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”)

Chevy-Camaro.com

Chevy-Camaro.com

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]

Jims59.com

Jims59.com

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 Z/28 Camaro Z/28 302 290 Hp V8 4 Speed Rare Special Order 1967 1968 1969Nos Vintage Original Gm Delco Guide Day/night 64-72 Rearview Mirror Chevy BuickChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss True Z11 Pace Car 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Rs Ss True Z 11 Pace Car Rebuilt V 8 EngineChevrolet: Camaro Base No Reserve 1969 Chevy CamaroChevrolet: Camaro 1967 Chevy CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Ss 1968 Camaro Ss Clone Rs Project Car 327 275 Hp 400 TransmissonChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1978 Camaro Z 28 4 Speed Rare Emerald Green Build Sheet ProjectChevrolet: Camaro Ss/rs 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss RsChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1964 Chevrolet Camaro No ReserveChevrolet: Camaro 2 Door 71 Chevy Z 28 CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1971 Camaro Rs Ls 5 Speed Pro Touring Hot RodChevrolet: Camaro Z-28 Amazing Original Car Only 18,302 Miles Rare! 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Super Rare Low Mileage Camaro Like New 350 V 8 AutoChevrolet: Camaro Ss/rs 68 Camaro Ss Rs Convertible 4 Speed 396Chevrolet: Camaro No Reserve No Reserve 1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Convertible 45418 Actual Miles Must SeeChevrolet: Camaro Camaro 1969 Camaro Excellent Elec Mechanical Condition New Tires And WheelsChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 17 958 Original MilesChevrolet: Camaro Ss Coupe 396 V8 375 Hp Super Nice! Rare X11 Code 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Hardtop Buckets Console Power Steering Power BrakesChevrolet: Camaro 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Typelt Custom Interior Ready To DriveChevrolet: Camaro Coupe 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 200 000 Custom Build 600 Hp Cadillac Supercharged LsaHeuer Camaro Chronograph Watch With DateChevrolet: Camaro Ss 1967 Camaro Ss Protouring Prostreet ShowcarChevrolet: Camaro Buckets 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Dark Blue 350 Ci 290 Hp Disc Brakes Recent RestorationChevrolet: Camaro Z28 Ss Coupe 2-door 2000 Chevrolet Camaro SsChevrolet: Camaro Rally Sport 1968 Camaro Rally Sport 327 Numbers Matching Documented CarChevrolet: Camaro Coupe 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Project Very Solid Check This OutChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1970 Rs Z 28 Pro Touring 6 SpeedChevrolet: Camaro Rs Coupe 2-door 1991 Chevrolet Camaro Rs Coupe 2 Door 5.0 LChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1980 Chevy Camaro Z 28 T Tops 4 Speed V 8 Hedman Header Holly Carburetor ExcellentChevrolet: Camaro Rs 1969 Chevy Camaro Rs 327 Muncie 4 Speed 12 Bolt Ps 4 Wpdb Disc BrakesChevrolet: Camaro Z28 Coupe 2-door 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Coupe 2 Door 5.7 LChevrolet: Camaro Camaro 2nd Gen Super Clean Runs Excellent A/c No Reserve 1979 Camaro Coupe New Motor And Trans Daily Driver Super Clean CarChevrolet: Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1967 Camaro Solid Numbers Matching Gauge Package See Additional Pics Video 68 69Chevrolet: Camaro Ss Zl585 Convertible 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Slp Zl 585 ConvertibleChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Convertible Camaro Protecto Plate And Jerry Macneish CertifiedChevrolet: Camaro Z28 Rally Sport 1970 Nickey Camaro Z 28 Rs Documented Nickey Chevrolet Sold Numbers MatchingChevrolet: Camaro Z/28 X77 1969 Camaro Z 28Chevrolet: Camaro 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible One Family Owned Sunny Arizona Matching SChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1987 Iroc Camaro Ls 6 T 56 Pro Touring Scca Hot Rod Lsx Ls 3 Ls 2 No Reserve 87 86Chevrolet: Camaro 1969 Camaro Rs SsChevrolet: Camaro Rally Sport/super Sport 1967 Camaro Rs Ss 600 Hp Big Block 4 Spd 4 Wheel Discs Ca Car Beautiful VideoChevrolet: Camaro Ss Trim 1968 Camaro World Of Wheels Atlanta Winner 355 Balanced Blueprinted 700 R 4Chevrolet: Camaro 1970 Camaro Z28 1970 Camaro With Z 28 TrimChevrolet: Camaro Camaro Z28 Beautiful Red And Tan 1979 Camaro Z28 Sport CoupeChevrolet: Camaro Iroc-z Coupe 2-door 1986 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc Z Coupe 2 Door 5.0 LChevrolet: Camaro Z/28 Documented Restored Numbers Matching Camaro Z/28 302 V8 M21 4 SpeedChevrolet: Camaro Ss 4-speed 396 V8 Frame-off Restored Cold A/c 69 Chevy Camaro Ss Posi Rear End 3 55 Gears Power Steering Power Disc BrakesChevrolet: Camaro 1968 Camaro Resto ModChevrolet: Camaro 1968 68 Chevrolet Camero Used Automatic Big BlockChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1968 Camaro Convertible Rs SsChevrolet: Camaro 1980 Camaro Z 28Chevrolet: Camaro Iroc Z 1988 Camaro Iroc ZAuto Butchers Car Club Plaque East Los Angeles Ca...patina Barn Find No Reserve.Chevrolet: Camaro Ss 1969 Chevy Camaro 396Chevrolet: Camaro Zl1 Convertible 2-door 2013 Chevrolet Camaro Zl 1 Convertible 2 Door 6.2 LChevrolet: Camaro Iroc 1985 Chevrolet Iroc Z 28 41 920 Original Miles Low ReserveChevrolet: Camaro 1972 Camaro Z 28 Drag Race Prostreet SbcChevrolet: Camaro Ss Coupe 2-door 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Coupe 2 Door 6.2 LChevrolet: Camaro Ss 1996 Camaro SsChevrolet: Camaro 1981 Camaro Z 28Chevrolet: Camaro Z-28 1992 Camaro Z 28 Rare Chromed Tpi Loaded Leather Cd Show Winner Low Miles