1967-1970 Chevrolet Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro is an American automobile manufactured by Chevrolet
It’s classified as a pony car and also as a muscle car.
It went on sale on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year and was designed as a competing model to the Ford Mustang.
The car shared its platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced for 1967.
Four distinct generations of the Camaro were developed until 2002.
Reports began running during April 1965 within the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang.
It’s code-name was Panther.
On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference in Detroit’s Statler-Hilton Hotel. It was to be the first time in history that 14 cities were connected in real time for a press conference via telephone lines.
Chevrolet general manager Pete Estes announced a new car line, project designation XP-836, with a name that Chevrolet chose in keeping with other car names beginning with the letter C.
He claimed the name, suggests the comradeship of good friends as a personal car should be to its owner and that to us, the name means just what we think the car will do… go.
The Camaro name was then born.
In the book The Complete Book of Camaro, it states that Mr. Lund and Mr. Rollett found the word camaro in the French-English dictionary and it’s meaning was slang for friend, pal, or comrade.
The article further repeated Estes’s statement of what the word Camaro was meant to imply, that the car’s name “suggests the comradeship of good friends, as a personal car should be to its owner”.
The Camaro was first shown at a press preview in Detroit, Michigan, on September 12, 1966, and then later in Los Angeles, California, on September 19, 1966. The new model was introduced on September 26, 1966.
The Camaro officially went on sale in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year.
First Generation 1967-1969
The first-generation Chevrolet Camaro appeared in Chevrolet dealerships in September 1966,
The 1967 model year had a brand-new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and was available as:
A 2-door, 2+2 seat, hardtop
Or convertible with a choice of six-cylinder and V8 power plants.
The Camaro’s standard drive train was either a 230 cu in (3.8 L) straight-6 engine rated at 140 hp (104 kW) or a 327 cu in (5.4 L) (307 cu in (5.0 L) later in 1969) V8 engine, with a standard three-speed manual transmission.
There were 8 (in 1967), 10 (in 1968), and 12 (in 1969) different engines available in 1967-1969 Camaros.
Several optional transmissions
A four-speed manual was available with any engine.
The two-speed “Powerglide” automatic transmission was available all three years. The three-speed “Turbo Hydra-Matic 350” automatic became available starting in 1969. The optional automatic for SS396 cars was the Turbo 400 three-speed automatic.
There was a plethora of other options available all three years, including three main packages
The RS was an appearance package that included:
Revised taillights with back-up lights under the rear bumperRS badging,
Exterior bright trim available on any model.
The SS performance package consisted of:
A 350 or 396 cu in V8 engine
Chassis upgrades for better handling, the SS featured:
Non-functional air inlets on the hood
The Z/28 performance package was designed (with further modifications) to compete in the SCCA Trans-Am series.
A solid-lifter 302 V8
Power disc brakes
Two wide stripes down the hood and trunk lid.
The idea of offering such a wide variety of “packages” and numerous options was to “blanket” Camaro’s end of the personal car market with everything from a nice, plain and docile Six to a gaudy and fire breathing V8.
Where were they Built
Almost all of 1967-1969 Camaros were built in the two U.S. assembly plants:
Van Nuys, California.
There were also five non-U.S. Camaro assembly plants in countries that required local assembly and content. These plants were located in:
The first-generation Camaro debuted in September 1966, for the 1967 model year, up to 1969 on a new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and was available as;
A two-door coupé or convertible with 2+2 seating
A choice of 230 cu in (3.8 L), 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6 or 302 cu in (4.9 L), 307 cu in (5.0 L), 327 cu in (5.4 L), 350 cu in (5.7 L), 396 cu in (6.5 L), 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8 powerplants.
The Camaro was touted as having the same conventional rear-drive, front-engine configuration as the Mustang and Chevy II Nova.
The Camaro was designed to fit a variety of power plants in the engine bay. The first-generation Camaro lasted until the 1969 model year and eventually inspired the design of the new retro fifth-generation Camaro.
The first-generation offered:
Rally Sport editions
In 1967, the Z/28 model had additional features including:
Stripes on the hood and trunk
Styled rally road wheels
A 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8 engine.
The 1967 Camaro shared the subframe / semi-unibody design with the 1968 Chevy II Nova.
80 factory and 40 dealer options, including three main packages, were available.
The RS was an appearance package that included:
Back-up lights under the rear bumper
Exterior rocker trim.
The SS included a 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 engine and the L35 and L78 396 cu in (6.5 L) big-block V8s were also available.
The SS featured:
Non-functional air inlets on the hood
SS badging on the grille
It was possible to order both the SS and RS options, making it a RS/SS.
It was introduced in December 1966 for the 1967 model year.
It was created by Vince Piggins, who conceived offering “virtually race-ready” Camaros for sale from any Chevrolet dealer.
The Z/28 option required:
Power front disc brakes
A close-ratio Muncie 4-speed manual transmission
A 302 cu in (4.9 L) small-block V-8 engine
3″ stroke crankshaft with 4″ bore
An aluminum intake manifold
A 4-barrel vacuum secondary Holley carburetor of 780 cfm.
The Z/28 also came with
Racing stripes on the hood and trunk lid
‘302’ front fender emblems on the 67 and early 68 cars
‘Z/28’ emblems in late 68 & 69.
It was also possible to combine the Z/28 package with the RS package.
Only 602 Z/28s were sold in 1967, along with approximately 100 Indianapolis Pace Car replicas.
The 1967 and 1968 Z/28s did not have the cowl induction hood, optional on the 1969 Z/28s.
The 1967 Z28 received air from an open element air cleaner or from an optional cowl plenum duct attached to the side of the air cleaner that ran to the firewall and got air from the cowl vents.
15-inch rally wheels were included with Z/28s while all other 1967-9 Camaros had 14-inch wheels.
The origin of the Z/28 nameplate came from the RPO codes – RPO Z28 was the code for the Special Performance Package. RPO Z27 was for the Super Sport package.
Cars assembled in Switzerland were all coupes with the 198 PS (146 kW; 195 hp) 4,638 cc (283 cu in) small-block V8.
The Swiss-built Camaros were not available with the three-speed manual and had a differential lock and front disc brakes as standard.
The 1968 Camaro was very similar to the 1967 design.
Astro Ventilation (a fresh-air-inlet system)
The side vent windows were deleted
Side marker lights were added on the front and rear fenders
More pointed front grille and divided rear taillights.
Front running lights were also changed from circular to oval.
The big block SS models received:
Chrome hood inserts that imitated velocity stacks
A staggered shock absorber mounting to resolve wheel hop issues.
Higher performance models received multi-leaf rear springs instead of single-leaf units.
A 396 cu in (6.5 L) 350 hp (261 kW) big block engine was added as an option for the SS, and the Z28 appeared in Camaro brochures.
A Central Office Production Order (COPO) was placed for the only Z/28 convertible Camaro ever created. The car was placed in the executive garage which Pete Estes had access to.
He promptly gave approval for production of the Z/28 on driving the only model.
The 1969 Camaro carried over the previous year’s drivetrain and major mechanical components, but was composed of all-new sheetmetal.
The grille was redesigned with a heavy “V” cant and it had deeply inset headlights.
It also had:
New door skins
Rear quarter panels
Rear valance panel
The RS Option
The Rally Sport (RS) option, RPO Z22, included:
Special black painted grille with concealed headlights & headlight washers
Fender striping (except when sport striping or Z28 Special Performance Package is specified)
Simulated rear fender louvers
Front and rear wheel opening mouldings
Black body sill, RS emblems on grille
Steering wheel and rear panel
Rally Sport front fender nameplates
Bright accented taillights
Back-up lights below rear bumper
Bright roof drip moulding’s on Sport Coupe
37,773 were built.
This option could be added to any other option (i.e., SS or Z/28), making the model an RS/SS or a RS/Z28.
The Z28 option was still available with the 302 cid small block. It was backed by Muncie four-speed with a new-for-69 standard Hurst shifter and connected to a 12-bolt rear axle with standard 3.73 gears.
The 302 featured:
Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
Solid lifter camshaft
Holley carburetion on a dual-plane intake manifold.
A dual four-barrel crossram intake manifold was available as a dealer-installed option
1969 Model Year
The 1969 model year was extraordinarily long, right into November 1969.
This was due to a manufacturing problem that delayed the introduction of the second generation model planned for 1970.
Chevrolet were forbidden from installing engines larger than 400 cu in (6.6 l).
The COPO 9561 used the solid-lifter L72 big-block engine, making an underrated 425 hp (317 kW) gross.
Yenko ordered 201 of these cars to create the now-legendary Yenko Camaro.
Other dealers also became aware of the L72 engine package and ordered it. Around 900-1,000 Camaros were fitted with the L72 engine option
A total of 69 ZL-1 Camaros were produced.
The engine alone cost over US$4,000.
Though rated at 430 hp (321 kW) gross, the ZL-1 made 376 SAE Net HP in its “as installed” state. With exhaust changes and some tuning, the horsepower jumped to over 500.
The ZL1 engines were hand assembled in a process that took 16 hours each. All ZL1 engines were manufactured at the Tonawanda Assembly Plant before being installed in Corvettes and Camaros.
Two of the 69 ZL-1’s are known to have landed in Australia, with both owned by local motor racing legend and multi-millionaire tyre retailer Bob Jane, with both cars painted in Jane’s team colour Sebring Orange.
One of the Camaros was used by Jane for drag racing in Australia.
Jane drove the other Camaro to win the 1971 and 1972 Australian Touring Car Championships (the forerunner to today’s V8 Supercars), though due to regulation changes restricting engines to a maximum cubic capacity of 6000 cc, Jane was forced to replace the 427 engine with a 350 in 1972.
1967–1969 L26 230 cu in (3.8 L) I6 140 hp (104 kW)
1967–1969 L22 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6 155 hp (116 kW) at 4200 rpm, 235 lb·ft (319 N·m) at 1600 rpm
1967–1969 Z28 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8 290 hp (216 kW) (rated) 350 hp (261 kW) actual
1967–1969 LF7 327 cu in (5.4 L) V8 210 hp (157 kW)
1967–1968: L30 327 cu in (5.4 L) V8 275 hp (205 kW)
1969: L14 307 cu in (5.0 L) V8 200 hp (168 kW)
1969: LM1 & L65 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 255 hp (190 kW) and 250 hp (186 kW)
1967–1969 L48 SS350 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 295 hp (220 kW) (1969 300 hp (224 kW)) at 4800 rpm, 380 lb·ft (515 N·m) at 3200 rpm
1967–1969 L35 SS396 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 325 hp (242 kW) at 4800 rpm, 410 lb·ft (556 N·m) at 3200 rpm
1968–1969 L34 SS396 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 350 hp (261 kW) at 5200 rpm, 415 lb·ft (563 N·m) at 3200 rpm
1967–1969 L78 SS396 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 375 hp (280 kW) at 5600 rpm, 415 lb·ft (563 N·m) at 3600 rpm
1968–1969 L89 aluminum cylinder head option for the L78 SS396/375 engine—lightened the engine by ~100 lb (45 kg).
1969 COPO 9561/L72 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8 425 hp (317 kW) at 5600 rpm, 460 lb·ft (624 N·m) at 4000 rpm
1969 COPO 9560/ZL1 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8 430 hp (321 kW) at 5200 rpm, 450 lb·ft (610 N·m) at 4400 rpm
Second generation (1970–1981)
Introduced in February 1970, the second-generation Camaro was produced through the 1981 model year, with cosmetic changes made in 1974 and 1978 model years.
The car was heavily restyled and became somewhat larger and wider with the new styling.
It was based on the F-body platform, and was similar to its predecessor.
A unibody structure
An A-arm front suspension
Leaf springs to control the solid rear axle.
Most of the engine and drivetrain components were carried over from 1969, with the exception of the 230 cu in (3.8 L) six-cylinder
The base engine was now the 250 cu in (4.1 L) six, rated at 155 hp (116 kW).
The 1970 Camaro SS 396 had the 396 cu in (6.5 L) L78 rated at 350 hp (261 kW).
Starting in 1970, the big block V8s (nominally 396 cu in (6.5 L)) actually displaced 402 cu in (6.6 L), yet Chevrolet chose to retain the 396 badges.
Two 454 cu in (7.4 L) engines (the LS6 and LS7) were listed on early specification sheets and in some sales brochures but never made it into production.
Besides the base model, buyers could select the Rally Sport option.
It’s features included:
A distinctive nose and bumper
A Super Sport package,
The Z-28 Special Performance Package (priced at US$572.95) featured:
A new high-performance LT-1 360 hp V8 Engine
The LT-1, an engine built from the ground up using premium parts and components, was a much better performer overall than the previous 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8s used in 1967-69
Greater torque and less-radical cam
And was available
With the 3-speed Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission as an option to the four-speed manual for the first time.
With an LT-1 engine in the 1970 Camaro Z-28 which came from the Corvette.
New Body Style
The new body style featured:
Ventless full-door glass
No rear side quarter windows
Doors were wider to permit easier access to the rear seat
New pull-up handles replacing the old handles
The lower button had to be pushed in to open the door
The roof was a new double-shell unit for improved rollover protection and noise reduction
Base Model Features
The base model featured:
A separate bumper/grille design with parking lights under the bumper
Rally Sport Option
The Rally Sport option included:
A distinctive grille surrounded by a flexible Endura material
Round parking lights beside the headlights and bumperettes surrounding on both sides of the grille
The rear highlighted by four round taillights similar to the Corvette.
A convertible was not offered, making this the only Camaro generation not to offer one.
The 1970, often mistakenly referred to as a 70½ (no cars were ever titled or registered as such), was the first Camaro offered with a rear stabilizer bar.
The four-wheel disc brake option (RPO JL8 of 1969) was dropped.
New Features For the 1970 Model
The new features fir the 1970 model included:
A new curved instrument panel featured several round dials for gauges and other switches directly in front of the driver
The lower section included the heating/air conditioning controls to the driver’s left and radio, cigarette lighter and ashtray in the center and glovebox door on the right
New Strato bucket seats with squared-off seatbacks and adjustable headrests
Rear seating consisting of two bucket cushions and a bench seat back due to the higher transmission tunnel.
Optional center console, with standard Hurst shifter was now integrated into the lower dashboard
Small storage area
Optional stereo tape player
Standard Interior Features
The standard interior featured:
A matte black dashboard finish,
Optional custom interior came with upgraded cloth or vinyl upholstery
Woodgrain trim on dash and console.
The 1970 model was introduced to the assembly plants in February 1970, halfway through the model year.
This caused some people to refer to it as a “1970½.” model; all were 1970 models.
The 1970 model year vehicles are generally regarded as the most desirable of the early second-generation Camaros, since the performance of following years was reduced by the automobile emissions control systems of the period and later the addition of heavy federally mandated bumpers.
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