During the debut of the 2016 Camaro last May 16, 2015, Chevrolet also showcased some of its most iconic cars that showed the evolution of the Camaro. This is the first Chevrolet has displayed such a collection that involved 5 generations of Camaro. Most of the cars displayed were from the GM Heritage Collection and the rest were from private collectors that were rented for the event.
“Heritage has always been part of the Camaro ownership experience and this ‘museum’ of Camaro’s history shows how design and performance came together over the years to make it one of America’s most iconic cars,” said Camaro’s marketing manager, Todd Christensen.
The collection showed the development of the Camaro through each generation that eventually lead to the most recent 2016 Camaro.
Here are the classic Camaro featured in the collection.
First Generation Camaro
1967 Camaro – VIN #100001
The father of all Camaros. This 1967 Camaro with the VIN #100001 is the very first hand-built “Pilot Assembly” out of 49 made at the Norwood, Ohio plant it was one of the earlier models that were built for testing and evaluations before moving the model to full production. This 1967 Camaro is installed with a 3.7L inline-six engine with a 3-speed manual transmission. This is the car that was used by Chevrolet for the models debut in August 1966 and was also used for photo shoots, ads, and films to promote the model. Shortly after it was sold through a Chevrolet dealer from Oklahoma and had a few owners. It ended becoming a dragster in the 1980s. In 2009, it was acquired by Cory Lawson and underwent a full restoration to its original condition with the help of GM Heritage Collection.
1967 Camaro Z/28
This was designed to conform to the standards of the famous Trans-Am road-racing series by SCCA. The 1967 Camaro Z/28 model was design with chassis and suspension system for fit the regulations. Power by a Z/28 exclusive small block v8 engine modified into a 302 cubic inch to conform the class rules that limits all engine to be under 305 cubic inches. 602 Z/28 were built in 1967 and this one has less than 50,000 miles since released from production. It has a close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission, 3.73 ratio rear axle and heavy duty disc brakes.
1967 Camaro “Grumpy’s Toy”
The one and only historic Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins 396 powered 1967 Camaro “Grumpy’s Toy” that dominated the Super Stock class of NHRA 1967 championship. Grump’s Toy help him in propelling him to be a part of the Pro Stock that started in 1970. Bill Jenkins worked with Vince Piggins who was the Chevrolet Racing Director at that time to launch Camaro’s racing career. This is the first official Camaro to have the L78-code 396 engine with 375 horsepower. This is without a doubt an important car in drag race history.
1968 Camaro Z/28 convertible
The 1st gen Camaro Z/28 convertible were not sold to the public and this special one was only built for Pete Estes, Chevrolet general manager. This specifically hand built Camaro convertible was designed to feature Pete Estes needs and wants. This Z/28 convertible focused on performance but also had some special features that was not available for the regular models that includes a cross-ram intake manifold, cowl-induction hood and 4 wheel high performance disc brakes.
1969 Camaro ZL1
Out of 69 1969 Cortez Silver Camaro ZL1s this is the number 66. All ZL1s were made under the COPO special order system installed with a pure aluminum 427 big block engine. 50 were first ordered by Fred Gibb, an Illinois Chevrolet dealer as it was the required amount for production line cars required by NHRA for all Super Stock class to be qualified. Only 12 ZL1s were installed with the Muncie M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed manual transmission and only 6 were equipped with Rally wheels, this ZL1 is one of those rare beauties. The Camaro ZL1 is certainly one of the most important production Camaro and one of the most expensive muscle cars among the classic car collectibles.
1969 Yenko Camaro
The 1969 Yenko Camaro is also a performance oriented special order under COPO. 200 Yenko Camaro were built by Don Yenko from the Chevrolet Pennsylvania that were equipped with an iron-block 427 engine. This one is in its original condition with was only repainted once with the same Hugger Orange paint job. The drivetrain is said to be the original one and was never removed or rebuilt. This is one out of 30 Yenko Camaros that has a Turbo 400 3-speed automatic transmission.
1967/1968 Camaro Z/28 Penske/Sunoco Race Car
Roger Penske was just starting out as a businessman and owned a racing team. Together with race car driver Mark Donohue, Penske went on to face 2 SCCA Professional Series; the US Road Racing Championship and the Trans-AM Road Race with Lola race cars and Chevy Camaro equipped with Chevy engines. The team had a bad start with Camaro and tried to experiment with a lightweight body that comprised of acid-dipped metal sheets. This greatly increased the cars performance giving them an advantage. They used components from a 1968 Camaro body to have two cars during the Sebring 12-hour race. This Camaro that won the Tran-Am class and placed third in the overalls was restored to its 1968 Sebring configuration. This car was lent by Mr. Patrick Ryan for the event.
1970 Camaro Z28 ‘Hurst Sunshine Special’
1970 was the debut of the 2nd generation Camaro and high expectation were placed on the performance in the Camaro in its 360-hp LT-1 engine, solid-lifter camshaft, and 11.0:1 compression ratio. This 1970 Camaro Z28 ‘Hurst Sunshine Special’ is one out of three prototypes that never went into full production. It featured an experimental power-sliding sunroof that was never applied to other models. Out of the 3 Hurst Sunshine Special, this one is the only remaining one and is owned by Rick Hendrick as part of his collection.
1974 Camaro Z28
The 1974 Camaro Z28 was designed to have a sloped front-end and wraparound tail lamps to fit the revised federal bumper standards. The extended aluminum front and rear bumpers increased to total length of the car by 7 inches. The Camaro Z28 had a 5.7L small block V8 engine with a 245 horsepower. The different graphic details of the Z28 were its trademark. After selling 13,802 Z28 in 1974, production for the Z28 was put on hold for up to two years. This Z28 is owned by the GM Heritage Collection.
1977 Camaro Z28
After the 2 year hiatus for the Z28, it returned to full production with improved handling. The blacked-out trim and hood details became the 1977 Z28. It was powered by a 5.7L small block V8 with a 185 horsepower and a 280 lb-ft torque. It also had a Borg-Warner 4-speed manual complimented with a high performance gear set. The 1977 Z28 had a special suspension system built to hold all that power. In 1977, 14,349 were sold making the total sales of Camaro to 218,853 that beat Mustang’s sales for the first time in history.
1978 Camaro Z28
The looks of the 1977 Camaro Z28 was updated with a new body color, new urethane front and rear panels. The fresh look of the Camaro appealed to its customers and sold 54,907 in 1978. 5,907 were sent to Canada and this is one of the rare Canada bound models which had a 5.7L small block V8 with a 170 horsepower matched with a 3-speed automatic transmission. The Canadian and USA Z28s were similar except for the units the instruments used, the Canadian used metric instruments. This one is also part of Rick Hendrick’s Collection.
1981 Camaro Pro Stock race car
This is the legendary Reher-Morrison dragster that was used by Lee Sheperd to win the first NHRA Pro Stock title in 1981, the team later won 3 more NHRA titles consecutively. This car has been restored to its NHRA winning configuration that has a 3 speed Lenco racing transmission. From 1981 until 1984, this Camaro driven by Shepherd won 26 NHRA national events and reaching the finals 44 in 56 NHRA events. They also won the first NHRA as well as the first IHRA drag racing championships. This 1981 Camaro Pro Stock race car is now belongs to the Rick Hendrick Collection.
Reference & Photo’s: