x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Top 5: Chevrolets through the company's 100-year history

Five Chevrolets that changed the fortunes of the car maker for the better.

1967 Camaro.
1967 Camaro.

1925 Series K Superior

General Motors acquired Chevrolet in 1917 and only Ford and Dodge were bigger sellers. That would change with the all-new 1925 Superior. Up until then, Chevrolet cars weren't all that different from their competitors. But the Superior was a new design with new features, such as disc wheels, a new clutch, a stronger rear axle and the availability of various colours. It was more expensive than a Model T but sales rose nearly 70 per cent and Chevrolet moved into the second spot for US sales ahead of Dodge.

1932 Chevrolet

The Great Depression took the wind out of the automotive industry's sails and many higher-end, luxury car makers folded. But Chevrolet debuted a revamped lineup that had more than a passing resemblance to its ritzier, more glamorous GM stablemate, Cadillac. The 1932 models, available in 13 body styles, boasted more powerful engines (with 60hp), a synchro-mesh gearbox, an adjustable driver's seat and a non-glare windscreen. Many consider this to be Chevrolet's most attractive pre-war car.

1955 Bel Air

The 1957 Chevy may be more famous, but the '55 was arguably a more important car for the company. Not only was this a fresh and attractive new direction for Chevrolet, with its flat flanks replacing the bulging fenders of the previous design, but it also debuted the company's new small-block V8 engine under the bonnet. The car became a sensation, and the engine proved so simple, durable and powerful that it went on to power Chevys (in various sizes and with modern upgrades) for the next 50 years.

1967 Camaro

Ford had a monumental success on its hands with the Mustang, which had been selling well for two years; GM needed a competitor. The Camaro followed the same formula as the Mustang - a mid-sized two-door unibody that was available in coupé or convertible and options for big-power V8s. It proved to be a success both in showrooms and on the race track. The car went through various changes until it was dropped from the lineup in 2002, much to the dismay of longtime fans, but GM revived it last year.

1967 Corvette Sting Ray

Of course, a Corvette would have to be included on this list, but which one? The 1967 Sting Ray is widely regarded as being the best Corvette ever, even though it was at the end of a five-year model run and a new version would debut the next year. But this classic body style was paired with some of the most powerful engines ever found in a Chevy, the most fearsome being the L88-coded, 427 cubic-inch monster that produced a whopping 560hp. Only 20 of these were sold that year.