The History of the Development of the Chevrolet Camaro from Generation to Generation

The Chevrolet Camaro is a car manufactured by General Motors under the Chevrolet brand, classified as a horse car and some versions also as a muscle car. It went on sale on September 29, 1966, the 1967 model year and was designed as a competing model for the Ford Mustang. The car, along with the platform and main components of the Pontiac Firebird, was also introduced for 1967.

Four different generations of Camaros were developed before production ended in 2002. The nameplate was revived on a concept car that evolved into the fifth generation Camaro; Production began on March 16, 2009.

First Generation 1967-1969

First Generation 1967-1969
Camaro First Generation

The first generation Camaro debuted in September 1966, 1967 model years, through 1969 on the new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and was available as a 2-door Coupe or convertible with 2 + 2 seats, and a choice of 250 cu in (3.8 L) , 230 cu (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 synthetic V8 (7.0 L).

Concerning the runaway success of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet executives realized that their sporty compact car, the Corvair, would not be able to generate the Mustang's sales volume because of its engine design, as well as declining sales, partly due to negative publicity from Ralph Naderbuku, not being safe at any speed.

Therefore, the Camaro was touted as having the same conventional rear-drive configuration, front engine as the Mustang and the Chevy II Nova. In addition, the Camaro is designed to suit various power plants in the engine bay. The first generation would last until the 1969 model year and would eventually inspire the new retro design of the fifth generation Camaro.

Second generation: 1970 - 1981

Second generation: 1970 - 1981
Camaro Second Generation

Introduced in February 1970, the second generation Camaro was produced through the 1981 model year, with cosmetic changes made in the 1974 and 1978 model years. The heavy car was restyled and became somewhat bigger and wider with new styling.

Still based on the F-body platform, the new Camaro is similar to its predecessor, with a unibody structure, front frame, front A-arm suspension, and leaf springs to control the solid rear axle. Road & Track voted the 1971 SS350 as one of the 10 best cars in the world in August 1971.

The RS (shown at right), SS and Z28 performance packages slowly disappeared. The Z28 package was contested in mid-1977, largely in response to fan demand, the first time dominance over the Ford Mustang, as well as the success of the company's stablemate, the Pontiac Trans Am.

The 1980 and 1981 Z28 models included an AC induction scoop hood with an intake door that opened under full throttle.

Third generation 1982-1992

Third generation 1982-1992
Camaro Third Generation

The third generation Camaro was produced from 1982 to 1992. This was the first Camaros to offer modern fuel injection, Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 four speed automatic transmission, five speed manual transmission, 15 or 16 inch wheels, standard OHV 4 cylinder engine, and hatchback body. The car was nearly 500 pounds (227 kg) lighter than both generation models.

IROC-Z (IROC stands for International Race of Champions) was introduced in 1985 and continued through 1990. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Regulations required CHMSL (Center Height Mounted Stop Lamp) starting with the 1986 model year.

The new brakes are located outside the center area over the rear windshield hatch. Additionally, the 2.5L Iron Duke pushrod 4 cylinder engine was dropped, and all base models now come with the 2.8L V6 (OHV).

For 1987 and later, the CHMSL is mounted in a glass top hatch or integrated into the rear spoiler (if equipped). In 1985, a small block 305 V8 was available with TPI (look forward to port injection). In 1987 the L98 5.7L 350cu in V8 engine became the usual choice on the IROC-Z, paired with an automatic transmission only. A "20th Anniversary Edition" was offered in 1987, as well as a 1992 "25th Anniversary Legacy Package" which included a 305 cu (5.0 L) high output engine. 

Beginning in 1988, the 1LE performance package was introduced, optional on road models and for stock racing showrooms in the US and Canada. The B4C or "police" package was made available starting in 1991. This essentially created the Z28's more refined RS styling.

Fourth generation 1993-2002

Fourth generation 1993-2002
Camaro Fourth Generation

The fourth-generation Camaro debuted in 1993 with an updated F-body platform. It retains the same characteristics since its introduction in 1967: a 2+2-seater coupé body style (with an optional T-top roof) or convertible (introduced in 1994), rear wheel drive, v6 pushrod and V8 engine.

The standard engine from 1993-1995 was a single 3.4 liter V6. The 3.8 Liter V6 was introduced in 1995. The 350 MPFI (LT1) small block V-8 engine, introduced on the Corvette in 1992, is standard on the Z28. Optional equipment includes all-speed traction control and a new six-speed T-56 manual transmission; The 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Z28, but is optional on the model's V6 engine which comes with a 5-speed manual as standard.

Anti-lock brakes are standard equipment on all Camaros. The limited quantity SS versions (1996-1997) came with a 330 HP LT4 small block engine, mostly equipped with the LT1. The 1997 model year included a revised interior, and the 1998 model year included exterior styling changes, and the switch to GM's LS1 aluminum block used in the Corvette C5.

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