11. Chevrolet Chevelle Z-16
GM imposed a racing ban in 1963 that immediately stopped all racing actions, putting the Chevrolet racing program on indefinite hold. For years, the Chevrolet engineers tried to find a way to return to the racetrack. The independent racers used the Bow Tie cars, but there was no factory support of any kind. The solution was to introduce the Chevelle Z-16.
It was a high-performance model they produced for just one year. Because they only made 200 of them, the Z-16 is a scarce and valuable piece of Chevrolet history. The Chevelle Z16 is a fully-loaded regular Chevelle with all the go-fast options. It has a 396 V8 engine with a Muncie four-speed gearbox, as well as heavy-duty suspension and equipment.
Some dealers weren’t aware that this option existed because Chevrolet refused to market the Z16, making this Chevelle a secret model. Chevrolet thought if it produced a unique, high-performance car, the racers would use it. However, the Z-16 package was more of a street performer than a disguised racing car, so it didn’t leave a big mark on the drag racing scene.