Hooniverse Asks- What is History’s Greatest Corvette?


2014 Vette


The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette made its debut Sunday at Detroit’s incongruously named North American International Auto Show. The ‘Vette may be more at home in Bowling Green Kentucky, but truth be told, its birthplace was (almost) the Motor City- a couple hundred Blue Flame six-powered examples being hand built in 1953 in a converted truck plant over in neighboring Flint.

That was an inauspicious beginning for what would ultimately become the longest running car nameplate – the Suburban is the truck champ – in Chevrolet’s history. Over that 60 year and – as of yesterday – 7-model span, the Corvette has seen models ranging from good to great, as well as from merely meh to must avoid. It’s not those latter ones that we’re interested today however.

What we do want today is your vote for the greatest Corvette of all time – the one ‘Vette to rule them all. Whether it be a street car, race car, or wild pie in the sky show car, which Corvette do you think deserves to be called history’s greatest?

Image: [General Motors Media]

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56 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What is History’s Greatest Corvette?”

  1. LTDScott Avatar

    It may not be the greatest ever, but the one that has held the greatest fascination for me growing up was the C4 ZR-1. Pretty damn exotic for its time, and it's the only Corvette in which you can go motorboatin' without an overly processed bleached blonde woman in the passenger seat.
    <img src="http://image.vetteweb.com/f/26649041/vemp_0006_11_o 1990_chevrolet_corvette_zr1 red_c4_corvette_coupe.jpg" width="650/">

    1. Maxichamp Avatar

      Plus, Clarence Thomas has one!

      1. LTDScott Avatar

        King of the (Anita) Hill!

  2. danleym Avatar

    I generally don't like Corvettes, I don't know why, they've just never excited me stylistically, though I'm sure it would be a blast to drive one. But I do like the first generation, a lot. And I like that they had a hopped up inline 6.
    <img src="http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r293/VIEWLINER/0806/CC02.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Actually only the 1953-1955 Corvettes had the Blue Flame Six. The one you show is a '56-57 model.
      <img src="http://www.web-cars.com/images/vette_img/GMInnovation-A9A_a.jpg"width=500&gt;
      I guess both are now considered C1 though.

      1. danleym Avatar

        Well, you can see just how much I know about them, and also get a good lesson in not trusting the internet.

    1. I_Borgward Avatar

      You know, I was going to say '63 split-window, fuel injected. But this one gets a vote, too. Because I am just that way.

    1. danleym Avatar

      Fender exit headers FTW.

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      got to see the GTP in person a couple years ago….it is sweet….

      1. P161911 Avatar

        I have a story about the GTP. In about 1995 or so, at the Formual SAE event at the Silverdome, GM brought out one of the Corvette GTP cars and had it in their display tent. In the middle of the night there is suddenly a loud roar, much louder than the 600cc FSAE engines. Apparently one of the other teams, not the one I was on, got a car battery and some racing fuel and managed to get the GTP started. It was quickly shut down. I think a couple of guys were probably asked to leave and the GTP was much better secured soon there after.

  3. Vavon Avatar

    The Aerospatiale SN601 Corvette of course, the sky is the limit!
    <img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6171/6189709803_77666f8362_z.jpg&quot; width="600/">

      1. dr zero Avatar
        dr zero

        These helped to win a small war:
        <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cb/USS_Intensity_%28PG-93%29.jpg&quot; width=500>

  4. Number_Six Avatar

    1968 L88
    170mph in a street car on bias-ply tires in 1968? Hell fucking yes.
    <img src="http://www.sportscardigest.com/wp-content/uploads/4.-S233_1968-L88.jpg&quot; width="500" />

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Popular with Apollo astronauts, if that tells you anything.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        I don't think any of the Apollo cars had the L88 option. 427 Engines, definitely (454 on missions after the 427 was superseded), but in a more streetable package allowing for creature comforts like a radio and heater.

        1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
          Peter Tanshanomi

          <img src="http://www.corvetteblogger.com/images/content/2013/010913_1.jpg&quot; width="512">
          Gus Grissom owned this '67 L88. The only reason why I know that is it's scheduled to be sold at auction this coming Saturday:

          1. OA5599 Avatar

            That supports what I was saying above. It is a 427, but isn't an L88 version. It's an L71. It doesn't say so in the listing, but the Tri-Power in the picture is the giveaway. This prior listing of the same car also gives the part numbers for various driveline components, and the part numbers for the heads are for cast iron, NOT the L88 aluminum ones.

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Ah. It was listed on another Corvette blog as an L88. I know diddly about Corvettes.

  5. engineerd Avatar

    At the risk of being too specific, I would say Alan Shepard's. He was one of the first astronauts to drive the Chevy halo and started a trend that continues today. It helped that GM was giving them away to astronauts through at least the early '70s.
    <img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2482/3907826615_014552ebd7.jpg&quot; width="500" height="375" alt="Alan Shepard's 1968 Corvette">

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      The '68 Corvette you posted is obviously not the one he got after Freedom 7.
      <img src="http://www.chevroletinthenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Alan-B.-Shepard-Chevy-Corvette-image-e1309190305439.jpg"&gt;
      He also had a '57 he owned before going into space, and owned many more during his lifetime.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        No, it was one he got during Apollo. It's in the Saturn V Center at KSC (which is where I snapped that awesome photo).

        1. dukeisduke Avatar

          One of his former cars was featured on the Hemmings blog not too long ago. It was about to undergo a restoration. And the one being handed over there in front of the Tech Center in Warren by Ed Cole and Bill Mitchell is a '62, one of my favorites.

  6. OA5599 Avatar

    I was tempted to pick one of the Grand Sports.
    <img src="http://www.corvettelegends.com/5GSs.jpg"&gt;
    Ultimately, though, I decided on the Stars and Stripes. 210+MPH on radials, when the competition was racing on slicks.
    <img src="http://www.extravaganzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/1969-Chevrolet-BFG-Stars-Strips-Factory-L88-ZL-1-Greenwood-3.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. topdeadcentre Avatar

      Wow.. the paint on the Stars & Stripes… it's almost… AMC-like!

  7. Devin Avatar

    I don't know what the best is, but I know this one really sucks:
    <img src="http://imgc.classistatic.com/cps/poc/111031/724r1/2588ihj_27.jpeg"&gt;

  8. POLAЯ Avatar

    I can't pick just one, but my daughters think this one is pretty sweet.
    <img src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_DYY4IWOUFOM/TVMUnThd8TI/AAAAAAAAAHU/rPllibNPcOg/s1600/barbie+corvette.jpg"&gt;

    1. vroomsocko Avatar

      Gizmo approves.
      <img src="http://i.ytimg.com/vi/_3F3eCypuko/0.jpg&quot; width="500">

      1. POLAЯ Avatar

        Thank God it wasn't a Mustang or Ford would have had a special Mogwai Edition. You wouldn't be able to wash it though.

  9. DemonXanth Avatar

    <img src="http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c399/cpheil/ListerCorvette.jpg&quot; width=400>
    How about the Lister Corvette?

  10. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Wow, I expected this to be first out of the box…#1 with a bullet*.
    [EDIT: I see that OA5599 did indeed mention it. I missed it because Tripod squashed his hotlink.]
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/96/1963_Corvette_Grand_Sport.JPG/640px-1963_Corvette_Grand_Sport.JPG&quot; width="512">
    *For you younger kiddos, "#1 with a bullet" is an increasingly outdated reference to Billboard magazine's record charts, which would put a small bullet icon next to rapidly rising songs/albums

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Thanks for noticing. I swapped pictures now.


    I've always had a thing for the West Corvette (a tuning company from J apan) C4. A beautiful car, and a very different tuning philosophy than all of the other C4s I've ever seen.
    <img src="http://www.jdm-option.com/photo/images/showdown2008_093.jpg&quot; width="600">
    And the original 1963 Z06 racecar was always a favorite, since the C2 is far and away my favorite generation of Vette.
    <img src="http://static2.businessinsider.com/image/4edd128cecad04f228000062-590/duntov-also-started-the-grand-sport-program-which-brought-the-original-corvette-z06-and-grand-sport-to-the-track.jpg&quot; width="600">

  12. SSurfer321 Avatar

    <img src="http://www.boattraderuae.com/boat/news/19.jpg"&gt;
    IMG from BoatTraderUAE.com

  13. danleym Avatar

    And, for the incredibly nerdy answer for the day:
    <img src="http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070106183240/starwars/images/b/b0/Corvette-CHRON.jpg&quot; width=500>

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      [youtube t_KXgFpguE0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_KXgFpguE0 youtube]

    2. vroomsocko Avatar

      Beat me to it! The Corellian Engineering Corporation CR-90 Corvette is an excellent choice for interstellar hoonage. Watch out for Imperial speed traps.

  14. wheeeeeee12 Avatar

    <img src="http://www.mad4wheels.com/webpics/hires/00008869%20-%201959%20Chevrolet%20Corvette%20Stingray%20racer%20concept/1959_Chevrolet_Corvette_Stingray_racer_concept_001_5349.jpg"&gt;
    1959 Sting Ray Racer. At least the most outrageous looking factory Vette, if not necessarily history's greatest.

    1. danleym Avatar

      <img src="http://www.mad4wheels.com/webpics/hires/00008869%20-%201959%20Chevrolet%20Corvette%20Stingray%20racer%20concept/1959_Chevrolet_Corvette_Stingray_racer_concept_001_5349.jpg&quot; width=500>
      Add "width=500" (without the quotes) after the image location and it makes it much easier to see.

  15. KrusH Avatar

    danleym85p, I thank you for answering my internal question of " Has someone posted a correlian corvette yet?" Thank you from all nerds!

  16. Charlie Avatar

    My pick is the Magnesium bodied 57 "SS" Racecar;
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/kzMmp.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/2fRz2.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/SAvmn.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/OrD9e.jpg&quot; width="600">

  17. pj134 Avatar
    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      I like the Two Rotor as well.

  18. Alcology Avatar

    Let's go for something wildly different. The VLP Destino! A Fisker Karma with a ZR-1 engine in it.

  19. wisc47 Avatar

    I always liked the Callaway C12 Corvette, probably because of my weird love of obscure cars from Gran Turismo 4.
    <img src="http://cars-database.com/data_images/models/callaway-c12/callaway-c12-01.jpg"&gt;

  20. scroggzilla Avatar
  21. scroggzilla Avatar

    Racing 'Vettes
    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4021/4622447422_b464f2ba8e_z.jpg&quot; width="640" height="485" alt="64 sebring 12 hrs roger penske jim hall chevrolet corvette grand sport">
    <img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6182/6042839508_c76fc6fe47_z.jpg&quot; width="640" height="336" alt="57 sebring 12hrs john fitch chevrolet corvette ss">
    <img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6232/6221148099_d4fc2daefd_z.jpg&quot; width="640" height="460" alt="59 usac meadowdale dr dick thompson corvette stingray ss">