First Generation Camaros 1967-1969
After much anticipation,the new Camaro debuted Septimeber 29, 1966, and it was an immediate hit. Its flowing body panels were visually appealling, and the wide variety of potent engine offerings was appealing to performance car enthusiasts. When fitted with a V-8, the Camaro shared the same spirit of the Corvette, but it had a much lower purchase price, lower insurance premiums, and offered two more seats!
Besides the base body style, additional trim packages were available by ordering the Rally Sport or Super Sport option. In fact, combining two options was possible, which delivered the ultimate in Camaro styling. For about $300 extra, you could order a Camaro with a convertible top. Approximately 100 '67 Camaro Indy Pace cars were built, which were all RS/SS convertibles, painted white, and fitted witha Brite Blue custom interior-but they were not available to the public, just to GM dignitaries.
In '67, the Camaro was available with six different engines, ranging from a base 230ci/140hp inline six to a big-block 396 V-8 producing a healty 375 hp. In the mix weas a variety of small black V8's along with the famed 302 v-8 offered as part of the Z-28 package.
Suspension on the '67 Camaro was basic. It delivered decent cornering in stock trim and great cornering if equipped with the optional RPO F41 special-purpose suspension and RPO N44 performance-ratio steering box. However, with its monoleaf rear suspension and near verticle rear shocks, violent wheelhop when trying to aggressively launch the car from a stop.
The '68 Camaro looked very similar to the '67 externally. Small body changes included the addition of side marker lights (due to a new government mandate), a pointier front grill, and divided rear taillights. Due to the '68's new Astro Ventilation fresh-air-inlet system, gone were the side window windwings.
By 1969, the Camaro was extremely popular. Sales had steadily increased during the first years of the Camaro and set a new all-time high, thanks to its long production run (from September 1968 Through February 1970). The '69 was given an updated look that was meaner than the graceful '67-'68 models. It hada more aggressive grille, slightly squarer body panels, and squared-off rear wheel openings. Out back, new multisectioned rear taillights were used. Up front, partially see-through headlight comvers were used with the Rally Sport grille package (previous RS headlight covers were solid panels). For the first time, the general public could order RPO Z11, which delivered the special Indy 500 exterior package (fitted to a total of 3,674 cars).
Engine options were at an all-tiem high with the '69 Camaro, as 14 different powerplants were available. A traditional array of potent small and big-block V-8's were optional, but under a special ordering procedure, a '69 Camaro could be outfitted with two different killer 427 V-8's. Central Office Production Order (COPO) No. 9560 netted the ZL1 option that delivered an aluminum block, aluminum-head 427 V-8 that was an all-out race engine. A total of 69 ZL1's were produced, which makes them prime collectibles. In the same vein, ordering COPO 9561 netted an RPO L72 425hp, iron-block 427 v-8 originally fitted to a '66 Corvette.
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