A Brief History of the Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is a car produced by General Motors under the Chevrolet brand. This car is classified as a pony car and some of its versions are categorized as a muscle car. This car was first sold on September 29, 1967. It was designed to compete with the Ford Mustang. This car uses the same platform and components as the Pontiac Firebird.

Chevrolet Camaro
Camaro Logo

A brief History

Prior to the official announcement, reports began running during April 1965 in the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named the Panther. On June 21, 1966, approximately 200 automotive journalists received a telegram from General Motors stating, “…Please save the afternoon of June 28 for an important SEPAW meeting.

Hope you can be on hand to help scratch the cat. Details will follow…(in) John L. Cutter-Chevrolet Public Relations-SEPAW Secretary.” The next day, the same journalists received another General Motors telegram stating, "the public for the eradication of the Panthers from the automotive world will hold its first and last meeting on June 28...)signed) John L. Cutter-Chevrolet PR Secretary SEPAW." This telegram confused automotive journalists.

On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference at Detroit's Statler-Hilton Hotel. This will be the first time in history that 14 cities are connected in real time to a press conference via telephone lines.

Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Camaro First Generation

Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes started a press conference stating that all conference participants were charter members of the public for the elimination of the Panthers from the automotive world and that this would be the first and last SEPAW meeting.

Estes then announced a new line of cars, project designation XP-836, with the Chevrolet name choosing according to other car names starting with the letter C such as the Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette.

He claims the name, "suggests the friendship of good friends like a private car should be its owner" and that "to us, the name means just what we thought the car would do… Go!" The new Camaro name was later unveiled. The automotive press asked the Chevrolet product manager, "What is a Camaro?" and was told it was a “little devil, beast that eats Mustangs.”

The Camaro was first shown at a press preview in Detroit, Michigan, on September 12, 1966, and then in Los Angeles, California, on September 19, 1966. The general introduction of the new model was on September 26, 1966. The Camaro officially went on sale at dealerships on September 29, 1966, 1967 model year.

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