galleryChevy Celebrates 100 Years of Style and InnovationLizzie Crocker10.30.11galleryChevy Celebrates 100 Years of Style and InnovationIn honor of Chevrolet’s centennial, a look at some of the company’s most iconic cars. Lizzie Crocker10.30.11 5:00 AM ET© GM Co.Chevy Celebrates 100 Years of Style and InnovationChevy has always been known as the economical choice, but that sells short how "America's Car" has been responsible for some of the most groundbreaking designs in automotive history. From the 1912 Classic Six to the famous Corvette, which has been perpetually fine-tuned ever since it was first introduced over 50 years ago, The Daily Beast celebrates some of Chevy’s best models in honor of the company’s centennial. © GM Co.1912 Chevrolet Classic SixThe very first Chevrolet technically fell into the same category of traditional pre-war “brass era automobiles” or “horseless carriages,” but its elegance and hefty price tag ($2,150) elevated it from the rest of its contemporaries. The vehicle was an archetype of sophistication and prestige that only the likes of John D. Rockefeller could afford. The company constructed 5,987 models, but Chevy stopped making the model just two years after introducing it, shifting gears to make more affordable cars. © GM Co.1935 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Sport CoupeA counterpart to the Classic Six, the original Deluxe Sport Coupe was introduced during the Great Depression, when Chevrolet’s sales had dropped 50 percent from the previous year. But the Sport helped get them back on track. Not only was it one of Chevrolet’s most attractive pre-World War II models—a compact two-seater with a curvy backside and a rear rumble seat in the trunk—it was skillfully designed for hard times and became a Chevy icon. “It says so much about Chevrolet,” says global vice president of design Ed Welburn. “It had spirit, was affordable and contemporary. Customers felt they were getting a lot of car for their money, something that still holds true today.” © GM Co.1953 CorvetteAs an influx of sporty European imports began taking over American roads, Chevy fought to keep up with its 1953 Corvette, the brainchild of General Motors’s legendary VP of design, Harley Earl. Despite being a novelty and the first fiberglass vehicle to hit U.S. highways, the Corvette was initially snubbed by sports car aficionados. Several years later—after a few styling tweaks—its sleek body started turning heads and the Corvette became an instant legend. GM1955 Chevrolet Bel AirThe original Bel Air was ahead of its time. Chevy completely made over its image that year with the Bel Air’s signature “Motoramic” look, a word that spoke to the vehicle’s flashy style and top-of-the-line performance. Welburn describes the Bel Air as “such a departure from 1955, so fresh, so contemporary.” Welburn added, “This was a car that looked more expensive than it actually was.” © GM Co.1955 Chevrolet Bel Air ConvertibleThe Bel Air stood out even more without a roof, thanks in part to the eye-candy in the passenger seats. © GM Co.1963 Corvette Sting RayThe Sting Ray’s svelte design and handling prowess took the Corvette to new heights. The car’s most distinctive features were its electrically operated pop-up headlamps and a split rear window, while its refined look reflected market demand for a more civilized sports car at the time. “Every Corvette since then has been influenced by it, even the current models,” Welburn notes. “The dual cockpit interior is still part of the Corvette and the Chevrolet interior.” © GM Co.1969 Camaro RSThe Camaro RS was Chevy’s response to the runaway success of the Ford Mustang, another Pony car that was affordable, compact, and stylishly packaged. Several cosmetic changes set it apart from earlier Camaro models, including a little lip known as an “eyebrow” crease that ran from the rear wheel well to the rear of the car. Large headlamps were added to the grill, which was set back further on the vehicle. © GM Co.1969 Chevrolet CamaroThis one-of-a-kind white convertible with orange stripes and an orange “hounds tooth” interior was the Official Pace Car for the 53rd Annual Indy 500 Race. © GM Co.1970 Chevelle SSThe 1970 Chevelle SS heralded the ascent of the muscle car. It was a two-door gem equipped with a powerful V-8 engine and passenger seats in the back.