We hope you’re ready to celebrate! September 29th, 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Chevrolet Camaro and we have to say…it’s literally been an awesome ride. From its induction in 1966 until today, the Camaro has been through many twists and turns and has continued to deliver on its promise of performance and style. Keep reading to learn more about where the Camaro has taken us over the last 50 years.
Word of the Camaro began circulating in the automotive community back in April of 1965. It was introduced initially as a response to its competitor, the Ford Mustang, which debuted in April of 1964.
After much chatter and buzz among the press for the year prior, 200 automotive journalists received a total of two telegrams from General Motors. The first one, received on June 21, 1966 stated, “…please save noon of June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow…”. The second was received the following day and said, “Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28…”.
If you’re not aware, the code name for the Ford Mustang was Panther. Still however, most of the journalists weren’t clear on what the telegrams could possibly mean.
The press conference finally proceeded on June 28th and Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes made the official announcement: project designation XP-836 was set to commence. He subsequently announced that the name would be Camaro, which they said meant “a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.” It was later determined that the definition was false but we imagine it gained some traction.
Since it all started, there have been 6 generations of the Camaro, each one improving from the last. Major and minor features were added throughout the years to ensure that each model satisfied its loyal drivers. From front-hood stripes to an all-aluminum engine to suede seats, Chevrolet did everything possible to keep us on our toes. So much so that the Camaro won many awards and accolades, including World Car Design of the Year in 2010. You can’t really argue with that one.
After a brief hiatus from 2002 to 2009, the Camaro was overhauled, redesigned and back on the market. It succeeded well into its 5th Generation and is continuing down that path into the 6th. This generation has produced unique and incredibly fast vehicles and we are well on our way to the 2017 model. We’re talking top speeds of 193 mph. Who could possibly resist?
The last 50 years have boasted incredible engineering and unbelievable performance for the Camaro. After looking back on all of the different models that have been produced, we can honestly say that it’s impossible to pick a favorite. All we can do is marvel at the innovation and appreciate the precision. Here’s to the next 50 years; it’s been quite a ride.