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 Rs 1969 Camaro Pro Touring Ls 3 6 SpeedChevrolet : Camaro Originally White 1967 Chevy Camaro R S ProjectChevrolet : Camaro Iroc-z / Z-28 1987 Camaro Iroc Z 1 K Miles T Tops 5.7Chevrolet : Camaro X44 1969 Camaro X 44Chevrolet : Camaro Rally Sport 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rally Sport Rs One OwnerChevrolet : Camaro Black Original 1969 Ss 396 CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Z28 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Project Parts Car Number Matching Lt 1 Muncie 4 SpdChevrolet : Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Base Hardtop 2 Door 5.7 LChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RsChevrolet : Camaro Black 1969 Daytona Yellow CamaroDodge : Dart Special Hardtop 2-door 1972 Dodge Dart Hot Rod Big Block Not A Duster Charger Callenger Camaro NovaChevrolet : Camaro Ss Beautiful 1967 Camaro No Reserve 120+ PhotosChevrolet : Camaro 2 Door 1968 Camaro ProjectChevrolet : Camaro Pro-street Supercharged 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Pro Street Project Car New Motor 6 71Chevrolet : Camaro Coupe 1969 Camaro 350 4 Spd Ps Pb Z 28 Stripes Options Recent RestorationChevrolet : Camaro Z28 1970 Real Z 28 Camaro 4 Speed With Build SheetChevrolet : Camaro Z28 Coupe 2-door 1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28Nos 65 66 67 68 69 70 Camaro Chevelle Nova Sunvisor Support Brackets Z/28 L78Original Delco Tune-up Tester For 1965-1981 Gm Muscle Cars, Rare!Chevrolet : Camaro Ss Trim 1969 Chevy Camaro Pro Tour Ls Motor 4 L 60 E Od Trans 18 20 Whls 4 Whl Disc BrakeChevrolet : Camaro Standard 1968 Camaro Number Matching 327 With A 5 Speed All New MintChevrolet : Camaro Lt 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Restored To Factory SpecsChevrolet : Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Base Hardtop 2 Door 3.8 LChevrolet : Camaro Rs Coupe 2-door Gen 3 Rs Iroc Z/28 Rare 5.7 350 700r4 Low Mile Clean Camaro Flow Master HeadersChevrolet : Camaro Base Convertible 2-door 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Base Convertible 2 Door 5.4 LChevrolet : Camaro Z/28 1984 Camaro Z 28 L 69 305 High Output 5 SpeedChevrolet : Camaro Z28 1970 Camaro Z 28 Split Bumper Fully ResteredChevrolet : Camaro Rs Convertible 2-door 1992 Chevrolet Camaro Rs Convertible 2 Door 5.0 LChevrolet : Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 350 4 SpeedChevrolet : Camaro Z28 Rs Ss Camaro Firebird 1974 Chevy Camaro Z 28 Clone 4 Speed 350 No Reserve Sell Worldwide1969 Camaro Chevelle Corvette Nova Chevrolet U-s-a-1 License Plate Z/28 L78 Copo1968 Chevy Camaro Drag Race Roller - Backhalf, Ladder Bars, 8 Pt. Cage, LexanChevrolet : Camaro Rs Ss 1969 Camaro Rs Ss Numbers Matching 350 Auto Air Loaded With Options Pro TouringChevrolet : Camaro Iroc-z Coupe 2-door 1989 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc Z Coupe 2 Door 5.7 LOriginal Gm Muncie 4 Speed Transmission 1968 M-20 Wide Ratio Super Clean 3925660Chevrolet : Camaro Z28 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28Chevrolet : Camaro Resto Mod American Classic Muscle Car Collectors High Performance Immaculate Show QualityCamaro Trans-am Firebird Ls1 Engine Transmission Wiring Dropout Ls2 5.7 Ohio NrChevrolet : Camaro 1973 Chevy Camaro Built 350 Automatic Ps Pdb Factory Ac Bargain Buy 70 71 LookChevrolet : Camaro Chevrolet 1969 Camaro A Wow Factor Car No Rust 4 Speed 383 Strocker 425 Plus Hp 2 NewChevrolet : Camaro Iroc-z28 1990 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc Z Coupe 2 Door 5.7 LChevrolet : Camaro Z/28 1974 Camaro Z 28 Type Lt 4 Speed With Factory A CChevrolet : Camaro Custom / Altered 1969 Chevrolet Custom CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Rs/ss 1969 Camaro Rs Ss Pro StreetNice Lot Of 13 Hot Wheels Redlines - Including Camaro, Beach Bomb, Firebirds..!!Chevrolet : Camaro Coupe 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Full Nut And Bolt Restoration Just CompletedHot Wheels Redline Custom Camaro BrownChevrolet : Camaro Buckets 1972 Chevrolet Camaro Shadow Grey 355 Disc Brakes 17 Rev Wheels Recent Resto60 Gm Sim Wood 3spk Steering Wheel Corvette Chevelle Camaro El Camino Impala SsCamaro Pro Built Race Car ,track Or Autocross , Chevrolet : Bel Air/150/210 Sedan Delivery 1957 Chevy Sedan Delivery Resto Mod Camaro 350 Lt 1 Tpi Corvette IfsChevrolet : Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro Ss 355 V 8 Muncie 4 Spd Custom Paint Ps Pb Street StripChevrolet : Camaro Z28 Iroc Camaro Z28 Iroc ‘86 Low Mi. A/c T-tops Stored/5spd. Stock Loaded! Nice! 2-ownerChevrolet : Camaro 1969 Camaro Ss 396 Numbers Matching Documented A C Smog OriginalChevrolet : Camaro Z28 69 Z 28 Camaro ProstreetChevrolet : Camaro Rs/ss Convertible 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Rs Ss L 34Chevrolet : Camaro Z28 2 Owner Pro Tour 1979 Camaro Z 28 With Believed 54 Thousand Original MilesRare, Vintage 1968 Redline Hot Wheels Custom Camaro. Stunning. Mint- Nr.Chevrolet : Camaro Ss 396 Clone 1967 Chevrolet Camaro 396 Ss CloneChevrolet : Camaro Split Bumper Rs. Restored. $32k Invested 1972 Chevrolet Camaro Split Bumper Rs Restored 32 K Invested