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A look at the top 10 Chevrolets ever as automaker turns 100

September 16, 2011 | 12:16 pm

1963_corvette_stingray

William C. "Billy" Durant, was an early automotive entrepreneur who melded Buick, Oldsmobile and Cadillac into General Motors Co. at the turn of the 20th Century. He was tossed from the company in 1910 but regained control a few years later.  In between he founded Chevrolet, which turns 100 years old in November.

Durant teamed with Swiss-born Louis Chevrolet, who was a racer, mechanic and pioneering engineer, to create the company, which developed cars that quickly earned reputations for performance, durability and value, and which sold enough to let Durant get back into GM.

Chevrolet’s first car was the Series C Classic Six, a large motorcar with a six-cylinder engine that produced a whopping 40 horsepower and had a top speed of about 65 mph. GM said it sold for $2,150 --  the equivalent of nearly $50,000 today, when adjusted for inflation.

Auto information company Kelley Blue Book has looked at 100 years of Chevrolet, GM’s most successful division, and come up with what Kelley believes are the auto company's 10 most important cars, starting with the Classic Six. (Click here to see all 10.)

1936_suburban_carryall Others include the 1936 Chevrolet Suburban Carryall, considered the first sport-utility vehicle, the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray sports car and the Volt plug-in hybrid.

"For many of us, Chevrolet is an American icon on a par with baseball and apple pie -- a brand deeply engrained in the fabric of our lives," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director of Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com.

Kelley’s staff selected vehicles that offered technical innovation and changed the automotive landscape.

“Each one is a watershed car whose influence is still felt today," Nerad said.

Use the comment section to suggest your favorite Chevrolet.

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Was a 1932 Ford the best car ever? 

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Natural gas Ford taxis start rolling in O.C.

-- Jerry Hirsch
twitter.com/LATimesJerry

Photos, from top: The 1963 Corvette Sting Ray; the 1936 Suburban. Credits: General Motors Co.

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