Since the 1950s, the Corvette has been a major powerhouse behind Chevrolet’s success. While the spirit of the car has remained, the sports car has changed faces multiple times, and is currently on its seventh generation model.
Now we take a look back at the top 10 best Corvettes of all time. If you have one in mind that you think should be added, be sure to leave it in the comments below.
10. CERV II
Chevrolet Experimental Research Vehicle II was and is what a Corvette should be. The innovative all wheel drive system has separate transmissions for front and rear axles, and the ability to transfer torque between them. Originally powered by an aluminum 377 small block, engineers stuffed the 500 HP ZL1 big block behind the cockpit.
9. 1958 Fuelie
Designed as the ultimate in flash and style, the ’58 Fuelie was decked out in more chrome than any other Chevrolet. The styling helped to change public perception from an exotic toy to a more sensible and practical car. The car was a hit, and kept the first generation selling well until the Stingray arrived.
8. 1956 SR2
Corvette’s first endurance racer, the SR2 cut through the air like a knife. After setting a speed record on the beach in Daytona, the SR2 raced at Sebring and Elkhart Lake to validate the upcoming fuel injection system and Muncie four speed transmission.
7. 2015 Z06
It is brand new, but the numbers speak for themselves. Horsepower and torque are advertised at 650, but owners have reported much higher. For the first time, the Z06 is available as a convertible and with automatic transmission. While the other cars on this list may be more historical, this one has warranty and financing options.
6. Mako Shark I/II
The 1961 Mako Shark was GM Styling Chief Bill Mitchell’s vision of Corvette’s future. It caused a feeding frenzy with automotive journalists and many of its wild features made it to production on the 1963 Stingray. The Mako Shark II was even more exaggerated and was the basis for the 1968 new body style.
5. 1959 Scaglietti
Carroll Shelby wanted an Italian supercar with American power. He sent three Corvette chassis to Maranello and commissioned Scaglietti to build a lightweight alloy body for racing. What emerged are three works of art. Chevrolet didn’t approve of the builds, so Shelby decided to partner with Ford instead, and the rest is history.
4. 1990-95 ZR1
In order to take on the fastest cars in the world, Chief Engineer Dave McLellan partnered with Lotus and Mercury Marine to build an all new 405 hp V8. The only Corvette to ever have overhead cams is also lower, wider and stiffer than the standard coupe. The ZR1 package was $27,000, which almost doubled the retail price of the car.
3. 1969 ZL1
Chevrolet Racing developed an all-aluminum 427ci (7.0-liter) big block V8 that was the basis for Camaro’s ZL1 program. Only two of these 500+ hp featherweights were built. For 37 years it reigned supreme, until the launch of the 2006 C6 Z06, which is also powered by the aluminum 7.0-liter V8.
2. 1963 Z06 Split Window Coupe
The original Z06 was a performance package aimed at endurance racing. A 36.5 gallon tank, along with fuel injection and big brakes, made them a force to be reckoned with on the track. Only 50 were built because the package added $1,800 to the $4,257 base price. 1963 was the first hardtop, and the iconic spine separating the rear glass was gone by ’64.
1. 1963 Grand Sport
Built in secret by Chief Engineer Zora Duntov, the Grand Sport program allowed Chevrolet to compete on the world stage despite GM’s internal ban on motorsports. Five cars were built before the program was discovered, and they are valued at several million dollars each.
Courtesy of duPont Registry