The term Easter egg has been around for a long time and everybody knows what you do with Easter eggs: you hunt for them! What’s so special about an egg, as opposed to a banana, we couldn’t tell you but the egg is an ancient symbol for new life, so we can dig it.
Easter eggs, as they commonly apply to video games and software, are hidden little bonus features that you have to find, much like the Easter eggs we chased around the yard as kids. It’s become such a common software term that people are even using the phrase Easter eggs for any hidden little surprises that manufacturers and developers leave for us to find, hidden in their products.
The thing about an Easter egg is that it could be anything from a hidden character to a special cut scene. The developers can leave us whatever they want to, really. While some Easter eggs are intentionally obvious, others are designed so subtly as to be barely perceptible—especially if you aren’t sure where to look.
With an infinite number of possible ways (and locations) you could theoretically conceal an Easter egg, and we figured you could use a hand pointing some of them out! We’ve searched far and wide to bring you some of the most obscure, thoughtful, and well-hidden Easter eggs we’ve ever seen on a GM chassis. Whether the entire car is a concept or an obscure tributary, GM keeps their whips fresh!
25 Tribute To The Jet Age (Firebird 1 – 1953)
“Firebird 1 was a high-performance vehicle, and reflects the sweeping lines of a jet-fighter.” These words, as they left the mouth of a GM Styling manager in a 1958 press video, are spoken in downright seriousness. Your eyes, however, are watching a video of the design process as he speaks. Engineers are mounting a gas-turbine engine less than 12 inches from the driver’s seat…and nobody seems to think that this is a hilariously bad idea! Firebird 1 was essentially a seat bolted to the front of a jet engine—with wheels.
24 Tribute To The Family Jet Age (Firebird 2 – 1956)
If it wasn’t apparent by the looks of Firebird 1, GM had an adulating obsession with jets but it’s understandable. Just think about it. The Jet Age had just gotten started; jet power was the thing! Capitalizing on this tsunami of hype, GM did what any styling department would try to do: immortalize themselves. The Firebird 2 was designated as a…wait for it…family car! Yup, that’s right, just step right up and strap your car seats to a jet motor real quick. Everybody gets a jet!
23 Tribute To The Danger Zone (Firebird 3 - 1959)
Possibly the most dangerous Firebird of them all… this was supposed to be cutting edge! But this wild aviation tribute is designed with more complexity than the aircraft it was inspired by. It had an “Autoguide” feature that was designed to autonomously follow a current carrying wire embedded in the road (it’s 1960, what do you expect?). To accomplish this, the wireless signal had to be converted to a binary code through induction coils, run through a processor, output to electric pumps on a servo-valve manifold, where it could then FINALLY be converted to hydraulic pressure to control the car. (Really, guys?)
22 Tribute To Anarchy
The Corvette was introduced in 1953. In 1955, a Le Mans accident would claim many souls and injure hundreds more. (The Mercedes team that crashed wouldn’t race again for 33 years.) In response to this, the Automobile Manufacturers Association (AMA) banned automakers from commercial racing activates. This meant the promising young Corvette was to be removed from the Chevy lineup. Bill Mitchell, a GM design leader, wasn’t about to let that happen, though. What did he do? He created a top-secret design studio that would incubate the “Q-Corvette” until it could be brought back to life…as a Stingray! All of this could have easily gotten him sacked or worse!
21 Tribute To The Future
The Corvette Indy concept: it’s a weird one, and you probably don’t remember it. It was a mid-engine Corvette concept, built in 1986, and packed with all of the technology we take for granted today; electronic throttle control, all-wheel steering, active hydraulic suspension, it even had an Indy motor! It didn’t last long, obviously, but it’s interesting to note that a variation of this motor would eventually find its way into the original ZR-1 (1990-1995). Perhaps the most interesting part about the Indy concept, however, is the fact that we’re expecting a mid-engine Corvette for the 2020 model! Either that’s a big throwback, or the 80s knew what they were doing (for once).
20 Tribute To…Volkswagen?
The Corvair is highly regarded as one of GM’s biggest follies but fewer failures remain so highly regarded by enthusiasts to this day. It was a dangerous car, not necessarily by nature, but because people just weren’t used to the handling characteristics. There’s a reason they dubbed this thing “The One Car Accident.” See, the Corvair featured a swing-arm suspension in the rear, much like a Volkswagen. It also was a rear-engine, air-cooled compact, just like the Volkswagen. It’s a great little car if you know how to drive it but it never stood a chance against the Beetle.
19 Domestic Ferrari
This box was built by Cadillac, from 1986 to 1993 and it looks stranger than most Cadillacs that come from that unfortunate time period. Whether it’s a step up (or down) is speculative; it’s ugly, but so was everything from that time. More interesting than the looks, however, is the story behind where they came from. The chassis and running gear are all Cadillac but the body is actually a Pininfarina design (the coachbuilder that designs Ferraris). So, for all the things this car is not, there’s a good reason it seems to wear a bright red coat of paint pretty proudly.
18 Mustang Masticator
Everybody knows Ford came out with the Mustang in 1964/65, closely followed by the Camaro in 1966. The two cars are archenemies and have been since day one. When the fabricated word “Camaro” was decided upon by the design team, it was a made-up word with no definition. When somebody finally found a loose connection between the word “Camaro” and a Spanish definition for “a small, shrimp-like creature” Ford took it and ran. Chevy initially wanted to pretend the word was synonymous with “friend” or “comrade” and after the shrimp statements, Chevy decided the name “Camaro” was to be defined as “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”
17 Tribute To Implied Functionality
The Aztek was a lost cause from the start. When it debuted, it was met with universal hatred! A few people bought them (like Walter White in Breaking Bad), but the car was a rolling joke that never did do that well. To add insult to injury, some yahoo decided we were silly enough think a pop-up tent hanging off the tailgate would trick us into trusting it in the wilderness. It’s a cool feature most people don’t know about (unless you’re an Aztek enthusiast), but we just can’t stop laughing at it!
16 PT Chevy
It looks like a PT Cruiser and drops in resale value like a PT Cruiser but it’s actually an HHR. The debut of the PT Cruiser, in 2000, meant that there was a new market emerging—for whatever this rolling debacle is supposed to be. The PT Cruiser was selling 100,000-plus units per year by the time the 2005 HHR hit the scene. It looked nearly identical in every way, it attracted the same type of jabroney customizations that plagued the PT Cruiser, and everybody that owned one seemed to “think” they had a priceless classic on their hands.
15 Lifetime Revolution Counter
This is what happens when pointless functionality tips a hat to a unique feature that was originally found on the C1 Corvette. It’s basically an engine revolution counter—for life. Many people misunderstand it to be a “warning” feature for potential buyers to tell them “how hard” the car was driven but this is entirely false! Its only purpose is to count total engine revolutions. It’s only there because it was on the C1. It was reportedly only put on the C1 because, after repurposing a speedometer into a tach, they had to do something with the counter wheel.
14 Heritage Mode
I’m going to be real with you, this one would normally be a stretch as far as Easter eggs go. But given the number of people who seem utterly mystified by it, we figured it was worth mentioning. However, if you don’t already know how, you probably don’t deserve to know how. This is the traction control button. Pressing it down turns your car into a pre-1987 safety hazard (one that you probably don’t know you can’t handle). Leave it on, save your car from a pole, and race another day.
13 Get Outta Dodge Mode
This one is highly speculative, making it that much more fun to watch people talk about. It’s really not an Easter egg at all, if you think about it. But Corvette owners are so fascinated by discussing it that it would almost be an injustice to deprive you of the speculation. If you dig around the internet a bit, you’ll find wild claims of the insane reverse speeds achievable by the C6: 53 mph, 47 mph, even 64 mph! Is it really possible? There are only two ways to find out. One way involves a lot of math—and we’ve never been much good at math.
12 Tap Signals
Here’s another feature—hidden in plain sight—which a surprisingly large number of people seem to know nothing of: the tap signal feature. It’s the one where lightly “tapping” the turn signal lever in the direction you want to go makes it flash three times. This fairly standard feature, clearly published in the owner’s manual (also known as that thing that wastes space in your glove box), seems to evade the knowledge of far too many drivers to be acceptable. But folks, you gotta know your machine, no matter what it is!
11 SSR Anti-Theft Tonneau
The SSR didn’t know if it wanted to be a car or a truck; it couldn’t figure out if it wanted to be powerful, or anemic. It also didn’t know if it wanted to be a convertible or a hardtop. It didn’t know a lot of things. But it did know how to keep your stuff safe. The hybrid auto-manual tonneau cover had no exterior means of entering the cargo compartment. You had to push a hidden button in the glove box or use the key fob. Opening it was only a one-step process but it took three steps to close. Brilliant!
10 Handy-Dandy Cell Charging
Remember those Nokia bricks everybody used to have? Remember how stylish they used to be? (In 10 years, they’ll be laughing at our Samsungs and Apples like we’re laughing now.) But no matter how much we laugh, we do it with a mild sentiment of respect because those things could chill for days without a charger and still be above 30%! Today, you seem to burn up 30% of a charge on a single download. Bearing this in mind, GM designed the Tahoe with a charge tray on the center console. Just lay ‘er down and fill ‘er up! Easy peasy.
9 Charge Port Paradise
This is hardly an Easter egg, it’s more like an Easter egg hunt! Chevy really stepped it up on the Tahoe and they finally gave us something we can never have too many off: USB ports! Seriously, there are seven of them scattered all around the interior! Although workarounds for an overly-distant USB port are just a cable and adapter away, it’s just inconvenient; and now, there’s no need! We don’t want to sound like entitled consumers or anything, but little things like this should have been thunk up a long time ago!
When it comes to the new Tahoe, GM didn’t play around! It was as if they’d actually listened to consumer feedback and made a serious attempt to hook it up fat! This is a “need to know” feature and if you don’t need to know, you usually wouldn’t even suspect it—but all Tahoe owners now enjoy a sash spot big enough for Cheech and Chong…and it’s totally stealth! But wait, there’s more! If you went through your Tahoe looking for the seven USB ports, wondering why you only found six, it’s because you didn’t look in the stash box yet.
7 Still Stashin’
The Chevy Malibu scores an 8.2 (out of 10) in the US Car News 2013 Affordable Midsize Cars category. Although you shouldn’t expect to be impressed with rear passenger legroom, Eco-fuel economy, or the engine’s performance in general, there are still things to get excited about! The only problem is, you’ll have to get excited about them all by yourself—it’s bad form to go showing off all your hiding spots. But considering we’ve just put your hiding spot all over the internet, there’s really no reason to care anymore.
6 Stash On Stash On Stash
Silverado owners probably enjoy the stealthiest pickup truck interiors ever designed, depending on your trim package. If your pickup truck doesn’t have a center console and bucket seats in the front, you can kiss most of this goodbye; but if you do, that console can hide a rhinoceros, if you know how to pack him in right. The dual cup holder tray pops right out, exposing an entire console-worth of stash space down below. The pocket faceplate underneath the climate controls pops right out, as well (albeit, not as cleanly), exposing yet another hideaway zone for your illicit cargo.
5 Legacy Stash
Don’t think the 2003 to 2007 Silverados are the only trucks that Chevy encourages you to hide things in; they built the newer models with the same spirit of espionage as they carved the new console design into a CAD program. It’s clearly a compartment designed to hide things (as opposed to the 2003-07 trucks, where it was simply an accidental byproduct of design). You can tell because they took the time to actually line the interior with something, rather than leaving a gaping hole for things to get lost in a tangle of wires and computer modules.
4 The Racing Roots
This is reportedly one of the last years of the front-engine Corvette. With a half-century of front-engine racing legacy behind the powerhouse, they wanted it to go out with a bang! Not only does this Corvette pack track-tuned aerodynamics with a lightweight architecture, it visually calls to its racing roots with Tension Blue trim accents and some fender stripes. The Watkins Glen Gray Metallic interior is lined with the Tension Blue color, which is Chevy’s modern take on the color “historically associated with the Grand Sport.”
3 Yenko Camaro
A company called Specialty Engineering will transform your 2019 SS Camaro into a 1,000-hp Yenko tribute—if you’ve got deep pockets. If you don’t, you can always just print a poster of it and pin it on the collage of things you’ll never get around to achieving. The new Yenko concept started to reemerge in the spotlight at SEMA in 2010 but the OG Yenkos were there from the beginning, back in 1967, and are amongst some of the most-desirable of Camaros one could ever hope to own.
2 COPO Camaro
Have you ever tried to reason with your parents on something to no avail, only to watch them using your ideas later on after they’d thought you had forgotten about it? (Or after they forgot you'd thought of it—either way.) The COPO Camaro celebrated its 50-year anniversary at the 2019 SEMA Show and General Motors was all proud of it. But back in 1969, GM actually limited performance on passenger cars. To circumvent this, some dealers would special order Camaros on a special fleet form, called the Central Office Purchase Order, or COPO. (50 years ago, they’d be scoffing at this car.)
1 Take No Prisoners!
The year is 2004. The Corvette Racing Team in the GTLM (Grand Touring Le Mans) C5 racecar was having a stellar season! It was their last year racing the C5 and how sweet would it be for the C5 to go out in a blaze of glory? They did, taking first (and second) that season. The aggressive racing style was conducted under a “take no prisoners” mantra. Jake (simply a crude skull drawing), was a crew mascot, of sorts, though unofficial. The season ended so powerfully that, although the C5 was being retired, Jake is alive and well today. You’ll find him on certain Corvettes; if you know where to look. (Here, he’s hiding on the intake box.)
Sources: Jalopnik, Corvette Racing, IMSA, AutoWeek, MotorTrend, Hemmings, Motor 1, Chicago Tribune, GCBC, US Car News, and Chevrolet.