Chevrolet Camaro History
We all witnessed the obviuous imitation in design that Chevrolet Camaro did with Ford Mustang. It was not their idea, but it was not bad at all.
First Generation (1967-1970)
The first 1967 Camaro was built on the basis of the Chevy’s compact Nova. Nonetheless, it was much more robust than the `67 Nova since its design was built on the basis of the upcoming redesigned ’68 Nova. Camaro`s basic engineering initially was a unibody structure from the windshield and firewall back, with a separate steel rail subframe for everything up front. The front suspension was made to be more of an independent thanks to the double A-arms, while the semi-elliptical leaf springs suspended the solid rear axle. The Chevy had a few engineering moments, which were typical of the era. Those things were the three-speed manual transmission, the manual steering which has proven to be slow, the four-drums braking and finally the 230-cubic-inch engine pulled out “modest” 140 horses.
At the time, there were some cool optional trim packages such as the SS and the RS, which were very usuful when adding new features to the car.
The convertible version and the basic `67 sport coupe Camaro ( base worth $2, 466) were mean and neat.
Sports car fans or just people who wanted to give themselves the pleasure of owning a great car had many options. They were offered the V8 engine with a four-barrel carb and a higher compression ratio, boosting 275 horses, then the two most amazing versions of the 396-cubic-inch big-block V8 pulling out either 325 or 375 horsepower, the simpler 210-horsepower 327-cubic-inch small-block V8 powered by a two-barrel carb and the 250-inch version of the six making 155 horsepower.
These engines were offered with the optional three of four manual transmissions and the three-speed Turbobydramatic and the two-speed Powerglid automatics.
The packages we mentioned had thier advatnages. For example the Super Sport (SS) package offered a heavy-duty suspension, 14-inch wheels with massive D70-series tires and a list of decorations such as the eic SS badges, the “bumble-bee” stripes and the domed hood with the simulated vents.
The additional SS-350 package was even more amazing. It included the first 350-cubic-inch small block V8 engine, with amazing 295 horses.
The Rally Sport (RS) package was mainly focused on the looks. It included luxorious interior trim along with hidden headlights.
The RS/SS Camaro was also on the market, represented by the outstanding Chevy convertible, fed by a 396 engine, offered as a pace car for the 1967 Indianopolis 500.
There was also the stunning, atypical Camaro line or in other words the race-oriented Z/28. The Z/28 was launched in December 1966 and powered by a unique high-compression 302-cubic-inch V8 engine whose displacement was achieved by matching the short-stroke crank of the 283-cubic-inch version with the big-bore block of the 327. Rated at 290 horsepower and designed to rumble the outstanding engine was linked to meaner suspension.
What about its performance?
Well, as Car Life magazine claimed, the SS 350 finished off the quarter mile in 15.8 at the speed of 89 mph, while Motor Trend stated that the mean looking birdy did the same in 15.4 seconds at the speed of 90 mph. Its up to you to decide which one to trust.
In the near future few hanges were made. Namely, General Motors added side marker kights which were federally mandated, staggered rear shocks and removed the side vent wing windows on the 1968 Camaro.
On the other hand, the 1969 Camaro lived through several modifications. Namely, rear quarter-panels, new fenders, grille, door skins and taillights were added, which gave the car a wider, more banded look altough in structure and in mechanical features the car was basically the same as the `68 Camaro. What made 1969 the greatest Camaro year, was the performance equipment.
However, Chevy has come to produce its second Camaro Indianopolis 500 pace car. In addition, replicas of the RS/SS convertible came to light, with orange houndstooth and orange stripes, powered by a 350-cubic-inch small-block. But, that was not all folks. Chevy got some brand new limited edition extreme Camaros under Central Office Production Orders 9560 and 9561 coming up.
The 9561 COPO represented a basic Camaro sport coupe that had 427 cubic inches of all-iron big-block engine boosting around 425 horsepower.
The COPO 9560 featured the ost epic all-aluminum ZL-1 427 that also pulled out an amazing amount of 425 horsepower. Only 69 of the ZL-1s were built, and due to their rarity, outstanding performance and somehow low weight, nowadays they have come to be considered the fastest and most extraordinary Camaros ever built.
The sales of the 1969 models continued into the winter of 1969 and the early 1970; some of these left over ’69s were found to be referred to as 1970 models, which created any difficulties and beyond all confusion.
Second Generation (1970½-1981)
The first appearance of the second generation 1970 ½ Camaro is marked to be somewhere in February, 1970 and stayed on the market and in production for the next twelve years.
It was more than clear that the looks of it were Ferrari-inspired and was no longer to be found in a convertible version, though it was wider and heavier in looks.
However, as the fuel crisis took over, the 2nd generation Camaro became less powerful.
The new Nova`s based design of the Camaro, was engineered similar to its predecessor, using a subrame and A arms up front and leaf springs at the rear end. The steering wheel was moved at the front axle and the A arms got their new design. All the other mechanical features were basically the same.
The majority of the engines were also designed the same way. Camaro’s base engine was now the 155-horsepower 250-cubic-inch six accompanied by the 200-horsepower 307, not accidentally the lowest of V8 powerplants. The 327 was successfully replaced by the 250-horsepower two-barrel 350. In addition, SS buyers were now able to purchase a 350- or 375-horsepower 396 big-block V8, for a little extra cash.
The Rally Sport and the Super Sport or even both were also in the game. The SS package offered a heavy-duty suspension and of course, the SS badges, while the RS included a center4 grille cavity covered in rubber circles and a split front bumper, which gave the car a one of a kind front-end looks.
Once again, the star of the 1970½ show was the `Z/28` model, but it was now boosting 360horses coming from the “LT-1” 350 of high compression. Nothing like the aggressive 302 which was part of the 1st Z/28s, the high compression was behaving itself on everyday routes, preserving its sparkle and excitement, keeping it real with its new automatic system for trans.
Like every other thing in life, all good things come to an end and so did the LT 1 in just a year. As the emissions regulations became stricter, GM lowered compression rates for the `71 and for its engines they also incorporated gross and net ratings of power. The power intended for the 250ci was decreased to 110 net horses. 275-net horses was now the reduced power of the LT 1. The `71 had hardly any change from the `70 ½ model with the exception of the larger spoiler that had a wider unit of 3 parts and the dandy high-back bucket seats.
The modifications of the 1972 model were mainly made at the engine compartment and the LT 1 version was now able to pull out solely 255 horses, while the robust big robust block was now pulling out solely 240horsepower net.
The 1973 version had its bumpers restored and the power boosting was now reduced to a min. of 100 horses, while the L82 boosted only 245, which was borderline nonsence. The “Type-LT” replaced the SS Camaro optional package with the addition of few luxurious details and features.
At the front and the rear end of the `74 Camaro thick aluminum bumpers were added in order to eet the new bumper criteria. The taillights at the rear end were wrapped in the fenders and the grille was shovel-shaped but no changes were made to the tri levels and the engine compartments whatsoever.
The 1975 model was brutally pared down to poor 3 lumps that were equipped with catalyst, a 250ci six boosting 105 horses, a 350 V8 engine with two barrels and 145 horses and a another 155 horsepower with 4 barrels which was pathetic to begin with.
The `75 Camaro went well on the market, which was a surprise to everybody. The `76 version was subjected to few alterations. As the power brakes became standard. the engine compartment was fitted with 305 engine with 2 barrel, pulling out 140 horses and the 350 engine with 4 barrel, boosted 165 horses on the run.
When the ` times of the 77 Camaro came to take the stage over, new modifications were made, but later on the ” Z/28″ reappeared as a diverse model focusing on looks and handling. Even with the 350 V-8 engine with 4 barrels that boosted only 170 horses, the Camaro did performed well.
A brand new nose was added to the `78 Camaro. New models consisted the new offer: Type-LT, Type-LT Rally Sport ,Z/28, Rally Sport, Sport coupe and the along with the transparent T-tops.
The `79 Camaro will overcome all its predecessors in popularity. The new level of trim of the Berlinetta took over the place of the Type-LT, while the engines were unaltered. The new instrument panel with its enhanced control placement and the equipment was the most essential modification done to the 1979 Camaro. 1979 was definitely Camaro`s year, since the 1979 model was sold in over 282,571 pieces, a number that`s still hasnot been topped.
The 1980 model lived through many changes. The Chevy`s team seemed to concentrate on the enhancing of the new model. A new 229ci V6 with 115 horses, or a 231ci V6 with 110-horses in California took over the place of the old inline six. On the bright side, the performance of the 350″ Z/28″ upped to 190 horses.
By the 1981, the ancient platform of the 2nd Gen Camaro had come to the end of its path. All the engines were now approved for fifty countries overall, having a new engine control computer. However the performance of the 350 Z/28 was reduced to 175 horses. The lineup of the 1981 Camaro was composed of three neat models: Z/28, basic sport coupe and Berlinetta The models existed till 1982, but didn`t last any longer.
Third Generation (1982-1992)
The Camaros from the third generation were initially designed with no leaf spring suspensions at the rear end and front subframes. The Camaros were the first to include original injection of fuel, five-speed manual transmissions, 16-inch wheels, 4 speed automatic trans, engines of 4 cylinders and so on.
Moreover, in 1982, for the first time since 1967, the Camaro was here with its new looks and was quite smaller in size.
In 1982, the Indianopolis 500 was again paced by a Camaro, and what marked that period were the two beautiful blue and silver copies of that particular car. Nevertheless, the Memorial Day classic was paced by the T-top Z28 that was using an altered 350 V-8 for inspiration that wasn`t placed on the sales market. Sad, but true.
In 1983 there weren`t made many significant changes to the Camaro`s 3 tier body. Nevertheless, the Z28 had quite a bump launching the engine option called the L69. With a healthy four-barrel crab, the redesigned exhaust, the camshaft from Corvette and the V-8 5.0L L69 H.O. was estimated at 190 horses with a 5 speed manual trans.
In 1984, the 4 speed 700R4 trans was standard for almost all Camaro versions and the L69 jumped on to Z28s .
A true change happened when in 1985 the IROC-Z model was introduced. The IROC was fitted with large 5 spoke, 16-inch wheels and one of a kind graphics. True enhancement was made when the Tuned Port Injection (TPI) was featured, though the V-8 ,5.0L small block , carbureted engines were up for sale, boosting 215 horses.
One should be blind not to see the funny blister on the top of the rear hatches of the 1986 Camaro, placed in order to match the center high-mounted stop light (CHMSL). Also, new exhaust system intended for non-Z28 cars and a brand new clear coat two-stage paint job system were fitted.
1987 marked the return of the big guns for the Camaro. The V-8 350 had now an option for IROC-Zs. Having a TPI system, the 350 is boosting horses which is the greatest boosting measured in a Camaro model in almost thirteen years offering a big tie drive. The TPI 5.0L was now upgraded with a 5speed manual.
This appeared to be a good year for Chevy. The arrival of the convertible Camaro convertible and the farewell of the engine with 4 cylinders, definitely painted the year in Camaro`s colors. The high-performance carbureted V8 5.0L engine was also waved goodbye only to welcome the new carbureted 5.0L V-8, boosting 165 horses which come to be the default Z28 machine. When we are at goodbyes, we must not forget the Berlinetta, which was replaced with the “LT” optional package. Chevy simplified its work for 1988 when the rear spoiler was placed to be standard on all Camaros and the spoiler was also incorporated a CHMSL.
The stop light left completely the `88 Camaro and so did the “Z28” model. Ever since Chevy took IROC as its standard name, IROC became all of the `88 Camaros of high performance.
1989 was a year for returns. The ancient RS model came back on stage. The RS resembled much the `85 Z28 and it was fed by a 5.0L V-8 with throttle body or by a V-6 engine. Despite the fact that the V-8 5.7L TPI boosted out 240 horses, in order to differ them from the ones of the previous years was to revise the key for ignition check for the emblem Pass-Key.
When International Race of Champions decide to sponsor Dodge, that marked the farewell of the IROC model that lasted shortly during 1990 model year. The V-6`s raise to 3.1L was one of the biggest alterations made that year considering the passage to 140 horses as well as the fitting of the airbags on the side of the drivers. That was a must in all models.
The reintroduction of the Z28 model markedthe commencement of the 1991 model year. The 1991 Z28 model was still an IROC with a 5.7-liter TPI V8 engine that pulled out 245 horses, only now it had its tall wing at the rear end, new phony hood scoops, fresh body cladding and new 5 spoke wheels. The rest of the 1991`s were fairly similar with the ’90 Camaros only with upgraded basic effects and fake inlets for air.
Having all these new Camaros entering the stage in `93, the model of the previous year wasn`t very different from 1991. The great modification was the adding of the badge that signified the twenty-fifth Anniversary up on the panels for instruments. In addition, any 1992 Camaro was offered a stripe`s Heritage Package, worth$175 .
The time for a new Camaro was finally here.
The Fourth Generation (1993-2002)
Almost everything on the 4th Gen Camaro was new, except for the rear suspension and the floor staping that was the same of the 3rd Gen vehicle. The `93 Camaro had new pinion and rack steering, plastic fenders up front, new sleek profile and a new suspension system.
1993 was the year when the Camaro body has been compared to 2 versions: basic sport coupe boosting out 160-horses with a 3.4L model of GM’s V-6 and the “Z28` with the Corvette’s small LT1 block 5.7L V-8 with 275 horsepower. Shortly after the convertible became history.
The ’93 Z28 black-roofed model was a real breath taker. LT1 has been the Camaro`s small block engine with the greatest boosting. The antilock disc brakes wheels and tires were standard Camaro equipment. Having the Z28`value point of underneath seventeen grand, which is truly incredible. The most wanted 1993 model is the Z28 black copy. The replicas were the same as the real pace vehicle that contrary to the 1982 that was the commander in chief of the without any engine alterations whatsoever.
The `94 brought along the not so long gone Camaro convertible. The GM team was in charge of the Camaro convertible design and building. Their headquarters was the place where all of the F automobiles were restored, the 1994 chassis was much tighter than the last convertible’s. It a tough job to differ a 1994 from a 1993 coupe model unless you look into the automatic trans and discover which is the 4l60 version, just electronically controlled.
Having the `95 Z28 models were subjected to just few alterations, the basic Camaro had a new option-the “3800” 3.8L V-6 engine, boosting 200 horses . The 3400 wasn`t as refined as the 3800 version that later on by 1996 it became the only V-6 within Camaros.
In order to mark the day of the Camaro’s thirtieth anniversary, Chevrolet brought to light a special offer, for the Z28 orange houndstooth and stripes. There were also brand new taillamps intended for all versions, available in three colors, and a very limited run of the Vette LT4 5.7L V-8 Z28 SS versions, boosting 330 horses.
The 4th Gen Camaro’s first great visual alteration arrived for `98 with a brand new fascia design up front. Nevertheless, the biggest news is that z28 was fitted with the C5 Vette’s LS-1 V-8 small block, made completely out of aluminum. The 5.7L LS-1 has been the first machine made completely out of aluminum for a Camaro from 1969 ZL-1 boosting 305horses. That year, the SS production went in the hands of GM.
What made the 1999 Camaro models from the 98` ones were the new monitor for oil life, the V-6`s electronic throttle control and a differential with limited slip from Torsen. In addition, Camaros made in 2000, were very similar to the 1999`s ones , with the exception of the new fabrics for the interior, the steering`s new radio controls and the optional CD changer of twelve discs as well as the body-color sideview mirrors.
By 2001, the Camaro and its rave days were fading away with all their glitter so that the only alterations that were made to thevehicle were the newly coated wheels sizing 16 inches, the fresh paint job and the unaltered LS-1’s performance with 310 horses.
The thirty-fifth car`s anniversary was celebrated properly. That means that a new set of the most cool graphics was made available for the SS convertible and coupe. The flamboyant logos and stripes and included in the set, did draw some additional interest,
The 35th anniversary of the car was marked with the launch of the new set of special graphics intended for the model `Z28` in convertible and coupe version. The dazzling logos and stripes and logos were eye catching in a very special way, but it was but not what enthusiasts hoped for.
Fifth Generation (2010-Present)
2010 was the year when Chevy brought back the road burner which at first was available in coupe LS, SS models fed by V-8 and in midlevel LT version as well. What was visible in all the designs was the retro image that takes us back to the `69 Camaro, along with the Coke bottle profile, the hood with cowl-induction-style, the quarter gills at the rear end and the cross-hatch grille.
There were few designer additions such as the old-school quartet og gauges that were placed above the gearshifter at the very down low. However, the overall look is very modern and fresh.
The RS package is available for these models and includes rear spoiler, smoked taillights, 20-inches wheels and HID headlights.
This time, owning a V-6 version Camaro means that you have both, the looks and the performance as well. The LT and the LS versions have 204 horses produced by a, 3.6L V-6 machine. The models have 18-inch wheels, an independent rear suspension, a 6 speed manual trans and plenty of disc brakes. The starter price of this Camaro is approximately twenty-three thousand grand, which is a great deal, according to its performance and handling.
The SS model is fitted a 6.2L V88 with either 426 horses led with 6 speed manual or 400 horses led with 6 speed automatic and a meatier disc brakes from Brembo .
This Camaro has tuned chassis which is neatly balanced, quick steering and can hit 60mph in just five seconds or a 1/4 mile in thirteen seconds.