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Information about Chevrolet CamaroThe Chevrolet Camaro is an automobile manufactured by the Chevrolet division of General Motors, commonly classified as a pony car. It went on sale on sep. 29, 1966 (51 years ago) for the 1967 (50 years ago) model year and was designed as a competing model to the Ford Mustang. The car shared its platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced for 1967 (50 years ago). Four distinct generations of the car were developed before production ended in 2002 (15 years ago). The nameplate was revived again on a concept vehicle that evolved into the fifth-generation Camaro, with production starting on Mar. 16, 2009 (8 years ago).
OriginBefore any official announcement, reports began running in Apr. 1965 (52 years ago) within the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang (7 walls), code-named Panther. On Jun. 21, 1966 (51 years ago), around 200 automotive journalists received a telegram from General Motors stating, "...Please save noon of Jun. 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 Jun. 28...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations SEPAW Secretary." These telegrams puzzled the industry.
On Jun. 28, 1966 (51 years ago), 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 of SEPAW. 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 sep. 12, 1966 (51 years ago) and then later in Los Angeles, California on sep. 19, 1966 (51 years ago). The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on sep. 29, 1966 (51 years ago) for the 1967 (50 years ago) model year.
First generationThe first-generation Camaro debuted in sep. 1966 (51 years ago), for the 1967 (50 years ago) model year, up to 1969 (48 years ago) on a brand 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 (7 walls), 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 radical rear-engine design, as well as declining sales, partly due to 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 (48 years ago) model year and would eventually inspire the design of the new retro fifth-generation Camaro.
Second generationIntroduced in Feb. 1970 (47 years ago), the second generation Camaro would remain in production through 1981 (36 years ago). The car was somewhat larger and wider with the new styling, thus resulting in a heavier car. 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. The SS and Z28 performance packages remained; Road & Track magazine picked the 1971 (46 years ago) SS350 as one of the ten best cars on the planet in Aug. 1971 (46 years ago). 1980 (37 years ago) and 1981 (36 years ago) Z28's included a rear facing intake, with an intake door that opened under full throttle.
Third generationThe third generation Camaro was produced from 1982 (35 years ago) to 1992 (25 years ago). These were the first Camaros to offer modern fuel injection, Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 four-speed automatic transmissions, five speed manual transmissions, 16 inch wheels, 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 (32 years ago). In 1987 (30 years ago), the potent L98 5.7 V-8 engine was available in the Z28, paired with an automatic transmission. The "20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition" was offered in 1987 (30 years ago) and a "25th Anniversary Heritage Package" in 1992 (25 years ago). Beginning in 1989 (28 years ago), the famed 1LE performance package was introduced, for the street models and for showroom stock racing in the U.S. and Canada. The B4C or "police" package was made available beginning in 1991 (26 years ago). This basically created a Z28 in more subtle RS styling.
Fourth generationThe fourth-generation Camaro debuted in 1993 (24 years ago) on an updated F-body platform. It retained the same characteristics since its introduction in 1967 (50 years ago): a coupe body style with 2+2 seating (with an optional T-top roof) or convertible (introduced in 1994 (23 years ago)), rear-wheel drive, and a choice of V-6 and V-8 engines. The standard powerplant from 1993-1995 was a 3.4 liter V-6. A more powerful 3.8 liter V-6 was introduced as an option in 1995 (22 years ago) and made standard in 1996 (21 years ago). The LT1 V-8 engine with 275 horsepower (at the flywheel), which was introduced in the Corvette in 1992 (25 years ago), was standard in the Z28. Optional equipment included a new six-speed manual T-56 transmission and all-speed traction control. Anti-lock brakes were standard equipment on all Camaros. The 1997 (20 years ago) model year included a revised interior, and the 1998 (19 years ago) models included exterior styling changes, and a switch to GM's all-aluminum LS1 used in the Corvette C5. The Camaro remained in production through the 2002 (15 years ago) model year, marking 35 years of continuous production. Production of the F-Body platform was stopped due to slowing sales, a deteriorating market for sports coupes, and plant overcapacity.
Fifth generationA fifth-generation CamaroBased on the 2006 (11 years ago) Camaro Concept and 2007 (10 years ago) Camaro Convertible Concept, production of the fifth-generation Camaro was approved on 10 Aug. 2006 (11 years ago). Oshawa Car Assembly produces the new Camaro which went on sale in spring of 2009 (8 years ago) as a 2010 (7 years ago) model year vehicle. The 2010 (7 years ago) model is offered as a coupe only in LS, LT, and SS trim levels. The LS and LT trim levels are powered by the LLT 3.6L (217ci) V6 producing 304 hp (227 kW). The SS is powered by the LS3 6.2L (376ci) V8 producing 426 hp (318 kW) when paired with the 6 speed manual. When paired with the 6 speed automatic the L99 V8 producing 400 hp (300 kW) is installed. The 5th generation Camaro was used as Bumblebee in the movie Transformers. The RS appearance package is available on both the LT and SS. Production began on 16 Mar. 2009 (8 years ago) as a 2010 (7 years ago) model.
RacingThe Camaro was one of the prominent vehicles in the SCCA-sanctioned Trans-Am Series. Chevrolet contracted Roger Penske to operate their "unofficial" factory-backed Trans Am team, winning the title in 1968 (49 years ago) and 1969 (48 years ago) with Mark Donohue. Jim Hall's Chaparral team replaced Penske for the 1970 (47 years ago) season. Warren Agor of Rochester, NY, was the series' leading Camaro privateer, his orange #13's often jousting with the factory cars. Maurice Carter of car dealer Maurice Carter Chevrolet-Oldsmobile in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada took a new Camaro off his lot and entered the 1970 (47 years ago) Trans-Am Series. Carter earned the highest placed Canadian independent driver score of all the Trans-Am racers. Camaro were in use in Trans-Am until the late 1990 (27 years ago) and won further titles in 1991 (26 years ago), 1992 (25 years ago), 1993 (24 years ago), 1994 (23 years ago), and 1998 (19 years ago).
There was also another SCCA Trans-Am Series Camaro that wasn’t popular because of racing but because of its body modifications. This Camaro had been built and driven by Henry “Smokey” Yunick. It had proudly worn the number 13 and in later years would make people look back on it. Smokey Yunick was an innovator ahead of his time when building the 1968 (49 years ago) Camaro. He brought a new style into the racing world in many ways. The Camaro had acid dipped body parts, thinner safety glass and other weight reducing devices. The Camaro also had the front sheet metal dropped, all four fenders widened, windshield laid back, front sub-frame “Z’d” to lower the car, the floor pan moved up and even the drip-rails were moved closer to the body. This Camaro had always kept its stock look and only had a 302 engine that was able to produce 482 horsepower. This Camaro had later on been bought by Vic Edelbrock. At this time he put it to use as a test car for new age Chevy small block performance part. One part that had come out of his testing was the Edelbrock Cross-Manifold. To this day the Smokey Yunick 1968 (49 years ago) Camaro is owned by Vic Edelbrock Jr.
Camaro Cup race car.A Camaro driven by Bob Jane also won 2 championships in the Australian Touring Car Championship, now known as V8 Supercars), in 1971 (46 years ago) and 1972 (45 years ago).
The Camaro was the official car of and used in the International Race of Champions starting in 1975 (42 years ago) and lasting for 12 years until 1989 (28 years ago). It was the first American car of the series succeeding the Porsche Carrera RSR.
Today, Camaros are raced in many forms of auto racing throughout the world. They are a favorite in drag racing and can be currently found in several series from the National Hot Rod Association, International Hot Rod Association, and United States Hot Rod Association. Road racing Camaros can currently be found in the Sports Car Club of America's American Sedan series. They have also been the exclusive vehicle used in the Swedish Camaro Cup series since 1975 (42 years ago).
The Camaro not only participated in racing, but was bestowed the honor of Indianapolis 500 Pace Car duties in 1967 (50 years ago), 1969 (48 years ago), 1982 (35 years ago), 1993 (24 years ago), and 2009 (8 years ago). The Camaro also paced races at Daytona, Watkins Glen, Mosport in Canada and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Camaro was also a regular in the IMSA GT Series.
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