From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Parent company||General Motors|
Zeta platform (2010-)
The Chevrolet Camaro is an automobile manufactured by General Motors under the Chevrolet brand, classified as a pony car  and some versions also as amuscle car. It went on sale on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year and was designed as a competing model to the Ford Mustang. The car shared itsplatform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced for 1967. Four distinct generations of the car were developed before production ended in 2002. The nameplate was revived again on a concept vehicle that evolved into the fifth-generation Camaro, production started on March 16, 2009.
Before any official announcement, reports began running in April 1965 within the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named Panther. On June 21, 1966, around 200 automotive journalists received a telegram from General Motors stating, "...Please save noon of June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary." The following day, the same journalists received another General Motors telegram stating, "Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations SEPAW Secretary." These telegrams puzzled the industry.
On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference in Detroit’s Statler-Hilton Hotel. It would be the first time in history that 14 cities were hooked up in real time for a press conference via telephone lines. Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes started the news conference stating that all attendees of the conference were charter members of the Society for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World and that this would be the first and last meeting ofSEPAW. Estes then announced a new car line, project designation XP-836, with a name that Chevrolet chose in keeping with other car names beginning with the letter C such as the Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette. He claimed the name, "suggests the comradeship of good friends as a personal car should be to its owner" and that "to us, the name means just what we think the car will do... Go!" The new Camaro name was then unveiled. Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers, "What is a Camaro?" and were told it was "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs."
The Camaro was first shown at a press preview in Detroit, Michigan, on September 12, 1966, and then later in Los Angeles, California, on September 19, 1966. The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year.
The first-generation Camaro debuted in September 1966, for the 1967 model year, up to 1969 on a new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and would be available as a 2-door, 2+2 seating, coupe or convertible with a choice of 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6 and 302 cu in (4.9 L), 307 cu in (5.0 L), 327 cu in (5.4 L), 350 cu in (5.7 L), or 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 powerplants. Concerned with the runaway success of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet executives realized that their compact sporty car, the Corvair, would not be able to generate the sales volume of the Mustang due to its rear-engine design, as well as declining sales, partly due to the bad publicity from Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed. Therefore, the Camaro was touted as having the same conventional rear-drive, front-engine configuration as Mustang and Chevy II Nova. In addition, the Camaro was designed to fit a variety of power plants in the engine bay. The first-generation Camaro would last until the 1969 model year and would eventually inspire the design of the new retro fifth-generation Camaro.
Introduced in February 1970, the second generation Camaro was produced through the 1981 model year. The car was heavily restyled and became somewhat larger and wider with the new styling. Still based on the F-body platform, the new Camaro was similar to its predecessor, with a unibody structure, front subframe, an A-arm front suspension and leaf springs to control the solid rear axle. Road & Track magazine picked the 1971 SS350 as one of the 10 best cars in the world in August 1971. RS, SS and Z28 performance packages gradually disappeared. The Z28 package was reintroduced in 1977, largely in response to the huge success of its corporate stablemate, the Pontiac Trans Am. 1980 and 1981 Z28's included a rear facing intake, with an intake door that opened under full throttle.
The third generation Camaro was produced from 1982 to 1992. These were the first Camaros to offer modern fuel injection, Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 four-speed automatic transmissions, five speed manual transmissions, 16 inch wheels, a standard 4 cylinder engine and versatile hatchback bodies. The cars were nearly 500 pounds lighter than the long running second generation model. The legendary IROC-Z was introduced in 1985. In 1987, the potent L98 5.7 V-8 engine was an option on the IROC-Z, paired with an automatic transmission. The "20th Anniversary Commemorative Editi