The Camaro

First Generation Camaro

The first-generation Camaro debuted in September 1966 (designated as the 1967 Camaro) in response to the hugely successful Ford Mustang (the Mustang had been developed in response to the Corvair.)

 

The executives at Chevrolet realized that the Corvair was not going to compete with the sales of the Mustang partly due to its rear-engine design and Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed, which called the Corvair "The One-Car Accident".


Reports started running in April 1965 in the automotive press, before any official announcements were made, that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named Panther.  June 21 1966, 200 automotive journalist 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 journalist received a second telegram the following day saying “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.”  On June 28 General Motors held a press conference and made history with the first ever real-time press conference containing 14 cities hooked up via telephone lines.  The new Camaro line was then unveiled and when Chevrolet managers were asked what a Camaro was,the replied with  ““a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”   The word Camaro, according to Chevrolet,  was Old French for “friend”.

second generation Camaro

1972 Camaro-second generation Camaro

The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year.  The first generation Camaro includes the year models 1967, 1968 and 1969.  The look of the 1969 Camaro was changed to a more angular look, the wheel wells were squared off, the dashboard was updated with square gauges and the tachometer was optional.  This was the last of the first generation Camaro and Chevrolet offered a ton of engine choices, everything from straight line six cylinder engine to an incredible 427 cubic inch monster that was part of the special order ZL-1. Most buyers picked the small block V-8.  The Camaro was a built as  a family car with its 2 by 2 seating and is considered to be Chevrolet’s Pony car while the Chevelle SS is considered the muscle car.

Model 0-60 mph Quarter Mile Time Engine Source
1969 Camaro ZL1 5.2 sec 12.8 sec @ 107.0 mph 427ci/425hp MCR 1987
1969 Camaro ZL1 5.3 sec 10.4 sec @ 128.1 mph 427ci/425hp Super Stock Mag 2/69
1969 Camaro Yeko 5.4 sec 11.9 sec @ 114.5 mph 427ci/430hp Yeko
1969 Camaro Z28 7.4 sec 15.1 sec @ 94.8 mph 302ci/290hp Car Life
1969 Camaro Z28 7.4 sec 15.1 sec @ 95.0 mph 302ci/290hp Road & Track 12/91
1969 Camaro SS Pace Car 8.0 sec 16.0 sec @ 88.0 mph 350ci/300hp Motor Trend7/96
1969 Camaro SS n/a 14.8 sec @ 98.7 mph 396ci/375hp Car & Driver 5/70
1969 Camaro Z/28 n/a 14.7 sec @ 95.9 mph 302ci/290hp PopularHot Rod
1969 Camaro SS396 n/a 14.5 sec @ 100.6 mph 396ci/375hp PopularHot Rod
1969 Camaro SS 396 n/a 14.2 sec @ 97.3 mph 396ci/375hp MCR 12/97
1969 Camaro SS n/a 14.2 sec @ 103.8 mph 396ci/375hp MCR Feb/Mar 1996
1969 Camaro ZL-1 n/a 13.2 sec @ 100.2 mph 427ci/425hp Hi PerfCars 8/69
1969 Camaro SS n/a 13.0 sec @ 108.6 mph 396ci/375hp Supercar Annual 1969

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Empowered Car Buying

When purchasing a car what is your first step?  Many people do not know what that first step is, or even where to go after the first step.  It is often a stressful time, but it shouldn’t be.  Just a few simple steps should make the process very simple and you will be on your way to less stressful car buying.    

So back to my question, What is your first step? Choosing a car.  This is the fun part right?  Well it should be anyway. There are so many cars out there to choose from and car makers are very innovative.  Things are constantly changing and cars are getting safer.  Once you decide what style of car (i.e. SUV, minivan, small car, sports car, luxury car, pick up truck etc.) then you can start window shopping so to speak as to what specific car you would like.  That takes to the important Second Step, Research. 

Research is so much easier now with the power of the internet.  You are on the internet now so you have already taken that powerful step.  There are an endless number of places to look.  You can find out what the safety rating of the car is, the average gas mileage, the base model price and even what features are available.  What is the “sticker price” of the vehicle?  You can find all this out online.  What exactly is “sticker price”?  it is the price set by the manufacturer and stuck on the sticker in the vehicle before it leave the manufacturer.  Don’t forget when you start adding options to your new purchase that you pay for these,  so you need to decide what is absolutely necessary for you to have on your new car.  Are there features you can not live without.  One of my sisters thought  she couldn’t  live without a sunroof until she had children.  Then her priorities changed, now she can’t live without a 3rd row seat.   Only you can know what features you absolutely must have.  Make a list of these things before you go to the dealership and your buying experience will be more pleasant.

Step 3, How am I going to pay for this?  You have chosen the car, you have done the research and know exactly what you want, now how are you going to finance it?  There are a lot of options when it comes to paying for your new vehicle.  You can pay cash of course if you just happen to have that kind of cash lying around.  Most people go with the financing option.  I financed for 5 years to make my payments manageable for me.  There is nothing wrong with going ahead and getting financing before you come to the dealership.   Many people have a credit union they can finance through, or their bank.  My bank offered me a great rate because I use them for everything including my previous car loan.  If none of these options are available to you then you may be able to finance once you get to the dealership.  Don’t forget that dealerships have relationships with banks and can often get you financed when you did not know what to do.  Many dealerships have their own finance companies as well.  If you don’t get your own financing before you get to the dealership then financing may become your last step.

Now you are ready to go out and locate that chosen vehicle, which is step 4.   You already know exactly what it is you want, your list is made of options you must have, you know the style and color, you have the financing , so you have to find the dealership.  Internet shopping is invaluable.  You can locate the car you want and even schedule an appointment to see a salesperson by shopping online.  Nothing beats actually going in and looking at the vehicle, test driving and making sure it is the right color and feel.  But you have all the tools you need so that you can tell your salesperson what you want before you get there and they can do the search and find it for you rather than you walking the lot.  Now if you are the type of person who prefers to walk onto the lot and locate the vehicle for yourself that is perfectly acceptable as well.  You still have your list of options to tell the salesperson.  If it turns out that the vehicle you chose is not exactly what you wanted after all you may just find something better suited for you.  Your salesperson can help you with that search if this is the case.

Now you are armed with 4 basic steps you need to find the car you want.  Happy Shopping!!