Editor’s Note: In 2015, we looked back at the best aftermarket parts of all time, commemorated 60 years of small block Chevy performance, and went Back to the Future to celebrate the iconic movie’s anniversary. We said goodbye to Roscoe P. Coltrane and hello to a whole new generation of Camaros. Jeff Gordon retired. Volkswagen cheated. And BIGFOOT had a midlife crisis. Yep, there was plenty to write home about–or at least write about. Here are our most-popular, most-read stories of 2015…starting with our top car culture articles of the year:
While these hand-sketched cars might fail to reach the artistic heights of those created by the late, great Art Fitzpatrick, there’s no doubt many have become iconic in the imaginations of hot rodders and car lovers of all ages.
We once added Pixar’s Cars’ protagonist Lightning McQueen to a list of our favorite movie cars of all time and were told to “Tighten up.” But, it’s cool.
Lightning certainly belonged on this list—the best cartoon cars ever. Did we get the rest of the list right? Probably. But you should decide for yourself.
The Launch of Ride Guides
Some people are walking automotive encyclopedias. They see vehicles and can instantly rattle off the year, make, model—and maybe a bunch of other facts, too. For others, it doesn’t come so easily.
That’s why we’ve created Ride Guides, our series of infographics and posts designed to help you identify classics and performance cars including Ford and Chevy trucks, ‘70s Challengers, second-gen. Chevelles, Fox-Body Mustangs, Jeep CJs and Wranglers, and more.
What are the 20 top aftermarket performance parts of all time? Leaning on the opinions of veteran automotive journalists and car junkies, we compiled a comprehensive list we think pretty much nails it. If you’re making the list, where would you rank the Hurst 4-speed shifter, or Iskenderian’s camshaft? What about NOS nitrous systems or Cragar S/S wheels or the Holley 4-barrel? This is the stuff that used to keep us up at night. After publishing The Top 20 Aftermarket Parts of All Time? We sleep like babies.
The insane, and slightly terrifying, sinkhole which opened up inside Bowling Green, KY’s National Corvette Museum was one of the biggest stories from 2014, so the restoration efforts—of both the felled Corvettes, as well as the museum showroom itself—were of great interest to us this year. The Corvette museum reopened its freshly refurbished Skydome in early September. The museum also opened a display featuring five destroyed ‘Vettes recovered from the sinkhole, as well as the cars restored to their original glory. One of the refurbished cars was a white 1992 convertible famous for being the 1,000,000th Corvette ever built. Car and Driver estimates its value as exceeding $750,000.
Happy 60th Birthday, Small Block Chevy
2015 was the 60th anniversary of the small block Chevy. From its humble beginnings in 1955 through today’s less-than-humble, high-powered LS and LT1 engines, the small block Chevy has been powering some of our favorite toys—even non-Chevys!—for six decades. We spent the year writing many stories around the most popular engine class in automotive history, but this year’s SBC coverage was highlighted by us Ranking the Top 5 Small Block Chevy Engines of All Time.