Of course, Datsun and Nissan have dibs on the Z-Car moniker—we’re not arguing that. But Chevy was actually there first. The original Datsun 240Z didn’t arrive until 1970, while Chevy’s first Z-Cars, the Z11 427-powered Impalas and Z06 Corvette had become legends seven years earlier.
Truth is, by the time Mr. K finally got his sports car, Chevy had already brought a long list of legendary Z-Cars to market, including the Z16 Chevelle, ZL1 Corvette, and the most famous of them all, the Z/28 Camaro.
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The brake drums mentioned in the 1963 Corvette Z06 text were cast iron, not steel. Steel is never used for brake drums or rotors except in motorcycles where stainless steel avoid a rusty appearance. The particular type of cast iron used instead is Meehanite, a nodular material developed by the company of the same name.
No. RPO's with a Z are special equipment packages such as Z21 for the exterior style package, Z22 for the Rally Sport package and Z27 for the Super Sport package, just as L's are used for engines, M's for transmissions and G's for drive trains.
ZL1 Corvettes were not built in 1970. They were a 69 only option and there are were only 3 known production cars built. It is rumored however that as many as 10 pre-production cars were built.
One you forgot was the Z24 Cavalier from 86-87, with the 2.8 v6. Not a powerhouse, but it was a sharp car. Mine was the hatchback with the American Racing style wheels, raised white BFG's, Metallic Gray color. A lot of fun.