May 16, 2024 | Peter Kinney

10 Classic Chevys Every Collector Wants—And What They’re Worth Today


The Best Classics From Chevrolet

Classic cars continue to steal the hearts of auto enthusiasts, and when it comes to vintage vehicles, Chevys are some of the most desired. Here are 10 classic Chevys we wish were in our garage.

classic chevys

1. 1968-1982 C3 Corvette

In 2023, Chevy produced an impressive 53,785 units of the eight generation of Corvette, placing it second in production numbers. However, the top spot goes to the 1979 Corvette, which saw 53,807 units produced during the third generation, spanning from 1968 to 1982.

Chevrolet Corvette C3 - 1979RL GNZLZ, Flickr

Everyone Wanted One

Throughout the third generation, Chevrolet manufactured over 542,000 C3 Corvettes, making it the most popular version of this iconic car. It’s also one of the most expensive.

Red Chevrolet Corvette parked on the streetSicnag, CC BY 2.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

A Fluctuating Market

Classic.com has recorded over 2,600 C3 sales in the past five years, with an average price of just over $34,000. 

The range in prices is vast, from a bargain 1980 model sold for $3,850 to a pristine green 1971 convertible that fetched $965,500 in 2022, only to be resold last year for $785,000.

1971 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray ConvertibleDezidor, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

2. 1965 Impala

The 1965 Chevy Impala holds the title for the highest single-year sales in automotive history, with a staggering 1,046,514 units sold. 

Initially introduced as a trim level on the Bel Air in 1956, the Impala became its own full-sized model in 1959, undergoing significant changes for the iconic 1965 model year.

Chevrolet Impala Caprice - 1965Michael Spiller, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Engine

Buyers in 1965 had an impressive array of engine options, ranging from a 140-horsepower straight-six to powerful 396 and 409 cubic-inch V-8s, producing up to 425 horsepower

This broad engine lineup contributed to the 1965 Impala's popularity, appealing to both performance enthusiasts and those seeking fuel efficiency.

1965 Chevrolet Impala EngineJack Snell, Flickr

The Price Tag

In the used car market, these classic Impalas have seen an average price of just over $39,000 in the last five years. Well-maintained models fetch anywhere from $15,000 to nearly $140,000.

1965 Chevy Impala SSChad Horwedel ,Flickr

3. 1973-77 Monte Carlo

Over its 32-year production span, 4.4 million Monte Carlos rolled off the assembly line

The peak years occurred during the second generation, from 1973 to 1977, a challenging era for American carmakers who were navigating new standards and the oil crisis.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo - 1977dave_7, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

High Praise

Despite industry challenges, the Monte Carlo maintained its popularity, especially during the mid-'70s, thanks to continued acclaim. Motor Trend praised its luxury, performance, and value, declaring it a success against rivals like the Ford Thunderbird and Pontiac Grand Prix in 1969.

With its strong production numbers, the second-generation Monte Carlo remains an attractive option for buyers today, averaging just under $17,000 in resale value over the past five years, according to Classic.com.

1978 Chevrolet Monte CarloThomas Hawk, Flickr

4. 1957 Bel Air

1957 was a milestone year for American car enthusiasts, which saw iconic models like the Ford Thunderbird and Cadillac hit the road alongside the beloved 1957 Chevy Bel Air. 

This year concluded the second generation of the Bel Air, available in seven distinct styles, from convertibles to station wagons.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2 door HardtopCars Down Under, Flickr

The Engine

Under the hood, the 1957 Bel Air boasted a 283 cubic-inch V-8 engine, shared with that year's Corvette. Optional upgrades included Chevy's groundbreaking Ramjet fuel injection system, elevating the engine's power output to 283 horsepower.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air with open engine cover.Steven Martin, Flickr

Signature Style

Its signature tailfins and enduring presence in pop culture have solidified the 1957 Bel Air's status as a classic. Over 1.5 million units were produced, including about 265,000 four-door sedans and fewer than 6,300 Nomad Wagons. 

These variations, coupled with differing conditions, contribute to a wide range of resale values, with an average price just under $74,000 over the past five years.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air NomadMustang Joe, Flickr

5. 1967-1969 Camaro

The iconic 1967 Chevy Camaro enjoyed a successful journey until its initial discontinuation in 2002. After a hiatus, Chevrolet reintroduced the Camaro in 2010, but in 2023, they announced the end of the sixth-generation Camaro. 

Despite this, Chevy's Global VP Scott Bell hinted at the possibility of future iterations, reassuring fans that the Camaro's story was far from over.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Coupé Front rotMerlinS.69, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Origin Story

The Camaro's inception was spurred by competition with the Ford Mustang, which debuted in 1965 and quickly gained popularity. Offering a range of engines, from a 140 horsepower straight-six to a powerful 375-horsepower V-8, the 1967 Camaro catered to a range of driver preferences. 

Initially, sales were strong, with Chevy consistently selling between roughly 221,000 and 243,000 units annually for the first three years.

Dark red 1967 Camaro SS/RSartistmac, Flickr

The Price Tag

Today, 1967-69 Camaro models are sought after but come with a hefty price tag. According to Classic.com, nearly 2,500 have been sold in the past five years, averaging around $74,000 per sale

While some models may sell for as low as $13,200, rare variants like the racing-spec 1969 COPO can command prices exceeding $1 million.

1969 Yellow COPO Camaroartistmac, Flickr

6. 1973-1991 Suburban

Since its introduction in 1935, the Chevy Suburban has remained a king in the automotive world, holding the title of the longest-running nameplate in American history. 

Though it’s now in its 12th generation, the seventh-generation Suburban stands out as one of the best.

Chevrolet Suburban 1980Ruud Onos, Flickr

A Game-Changer

Produced from 1973 to 1991, the seventh-generation Suburban caught people’s attention for its extended wheelbase and family-oriented features, including the introduction of fuel injection and a four-speed automatic transmission. 

Before the SUV boom, it played a pivotal role in reshaping American car buyers' perceptions of SUVs as practical primary vehicles.

Black 1980 Chevrolet SuburbanNiels, Flickr

The Price Range

Looking at the market today, the average resale value for a used seventh-generation Suburban hovers around $18,500

However, some go for less than $5,000 and exceptionally rare models fetching over $100,000, as evidenced by a blinged-out 1979 specimen sold last year, according to Classic.com.

Chevrolet Suburban 2500Karolis Kavolelis, Shutterstock

7. The 1955 V8 C1 Corvette

In 1953, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette to much fanfare, marking the debut of America's iconic sports car. However, it wasn't until 1955 that the Corvette truly gained traction with the introduction of a powerful V-8 engine under the hood.

1955 Chevrolet C1 Corvette RoadsterSicnag, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Powerful Performance

This upgrade propelled the Corvette into serious performance territory, prompting Chevrolet to swiftly phase out the previous straight-six engine option. 

The success of the V8-powered Corvette not only solidified its status as a true sports car but also influenced competitors like the Ford Thunderbird to adopt similar powertrains.

1955 Chevrolet Corvette Roadster - topAlfvanBeem, Wikimedia Commons

A Timeless Icon

Over the years, sales figures have reflected the Corvette’s status as a top-tier sports car. Today, the allure of the early V-8 models remains strong, with average prices ranging from approximately $110,000 to $120,000.

1955 Chevrolet Corvette V8JOHN LLOYD, Flickr

8. 1991 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 1LE

The third-generation Camaro holds a special place in automotive history, revered for its iconic design. Despite some criticisms regarding power and reliability, enthusiasts are drawn to its distinctive boxy and retro aesthetic.

1991 Chevrolet Camaro Z28Calreyn88, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Innovative

In 1991, the top-of-the-line Camaro model was the Z28 1LE trim, featuring a powerful L98 V-8 engine that cranked out 245 horsepower. While this power output may seem modest by modern standards, it represented a significant achievement for American car engineering in the early 1990s.

1991 Chevrolet Camaro RS Hardtop Coupe driving on a road.Gestalt Imagery, Shutterstock

Limited Production

Production numbers for the Z28 1LE trim were limited, adding to its desirability among collectors and enthusiasts. Only 478 units of the Z28 1LE were made, and that rarity has made it highly sought after, with a price tag as low as $7,000 or as high as $50,000.

front corner view of a 1991 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 CoupeGestalt Imagery, Shutterstock

9. 1967 Chevrolet Caprice

The late 1960s marked a golden era for American automobiles, with Chevrolet rolling out iconic models like the El Camino SS 396 and the Chevelle SS 396, famous for their raw power and performance. 

But true Chevy enthusiasts would also remember the stunning Caprice.

1967 Chevrolet CapriceGPS 56, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Underrated Classic

The 1967 Caprice is a timeless classic. While many collectors admire its graceful design, the true essence of the car lies beneath the surface, with its formidable V-8 engine that cranks out an impressive 385 horsepower.

1967 Chevrolet CapriceSteven Martin, Flickr

An Affordable Beauty

Today, a well-maintained Caprice equipped with the potent 427 engine can be acquired for slightly over $17,000, making it an enticing option for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

1967 Chevrolet Impala 4 Door HardtopSicnag, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

10. 1958 Chevrolet Delray

When reminiscing about classic Chevys from the 1950s, the Corvette and the Bel Air often steal the spotlight, symbolizing American automotive excellence. However, lesser-known models like the Delray deserve their time to shine.

White Chevrolet DelRay / 1958Ruud Onos, Flickr

Brief But Beloved 

Originally introduced as a trim level of the Chevrolet 210 series, the Delray eventually made a name for itself in 1958. Despite its brief production run of only a year, the Delray left a lasting impression with enthusiasts.

1958 Chevrolet Delray 2 Door HardtopJack Snell, Flickr

The Price Tag

While considered a low-end car, the Delray could be equipped with a robust big-block V-8 engine, producing 315 horsepower. Today, collectors value the Delray's unique character and historical significance, and those in good condition are worth about $17,700.

1958 Chevrolet Delray 2 Door HardtopJack Snell, Flickr


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