These are the Rarest Chevy Corvettes Ever Made
Classic Corvettes have skyrocketed in price the last few years, and there are no rarer Vettes than these.
By Chris Flynn on June 5, 2020
In 1911, William Crapo Durant founded the Chevrolet Motor Company. He set up retired Buick race driver Louis Chevrolet with a shop in Detroit. The company made the 1916 Chevrolet Four-Ninety to compete with the Ford Model T. At that time, Chevy was thriving with factories in New York City and Flint. The Four-Ninety was so successful that Durant could buy up GM stock, with the help of a New York bank president, Louis J. Kaufman. That's right, Chevrolet bought GM.
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette promises to deliver the most radical DNA in history. The company has dropped the front-engine layout it has relied on since 1953 in favor of a mid-engine foundation. With the price of $60,000, this model delivers an insane amount of performance for the dollar. The very first Corvette was produced by famed General Motors designer Harley Earl. These are the rarest Chevy Corvettes ever made.
1962 327 "Fuelie"
1962 was the final year for the C1 Corvette. This was also the last year for exposed headlights until 2005 and the last time the company utilized a solid-axle rear end. The rarest option was fuel-injected and had a compression ratio 11.25:1. The exact number of produced Fuelies wasn't specified but it was less than 100.
1963 Z06 "Big Tank"
1963 saw the first C2 Corvette and the split rear window. This was also the year when a performance equipment package was introduced. These cars were known as "Big Tanks" because the package featured a 36.5-gallon gas tank. Only 199 units of Z06s were produced and only 63 of them were Big Tanks.
While the C2 had come into existence several years prior, 1967 would become the end for the C2 Corvette Sting Ray. The main changes for the final year included lights, grilles, wheels, and rocker panels, but the overall shape kept the iconic look. The price deterred many buyers, so only 20 units were made.
1961 Mako Shark
The 1961 Mako Shark was not a production Corvette. Made by Larry Shinoda and Bill Mitchell, it was a concept car that foreshadowed the second-gen Corvette. The design was inspired by the shortfin mako shark, the fastest-swimming shark in the world. The little monster could speed up to 120 mph.
1988 Callaway Sledgehammer
In the 80s, Callaway started altering Corvettes and reached its peak popularity when its performance kit became a dealer option. The 1988 Callaway Sledgehammer was a heavily modified, pimped-up Corvette. The sleek exterior was backed by a massive engine that sent 898 hp and 772 lb. ft. of torque to the wheels.
In 2001, Chevy produced 634 Z06s. The engine was tuned to deliver 405 hp, which resulted in a 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds and a ¼ run of 12.4 seconds. Production ended in 2004 as the company started to work on the C6. However, it was the 2001 model that reintroduced the Z06 badge.
1982 Collectors Edition
In 1982, Chevy offered a limited edition Corvette called the Collector Edition. A total of 6.759 units were made. There was no mistaking this car, as it had unique parts not available on any other Chevy. Unique items included a silver-beige exterior color, a silver leather interior, aluminum wheels and stripping throughout the exterior.
Car rentals usually offer mediocre vehicles good for city cruising. Attempting to change that, Hertz executives bought a special edition C6 Corvette and created a fun collection of cars. Every ZHZ was painted yellow with a black racing stripe, got a 6.2L V8 engine and seven-spoke chrome wheels. Only 500 units were made.
After a 19-year hiatus, the ZR1 made a comeback. With the huge 6.2L LS9 V8 engine, the car delivered 638 hp. In 2009, it was the most powerful Corvette ever made at the factory. It could hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 205 mph.
In the late 80s, GM acquired Group Lotus and approached the company with the idea of producing the fastest production car based on the C4 Corvette. Lotus invented the powerful LT5 engine with 32 valves, four overhead camshafts, and an innovative air management system. The car delivered a whopping 375 horsepower.
The ZL1 was the fastest production car made in 1969. It sported a sleeker, aggressive design, and offered several tuned engines and upgrade packages. The most powerful engine was officially rated at 430 hp, even though it was later revealed it delivered between 560 and 585 hp.
94 ZL1 engines with Corvette prefixes were built in 1969, the majority of these were sold to racers, though a few of them were sold to private parties.
1963 Grand Sport
Attempting to end Shelby's domination on a race track, Zora Arkus-Duntov and his team issued to build 125 Grand Sport Corvettes in an ultra light body. However, the 125-unit production was canceled as Corvette couldn't qualify as GT production cars. Only 5 units were built with V8 engines delivering 550 hp.
1953 was the first model year for the Corvette, but it had a slow start. Only 300 units were produced and only 200 models are reported to be in existence today. Every car was hand-built, so each unit is different from the next. All the cars had red interiors and white exteriors.
In 1955, Chevrolet introduced a small-block engine that found a home in the Corvette. The car was originally built with the Powerglide automatic transmission, even though other options were offered later. The majority of GM's cars of that time got a new chassis, but the Corvette kept the original one. Only 700 units were produced.
1996 Grand Sport Convertible
The 1996 Grand Sport is one of the rarest Corvettes built. The company produced 190 convertibles that could be easily recognizable thanks to a unique paint scheme. It was Admiral Blue with an Arctic White stripe down the center. The LT4 engine had a 10.8:1 compression ratio and delivered 330 hp.