Category Archives: Chevrolet

One Year Winners

One Year Winners

59 Dodge Challenger Silver

Photo Courtesy of www.macsmotorcitygarage.com

In the world of automobiles, setting up an assembly line, creating tools and dies, and producing a new model takes a significant amount of work. This is one of the reasons why so many cars are made for several production years before major changes are made. Despite the work that goes into producing a car model, automakers have been known to occasionally create one-hit wonders – cars that were produced for only one year. Many times the cars were big losers on the lots, but in some cases the single year production cars were big winners. Here is a short list:

1969 Nova SS 396

1969 Nova SS 396

1969 NovaEmerging from Chevy’s classic compact, the 1969 Nova SS 396 proved to be a potent muscle car without a flashy package. It may not have looked like much, but this classic from GM is one of the fastest cars from the classic muscle car era, thanks to clever engineering, a perfect weight ratio, and a powerful engine.

1971 Chevy Chevelle SS

1971 Chevy Chevelle SS

412340-0-lgThe 1971 Chevy Chevelle SS was part of the second generation of Chevy’s muscle cars. When the Chevelle line came into being in 1964, GM hoped it could be competitive with the Ford Fairlane and that it would be a reintroduction of the size and concept of the popular ’55 to ’57 models from Chevrolet. Throughout their run, the Chevelles were available as sport coupes, sport sedans, convertibles, and even wagons.

1967 Corvette

1967 Corvette
1967 Chevrolet CorvetteThe Chevrolet Corvette is the classic American sports car and its popularity, styling, and performance have never been matched by another car. The 1967 Corvette brought up the rear of the second generation that began in 1963. In 1953, the first Corvette, a convertible designed by Harley Earl came out at the GM Motorama as a concept car. This kicked off the first generation or the C1 line of Corvettes, also known as the solid-axle models for their lack of independent rear suspension.

So, What’s the Deal with Louvers?

So, What’s the Deal with Louvers?

Photo Courtesy of www.onlymustangfords.com

In the 1970s and 1980s, louvers were all the rage. Cars like the Datsun 260Z, Ford Mustang, and Honda Civic SI were popular choices to have louvers added to the rear windows. While matte black louvers added a tough look, they also served a functional purpose. They did not add to the aerodynamics of the car, but they did help keep the hatchbacks cooler in the sun.

Hot Sports Cars with Louvers

Chevy 150

Chevy 150

Chevy 150
One of the banner years for automobiles, especially Chevys, was 1957. This year brought about some of the most iconic automobiles, as well as, congressional hearings that would change stock car racing forever.

Early NASCAR races were held on the beach at Daytona Beach, Florida and the last beach race was held in 1958. In the year before this final race, the United States Congress got involved in racing because of the fact that so many men and women were involved in reckless racing on public roads. Since so many manufacturers began selling cars like the Chevy 150 and the Ford Fairlane that could easily be modified into lightning-fast hot rods, street racing quickly became a problem in city neighborhoods and rural areas.

Chevy Bel Air Crash Test

Chevy Bel Air Crash Test

Chevy Bel Air

Photo Courtesy of www.59classicchevy.com

What do you get when you crash a 1959 Chevy Bel Air into a 2009 Chevy Malibu? You get an important history lesson.

In a publicity stunt in 2009, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) decided to show how far car safety has come in 50 years. They put a 2009 Malibu and a 1959 Chevy Bel Air in a head to head 40-MPH offset crash. After watching the 100-second video, viewers can easily see the progress that carmakers have made in the half of a century since the 1959 Bel Air hit the roads.

The Landau Roof

The Landau Roof

 Plymouth BarracudaIn the 1970s and the 1980s, the landau top was a popular, yet confusing design style. But, the original use of the word landau is quite different. It was originally a reference to a carriage and the term is still used in the United Kingdom when referencing the royal carriages. In the 1950s, the Nash Rambler actually came with a removeable landau top that slid back from the windshield and stowed away in the trunk. If you drove past the Rambler with the landau removed, you might not even notice because of the unusual look. Later, the landau was a style design that took the place of the C-pillars in the rear of the car. In the 1970s and 1980s, the landau top became synonymous with a fake convertible. These were some of the cars that wore the landau top with some sort of pride:

Unfortunately Named Cars

Unfortunately Named Cars

As a car fan, I enjoy learning about the significance of the names that cars are given. Many names have interesting etymologies. From the Corvette being named after swiftly moving Navy ships to the Shelby Cobra being named after a dangerous snake, many car makers get the names just right. Then there are cars like the Plymouth Duster, Ford Probe, and the Chevy Nova. These cars have names that are easy to spell, easy to say, but they have no sense of coolness at all.

'70 Plymouth Duster

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

Malaise Era: Definition and Examples

'74 Apollo Buick Malaise: This word comes from the combination of French words mal- and aise (which translates to ease). This word generally means a sense of being uneasy or feeling out of sorts. It usually involves the beginning of an illness or feeling less that healthy. The term “malaise” has come to designate the decade of cars produced between 1973 and 1983.