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 Ralley Sport Sport Coup Rs 1969 Rally Sport Camaro RsChevrolet : Camaro Ss, Z28, Rs, Pro Street 1970 Chevy Camaro Pro Street Street Legal Fast Ss Z 28 RsChevrolet : Camaro 2 Dr 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rs Z 28 Pro Street Big BlockChevrolet : Camaro No Reserve To High Bidder (wow) Simply Stunning Example 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Tribute 4 Speed Straight SweetChevrolet : Camaro Z/28 Matching# X33/z/28 Original Body Panels Like New Rare Radio DeleteChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1969 Chevy Camaro Rs X 11 4 Wpdb Ps Vintage Ac 383 Super Solid Must SeeChevrolet : Camaro 1967 Chevy Camaro Rs Ss 350 Muncie 4 Speed Ps Rs Ss CloneChevrolet : Camaro Z/28 68 Z 28 Low Miles Solid Orig Floors Same Owner Since 1976 Cal Black Plate CarChevrolet : Camaro Rally Sport 67 Camaro Rs Pro StreetChevrolet : Camaro Ss/rs 1970 Camaro Rs Ss Camaro Gold 1 Owner Original Paperwork Show Winner Must SeeChevrolet : Camaro Ss Gmmg Performance Edition #12 Of 50 2002 Chevrolet Camaro 35 Th Anniversary Gmmg Phase 2 Performance Edition 12 Of 50Chevrolet : Camaro Rs Ss Camaeo 1967 Rs Ss Camaro Big Block Chevy Mini Tubbed Show Car Street Car Strip Pro StChevrolet : Camaro Rs/ss Convertible Rare Low Mile Rust Free Calif. Garaged Real Rally Sport Super Sport Convertible!Chevrolet : Camaro Rally Sport 1968 Camaro Rs Ss 350 Automatic 12 Bolt Deluxe IntChevrolet : Camaro Z28 1969 Chevy Camaro Z 28 Numbers Matching Mint Condition Lemans BlueChevrolet : Camaro Ss Trim 1969 Chevy Camaro Pro Tour Ls Motor 4 L 60 E Od Trans 18 20 Whls 4 Whl Disc BrakeChevrolet : Camaro 1967 Chevrolet CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1967 Camaro Rs Convertible Over 20 Factory OptionsChevrolet : Camaro Super Sport Convertible 1967 Real Ss Camaro Convertible 4 Spd 4 P CarFord : Mustang 2+2 Fastback 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback 2 2 C Code A C Beautiful Restoration Camaro KillerChevrolet : Camaro Z28/rs 1973 Camaro Real Z 28 Rs With Deluxe Wood Trim InteriorChevrolet : Camaro Rs Ss 1967 Chevrolet Camaro True Rs Ss Rs Ss BlackChevrolet : Other Z28 1971 Camaro Z 28 CloneChevrolet : Camaro Super Sport 396 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Base Hardtop 2 Door 6.5 LChevrolet : Camaro Rs/ss Frame Off Restored Camaro Rs/ss 454 V8 Muncie 4 Speed 12 Bolt 3.73 Ps Power DiscChevrolet : Camaro 1970 Camaro Z 28 Tribute 5 SpeedChevrolet : Camaro Z28 68 Camaro Z 28 302 Dz 4 SpeedChevrolet : Camaro Z-28 Rs 1970 Z 28 Rs Camaro Pro ClassicChevrolet : Camaro Ralley Sport 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Base Hardtop 2 Door 5.7 LChevrolet : Camaro Z 28 Iroc-z 1987 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc Z 350 L 98 Fully Loaded All Original Leather BoseChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1967 Camaro Rally Sport Restored Tonawanda Built 327 275 Beautiful RsChevrolet : Camaro Pro Built 1969 Camaro Race Car Drag CarChevrolet : Camaro This Car Is Amamzing Example Must Be Seen. Magnificent Frame Off Restoration 73 Camaro Rs/ Ls,p.s ,p.b, Truly Mint ClassicChevrolet : Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1968 Chevrolet Camaro SsFord : Bronco Camaro Synergy Green 1970 Ford BroncoChevrolet : Camaro Camaro Ss Restomod 1967 Chevy Camaro Ss Street Rod Stunning Restored 454 V 8 Hurst 4 SpeedChevrolet : Camaro Camaro 1969 Yenko Zl 1 CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Rallysport 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Rallysport Easy Fixer Upper Nice Factory OptionsChevrolet : Camaro Rs/z28 Rs/z28 Coupe 4-speed Rwd Garnet Red Black Leather 302 V8 Fully Restored Low MileChevrolet : Camaro Ss Pro StreetChevrolet : Camaro 350 1968 Chevy Camaro Ss Fully Restored 350Chevrolet : Camaro Z-28 1981 Camaro Z 28 Original 7700 Actual MilesChevrolet : Camaro Modified On Carfix Tv Show Redesigned €Chevrolet : Camaro Rs/ss 1969 Camaro Rs Ss Pro StreetChevrolet : Camaro 1969 Camaro Ss 427 V 8 5 Speed Manual Ps Pb Restored Show Or Drive TodayChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1967 Camaro Rs Brand New Car Total Nut And Bolt Restoration Custom InteriorChevrolet : Camaro Zl1 Lingenfelter Camaro Zl1 LingenfelterChevrolet : Camaro Z-28 1969 Camaro Z 28 Pro Built Nhra Certified 6.60 Et 406 Ci 550 HpGmp Street Fighter~1/18 Scale~holeshot 1969 Aussie Drag Camaro~le#779/1250~blackChevrolet : Camaro Ss 1971 Camaro Ss Ls 3 396 Factory Big Block Documented Jerry Macneish CertifiedScalextric 69 Camaro &pioneer Fastback Mustang Muscle Car ShowdownHotwheels Redline 14 Car Filler/restorer Lot W/12 Car Rallycase-camaro/cougars!Chevrolet : Camaro Zl1 Camaro, Zl1, Chevrolet, Supercharged, Copo, 2013, Race Car,1st, 00001, 1969,zl-1Chevrolet : Camaro Yenko Sports Car 1969 Camaro Yenko CloneChevrolet : Camaro Yenko Tribute 1969 Camaro Yenko X 44 Tribute Newly Restored Big Block AwesomeChevrolet : Camaro Super Sport Rally Sport 2013 Camaro 2 Ss Rs Convertible Hot Wheels Edition Mint 2000 Miles Every OptionChevrolet : Camaro Ss 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Pro Touring V 8 427 Restored Show Winner Make Offer 1967 Hot Wheels Redline Custom Camaro Spectra RedChevrolet : Camaro Zl1 2013 Chevrolet Camro Zl 1Rare Gm Chevrolet Camaro 1967 Tn Nomura Toys Japan Battery Operated Box Original