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 1 #s Match Rs/ss Convertible! Wow! Rare Collection! 7 First Gen Camaros! Rs/ss's Rs Ss Optioned Cars! 500+ Pics!Chevrolet: Camaro Z28 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Z 28 No ReserveChevrolet: Camaro Ss L78 396-375hp 1967 Camaro Ss 396 375 4 Speed 4 K L 78 Project Sold New Indian River ChevroletChevrolet: Camaro Z-11 Pace Car Convertible 1969 CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Ss 350 X11 4-speed Muncie Must Sell! No Reserve!! 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss 350 X 11 4 Speed Muncie Must Sell No ReserveChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Camaro Z 28 X 77 Tuxedo Black Dz ProjectChevrolet: Camaro Rs Hardtop 2-door 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Big Block 454 700 R 4Chevrolet: Camaro Rs 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Rs One Owner Only 111 228 Original Miles 327 MatchingChevrolet: Camaro Z/28 Lt 1973 Camaro Z 28 Lt 2 OwnerChevrolet: Camaro Ss 1969 Camaro 4 Speed Project Car Barn Find 350 327 396 427 Nhra Copo Pro TouringChevrolet: Camaro Ss CarChevrolet: Camaro Rally Sport Survivor 1968 Chevy Camaro Rally Sport All Numbers Match 2nd Owner 69,000 Miles!Chevrolet: Camaro Convertible 1968 Chevy Camaro ConvertibleChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1970 Camaro Z 28 Absolute No Reserve Matching Numbers Stunning RestorationChevrolet: Camaro 1970 Chevy CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Camaro 1971 Chevrolet Camaro Factory Air Split Bumper Console 350 Auto Runs Needs TlcChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro Pro Touring 4 Spd Big BlockChevrolet: Camaro X44 1969 Camaro X 44 One OwnerChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28Chevrolet: Camaro Z28 1981 Camaro Z 28 T Tops Low MilesChevrolet: Camaro Lt 1973 Chevy CamaroHot Wheels Mattel 1995 Treasure Hunt '67 Camaro #3 Limited Edition Of 10,000Chevrolet: Camaro Coupe 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Ss Clone 350 AutomaticChevrolet: Camaro Ss 1969 Chevy Camaro Ss Free Shipping 350 Ps Pdb Ac Auto Tilt Gauge PackVintage Mattel Hot Wheels Redline 1967 Htf Aqua "custom Camaro" With BadgeChevrolet: Camaro Rs 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Rs 670 Hp Chevy Big Block Automatic Classic MuscleChevrolet: Camaro Coupe 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Matching 327 AutoChevrolet: Camaro Sport Coupe 1968 Chevrolet Camaro 427 4 Speed American Muscle Car Classic W Updates VideoChevrolet: Camaro 67 CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Super Sport Coupe Style Group 69 Camaro Real Super Sport 350 4 Spd Tach Gauges Deluxe Interior Rally GreenChevrolet: Camaro Z28 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 4 Speed Consistent Show Winner 350 Hp Crate MotorChevrolet: Camaro Coupe 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z 28 Cold A C Runs Great T TopChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1970 Camaro Rs Ss Split Bumper Pro Touring Ice Cold A C Must See ReadChevrolet: Camaro Base Hardtop 2-door 1968 Chevrolet CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Rs 1969 Chevy Camaro Rs Yenko 427 Free Shipping 12 Bolt Posi Ps Pdb ReplicaChevrolet: Camaro Rs 1967 Chevrolet Camaro RsChevrolet: Camaro Ss 396 1968 Chevy Camaro Ss 396 Free Shipping S Matching L 34 Ps Pdb Muncie 4 Speed 1968 Custom Camaro! Gold! Green Interior! Rare!! Gc Redline Hot Wheel Cars Chevrolet: Camaro Coupe 1969 CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Super Sport 1969 X 11 Ss 427 CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Rs 1969 Camaro ConvertibleChevrolet: Camaro Lt-edition 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Lt Coupe 2 Door 3.6 L Leather Sunroof 18 Remote StartChevrolet: Camaro Z28-real Deal Z28- Original Window Sticker - Rare 1968 Camaro Z 28 Real Deal Z 28 Low Production Have Original Window StickerChevrolet: Camaro C O P O 427 Ci Collector CarsChevrolet: Camaro Iroc-z Z28 1988 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc Z Convertible V 8 77 K Miles Florida Title StunningChevrolet: Camaro 1969 Rsss CamaroChevrolet: Camaro 1968 Camaro Rs Ss Clone Frame Off Pro TouringChevrolet: Camaro Big Block 1968 Used Automatic Rwd Chevrolet Chevy 68 Camaro Big Block Restored 69 AutoChevrolet: Camaro 1969 CamaroChevrolet: Camaro Iroc-z Coupe 2-door 1989 Chevrolet Camaro Iroc Z Coupe 2 Door 5.7 LChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1967 Camaro Rs Ss 350 CpeChevrolet: Camaro No Reserve 2012 2 Dr Conv 1 Lt Certified Rebuildable Car Repairable Damaged WreckedChevy 406/490hp Smallblock Pro Street Engine Powerfull 327 350 Chevrolet: Camaro X44 Base Model 1969 CamaroHot Wheels Redline Custom Camaro Antifreeze Usa Tinted Windows No Black Roof! Vintage Hot Wheels Redline Custom Camaro Usa 1967Chevrolet: Camaro Copo Recreation 1969 Stunning Copo Recreation New Rotisserie Resto Correct W 425 Hp 4 Spd 4 10 ExcChevrolet: Camaro Lt Convertible 2-door 2015 Chevrolet Camaro Lt No Reserve Higher Bidder Wins Rear View CameraChevrolet: Camaro Rs/ss 1967 Chevrolet CamaroChevrolet: Camaro 1970 Chevy Camaro