Name: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 RS
Year(s) Produced: 1967-1969
Number Built: 20,302
Class: Sports car
Body Type: 2-door sports coupe
Engine: 301.6 cu in GM Chevrolet V8 (Camaro Z28)
Power: 290hp @ 5800 RPM
0-60mph: 7.6 seconds
Top Speed: 129mph
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Length/width/height: 186 in./ 74 in./ 51.1 in.
Wheelbase: 108 in.
Base Price: (?)
Highest Price: US$87,100 (Hagerty)
Almost 5 years ago, in celebration of its 100th anniversary, Chevrolet ran an internet poll asking the question, ‘What is the best Chevy of all time?’ After a four-round bracketed competition, a total of 124,368 votes were cast and the title of being the greatest Chevrolet of all time, read: in its 100 years of existence, goes to the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro beat out the 1970 Chevelle SS in the last round of voting, 25,058 to 18,449. It also beat out 14 other models, spanning from the 1912 Classic Six, Chevrolet’s first car, to the modern 2011 Volt and 2009 Corvette ZR1 models.
It’s not quite difficult to think why the 69 Camaro was at the head of the pack. Being the last of the ‘first generation’ Camaro in 1969 before having a dramatic re-design in 1970, The 1969 model was also the only Camaro ever offered with the ZL1 performance package, which slotted a 427-cubic-inch, 430 hp V-8 under the car’s hood. Chevy made just 69 ZL1s, but managed to deliver 243,085 RS, SS, and Z/28 Camaros’ that year.
However, naming the best Chevy of all time may likewise translate in deciding the best car of all the time – it’s simply a matter of personal taste and more of just a numbers game. Because truth be told, choosing the best Chevy may be as daunting as choosing between a Michelangelo or a Picasso, or choosing your bet for the Presidency. It’s a matter of personal preference regardless of performance, value for money, or killer looks. It’s a reality that is clearly understood by the folks at Chevrolet, hence the voting system. Tom Joslin of Jalopnik.com has unabashedly mentioned that he chooses a different vehicle over the Camaro. “They’re popular and they are certainly cool, but I’m not sold on these choices,” Joslin points out. “The 1963 Corvette Stingray that was voted fourth would probably be my number one. The new ZR1 is excellent and anything from 1955 (especially the Nomad) that featured the first Chevy small block V8 ever made was pretty great, just to name a few.” Indeed, the old Latin phrase ‘vox populi, vox dei’ can never be so relevant.
Now I think it’s proper to clarify at this point that I’m not against the ’69 Camaro being voted first. As you might have guessed already, what we’re driving at is the very concept of naming the best itself. Personal preferences and inclinations will always come into play whenever we make choices such as this, notwithstanding the emotional elements involved when our bets are either in or out.
Now that the dust has long settled over the issue, we can probably scan the horizon again and see if we are still convinced of our choices five years ago (that is, if you’re one of the 125,000 who cast their vote). For now, I want to share this video of this purple stunner of a 1969 Camaro resto-modded to our hearts’ content courtesy of RK Motors Charlotte. See I told you, I’m not against Camaros.