Contrary to GM’s third-generation LT1, it’s HHR, or it’s psuedo-pride advertisements for how “deep” Chevy “runs”, there actually is some amount of actual heritage left in the brand.
I’m going to go through the 2013 Line-up (as advertised on www.chevrolet.com) and highlight the cars that GM still makes that have some kind of meaningful tie to a simpler time. The Corvette above is a foreshadow to an obvious choice. Let me just say that the amazingly potent and well performing Z06 and ZR-1 cars will always be a bright spot in a dark time for General Motors. They almost make you forget about Corvette missteps such as:
- 1973 bumpers
- The 305-powered 1980 California Corvette.
- 78-82 “fastback” windows.
- The year 1983.
- The fact that between that year we had two distinctly styled Corvettes (the 1982 C3 and the 1984 C4) that both came with nearly identical shit motors (the Crossfire).
- Doug Nash 4+3 Transmission
Through all of that, the Corvette still manages to exist and kick ass. After seeing the 2014 model at Barrett-Jackson, I say bring it on. I’m ready for a new ‘Vette.
The Chevy Silverado and Suburban and are awesome examples of Chevrolet’s deep-rooted tradition. The Suburban name alone dates back to 1935 (a world-record for using a model name) and both vehicles are architecturally much like their 1960’s counterparts, though much improved. The 2013 Silverado is still available with the 4.3L V6 and 4 speed automatic, an option that dates back to the 1985 C/K trucks. The 4.3L V6 shares it’s design with the first generation small block Chevy. This means that you can still buy a truck from Chevy that has an engine in it that was designed in the 1950’s. I don’t think any other manufacturer can make that claim.
Unfortunately, this is where it ends. GM’s current products such as the Malibu and Impala haven’t shared anything in common with their ancestors short of name plate for nearly two decades at this point. The Camaro is an aesthetic abomination; I really can’t bring myself to care about it. I honestly would rather be seen in a Chrysler-Concord-meets catfish-faced 98-02 model. And I’m certain that with drag radials and a t-56, it would give the 400hp+ fifth generation a nice little scare. After that, all that’s left is the little shit-boxes that no one really wants to like.
As a child that grew up when you could still buy a passenger car with a carburetor, a frame and a bumper made out of steel -off a dealer’s lot brand new- it sucks to see the overall pussification and misdirection of the car industry. Some may say that this is the golden age of muscle cars all over again, but I scoff at that notion. This is the malaise era all over again, except these cars are powerful. Ugly, overwrought designs, heavy and chock full of a bunch bullshit that you don’t need. Infotainment is just the new replacement for opera windows and brougham tops.