Chevrolet defined American driving culture during the golden age of muscle. See it all here, in The Complete Book of Classic Chevrolet Muscle Cars: 1955-1974.
Chevrolet didn't invent the overhead-valve pushrod V-8 engine, but without question Ed Cole and Chevy perfected it. And General Motors' Bowtie division wasn't the first to put the engine design in a production car, but it was the first to put the engine design in an affordable production car and make it available to the average driver.
No other automobile in history so clearly demarcates a before-and-after line in the sand like the 1955 Chevrolet. This was the birth of the affordable performance car, and from the moment the car hit the streets, the experience of driving would never be the same.
The Complete Book of Classic Chevrolet Muscle Cars: 1955-1974 chronicles the all-conquering cars of this incredible 20-year period.