The Camaro was Chevrolet's ultimate answer to Ford’s wildly successful Mustang, which debuted in 1964. The Mustang led the charge for a whole field of “pony cars”—reasonably priced and highly stylized compact cars with “muscle car” high-performance engines. Chevy’s first pony car, the Corvair, released for model year 1965, didn’t make a dent. But the Camaro, released for model year 1967, had legs.

This zippy pony car, employing GM’s new F-body platform, was offered in a wide variety of six-cylinder and V-8 engines and as a convertible, and it quickly sold 220,000 units in a year. In a few short years, the Camaro overtook the Mustang as the sales leader.

Ironically, early Camaros were based on the less-exciting Chevy Nova body, chassis, and mechanical package. GM’s innovative design chief Bill Mitchell grumbled that he never cared for the first generation, saying they were “no damn good—too many people involved.”

Still, Mitchell gave the top-line late 1960s Camaros, which came with a powerful Z28 engine and suspension package, elegant curving fenders and a duck-tail rear spoiler. More than 96,000 Camaro SS (Super Sport) and more than 143,000 Camaro RS (Rallye Sport) models were made for the first generation, and they are among the most collectible cars today.

For the car's second generation, Mitchell got to design a Camaro to his exacting standards. Debuting mid-way through model year 1970, this Camaro was only released as a coupe, with a lean, curvaceous “Coke bottle” body and a dedicated chassis with monocoque construction. (GM’s Pontiac division produced a clone named the Firebird that had a different engine and front end.)

While even the Z28s were less powerful than the early '60s models, these second-generation Camaros was seen as perfection: The body remained unaltered—other than changes to the nose to meet new safety regulations—for 11 years, and GM sold nearly 2 million of them.

The third generation of Camaros arrived in 1982 with an updated hatchback body and fuel-injection. This angular and very American four-seater sports coupe was almost 500 pounds l...

These cars became so tied to rock ’n’ roll culture that punk band The Dead Milkman wrote a satire song called “Bitchin’ Camaro,” which appeared on their 1985 album, “Big Lizard in My Backyard,” and opens with a rambling improv between two lunkhead heavy metal fans.

The high-performance IROC-Z edition, named for the International Race of Champions, appeared in 1985, with a 5.7-liter 220 bhp injected V-8. This Camaro was sold along with the Z-28, the LT (Luxury Touring), and the base-model V-6 sports coupe. Then, in 1987, all four Camaro editions were also offered as convertibles.

Right away, the magazine “Collectible Automobile” declared the convertible IROC an instant classic, saying, “Even taking the rough ride and lousy gas mileage into consideration, the IROC-Z convertible is a blue-chip investment. Buy one now and enjoy it, take meticulous care of it, and it will return more than its original price somewhere down the road, and likely sooner than most people think. If history is a guide, demand will soon exceed supply."

The LT and Z28 were dropped in 1988, leaving the IROC and base models, which were very attractive, cleanly styled Camaros. In '89, the base got the RS (Rallye Sport) tag, as well as more dramatic bodywork so it more closely resembled the IROC. The IROC got an upgrade for its wheels and tires, and a 240 bhp engine. In 1991, Chevy ended its sponsorship of the International Race of Champions, and had to give up that moniker. The IROC-Z became the Z28.

The fourth generation of Camaro was produced from 1993 to 2002, before they fell out of favor and GM ended their 35-year production run, but in 2010, the Camaro line was revived to ride once again.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Sean O’Connor’s reference site on the Chevrolet Camaro boasts hundreds of high resolution photos as well as som… [read review or visit site]

Jim Snell’s tribute to the 1959 Chevy Impala and other Chevrolets (Bel Air, Two-Ten Wagon, etc.) from the 1950s a… [read review or visit site]

Hemmings Auto Blogs

Hemmings Auto Blogs

This great (and frequently updated) blog from the folks at Hemmings Motor News is a visual feast of old and new pho… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Chevrolet: Camaro Standard 1971 Chevy Camaro Survivor Orignal Arizona CarChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Coupe 2 Door 5.7 LChevrolet: Camaro Rs Ss Rare Highly Optioned Must Sell! No Reserve! 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rs Ss Original Rare Highly Optioned Must Sell No ReservePontiac: Firebird Trans Am Clone No Reserve!!! 1969 Firebird Trans Am Tribure Muscle Car Like Camaro 67 68 69 70Chevrolet: Camaro 1969 Camaro V 8 ProjectChevrolet: Camaro 1967 Camaro Convt Matching Numbers 327 Project Car Pro Tour Or Restore No ReservChevrolet: Camaro Ss Pace Car Convertible 1967 Camaro Pace Car Matching Number Ipc Replica Real Deal 4 Th Owner ProjectChevrolet: Other Pickups 1951 Chevrolet Gmc 3100 Hot Rat Rod Not C 10 F 1 Camaro Chevelle Bel Air CorvetteChevrolet: Nova Ss 1969 Chevrolet Nova Ss Pro Touring Real Ss Camaro Chevelle Corvette ImpalaChevrolet: Camaro Rs-ss 68 Camaro Rs Ss Big Block 4 Speed 12 Bolt 4 10 Positraction Rare Color Code JjChevrolet: Camaro Rally Sport 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport Numbers MatchingChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss #'s Matching 350 4-speed Cold A/c Pb Ps Rare 1967 Chevy Camaro Rs Ss 350 Power Steering Power Brakes Cold A C Original ColorChevrolet: Camaro Rally Sport 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28Chevrolet: Camaro 1969 Chevrolet CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1969 Camaro Z 28 M 22 4 Sped 12 Bolt Rear Axle Rotisserie RestorationChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1986 Camaro Z 28 16 000 Original Miles 5 SpeedChevrolet: Camaro Iroc Z28 1985 Chevrolet Iroc Z 28 41 920 Original Miles Beautiful CarChevrolet: Camaro 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Pro Street Drag CarChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Camaro Rs Convertible Matching Numbers Project CarDodge: Coronet Superbee 1969 Superbee Gtx Roadrunner Challenger Cuda Camaro Chevelle Project CarChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1969 Chevy Camaro Z 28 Pro StreetChevrolet: Camaro Super Sport Ss 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Super Sport SsChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 350 Automatic Factory Air Ps Pb Nice Southern CarChevrolet: Camaro Rs Convertible 2-door 1967 Camaro Rs Convertible 327 V 8 Red Beautiful CarChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro Convertible V 8 Ac Power Steering Pb 350 TurboChevrolet: Camaro Coupe Classic Camaro 1971 RestomodChevrolet: Camaro N/a Dynacorn BodyChevrolet: Camaro Firebird 1969 Pro Street Firebird Drag Car Pro Touring Tubbed Street OutlawCts-v Lsa Supercharger W/ Lpe Solid Isolator - Zl1 Camaro Ls2 Ls3 Ls7 Ls9 LsxChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1991 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Coupe 2 Door 5.0 L V 8 5 Speed Stick One OwnerChevrolet: Camaro None 1969 Camaro X 11Chevrolet: Camaro 71 Split Bumper 71 Camaro Split Bumper 350 350 New Interior Great ShapeChevrolet: Camaro Z/28 1969 Chevy Camaro Z 28 Dz 302 Cross Ram Power Steering 12 Bolt PdbChevrolet: Camaro 1968 CamaroHot Wheels Redline Us Custom Camaro -light Blue Spectraflame, NiceChevrolet: Camaro Z28 Hardtop 2-door 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Hardtop 2 Door 4.9 LChevrolet: Camaro Rare Camaro Original 1st Gen Same As 1967 68 1969 No Reserve 1968 Chevy Camaro 350 V8 Running And Driving Project Coupe Ss StripesChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1970 Camaro Rs Ss 350 4 Speed 12 Bolt Original Numbers MatchingChevrolet: Camaro 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport Hot Rod RestomodChevrolet: Camaro Ss 1968 Camaro True SsChevrolet: Camaro Base Convertible 2-door 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Base Convertible 2 Door 5.3 LChevrolet: Camaro Super Sport 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SsChevrolet: Camaro Z28 Coupe 2-door 1978 Camaro Z 28Pontiac: Firebird 400 W Series 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400 W Series Coupe Camaro Trans Am CollectibleChevrolet: Camaro Ss 350, X55, Zl2 Hood, Classic 1969 Camaro Ss 350 Muncie M 20Chevrolet: Camaro Ss Coupe 396 V8 375 Hp Rare Glacier Blue Must See 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Hardtop Buckets Console Power Steering Power BrakesChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss No Reserve!!! 355 V8, Auto Trans, Pwr Steering,pwr Disc Brakes. Runs Strong!Chevrolet: Camaro Pro Street Pro Street, Tubbed, Back-halved, 4-link, Caged, Dana 60 Moser, No Motor Or TransChevrolet: Camaro Camaro Z28 1973 Chevy Camaro Z 28 Split Bumper 50 Restoration V 8 Nothing Like ItChevy 406/490hp Smallblock Pro Street Engine Powerfull 327 350 Chevrolet: Camaro Rally Sport 1972 Rs Camaro 65 500 Miles One Owner Un Molested Reserve LoweredChevrolet: Camaro Ss Convertible 1969 Camaro Convertible 396 325 Hp Smatch Ac Th 400 Best Of Show Winner NosChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro Ls Tremec 6 Speed 4 Wpdb Ps Vintage Ac Heat Rotiss RestoChevrolet: Camaro Z11 L78 69 Z 11 Pace Car L 78Chevrolet: Camaro Rs 1967 Camaro Rs 383 4 Speed Restored Disc Bakes Worldwide No ReserveChevrolet: Camaro Black Rally Sport 4 Speed Console Very Little Rust Western Car Wrecked 1971 Good Floors Solid Body 1967 1969 Rs Ss Super Sport Z28Chevrolet: Camaro 1967 Camaro ConvertibleChevrolet: Camaro Pace Car 1967 Chevy Camaro Rs Pace Car Convertible 396 375 Hp Ps Pdb 12 Bolt AutomaticChevrolet: Camaro Z/28 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 5.7 Liter 2 Nd Owner Car Is In Stock ConditionChevrolet: Camaro 1972 Camaro