17 Iconic Corvettes We Wish We Could Drive Just Once

Manufactured by General Motors, the Chevrolet Corvette is a line of sports cars produced since 1953. Over eight generations, this two-door, two-seat sports car line has been well renowned for its distinctive styling and performance. Here are 17 iconic Corvettes we wish we could take out for a spin.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette C1

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The 1953 Chevrolet Corvette marked the birth of the all-American sports car and was the first volume-produced model. Only 300 units were produced, essentially by hand with evolving techniques that make each 1953 model unique. Which Car hails the C1 as “not only the first of GM’s now 68-year-old fiberglass-bodied sports car line, but America’s first production sports car.”

1963 Corvette Stingray “Split Window”

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MotorTrend writes, “Of all Corvettes, the split-window Corvette of 1963 ranks as one of history’s all-time favorites.” The split window introduced an independent rear suspension, significantly improving its handling and performance. The distinctive split rear window has become a coveted feature among collectors.

1967 Corvette Stingray L88

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Only 20 Stingray L88s were built in 1967. Hagerty notes it was the “most hardcore Corvette you could buy in 1967.” The L88 featured a highly powerful 427 cubic inch V8 engine intended for professional racing, and despite its official rating of 430 hp, aficionados widely believe that the engine produced over 500 hp. Designed for racing, all luxuries in the car were removed, including the air conditioning, heater, and radio. 

1970 Corvette LT-1

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The LT-1 model is known for its high-performance small-block V8 engine, which produces 370 hp. Well regarded for its raw power and having one of the last high-compression engines made by Chevrolet before 1970s emission regulations took effect, today the LT-1 is praised for its balance of aesthetics, handling, and power. 

1984 Corvette C4

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After testing the 1984 Corvette C4, Car and Driver praised the model as a “truly stout automobile… a true-born, world-class sports car loaded with technical sophistication.” The C4 introduced a completely new design with sophisticated technology, including a digital dashboard. The 5.7L V8 engine had a relatively modest 205 hp due to emissions regulations and is significant for its improved handling and aerodynamics, which set the stage for future performance improvements.

1990 Corvette ZR-1

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The ZR-1 set new standards for Corvette performance with its 375 hp LT5 engine, which was designed in collaboration with Lotus. Nicknamed “King of the Hill” for its excellent performance capabilities, the ZR-1 set a world 24 hour-5,000 mile land speed record in March 1990 by going over 175 mph.

2001 Corvette Z06

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The Z06 was introduced as a high-performance version of the C5 Corvette line, lighter and faster than the base model, and equipped with a 385 hp LS6 V8 engine. Car and Driver praised its focus on track capability and handling at the time for its “effortless power, fierce grip, [and] excellent handling balance.” The 2001 model marked the return of the Z06 badge since its introduction in 1963.

2009 Corvette ZR1

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The 2009 ZR1 boasts a supercharged 6.2L LS9 V8 engine that delivers 638 hp and speeds over 200 mph, making it one of the most powerful Corvettes ever produced at the time. Auto Blog’s review praised the ZR1 for its torque, writing, “More torque is better. And when you have more than 600 lb-ft of the stuff at your disposal with just a tip of your right toe, life is fantastic.” The ZR1 featured carbon fiber body parts, ceramic brakes, and an exclusive transparent hood window showcasing the supercharger.

2014 Corvette Stingray C7

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The 2014 C7 reintroduced the “Stingray” title to the Corvette and featured an aggressive design and advanced technology. The C7 was praised for its blend of modern technology, comfort in its refined interior, and classic Corvette cues. Car Magazine celebrated the model, writing, “It’s a stellar cruiser, and a fearsome sports car. There’s genuine difference between its drive modes—Comfort, Touring, Sport and Track.”

2015 Corvette Z06 C7

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The C7 Z06 was a track-focused version of the Stingray, equipped with a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine producing an impressive 650 hp. The Z06 extensively used carbon fiber and featured a unique aerodynamic package. Available with a 7-speed manual or an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Z06 was made to compete with the world’s best sports cars, both on the road and on the track.

2019 Corvette ZR1

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The 2019 ZR1 was the most powerful production Corvette at the time, with a 755 hp supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with impressive torque. The ZR1 featured a distinctive “halo” hood and prominent rear wing, contributing to its aggressive appearance and aerodynamic performance. With a top speed of 212 mph, it was the fastest Corvette of its time. 

1966 Corvette 427

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The 1966 model of the Corvette introduced the big-block 427 cubic inch V8 engine, significantly increasing performance. The 427 was available in two versions: the 390 hp and the more powerful 425 hp, both offering formidable performance. Today, the 1966 Corvette 427 is celebrated for its muscular performance and is a highly sought-after classic.

2006 Corvette Z06

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The 2006 Z06 reintroduced the world to Corvette’s performance capabilities with an impressive 505 hp 7.0L LS7 V8 engine. The 2006 Z06 boasted a lightweight aluminum frame with carbon fiber components, enhancing its speed and agility. The model set new standards for American sports cars with incredible performance and daily drivability. 

1969 Corvette Stingray L88

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The 1969 Corvette Stingray L88 was built for racing, with a stripped-down interior and no comfort features. Only a limited number of the 1969 L88 were produced, making them a rare collector’s item. TopSpeed argues that “gearheads from around the world can appreciate this model, even if it is not one of their top choices. It was not a car with an everyday 427 under the hood, nor a muscle car that was promoted for sale to the public as much as would have been thought.”

2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition

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This collector’s model combined the Z06’s LS7 engine with the convertible body style, marking the end of the C6 generation. For the first and only time since the C2 generation, the 427 cubic inch engine was used in a Corvette convertible. This tribute to Corvette’s 60-year heritage offered a unique blend of performance and open-air driving. 

2020 Corvette Stingray C8

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A relatively inexpensive car, the C8 Stingray introduced the first mid-engine Corvette, completely revolutionizing the model’s performance and handling characteristics. Comfortable on the road with a 6.2L LT2 V8 engine producing 495 hp, the C8 offered impressive acceleration and top speed.

2022 Corvette Z06 C8

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The 2022 Z06 C8 brought track-focused performance to the mid-engine Corvette platform, featuring a naturally aspirated 5.5L V8 engine producing an incredible 670 hp. Designed with aerodynamics in mind, the Z06’s engine featured a flat-plane crank that allowed for a higher redline.  CF

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