Chevrolet Camaro Overview
After the wildly successful Ford Mustang was released, Chevrolet needed to respond, fast. That’s exactly what they did with the Chevy Camaro. When journalists asked Chevy what a “Camaro” was, they responded, “… a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.” Today, the Camaro defines cool. From its appearance as Bumblebee in the Transformers series, to multiple appearances in Fast and Furious films, this car is an automotive icon. Today, we’re taking a look at the history of the Chevrolet Camaro through the years.
Chevrolet Camaro Through the Years
1st Generation (1967 – 1969)
- The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro was based on the Chevy Nova.
- First gen Camaros came standard with a 230 cu. in. straight 6 engine that produced 140 hp.
- Base pricing was set at $2,466.
- A variety of other straight 6 and V8 engines were available.
- Rally Sport (RS) and Super Sport (SS) appearance packages were introduced.
- The Camaro Z/28 was by far the top performer, with aggressive suspension and a high-compression 302 cu. in. V8 producing around 290 hp.
2nd Generation (1970 – 1981)
- The 2nd generation, Ferrari-inspired Camaro was bigger and heavier.
- Base 1970 Camaros were priced around $2,750.
- Chevy eliminated the convertible option.
- A 250 cu. in. 6-cylinder engine was now standard, producing 155 hp.
- One of the biggest available engines was the 396 big block V8 found in the Camaro SS, producing 375 hp.
- Chevy added thick aluminum bumpers in 1974 to meet bumper regulations.
- In 1975, Chevrolet eliminated the Z/28.
- Also in 1975, Chevrolet dramatically reduced the engine options to 3, ranging from a lowly 105 hp option to a 155 hp option.
- In 1977, the Z/28 was resurrected as a separate model.
3rd Generation (1982 – 1992)
- The Camaro was virtually all-new in 1982, from the frame to the exterior design.
- The new base engine was a 2.5L 4-cylinder that produced 90 hp.
- At the top of the engine lineup was the 5.0L V8 rated at 145 hp found in the Z/28.
- Fuel injection was introduced in 1985.
- A 5.7L V8 that produced 225 hp was available in 1987.
- 1987 marked the return of the convertible.
4th Generation (1993 – 2002)
- The 4th gen Camaro looked very different than the 3rd, featuring a sleek, rounded body.
- Yet again, the convertible was eliminated from the lineup.
- The base engine was a 3.4L V6 that produced 160 hp.
- At the top, the Z/28 featured a 5.7L small-block V8 rated at around 275 hp.
- In 1994, the convertible returned. (Make up your mind, GM)
- In 1998, frontal design of the Camaro was tweaked.
- Also in 1998, the Z28 gained an all-aluminum engine, the first all-aluminum option in a Camaro since 1969.
- The Camaro then fizzled away, entering an 8 year hibernation.
- After 8 years off the grid, Camaro was back and totally redesigned.
- The base 3.6L V6 engine offers plenty of power, producing around 304 hp.
- The top 6.2L V8 found in the Camaro SS produced 426 hp.
- Throughout the generation, the Camaro was praised for power & handling, and criticized for a small cabin.
- Above the SS trim, a ZL1 was offered, supercharging the SS to provide 580 hp!
- The Z/28 was track-focused, with a 7.0L V8 making 500 hp and 470 lb. ft. of torque.
- By 2015, your Camaro could have features like USB, remote start, rear parking sensors, power-recline seats, heated seats, head-up display, navigation, LCD touchscreen, and more.
6th Generation (2016 – )
- In 2016, the Camaro earns the right to be called a sports car, and not just a muscle car.
- GM offers a unique and efficient turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, producing 275 hp and 295 lb ft of torque.
- Drive Mode Selector allows drivers to tune performance based on driving style and road conditions.
- The top Camaro SS has the 6.2L V8 found in the Corvette, offering 455 hp and 455 lb ft of torque.
Chevrolet Camaro Fast Facts
- Celebrities like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Nick Jonas, David Beckham, Lebron James, and Reese Witherspoon have all driven Camaros.
- Thousands of names were considered for the Chevrolet Camaro, one of the most popular considerations was the Chevy Panther.
- To save weight on the Camaro Z/28, Chevrolet went as far as shaving 0.3mm off the rear window.
Chevrolet Camaro Owner Spotlight
“My wife and I bought it as something fun to do together. It was a stock 2SS/RS….we have put Stainless Works headers on it and deleted the rest of the muffler system making it pretty much a straight piped car. Along our journey of owning the car for 3 years (buying it used) we have stored it winters and only ourselves put 10,000 miles on the car. We have traveled to Camaro rallies to South Dakota and Kentucky.” – Eric Pung
“It’s a 2011 Camaro 2SS/RS. LS3 engine with a 6 speed manual and all the bells and whistles the GM packages supply. I definitely like the blast-in-your-back you get when you hit the gas, and how quick the suspension and brakes perform. It’s elegant blended edges and gleaming red paint certainly make it a sight to behold and catches the eyes of nearly everyone on the road!” – Logan Dehn
“…because 7 liters is better than 5.” – Hinssen Lopez, 2014 Camaro Z/28