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5 non-Chevrolets that used Chevy engines

5 non-Chevrolets that used Chevy engines

Chevrolet has been building V8 engines since 1955 (just for the record they built some in 1917 – 1918 too,) and production of the small block V8 alone passed 100 million units in 2011. 

But Chevrolet engines haven’t been exclusively used in Chevrolet vehicles. Here are five examples of Chevrolet-powered non-Chevrolets. 

01 Checker (1965 – 1982)

The design dates back to 1956 but it was only from 1965 Checker that employed Chevrolet’s range of engines, either the 235ci six, or the 283ci and 327ci V8s. From 1969 Checker buyers could specify the 350ci - which could haul a Checker to 60mph in around 10.8 seconds. 

Production was generally around 6000 a year with roughly 20 per cent of those being bought as no-frills regular cars by people who realised just how tough and well-built cars designed to be taxis could be.  

02 Gordon Keeble (1964- 1967)

In some ways a British-built Corvette wearing a fibreglass Italian suit, the Gordon Keeble GT1 (named after its creators John Gordon and Jim Keeble) was a stunning GT car designed and hand built in England. Under that Giugiaro-penned bodywork was a Corvette 327ci V8 and four-speed gearbox making the cars capable of over 140mph. 

But a production schedule that relied on a number of external parts suppliers and their sporadic deliveries, plus the car’s high purchase price meant only 100 were ever built.

03 Cord Sportsman (1963 – 1966)

Was 1963 the right year to put the 1930s Cord 810 back into production? Illinois-based Chevrolet dealer Wayne McKinley certainly thought so. With a body made from a composite material called Royalex, these front-wheel-drive cars were powered curiously not by the expected V8, but by a Chevrolet Corvair six-cylinder powerplant. 

Reliability problems and limited demand meant some 97 examples of the 8/10 Replicar were built before the company went bankrupt in 1967. 

04 Cadillac Cimarron (1982-1986)

Based on Chevrolet’s new compact J-car, Cadillac thought there might be a market for an affordable, small front wheel drive Cadillac as an alternative to the BMW 3-series or Saab 900. 

A nice idea in theory, however lacklustre handling, a heavy body and the original 1.8- and later 2-liter in-line four-cylinder Chevy engines failed to excite many younger buyers and it was the wrong image for Cadillac’s older clientele. 

Still, Cadillac managed to shift over 132,000 of them during the six years of production.

05 Overfinch (1975 to date)

Since 1975 Overfinch have been improving the performance and handling of each successive model of Range Rover and Land Rover. Part of that process involves dropping in larger engines and they’ve made use of various 5.0- and 5.7-liter GM V8 engines. 

Exact production figures aren’t available but given the six-figure purchase prices Overfinch’s vehicles do tend to be rather exclusive.