenger car designs. The Task Force series also bought never-before-seen comforts to the pickup segment, including a wraparound windshield, wraparound rear glass on Deluxe Cab models, a larger interior, power steering, power brakes, a 12-volt electrical system, and an optional automatic transmission. What’s more, 1955 was the first year for Chevy’s legendary small-block V-8. Displacing 265 cubic inches, this 4.3-liter V-8 was the first V-8 in a Chevy pickup.

The Task Force series of pickups lasted from 1955 through 1959 when the Apache series, took over. The Apache also started carrying the C/K series designation, which denoted either RWD (C) or 4WD (K), and would soon take over as Chevy’s pickup truck names until 1999 when the Silverado trim line officially became the model name.

But it was 1956 when Chevrolet built the truck you see here. This 3100 model foregoes the V-8 in favor of Chevy’s then-popular 235 Thriftmaster inline six-cylinder and four-speed manual transmission. It does sport the Deluxe Cab with the rounded rear glass, two-tone paint, and the optional heater package. Mecum auctions will roll this meticulously restored truck across the auction block during the 2016 Monterey auction taking place August 18th through 20th.

There’s plenty more information about this truck below the jump, so keep reading for more.

Continue reading for our full review on the Chevrolet 3100 Pickup.

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1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Has there ever been a more iconic American car than the ’57 Chevy Bel Air? Of course there hasn’t, it’s not even close. Not even the Model T is as much a symbol of its age as the Bel Air. It represents American middle class postwar prosperity perfectly, and is a rare example of a car with styling that was exactly in line with contemporary fashion and design. There is something of a downside to this, though. The car has become such an icon that its greatness is now either taken for granted or completely ignored in the belief that its popularity was more about trendy fashion than the car itself.

But, the Bel Air really was a fantastic car, Chevrolet’s top mainstream (defined as “not the Corvette”) offering. And, the generation of the car we’re talking about here actually includes the model years from ’55 to ’57, but styling and options were tweaked each year, and the ’57 is now considered to be the quintessential Bel Air. The car was just the right mix of style, performance and had an appealing price tag. It was a huge hit in showrooms, and was even a much bigger technical achievement than it usually gets credit for.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Bel Air.

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1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16

1965 Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16

The Chevrolet Chevelle was born during a tumultuous time in the history of American cars. Debuting in 1964, the initial plans for the car were reasonable and sensible. It was to take on the Ford Fairlane and take on the roll of the old ’55-’57 Bel Air as a fairly inexpensive way to have a modest amount of fun. But, 1964 would later see the introduction of the Ford Mustang and the Pontiac GTO, cars that changed the whole American automotive industry and put an emphasis on performance in such a way that it had never been before.

Chevrolet reacted by first offering the option of a 327 engine in the Chevelle, one just barely allowed under GM guidelines at the time that restricted cars in this segment to engines under 330 cubic inches. But, Pontiac had a 389 in the GTO, and it soon became clear to Chevrolet that playing by the rules wasn’t going to get them anywhere. So in 1965, Chevy made a special 200-unit limited run of “unlisted” Chevelle Malibus with the new 396 engine. Thus was born the Z16 SS396, easily one of the hottest of the early muscle cars, and a rare object of desire still to this day.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16.

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1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88

1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88

The 1960s is largely considered the golden era of American muscle cars, when big-block V-8s, Polyglas tires and carburetors ruled the streets. Corvettes were certainly a part of the action, especially in the latter part of the decade. But no Corvette of the time came close to touching the outright abilities of the famed L88.

The L88 designation came with Vettes powered by the mighty 427 cubic-inch big-block that came factory-rated at 430 horsepower. However, Chevrolet lied. In reality, the 427 produced well over 500 horsepower. Only 216 examples were built between 1967 and 1969, with Chevrolet marketing them towards race teams rather than the general public.

That magnificent engine, a de-optioned interior and the high-rise hood were the only visual things separating the L88 from the standard C3 Stingray. But the late 1960s were fantastic times for Corvette design. The classic shark body with its side gills, sloping front end, bulging fenders, and wide rear haunches made the Vette one of the curviest, most seductive cars of the era.

Joe Everyman had the option of the standard 350 cubic-inch V-8 or several optional V-8s, including a 327, 427 and 454 – all of which came with various tunes throughout the C3’s lifespan. Introduced for the 1968 model year, the third-generation Corvette lasted into the 1980s, when Chevrolet introduced the C4 for 1984. Updates and refreshes came regularly for the C3’s design and interior, making it easy to determine its model year.

Though the C3 enjoyed immense popularity, it’s the rarest version – the L88 – that has gained the most legendary status with collectors. That’s why the particular Stingray pictured here is on the auction block with an estimated selling price between $650,000 and $750,000. Besides its rarity, the car’s value is based on several other factors. Keep reading for them all.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88.

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1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR-2

1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR-2

A chronicle of Corvette’s success in motorsports could fill several books, but the nameplate’s first contact with the world of racing is often forgotten. It all began in 1956, when Zora Arkus-Duntov set a 150-mph speed record at Sebring driving a Corvette roadster. The experiment would soon spawn the Corvette SR-2, a modified C1 Vette that featured a lengthened front end a massive, Jaguar D-Type-like wing on its trunk. Legend has it the SR-2 was born when Jerry Earl, the son of GM Styling chief Harley Earl, announced that he wanted a Ferrari. Harley immediately commission a racing Corvette that would become the SR-2, GM’s first purpose-built track car.

Nearly 58 years old in 2015, the SR-2 returns to the spotlight after years of lurking in the shadows. Having been through a complete and thorough restoration, the SR-2 is as magnificent as it has ever been and it is looking for a new racing enthusiast to take it back to Sebring, or any other American track for that matter. The SR-2 may have been overshadowed by the Ferraris and Jaguars of the late 1950s, but it earned its place in Chevrolet’s hall of fame as the first Corvette-badged factory race car. Read all about it below.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1956 Chevrolet Corvette SR-2.

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1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

Back in 1963, the second generation Corvette hit the market with a splash. The car fed off the popularity of the first Corvettes and showed promises of more power and an even bigger status symbol. Designed under Bill Mitchell and named Sting Ray after inspiration from sea life including the Mako shark, the second generation Corvette offered a coupe version for the first time. Those 1963 cars came with the famed split rear window; a feature dropped for 1964. The design didn’t change much for 1965, but would be the first time a big block would find its way under the fiberglass hood. That 396 offered up 425 horsepower, a full 50 horsepower more than the fuel injected 327 also offered that year.

The second generation Corvette ceased production at the end of 1967 in preparation for the third generation Corvette Stingray.

Crossing the auction block this January is this beautiful 1965 Corvette Stingray with the VIN of 001. Yep, this is the first Vette off the line for ’65 and the first to have four-wheel-disc brakes come standard. Built in August of 1964, the car toured the country with General Motors showing off the Corvettes new stopping power. The car is covered in unique Cadillac-specific silver paint because the Corvette silver specified for 1965 wasn’t ready yet, What’s more, the car is also the first Vette to come with the then-popular teakwood steering wheel and power-raising antenna for the AM/FM radio. Best of all, the car is unrestored with only 28,000 miles on the clock.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe.

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1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson

1971 Chevrolet Corvette E-Rod by Jimmie Johnson

SEMA is now in full swing and the cars keep on coming. This stunning vehicle is a 1971 Corvette Stingray that NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson and the guys at Chevrolet put together as a way to show off the 6.2-liter, LT1 V-8’s new availability in GM Performance’s E-Rod series of aftermarket powertrain solutions.

The team started with a rough ’71 Stingray that had seen better days. It’s deep Brands Hatch Green paint showing signs of fade and the worn out 350-cubic-inch V-8 in need of spicing up. A frame-off restoration was needed to bring the Vette’s body back into shape. Johnson helped the design team sketch up the perfect look for the resto-mod. Modern flair like the C7 hood heat extractor and side gill vents were added to bring the two Corvette eras together.

Of course, the worn out suspension was updated to modern, adjustable, coil-over shocks with thick anti-roll bars, and the brakes were swapped for those normally found on a C6 Corvette Z06.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Jimmie Johnson.

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1978 Chevy K1500 with E-Rod Connect and Cruise Kit

1978 Chevy K1500 with E-Rod Connect and Cruise Kit

At first glance, this 1978 Chevy Silverado looks like a nicely restored project truck and nothing more. First glances can often be wrong. With a second glance — and third and forth... — this Silverado is sporting something special beneath that beautiful bodywork.

Lurking under the hood is a brand-new, fourth-generation 5.3-liter, V-8 crate engine straight from General Motors. However, the new small block is only part of an entire package GM is showcasing this year at SEMA: the E-ROD engine with the Connect and Cruise package.

The Connect and Cruise package includes many of the necessary bits to make an engine run, including all the emissions-friendly equipment to make it 50-state legal. The new 4L70-E transmission, control modules, wiring harnesses, fuel tank evaporative emissions canister and catalytic converters within the truck were all ordered with one part number.

GM currently has three E-ROD packages available: the 5.3-liter LC9 found in GM trucks and SUVs, the 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 normally found in the Camaro SS, and the supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 straight from the Cadillac CTS-V.

The E-ROD engines are designed for such restoration projects as the ’78 K1500 Silverado. GM says they wanted to streamline the restoration process, making it easier for customers to build their dream vehicle without having to use third-party tuning.

The advantages for installing an E-ROD engine with the Connect and Cruise package in a project are evident. Even more so considering the 5.3-liter (327-cubic-inch) V-8 makes 320 horsepower, or roughly 80 more than the truck’s original 454 big block produced in 1978.

Cost is always a factor in restoration projects, but $7,750 seems like a sweet deal for such a reliable V-8 while the whole Connect and Cruise package starts at $12,017.

Click past the jump to read more on the 1978 Chevy Silverado E-ROD

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1963 - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C2

1963 - 1968 Chevrolet Corvette C2

By the early 1960s, the Corvette had triumphed over the Thunderbird and was now firmly America’s sports car for the second-gen’s arrival as a 1963 model. Car guys, pilots and engineers all over America had taken the lightweight-big engine formula to heart with their prized first-gen Corvettes, but now they wanted more performance by every measurement. Much more speed, in particular.

Chevrolet had similar ideas when brainstorming ways to replace the C1 as far back as 1957. The Q-Corvette concept was a working idea of a smaller, lighter and nimbler Corvette than ever before. Four-wheel discs were to be standard, and the car was could hold its own on a racetrack right off the showroom floor.

Over the C2’s relatively short time — until 1967 — this Corvette became the quickest factory machine ever in the quarter-mile with the 11.02 second time recorded by the 1967 Corvette L88 Sting Ray Convertible.

Click past the jump for the full history of the 1963-1967 Chevrolet Corvette C2, with highlights from two prize-winning concours examples.

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1953 - 1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1

1953 - 1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1

Dream cars are such a regular and normal part of every car guy and gal’s life growing up. Waiting for that license, dreaming about the wild places you will go and friends you might meet. For generations of enthusiasts until the 1950s, however, such dreams were so unattainable they were foolish.

The only non-mass-market car around was the coach-built Phaeton from Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz or Duesenberg.

Such was the gulf between the rich and poor at the time that it makes today’s 99-percent protests seem as ridiculous as they are. In those days, the ratio was more like 99.99999 percent versus the 0.00001 percent.

You can probably guess which group we and most young car shoppers would fall into. And it is not the one with the nines.

For a generation of hot-shot former military officers, pilots and engineers: coming home from the battle fronts of Europe and the Pacific had whet their appetites for speed. The enormous volume of men and women enchanted by steel machinery during wartime was unprecedented.

But coming home, the cars these speed demons found were lumbering, great heavy beasts with no power and little cornering ability whatsoever. These men were chasing the rush they felt in fighter bombers - but in a stylish and affordable package.

The Corvette from 1953 was the answer to these wishes and much, much more. Initially just a throw-away concept for the Motorama events, such was the demand that Chevy had no choice but to produce the car for sale.

But those shapes could never be made in steel! And never made in time to get the car to eager buyers. So a stop-gap solution was born to make the panels out of fiberglass over a ladder frame chassis. Little did the fabricators know, this template would underpin America’s sports car for the next 75 years or more.

The Chevrolet Corvette C1 is a very special automobile. Collected here are three incredible examples of this ground-breaking achievement for affordable dream cars ever since.

Click past the jump for this debrief of the 1953-1962 Chevrolet Corvette C1.

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1967 Chevrolet L88 Corvette Sting Ray Convertible

1967 Chevrolet L88 Corvette Sting Ray Convertible

Classic Vettes are on the upswing in values this year, with the $3.2 million earned by this 1967 L88 Sting Ray Convertible at Mecum’s Dallas auction the highest total yet for any example of America’s sports car.

Corvette collection can become an obsession thanks to the huge variety of models, special editions and racing derivatives over the model’s 60-year history. Just like a bag of chips: once you pop... you can’t stop collecting these iconic machines.

Valuations for these models are incredibly sensitive to the car’s history, rarity and restoration quality. Beauty and the driving experience take a back seat to the engine specification and matching serial numbers. As such, this investment-grade L88 convertible’s huge earning at auction is a bit confusing to outsiders.

Part of a giant Bobby Herin collection sold by Mecum Auctions, to an outsider’s eye there seem to be many more special and beautiful examples out there, including some from Mr. Herin’s garage as well.

But they provenance of this L88 convertible is beyond reproach, with all the required documentation, the fuel tank sticker, and the other minute details collectors look for when purchasing a car at these prices. The authenticity of the interior adds patina, as does the car’s NHRA drag racing championship, old drag racing time slips, and the painstakingly-recreated original Marlboro Maroon paintjob.

How cool is this L88? It was beyond a ZR1 upgrade in its day, and the color directly influenced the new 2014 Stringray Convertible’s launch color.

Click past the jump for the full review of the most valuable Corvette (and perhaps any American road car) ever sold at auction, this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Convertible.

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