Chevrolet Camaro. The Mustang eater

Auto Motor Klassiek » History » Chevrolet Camaro. The Mustang eater

Chevrolet needed an antidote to the ever-advancing Mustangs. Fortunately GM had the Pontiac Firebird in the program. And he was allowed to deliver a lot of technology. For the newcomer, the Chevrolet Camaro.

The Camaro line ended where the Mustang gloriously continued. The last Camaro left the factory gates in 2002. All in all, there have been four generations of Camaros. But in 2010, production was restarted.

In the development phase the project was called 'Panther', probably because those animals did like a piece of horse meat. But because Chevrolet used names that started with a "C" (Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II and Corvette), the Panther became the Chevrolet Camaro. The press asked Chevrolet product managers: “what is a camaro? "" A small mean beast that eats mustangs. "Clear! The friendlier explanation was that "camaro" was Franko - English language for "friend or comrade."

The beginning

In the fall of 1966, the first Chevrolet Camaros of the 1967 model year were delivered to dealers. The Chevrolet Camaro was available with a wide range of six-in-line engines and V8s from 3.8 to 7.0 liters. The fast Chevrolet Camaro in SS and Z28 trim had round visible headlights. The RS models had hidden headlights. The cars were on GM's F-body platform. The engine was in the front. The rear wheels were the driven wheels. As it should. That was a step back after the Corvair project that had the engine behind the rear axle and whose sales were under pressure because of the 'unsafe at any speed' unleashed by Ralph Nader.

The sequel

The second generation (1970-1981) had completely new looks and it had become a little less elegant. But the basis had remained unchanged. And that was quite a thing at the time of the first oil crisis we were told. The third generation ran from 1982-1992. They were now equipped with fuel injection and were supplied with either a Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 automatic transmission or a five-speed gearbox. Completely standard, such a Chevrolet Camaro was equipped with ... An 2,5 liter Duke push rods four-cylinder engine.

But soon the 2,8 liter V6 was the smallest engine. In IROC-Z trim, this model has become a cult object. The fourth generation ran from 1982 to 2002. He used the F-body platform and was available with V6 and V8 engines. And that V8 was the same as that in the Corvette. In 1998, the 5,7 liter LS1 was given a completely aluminum engine block. But the once so cool looking Chevrolet Camaro was completely finished according to the then current fashion. He had lost his 'face' because of it.

Ah, the fifth and sixth generation of the four generations

In 2010 (up to 2015) there was a fifth generation. It was pretty heavy again, but we will keep it on the shelves for a few more years. Not to talk about the sixth generation. It has a four-cylinder engine. And the sales are going well.

Chevrolet Camaros? Nice cars

All in all, most of the Chevrolet Camaros were truly American 'sports cars'. For spoiled Europeans they were big, heavy, thirsty and rather rude. And fans of European sports cars knew little good about road handling.

Well, the Chevrolet Camaros were cheap cars by American standards. And how many elegant dance steps can you expect from a friendly farmer's wife? But the first Chevrolet Camaros were conventional, decent cars. And they looked damn good.

Chevrolet Camaro
With a IMPCO lpg installation to drive very cheap. A kind of

Chevrolet Camaro


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  1. Always nice: attention to the Camaro. The double wishbone suspension made it steer a lot better than the Mustang and the first generation was still nice and light and manoeuvrable. The Firebird followed a few months after the Camaro. Oh, Dolf - the fifth generation started in 2009 (We all make a kind of fool from time to time). The RS and SS packages could also be combined - which is why there are also SS models from the first generation that still have folding headlights.

    • Nice piece. But hey, why for us spoiled Europeans they were very rude and thirsty. We were not treated that badly in the 60s. The average European drove a Fiat or Renault. With no more than 30 hp, on wheels no wider than a bicycle tire. And an interior even more bare than bare. The reliability of the technology was lousy except that you knew for sure that your car was completely rusted away within 5 years. Of course there was also Ferrari or Mercedes. But those cars were not put up for a long time. While a Camaro or luxury Impala in the US was accessible to the general public. It is unfortunate that the Dutch press generally has so little knowledge and is very biased about American cars. In my opinion they had it a lot better over there in the 40s, 50s, 60s and early 70s.

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