Doug DeMuro Proves Chevy HHR SS Panel Is the Weirdest Van Ever

Doug DeMuro Proves Chevy HHR SS Panel Is the Weirdest Van Ever 3 photos
Photo: Doug DeMuro/YouTube screenshot
Doug DeMuro Proves Chevy HHR SS Panel Is the Weirdest Van EverDoug DeMuro Proves Chevy HHR SS Panel Is the Weirdest Van Ever
Do you like vans but wish they came with performance engines? Well, you're going to love this, the Chevy HHR SS Panel, so rare that only van geeks can recognize it.
We keep sharing these renderings and engine swap projects where people dream up performance vans. And while Ford or Volkswagen failed to capitalize, Chevy went ahead and sold a few units of this unique model.

Let's start with the base HHR. Back in the 2000s, Chrysler was finding some success with the PT Cruiser, a high-roofed retro hatchback... thing. So, they hired the guy that designed the PT and put him to work on the HHR.

The problem was that by the time of its debut in 2006, the market had pretty much dried up, and people were going back to regular sedans and crossovers. So, the marketing departments had to get creative to sell the HHR.

Two versions were developed. The HHR SS was one of those American performance bargains you almost never hear about. It came with a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder and was available with a manual.

On the other hand, the HHR Panel was supposed to be this attractive retro van for shops that wanted to stand out, like barbers and car parts suppliers. For some strange reason, they also briefly combined the two, making HHR SS Panel.

How do you even describe such a car - a high-performance, high-top retro van with ideas stolen from Chrysler? Anyway, they only made a couple of hundred, so these vans are as rare as hen's teeth.

Unless we're mistaken, this is the one in the best condition. We stumbled upon it last year when it was for sale at $33,000. Some people find low production numbers desirable, and there's a chance the SS Panel will be considered a collectible ten years from now.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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