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The History of the Legendary Camaro

Generations of the Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is All-American and all muscle! It is a brand that represents power, innovation and pure adrenalin. The Camaro was officially unveiled during the summer of 1966 when Chevrolet Division's General Manager Pete Estes gave the world its first glimpse of this exciting new vehicle and that's where the story really began. 

At Bob Morey's Auto Body, we love American muscle cars and the Camaro is probably the best known. Here in  Bentonville, AR, we have worked on more than a few of these big boys, so we know them fairly well and respect them for their history and role in the U.S. for the past 50 years.

The Camaro was created to compete against Ford's Mustang and its design reflected that. The car featured a long hood, a short rear deck, a two-door configuration and a 2+2 set up. The car originally came out with three different versions of the vehicle--the Sport Coupe, Rally Sport and Super Sport trims.

The Camaro was produced from 1967 to 2002 and then took a 7-year hiatus. In 2010, Chevrolet brought out the fifth generation Camaro and it received rave reviews as sales soared. By integrating all of today's technology into this iconic vehicle while keeping its same shape and style, the Camaro is now a major piece in the history of cars in this country.

The Classic Camaro

1) The very first Camaro used the same type of chassis used for the Chevy Nova. 

2) Panther was the vehicle's original name that was been given to the car during its testing period. But, eventually GM marketers became fond of the name Camaro. In a French to English Dictionary they saw that Camaro means  "friend, pal, or comrade" in French. One of the car designers also joked that a Camaro was "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs."

3) Total sales of the Camaro in 1969 almost hit the quarter million mark, which was an amazing feat for a vehicle that was only in its third year of production at that time.

4) In its initial year of existence, the Camaro was invited to be the pace car for Indianapolis 500.

5) The base 1970 Camaro cost $2,749.

6) There was only one Z/28 built for the 1975 model year.

The Camaro Logo

7) In 1982, the all-new third-generation Camaro paced the Indianapolis 500.

8) When Chevrolet returned the Camaro SS model to the market in 1996, it had been “off the radar” for 24 years.

9) More than five thousand welds went into the 2010 Camaro SS.

10) The modern-day iteration of the Camaro ZL1 engine trumps its original, historic predecessor by a whopping 125 horsepower!

So, the next time you see a Camaro racing past you on the highway, reflect back on this car's amazing history and its role in the overall scheme of things in U.S. automotive history.

Sources: Chevrolet, Drive and Wikipedia

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