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Chevrolet Camaro

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Chevrolet Camaro

Camaro
Vehicle Model

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Wikipedia: Chevrolet Camaro

Subtopics
1st Generation (1967, 1968, 1969)
2nd Generation (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
3rd Generation (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992)
4th Generation (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002)
5th Generation (Concept, 2012)
6th Generation
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A sports coupe produced by Chevrolet. Chevrolet Camaro sales began on September 29, 1966 with the 1967 model year.

A Camaro was mentioned in the Brooks & Dunn song Rock My World (Little Country Girl), which opens with the lines, "She's got a t-top Camaro with a scoop on the hood, two big speakers blastin' 'Johnny Be Good'."

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Chevrolet Camaro page on 12 November 2015, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Chevrolet Camaro is an automobile manufactured by Chevrolet, classified as a pony car and some versions also as a muscle car. It went on sale on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year and was designed as a competing model to the Ford Mustang. The car shared its platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced for 1967.

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

Background

Before any official announcement, reports began running during April 1965 within the automotive press that Chevrolet was preparing a competitor to the Ford Mustang, code-named Panther. On June 21, 1966, around 200 automotive journalists received a telegram from General Motors stating, "...please save noon of June 28 for important SEPAW meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet public relations – SEPAW secretary." The following day, the same journalists received another General Motors telegram stating, "Society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28...(signed) John L. Cutter – Chevrolet public relations SEPAW secretary." These telegrams puzzled the automotive journalists.

On June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference in Detroit’s Statler-Hilton Hotel. It was to be the first time in history that 14 cities were connected in real time for a press conference via telephone lines. Chevrolet general manager Pete Estes started the news conference stating that all attendees of the conference were charter members of the Society for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World and that this would be the first and last meeting of SEPAW. Estes then announced a new car line, project designation XP-836, with a name that Chevrolet chose in keeping with other car names beginning with the letter C such as the Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II, and Corvette. He claimed the name, suggests the comradeship of good friends as a personal car should be to its owner and that to us, the name means just what we think the car will do... go. The Camaro name was then unveiled. Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers, what is a Camaro? and were told it was a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.

According to the book The Complete Book of Camaro: Every Model Since 1967, the name Camaro was conceived by Chevrolet merchandising manager Bob Lund and General Motors vice president Ed Rollett, while they were reading the book Heath's French and English Dictionary by James Boïelle and by de V. Payen-Payne printed in 1936. In the book The Complete Book of Camaro, it states that Mr. Lund and Mr. Rollett found the word camaro in the French-English dictionary to mean friend, pal, or comrade. The article further repeated Estes's statement of what the word camaro was meant to imply, that the car's name "suggests the comradeship of good friends, as a personal car should be to its owner". In fact, the actual French word that has that meaning is "camarade", from which the English word "comrade" is derived, and not "camaro"; "camaro" is not a recognized word in the French language.

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


Reference Desk

The Crittenden Automotive Library's "Reference Desk" is a collection of materials that cannot be shared due to copyright restrictions. Information from these resources, however, can be shared. Go to the Reference Desk page for more information.

TypeTitle
2006 BookThe Story of Camaro by John Gunnell & Jerry Heasley; Krause Publications


Photographs

Chevrolet Camaros Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
Green Street Cruise Night:  June 7, 2010
View photo of Chevrolet Camaros - 4,049KB
Chevrolet Camaros Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of Chevrolet Camaros - 3,653KB
Chevrolet Camaros Photo ©2010 Bill Crittenden
2010 Gary Lang Auto Group Car Show
View photo of Chevrolet Camaros - 3,303KB
Chevrolet Camaro Banner Original Featured Vehicle banner for Chevrolet Camaro
Camaro at left is a 1997 scale model, Camaro badge at right from the dashboard of a 1972 Camaro.
Image ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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Chevrolet Camaro Banner Second Featured Vehicle banner for Chevrolet Camaro
Camaro badge at right from the dashboard of a 1972 Camaro
Image ©2011 Bill Crittenden
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Chevrolet Camaro Banner Third Featured Vehicle banner for Chevrolet Camaro
Camaro badge at right from the dashboard of a 1972 Camaro
Image ©2011 Bill Crittenden
15KB
Chevrolet Camaro Banner Current Featured Vehicle banner for Chevrolet Camaro
Camaro badge from the fender of a 1969 Camaro
Image ©2012 Bill Crittenden
Tail Lights Cover: Chevrolet Camaro Engines March (17 pages)
Cover Car: 1970 Chevrolet Camaro & 4th Generation Chevrolet Camaro

Cover photo ©2015 Bill Crittenden
Released 1 March 2015
View Tail Lights Cover: Chevrolet Camaro Engines - 1.1MB
Download Tail Lights: March 2015 - 13.2MB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
31 May 2000Z28 Aftermarket Performance Parts vendors advertise FREE on www.z28.comz28.com
11 May 2002MyAuction.Com Offers Live Internet Bidding For NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's Camaro SS Intimidator.MyAuction.Com
13 February 2011Chevrolet Camaro: A Timeless ClassicWilliam Jason
12 October 2011Camaro Performance Upgrades
21 May 2015Ford Mustang Outsold Camaro 42 Times in 51 YearsPatrick Rall
11 April 2016New at Summit Racing Equipment: Hotchkis Suspension Components for Chevy CamaroSummit Racing Equipment
27 April 2016New at Summit Racing Equipment: Aaron Quine Trans-Am Camaro Paint CombosSummit Racing Equipment


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