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 Ss Rs Orignal Owner €Chevrolet : Camaro Ss 4 Speed 1969 Chevy Camaro Ss 4 Speed Rare Factory A/c Car ! No Reserve Must Sell !!!Chevrolet : Camaro Rs 1969 Camaro Rs Package Options - Z28 BadgesChevrolet : Camaro Pro Touring 1969 Camaro Super High Performance Show CarChevrolet : Camaro Z28 1970 Camaro Z28 Original 68,500 MilesChevrolet : Camaro Ss/rs 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss/rs 396/375 Original Drive TrainChevrolet : Camaro Ss 1969 Camaro Ss 396 W/built 496 600 Dynod Horsepower Ground Up Build Pro TourChevrolet : Camaro 1972 Chevy Camaro Z28 July Sale Build Sheet Ps Pdb 12 Bolt 4 Speed 350 SolidChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1971 Camaro Rally Sport Numbers MatchingChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1968 Chevy CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Z28 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28Chevrolet : Camaro Convertible, Documented One Owner, Factory A/c & WindowsChevrolet : Camaro Z-28 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 302ci 4-spd Manual Low ReserveChevrolet : Camaro Ss Numbers Matching!! 1968 Camaro SsChevrolet : Camaro 2 Dr Rs/ss Pro Touring Lt1 450hp 6 Speed Performance Suspention Vintage Air ConditionChevrolet : Camaro Rs/ss 1967 Rs/ss 396 4 SpdChevrolet : Camaro Ss 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Rs/ss Power Windows Ice Cold Air Nut&bolt Restoration !Chevrolet : Camaro Rs Ss 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rs Ss Indy Pace Car Convertible 350ci 4 Speed OriginalChevrolet : Camaro Ss Coupe 2-door 2011 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Coupe 2-door 6.2lChevrolet : Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro Rs Ss Convertible July Sale X11 Ps Pdb Ac 12 Bolt 350/350Chevrolet : Camaro Super Sport 1969 Camaro Ss Alum. Headed Bbc 5 Sec Street Car Nice DriverChevrolet : Camaro Camaro Rs/ss 1968 Chevy Camaro Rs/ss! 427 Big Block V8! 4 Speed Manual! Frame Off Restored!Chevrolet : Camaro Sport Coupe 5.0 V-8 4-speed Original Survivor 14,582 Original Miles 5.0 4-bbl V-8 Engine 4-speed No ReserveChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1967 Chevrolet Classic, Camaro, Rs, Z28, SsChevrolet : Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 5.7lChevrolet : Camaro Z28 Coupe 2-door 1971 Camaro Z28 Tribute (show Quality)Chevrolet : Camaro Pace-car 1969 Chevrolet Rs/ss Indy Pace Car Convertible Code Z-11 Spotless Arizona Car !Chevrolet : Camaro Rs Ss L89 Concoures Restored 1969 Lemans Blue Rs Ss L89 CamaroChevrolet : Camaro 871 Supercharged Custom Build 1969 Chevrolet CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Ss Big Block 396 C.i. Super Sport Pro Touring Street RodChevrolet : Camaro Ss Coupe 2-door 2013 Camaro Reserve.6.2/leather/navi/camera/heads-up/heat/20's/sensorsChevrolet : Camaro Pro Touring Resto Mod 1968 Camaro Ls6 Real Pro Touring / Resto ModChevrolet : Camaro Rs 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Rs Convertibile 36k Documented Original CarChevrolet : Camaro Big-block 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Code 72 Real Hugger Orange Car 124 Vin. Fresh Big-block !Chevrolet : Camaro Rs 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe Nice Classic Car1995 Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt '67 Camaro. #355 (t-hunt 3/12) Mint On Mint Card!Vintage Hot Wheels Redlines Cars Deora Camaro Baracuda Vw Boss Hoss& Wheel CaseChevrolet : Camaro Enko Tribute 69 Camaro Yenko Clone 454 4 Speed Wow Muscle CarChevrolet : Camaro Camaro 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Matching #s 327ci, Beautiful Un-molested Car W/paperwork !Chevrolet : Camaro Ss 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Resto RodChevrolet : Camaro Ralley Sport 1967 Chevrolet Camaro R.s.factory Butternut Yellow With 468ci.big-block Nice !Chevrolet : Camaro Pace Car 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rs/ss Pace CarChevrolet : Camaro Ss 350 1969 Rs/ss Convertible Camaro Pace CarChevrolet : Camaro Ss 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 6.5lChevrolet : Camaro Buckets 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 350 Aluminum Heads 700r4 12 Bolt Recent RestorationChevrolet : Camaro L78 1967 Camaro Ss 396 375 Horsepower L78 True 4k CodeChevrolet : Camaro Ss 350 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Ss 350 Ac Power -steer- Brakes- TopChevrolet : Camaro R/s 1967 Camaro R/s Convertible Indy Pace Car In The RegistryChevrolet : Camaro Convertible 1968 Pro Touring CamaroRare Vintage Aurora Ho Lime Green 68 Camaro-v/h/tf In Great Condition!!!!!!!!!!Vintage Original Mattel 1967 Hot Wheels Redline Antifreeze Custom CamaroChevrolet : Camaro R/s Pro Touring 1969 Camaro R/s Pro Touring Custom Brand New 502/5 SpeedDanbury Mint 1:24 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 427 Coupe Yenko Hugger OrangeChevrolet : Camaro X11 1969 Camaro X11 Restored To Stock...a Canvas For Z28. Yenko, Copo, SsChevrolet : Camaro 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Deepwater Blue Metallic V8Chevrolet : Camaro Ss Coupe 2-door 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Ss 2 Package Performance Upgrades *** Only 9k Miles ***Chevrolet : Camaro Ss 1969 Camaro * V8 - 396 -ss . Low Original Miles - Fresh Resto . Foose / Bfg KdwChevrolet : Camaro Ss 1969 Chevrolet Official Pace Car CamaroChevrolet : Camaro Z/28 1969 Z/28,new Fathom Green Met./black Int.orig, #'s302 Dz,pdb,ps,full Resto,exc.Orig 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Conv. Indy 500 Pace Car Dealership Promo Toy Car