About Me

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July 12: Happy 50th Anniversary, Camaro!

The older one gets, the more of these milestone events one hears about and wonders where the heck did the time go, this can't be correct. Alas, simple math means that when one subtracts fifty from 2016, one gets 1967, which brings up to this milestone.......


Yes, folks, the beloved Camaro has turned fifty. Now, actually that is not quite accurate. Although it was originally unveiled this week in 1967, it was laid to rest for a few years in the early 2000's. To be accurate, the event is fifty, the cars a few years younger. Now, that is out of the way, let's move on.

Before there could be a fiftieth for the Chevy Camaro, there had to be a reason for it to exist and that reason is this car below.........


The Mustang caught the auto world by surprise and the consumers responded by stepping up and ordering several hundred thousand of them in the first year. New ideas breed competition, so as quickly as they could, the other manufacturers responded to the Mustang. Chevy came out with their Camaro and like the Mustang, it could be ordered from mild to wild........


I remember being underwhelmed by the Camaro initially and didn't really get on board until the 1969 version hit the market. Before the Camaro design was finalized, a more formal version was foreseen, after all, Mustang had a fastback and a regular hardtop to go along with the ubiquitous convertible. To my mind, this model was best left in clay..........


 But, it was the 1969 model that is best remembered. Sort of a stop gap model until the stunning '70 arrived. This is the one that the muscle car aficionados remember and the one that garners all the attention (and big bucks) at those collector car auctions.........

.......and it is the one that, GM went back to for inspiration, when they planned to re-introduce the Camaro in 2010. This one had a long production run, as the '70's were not yet ready, so for the first time I can remember, the prior year's model was shown in the new car ads as a carry over model. Check out the white '69 Camaro in this 1970 Chev ad.........


The next Camaro, introduced as a 1970 and a half, could have been much different.......


.....again using a more formal roofline or possibly showing up with a shooting brake type of styling for one of its versions.......


...... but what came out in the spring of 1970 was absolutely gorgeous. Its inspiration was part American and part Italian.........


..........and even the ads mentioned that it was late arriving. The Camaro was here to stay, as other pony cars fell by the wayside (Javalin, Barracuda, Challenger). This model, with minor restyling, stayed around until the early '80's. Although, I loved the look of this car, my mind and heart were somewhere else, as it was many years before I had my first of three Camaros.

Which ones? I thought that you'd never ask.........













Starting from the top, a base charcoal '84, a loaded bright red '87 IROC-Z and finally a silver powerhouse next generation '95. All manuals, these cars were great in their own way. To show how things have changed over the years for Camaro and everyone else, the "big" V8 in my 1987 had 185 hp, while the "big" V8 in the '95 had 285 hp. Compare those numbers to the 2017 V6 with only 335 hp. How things have changed is right.

Over the years, the Camaro has had a following and has showed up in all the right places, such as at Indianapolis, as a pace car for both of its famous races........


Over the fifty years, there have only been six distinct Camaro bodies as seen here........


.......although the new for 2016 is so close to the prior model in design, as to seem like a slight revision, as opposed to a completely different animal that, it most definitely is.

Many things have changed over the years, but there is one thing that has remained as a constant with the Camaro. What's that? Well, this pic says it all........


After fifty years, the Camaro's competition is still the Mustang. The more things change, the more they stay the same? In some ways, absolutely.

Oh, and about that name, Camaro. Made up, of course, but supposed to sound like French for friend or pal or something like that. Actually, the French word it resembles means comrade, which in the '60's would have been an odd choice. Either way, the name has never hindered this car. So once again, happy 50th, old friend (or pal or whatever).

Until next time.......





No comments:

Post a Comment