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A Guide to the Chevy Camaro

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A Guide to the Chevy Camaro

Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. See our full disclaimer here.

Are you searching for a brand-new car but have no idea where to begin? You’re certainly not alone—buying a new vehicle can be stressful. And, ideally, you’d like to get it right on the first try. No one wants to purchase a car without doing the proper research. The current market offers a plethora of options for any car shopper, but sometimes too many choices can make your selection even more of a challenge.

That being said, you still want to get the best car for your money and lifestyle; before you purchase any car, make sure that you’ve read all about it first. That way, you can feel genuinely confident in your purchase, and you won’t need to worry about another round of car shopping.

One popular possibility is the Chevy Camaro. Depending upon your priorities, you might be wondering a few things: Is a Camaro a cool car? Well, it IS Eddie Murphy’s favorite car, a 76 Camaro to be exact. That alone gives it a lot of cool points.

Or, maybe, you’re more focused on the practical side of the purchase. For instance, what kind of car is the Camaro? How large (or small) is it? What will be my top speed if I’m driving a Camaro? Has it earned its reputation as America’s muscle car?

To answer each of those questions (and more), we’ve compiled a detailed guide to this popular and reliable vehicle. This way, you can feel confident about your pick before you make the purchase.

The Camaro’s History

1967 Chevy Camaro

Image Credit: Auto Trader

So, what was the first year of the Camaro? The first generation of the Chevy Camaro debuted in 1967 and was manufactured until 1969. However, even before its announcement, rumors surrounding the Camaro had already begun to spread—although, at the time, it was known as the Panther.

Essentially, the rumor was that Chevy was preparing to release a competitor to the Ford Mustang, an extremely popular pony car. These initial rumors began to spread as early as 1965, although Chevy’s official announcement of the Camaro didn’t come until a year later.

America’s Muscle Car Makes Its Debut

The car received its name from (what was believed to be) a French slang term, meaning friend or pal. The inspiration behind this name came from an individual’s relationship with their car—if it’s a reliable vehicle, then the owner and their car can form a comradeship.

In September 1966, the first Chevy Camaro became available for purchase. This model was manufactured for the 1967 model year and was soon available at dealerships all over the United States. It ushered in the wave of the muscle car and had a reputation for helping drivers get attention. Buyers of this first-generation vehicle could choose between either a coupe or a convertible.

Once the first-generation Chevy Camaro had gone on sale, the second generation’s development was swiftly underway. Chevy was determined to design a car with some of the best handling and styling in the game to continue competing with the Ford Mustang.

However, the rounded sheet metal of the second-generation Camaro offered the manufacturer some new challenges (related to both production and engineering), which ended up delaying the process. As such, Chevy didn’t debut this car until February 1970—for this reason, this model is often referred to as the “1970½,” due to its late release. Still, it was an unofficial designation and Chevy never used it in an official capacity.

This updated Camaro was heavier than the original design. Several significant tweaks were also made to the vehicle to improve performance and reliability. Additionally, the second-generation Camaro is the only version of the vehicle that wasn’t available as a convertible.

Based on the changing federal bumper standards, the Camaro needed to be restyled yet again, in 1974. As a result, the length of the Camaro grew by around seven inches at this time. Also, by this time, several other popular pony cars were discontinued, while the Camaro continued to rise in popularity. The Mustang had since been downsized, becoming the Mustang II.

As the number of competing vehicles on the market shrunk, the Camaro grew increasingly popular, especially during the late 1970s. However, sales continued to rise as Chevy tweaked and improved upon the early design.

Come the 1982 model year, the third generation of the Chevy Camaro was introduced. The styling of this vehicle was cleaner than ever, with a squared-off design. The third-generation Camaro was also available in three models: the Berlinetta, Sport Coupe, and Z28.

The fourth generation of the Camaro debuted several years later, in 1993. This new version of the classic vehicle featured some notable differences and adjustments compared to the previous generation. For instance, the fourth-generation Camaro’s suspension was heavily revised, even though the live rear axle was kept in place.

However, at this point, sales of the Camaro were on a steady decline. Realizing this, Chevy initially planned to halt production of the Camaro in 2002—still, this wasn’t the end of the Camaro. Nearly a decade later, in 2010, the fifth generation of the Chevy Camaro was introduced. Then, in 2016, the sixth generation came into being. The Camaro is still in production to this day—although, due to falling sales, it is expected to be discontinued in 2023.

Why Is a Camaro Called a Camaro?

Why Is a Camaro Called a Camaro?

Keep in mind that, initially, the Camaro wasn’t even called the Camaro—it was first conceptualized as Project Panther as a swift response to the incredible popularity of the Ford Mustang. In fact, Chevy created a mysterious campaign that included press releases suggesting that they were developing a car that could take down the Mustang – named after a cat. As a result, this was the name it was known by for the majority of its initial development.

However, over time, Chevy refined this name. In part, this was done to adhere to the brand’s tradition of naming its cars using words beginning with “C.” In June 1966, the true name of the vehicle was unveiled. This occurred during the first-ever coast-to-coast conference call, spanning 14 cities.

Chevy’s general manager at the time, Pete Estes, announced the name. Estes provided those involved in the call with a detailed overview of the vehicle and used the time to publicly say its name for the first time: The Chevrolet Camaro.

The origins of the name Camaro are pretty simple. According to a French-English dictionary looked at by the staff at Chevy, “camaro” is a slang word that roughly translates to “friend” or “pal.” Ideally, according to Chevy, this is the kind of relationship an individual should strive to have with their car—it should be a bond based on close companionship, where the owner can rely upon their vehicle.

4 Chevy Camaro Facts

Now that we’ve covered some of the history behind the Chevy Camaro, let’s move on to some interesting details. Of course, many fun and interesting facts surround the Camaro—however, here are just a few of our favorites.

1. You Can Technically Thank Ford for the Conceptualization of the Camaro

When the Ford Mustang was first released, no one expected it to be as much of a hit as it was—well, except Ford, of course. This put all Ford’s competitors in a complicated position, where they were scrambling to create a vehicle that could successfully rival the Mustang.

The first-generation Camaro was a direct result of that rush. Chevy knew that it needed to create a fast, cheap vehicle that was popular with the younger crowd at the time—and the Ford Mustang dominated these markets just before the Camaro’s release.

So, even though it’s an indirect connection, you can technically thank Ford for the creation of the Camaro—if it hadn’t released the widely popular Mustang, Chevy might never have had the inspiration needed to design and release the Camaro.

2. The Cost of a First-Generation Camaro

Wondering how much a Chevy Camaro cost in its early days? In the beginning, the Camaro was priced at around $2,466. Now, that might not seem like much, but keep in mind that in today’s world, that’s the equivalent of approximately $19,000. Even still, the Camaro was intended to be an affordable vehicle, compared to others on the market.

3. Some Early Camaro Options Were a Bit Unusual

So, you’re probably wondering what we mean by this, exactly. For perspective, keep in mind that some of the more typical options car owners in the 1960s could expect to receive were air conditioning, an AM/FM radio, a tachometer, and so on.

However, the Camaro had some slightly more exciting options. If any buyers decided to custom order their vehicle, they could request some additions that weren’t as conventional. For instance, they could order a fold-down rear seat.

Blue Fold Trim

Image Credit: camaros.net

Or, perhaps even more unusual, the 1969 model Camaro could be ordered with a liquid aerosol tire chain. Essentially, this add-on allowed car owners to press a button on their dashboard, and the rear tires of their vehicle would be enveloped in a de-icing aerosol spray. The canisters that contained this spray were located above the car’s wheel wells.

Moto Authority

Image Credit: Motor Authority

4. The Early Camaro Had Seven Engine Options

When Chevy first released the Camaro, the goal was to go above and beyond—after all, it was trying hard to compete with the wildly popular Mustang. One decision Chevy made to help it stand out was the inclusion of seven engine options. Keep in mind that, at the time, this was more engine options than was offered by any other car manufacturer. This is more engine options than the modern-day Camaro offers.

What Body Style Is a Camaro?

Rare Convertible: 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Convertible

Rare Convertible: 1981 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Convertible Image Credit: Barn Finds

The Chevy Camaro has been manufactured with two body styles: the two-door coupe and the two-door convertible. The convertible body style was unavailable for several years, however, from 1969 until 1987.

What Is the Camaro Known For?

Over the many years it has existed, the Chevy Camaro has become well known for several reasons.

For instance, individuals might know the Camaro as the long-running vehicle that was discontinued in 2002, only to be manufactured again several years later. When the Camaro turned 35, Chevy released a particular edition model of the vehicle. However, rather than celebrating this accomplishment, Chevy was too busy watching sales of the car plummet. This eventually led to the vehicle being discontinued—or so it seemed.

Still, Camaro enthusiasts weren’t quite ready to accept the vehicle’s end. Due to all this enthusiasm and the encouragement, the vehicle soon went back into production. To this day, it is still being built.

How Fast Can a Camaro Go?

The top speed of a Camaro depends upon the model—it can vary a bit from year to year. If we’re looking at the most recent model (the 2020 Camaro), the top speed is about 198 miles per hour.

Now, maybe you’re wondering which Camaro is the fastest, of all the models and generations, over the years? In that case, the fastest Camaro is the 2011 SLP ZL1. This model is capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in just about three seconds.

Want a clearer idea of how fast that is, exactly? Think of it this way: The slowest Camaro was the 1975 edition of the vehicle. This vehicle was only capable of pumping out 105 horsepower, compared to the 2011 vehicle’s 750 horsepower. Plus, the 1975 Camaro takes over 10 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour.

Are Camaros Reliable?

Car and Driver

Image Credit: Car and Driver

In terms of reliability, the Chevy Camaro has fluctuated a bit over the years. Therefore, depending on which year you purchase, you could expect significantly different reliability levels. Which years were the most reliable for the Camaro, and which were the least?

The most recent model—the 2020 Chevy Camaro—seems to fall short in terms of reliability. This model ranked poorly with Consumer Reports, especially concerning reliability. Overall, the vehicle received 53 points out of a possible 100.

However, the 2020 Camaro also received a one out of five rating regarding reliability. This means it received the lowest possible reliability score—this wasn’t always the case, as diehard Camaro enthusiasts are all too aware.

In particular, the 2020 Camaro leaves much to be desired in terms of visibility. This could make it difficult for drivers to see important road signs and signals, such as stoplights. Rear-facing visibility is especially limited, which can pose a safety hazard for drivers—both at the wheel and on the road around them. Remember that, despite the severity of these issues, they haven’t always existed for the Chevy Camaro.

Further, the 2017 and 2018 models of the Camaro aren’t going to be your best bet if you’re seeking reliability. Which recent models of the Camaro should you opt for if reliability is one of your priorities? It’s probably best to consider the 2013 or 2015 model.

Which Year Camaro Is Best?

Maybe you have decided that the Chevy Camaro is the car for you. If so, that’s great! However, the next step is determining which year or model you’d like to purchase—remember, there’s a good deal of variability between models. Research the properties and features of each Camaro year to determine which option makes the most sense for you.

Including some of the more classic Camaro models, here’s a brief list highlighting some of the best.

1. 1967 Chevrolet Camaro

1967 Chevy

Image Credit: Motorious

Of course, we had to include the first year the Camaro was built. Had it not been for this car, the lengthy history of the Chevy Camaro would never have been set in motion. We have to give this model some substantial credit for making such a quick and powerful impact on the car-buying market.

In addition, the 1967 Camaro features several engines—one of which is a high-powered V8 engine, creating an enormous 295 horsepower.

2. 2012 Camaro ZL1

2012 Camaro ZL1

Image Credit: Autoblog

For this next one, let’s jump ahead a number of years. What makes this 2012 model of the Camaro so special?

Chevy made sure the Camaro’s fifth generation had a strong start with this particular release. The Camaro ZL1 comes standard with a V6 engine. Impressively enough, this Camaro model can pump out an enormous 580 horsepower; it can also reach an incredible top speed of 184 miles per hour.

Clearly, the Camaro was back, and it was stronger than ever before.

3. 2010 Camaro SS

2010 Camaro SS

Image Credit: Auto Evolution

Not only is the design of this model particularly beautiful—simple and sleek—but it’s also a powerful and reliable vehicle. For instance, the Camaro SS can reach speeds of up to 155 miles per hour.

4. 1985 Camaro IROC-Z

1985 Camaro IROC-Z

Image Credit: Motorious

Over the years, the Chevy Camaro seemed to have lost sight of its initial muscle car design—in that sense, the IROC-Z was one of the Camaro’s earliest comebacks. With this particular model, the Camaro was able to get back to its classic muscle car roots, perhaps for the first time in several years. Plus, it’s a powerful and reliable vehicle.

Is Chevy Discontinuing the Camaro?

Since the crest of the millennium, the Chevy Camaro has faced some complications—it just hasn’t been selling as well as it used to in its earlier days on the market. As a result, the car hit an especially severe low point in 2002, at the end of the fourth generation. This is the first time when, seemingly, the Camaro was going to be discontinued—and, for a while, this indeed appeared to have been the case.

From 2002 to 2009, the Camaro was no longer being manufactured. However, that wasn’t quite the end of this vehicle. Soon enough, the Camaro was back in production, and the fifth generation was being released.

Naturally, this was an enormous relief for Camaro enthusiasts. But, unfortunately, even after its release, the sales of the Camaro seemed to decline quickly. In more recent years, it’s become apparent: The Chevy Camaro isn’t going to be around much longer—the car is simply past its prime.

The sixth generation will remain in production until 2023. It’s impossible to say what the Camaro’s future will be. While this could end up being just enough hiatus from production, it’s also possible that, in 2023, the Chevy Camaro will be officially discontinued—permanently, this time.

Camaro Merch

Featured Supercar: The Dodge Challenger Hellcat

RedMountain_Featured-Supercar_Featured

Photo by Andre Tan on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Some links on this page are affiliate links. We may receive a commission if you make a purchase through these links. See our full disclaimer here.

After 13 years in production, Dodge has followed up its Challenger production with another year of churning out its Hellcat. The Hellcat is a 2-door notchback coupe that has been blowing away the competition of other full production coupes for more than a decade and has gotten quite the reputation along the way.

The reputation of the Challenger Hellcat is one of power and one of a roaring beast that overtakes you on the road. This year is no different. The Hellcat continues to march onward with its truly devastating loadout and intimidating power.

The Challenger Hellcat is impressive when it comes to power-to-price ratio. It tops-out at 797 horsepower on its highest model, easily outstripping nearly any vehicle that comes in south of $1 million dollars. It is the only car that even comes close to offering this brand of power. The car can get you to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds before accelerating far, far beyond that.

How much will you pay for all of this legendary power? Well, the pricing tops-out at around $90,000. It’s one of the only vehicles with that kind of power that can seat a family of five and their cargo. Normally, in order to get even close to this kind of fury, you have to sacrifice day-to-day usability. That is not the case in regards to the Challenger.

That said, the Challenger is not without its challenges. One is the incredible weight of the Hellcat Redeye models – 2.25 tons. This means that ripping around curves is going to be a dangerous proposition. But, it gets an outstandingly low 13 miles per gallon in town, only creeping up to 22 miles per gallon on the highway.

However, it does create sounds much like its fictional namesake—the hellcat—that will alarm every single other person on or near the road! It’s not going to command the same respect as a Bugatti or a Ferrari, but that’s also not going to stop you from having fun with the insane amount of power that one of these vehicles wields.

How Accessible is That Power Really?

What is a supercar worth if it’s not fun to drive? The Hellcat is absolutely fun, providing unrelenting power. Some drivers may find its power to traction ratio too much to handle as it’s extremely easy to spin out, but if a beast that needs careful handling is what you’re looking for, the Hellcat is it. How fast can the Dodge Challenger Hellcat go? Let’s say it’s somewhere north of 200 mph.

However, all that power will die on the turns, and be especially careful in wind, snow or rain. It should go without saying that every person driving a car that can break 200 mph should be fully aware of their surroundings at all times.

One of the things that can help is upgrading to the Widebody package, which is 3.5 inches wider on the body frame, and sports tires that are 2 inches wider. When you’re fighting against these levels of power, every square inch matters.

In Summary: A Review of the Dodge Challenger Hellcat

The Hellcat is not for every driver. However, it is hard to beat the amount of power that it brings to the table—707 hp. If you have access to straightaways where you can really let her rip, the Hellcat could easily be the car of your dreams.

Dodge Challenger Hellcat FAQs

What Are The Differences Between the Trim Levels of Challenger Hellcats?

SRT Hellcat

The Challenger SRT Hellcat clocks in at $58,995. It comes with the 6.2L HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 Engine, running at 717 hp. This runs into either a six-speed TREMEC manual transmission or a High-Output TorqueFlite 8-speed with paddle shifters.

It has a conical air-intake that runs into 2,380 cc/rev blower which produces considerable boost, and it has an after-run chiller to make sure that the car comes down cleanly afterwards. In order to keep all of this power under control, it employs four-wheel-disc brakes that have six-piston red Brembo front calipers bearing the SRT logo. These will deploy to help keep you on the road.

On the exterior the SRT Hellcat is a Dual-scoop hood and air-catcher headlamps, 20x 9.5 inch, low-gloss black, lightweight aluminum performance wheels, which bear 275/40ZR20 all-season performance Pirelli tires, a larger front splitter, and black exhaust tips.

Inside, the Hellcat logos are on houndstooth cloth seats. The instrument panel bezels and has the unique SRT logo and badge, and the speedometer climbs to 200-mph. All the door panels are ambiently lighted and, more importantly, have multistage front airbags.

SRT Hellcat Widebody

When you add the Widebody package—which will bring the price up to $64,995—the widebody suspension package offers a smoother ride, along with that 3.5-inch wider base, which helps to tame the beast a bit and prevent some of the spinning out that the Hellcat suffers from. The wheels are also 2 inches wider and come with 305/35ZR20 all-season tires.

SRT Hellcat Redeye

The Redeye package will start at $70,595, and upgrades the engine to the supercharged 6.2L High-Output HEMI SRT Hellcat V8 engine, which puts out that maximum of 797 horsepower. The Redeye comes with widebody competition suspension standard but not all the features of the Widebody package.

It has a Torque Reserve that can punch an extra 3.9 psi of boost on initial acceleration, leading to 55 percent engine torque. It also has higher-strength steel prop shafts that provide 15 percent increased torque capacity, and 41-spline half-shafts which can boost torque capacity an extra 20 percent. With all this extra power it packs on an SRT Power Chiller that utilizes an intercooler liquid-to-air chiller system to assist with boiling off all the extra heat that the system can churn out.

Externally, all this extra power is marked out by the black chrome Redeye exterior badging, which also extends to the interior. The speedometer goes up to 220 mph internally, and it has a Hellcat Redeye startup screen in the gauge cluster. The Redeye package isn’t satisfied just to hand you a more powerful car, it wants to make sure that’s visible, even when you aren’t tearing down the road and alarming the neighbors with the power under the hood of your beast.

SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody

This brings to all of the Redeye features, the extended wheels and fender flares of the Widebody model for a truly ferocious experience. If you really want to get the most out of the beast, this is where you need to start from, and that will start out at $80,560.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody (Green)

Running footage and beauty shots of the 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody.

What Are The Different Types of Dodge Hellcat Engines?

At the low end, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 Engine delivers 303 horsepower; this is the standard package and is available with the SXT, GT, and AWD packages.

Next up the food chain, we meet the 5.7L Hemi V8 that steps it up to 375 horsepower and has the built-in ability to switch from eight cylinder to four to save on gas. This one comes standard with the R/T model.

The 392 Hemi V8 is the standard engine on the R/T Scat Pack and brings us all the way up to 485 horsepower. At this point we have well stepped outside the realm of practicality and into the realm of power.

The Supercharged 6.2L Hemi V8 rocks out with 717 horsepower. This can only be found in the SRT model and absolutely destroys on the straightaway.

Finally, the Supercharged 6.2L High-Output Hemi V8 delivers 717 base but, with the limited run Super Stock upgrade, steps it all the way up to 807 horsepower—well above any other production car, bringing truly ludicrous power to the driver.

What is a supercar?

A supercar is defined by an emphasis on top speed and acceleration far above the handling of sports cars. This is a relative term that falls in the middle of the continuum between sports cars and hypercars. There is no hard and fast rule for what a supercar has to have, as the bar continues to move higher and higher. American muscle cars began as the first supercars, but now, they are categorized as sports cars.

Regardless of what measure you’re using, the Challenger Hellcats certainly are among their number. The Challenge Hellcat outstrips many of the cars in the Ferrari lineup, which are held up as quintessential supercars. It absolutely earns its place among the pack of terrifying everyday supercars.

What does SRT mean?

SRT stands for Street and Racing Technology, which is a line of Dodge parts that are specifically tuned for superior performance (in terms of speed and acceleration). The SRT brand and promise is that there will be no trouble in going from zero to 60 in seconds and bringing yourself safely back from 60 to zero when the need arises.

Top Dodge Challenger Accessories and Gift Ideas

Let’s face it, if you own a Hellcat, you spent a pretty penny to buy it and you want to keep it nice. Invest into a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Full Car Cover with Hellcat Emblem and keep your car clean. Would be an awesome (albeit a little pricey) gift as well!

Mopar 2015-2020 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Full Car Cover with Hellcat Emblem OEM

Add some flare to your cat with this Black Fender Flare Kit for the 2007-2020 Dodge Challenger. It installs neatly in minutes with no drilling and the OEM matte black finish can be painted to match your vehicle.

Auto Ventshade AVS 850250 Black Fender Flare Kit, 4-Piece for 2007-2020 Dodge Challenger

Have you seen those Lambo Style window shades? Installed, these rear window louvers give your Challenger a retro muscle car inspired look. We dig it.

E-cowlboy Rear Window Louver Windshield Sun Shade Cover in GT Lambo Style for Dodge Challenger 2008-2021

Don’t have a Hellcat (yet!) but still a fan?

Pick up a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Diecast Model Car.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody Green with Black Stripes GT Racing Series 1/24 Diecast Model Car by Motormax 73786

Or shop for this vintage set of iconic Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat artwork. The artist reinterpreted the patent paperwork to capture the spirit of innovation, engineering, kinetic energy and craftsmanship used to make the classic car design.

Vintage Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Patent Prints

We know a few guys that need this SRT Hellcat Charger Challenger “BEAST” 30 oz stainless steel insulated tumbler. The gift box comes with a lid, 2 reusable straws and a brush to clean them. Would be a great gift for any muscle car lover.

SRT Hellcat Charger Challenger Logo BEAST 30 oz Stainless Steel Insulated Tumbler

Merch for Dodge Challenger Fans

We know you love the Dodge Challenger Hellcat (who doesn’t?!) Check out these:

Wicked Metal Challenger Stripes- Muscle Car T-Shirt - Challenger t-Shirt

Dodge Challenger Muscle Car Classic 1970 Racing Cars and Trucks Mens Long Sleeves

Challenger Hoodie

KEEFER Dodge Hellcat Srt Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Tumbler Coffee Travel Mug

Funny Car Guy T-shirt Gift Car Guy Definition

 

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