As GM’s volume brand, Chevrolet has produced more cars than any other American automaker. This means most Chevrolets are widely known and often acclaimed vehicles with almost cult-like following. Certain Corvettes, Camaros, Tri Fives, El Caminos, Novas, and Chevelles certainly fit this description. But not all classic Chevrolet models were good. It’s understandable that Bow Tie brand has had a few strikeouts here and there, since they marketed myriad of models in their history spanning across more than 100 years. More than a few, actually. Some Chevrolet Cars like Chevette, Vega, Citation, and Corvair were far from sound. But people still remember them. Even for their shortcomings.
We won’t be explaining why these aforementioned Chevy models are considered black sheep of the family for the hundredth time. Instead, we’ll focus on Chevrolet cars that weren’t that bad, but ended up being forgotten. For some reason, the following models never got a fair chance. They came, they saw, and they quickly went off the stage. Had they arrived at different time and place, they might have fared much better. Guess we’ll never know.
A side note: I won’t be listing limited special edition models like the ones populating these here part I and part II lists of rarest and coolest special Chevrolet cars.
One more thing. If you think you know Chevys, you might want to test your knowledge on our Chevy trivia quiz here.
Back when most Chevrolet cars used to share the same platform, one hit wonders like Yeoman were actually possible. More like one hit wagon since only choice Yeoman offered was the choice between two or four doors. Wagon body style was in its DNA. Named after yeomen – medieval helping hands who were synonymous with hard labor – Chevrolet’s entry level wagon was based on the same blue collar philosophy. Its interior was fully washable with water and a sponge. Courtesy of vinyl upholstery, rubber floor mat and linoleum-covered cargo area.
Standard engine behind the 1100 series Yeoman wagon was the 235 cu in Blue Flame straight-six. 1200 series models, on the other hand, were equipped with 283 cu in Turbo Fire small-block V8’s. Finally, for 1958, Chevrolet even offered their very first production big-block V8. Needless to say, a few 348 cu in Turbo Thrust V8’s have found their way into Yeoman wagons.
$2,520 2-door Yeoman is especially prized these days. Mid-range Brookwood and top-tier Nomad wagons were offered with four doors exclusively. Who would reckon that $54 saved back then (4-door model’s price was $2,574) would have actually made the Yeoman even more exclusive? Sadly, one year only Yeoman was dropped alongside Delray, and Brookwood took over both the 2-door body style and entry level duties for 1959. Almost forgotten by most, but not by all. Paul Currie has reminded us how sublime Yeoman resto mods can look given some love, means and good old fashioned yeoman’s work. His two-tone Yeoman graces our cover.