15. Chevrolet Corvette L88
Back in the late ’60s, Chevy wore the crown as the most powerful American carmaker with the advertised power of its 427 V8 engine at 435 HP. All other car brands at the moment had engines with official ratings less than that. But in reality, horsepower wars were raging all over Detroit. When Chevrolet introduced an almost secret L88 option for the Chevrolet Corvette C3 and rated it at the same 435 HP, everybody knew Chevy was lying. The L88 was basically a racing engine for the street. Only the professionals and people close to Chevrolet knew about it, and that’s why they made few L88 Corvettes.
The heart of this package was a steel block and aluminum-head V8 with special internals and intake systems. The output was far more than Chevrolet declared. In fact, it was closer to 550 HP straight from the dealer. In racing tune, the L88 engine could produce up to 700 HP, but it needed special parts and race fuel. One reason Chevrolet lied about HP ratings was to keep it from amateur racers.