The Chevrolet 100

54. L88 engine
In the annals of Chevrolet monster V-8s, none tops the L88. A pure racing engine intended for FIA GT and SCCA A Production events, it shared little beyond its 427-cubic-inch displacement with its more pedestrian siblings. Sporting aluminum heads, a reengineered valvetrain, solid lifters, and cold-air induction, it produced heaps of torque and was rated at 430 hp -- although the true figure was more like 560. To satisfy racing regulations, Chevrolet offered the engine in street cars, specifically the '67-'69 Corvette. Buyers got an upgraded transmission, brakes, ignition, and a cowl-induction hood but gave up air-conditioning, a heater/defroster, and a radio. Nonetheless, some 200 were sold.

55. The Chevy II/Nova
After the Corvair's disappointing showing, Chevrolet wasted little time in bringing out a new soldier to fight the compact-car battle. The Chevy II was rolled out for 1962 and, possessing absolutely none of its sibling's radical engineering, proved far more popular. Available as a sedan, wagon, coupe, and convertible, it was initially offered with either a straight six or a four-cylinder engine (Chevy's first since 1928). An SS model and V-8 engines followed almost immediately. It was redesigned and enlarged for '68, but both convertible and wagon versions were gone. The Nova achieved its peak sales -- and greatest importance to the Chevy lineup -- in the 1970s (390,537 units in 1974) before it was finally replaced by the Citation.

56. Corvette Grand Sport
The Grand Sport was the ultimate Corvette racing car -- lightweight frame, upgraded suspension, aerodynamic bodywork, and a stroked small-block V-8 rated at 485 hp. At the Nassau Speed Week races in December 1963, factory-prepared Grand Sports ran away from Shelby Cobras and Ferrari 250GTOs. But Chevrolet washed its hands of the project before Zora Arkus-Duntov could take the cars to Sebring and Le Mans.

57. Chaparral Cars
Jim Hall had a Caltech education and a year in Formula 1 under his belt when -- with sub-rosa support from Chevy R&D -- he created some of the most innovative race cars ever built. The Chaparral 2 was the world's first composite monocoque racer; the 2E Can-Am car and 2F endurance racer pioneered high, movable wings; and the wacky 2J "sucker car" introduced ground effects and capitalized on the concept by using a two-stroke snowmobile engine to produce the suction.

58. The Caprice
Unveiled in February 1965 as a four-door hardtop only, the Caprice was an Impala equipped with a new 396-cubic-inch V-8 and dressed up with the full-boat luxury trim. It became its own series for '66, available as both a two- and four-door hardtop and as a station wagon. It remained atop the full-size Chevy lineup for the next three decades.

59. The '67 Camaro was part of the pony-car stampede that followed Ford's Mustang. Nonetheless, the first-generation Camaro proved very popular in its own right and was quite potent on the racetrack. The second-generation Camaro arrived for the '70s and stayed true to its mission, even as its rival downsized to become an economy car. The Camaro was almost killed off due to low sales in '72, but it hung in there and enjoyed better-than-ever sales by the end of the decade -- even if, image-wise, it was somewhat in the shadow of the related Pontiac Trans Am. The third iteration bowed for '82 with grim news in the engine room: a standard four-cylinder making all of 90 hp. The IROC-Z arrived three years later, however, and became an '80s icon -- with 225 hp, the '87 version could hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. There was another redesign in 1993, but sales disappointed even as performance improved. The 2002 model would be the Camaro's last -- until it was resurrected for 2010.

60. The Trans-Am racing Camaros
In its heyday, the Trans-Am series was the ultimate test of pony-car road-racing performance, and when the competition was at its fiercest, the Camaro was the horse to beat. In 1968, Mark Donohue, driving for team owner Roger Penske (61), won ten of thirteen races. The next year, Donohue and teammate Ronnie Bucknum went eight for twelve.

Then the 2.8 V6 upgraded to the 140hp 3.1 V6. Then the High Ouput Twin Cam 2.4 liter pushed a 150HP in the 1996 Z24 and did 0-60 in 7.7 sec.You said high sticker prices :The 1982 Chevrolet Cavalier prices were around $6,278-$8,452 and were cheaper than a Honda Accord.You said the Cavalier was a sales disappointment:Sales in 1982 was 195,057Sales in 1983 was 218,587Sales in 1984 was 462,611Sales in 1985 was 383,752 Sales in 1986 was 432,091 1984: Cavalier the new number-one seller not only at Chevrolet but in the entire United States.1985: Cavalier was the most popular Chevrolet but also the most popular car in America.1986: The number one selling cars.So where did you get your facts about a sales disappointment?You said only one major redesign: Yes that's true but they were many changes of styling. 1982-1987, 1988-1990, 1991-1994, 1995-1999, 2000-2002, 2003-2005.
I am very disappointed the way you described the Chevrolet Cavalier for number 77. I am not sure where you got your information or you were not in the best of moods that day and decided to write a bad article on the Chevrolet Cavalier. Your facts are so wrong.This is supposed to be a celebration for Chevrolet for its 100 years of manufacturing not dissing each car and giving them a bad name.You said Lousy Economy: Remember this was in the early eighties. Every car manufacturers downsized their vehicles due to strick emissions law and also don't forget the gas shortage that we had in that era. Most cars out there in the 80's weren't very fast and the performance was poor.Poor Performance: Yep the performance was poor at the beginning with the 88hp 1.8 4 cyl in 1982 and then in 1983 they change the engine to a 90hp 2.0 TBI 4 cylinder. But in 1985 there was a new mini muscle car which was the Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 with a High Output 2.8 V6 pushrod engine producing 130HP.

New Car Research

our instagram

get Automobile Magazine

Subscribe to the magazine and save up to 84% off the newsstand price


new cars

Read Related Articles