The 1960s can be considered the advent of the pony car, as the Ford Mustang came into existence. This inspired the creation of the Camaro because Chevrolet wanted to compete with Ford for a new generation of car buyers. The Camaro has gone on to be very successful, used for driving and racing. From starting the world’s first mass teleconference, to reaching an impressive sales number of 243085 in 1969, the Camaro has an interesting history. Here are eight facts that you might not have known about the car.
1. It used to be called The Panther
The car was kept as a closely guarded secret, and when it was being developed it was known as the Panther. This was one of some 2000 names chosen before it finally became the Camaro in 1966.
2. No one knew what Camaro meant when it was chosen
Merchandising manager Bob Lund and General Motors vice president Ed Rollett came up with the name Camaro. They found it in a French-English dictionary as a slang term for friend or comrade. A representative was asked by car journalists what a Camaro is and they were told “it’s a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”
3. The car has six different body styles
Camaro manufacturers toyed with the idea of a station wagon version in March 1966, three months before the car was released. However, it evolved over time and incorporated six body styles. In 1970, there was a European influence that set the tone for every other Camaro design until 2002. In 2010, manufacturers returned to the proportions of the first generation car.
4. The Camaro is a favourite at the Indy 500
The Indianapolis 500 is an annual race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Camaro holds the record for being the pace car two times in the first three years of its production. The first Camaro paced the field in 1967, following in the footsteps of its Mustang rival, which raced in 1964. The Camaro has been selected a further eight times.
5. A gold standard was set
The first Camaro prototype had a gold exterior and interior, a tradition that Camaro has kept alive over the years. The prototype, called No 100001, still exists.
6. The first Camaro was only $2572
When the Camaro debuted in 1967 it was just $2572. This is a big difference compared to the price of a ‘67 Camaro today. The car goes for an average $30000, demonstrating how much a classic car is valued in the modern era.
7. Camaros are more powerful than ever before
The original Camaro featured a straight-6 engine with a horsepower of 140. Fast forward to now and current models have engines that are able to produce 323 horsepower.
8. The Camaro is a Canadian export
Despite the All American muscle image, Camaro is a Canadian export. The Camaro and its twin, The Pontiac Firebird, were built in Quebec from 1993-2002.
Camaro is a strong example as a classic car brand that has established itself over the last 60 years. What’s your favourite classic car? We’d love to hear about it via Twitter.