Timeless Elegance Returns: Exploring the Features of the Retro Chevy
November 26, 2023
1966 was the year when Chevrolet Camaro appeared for the very first time. It had a new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform, 2 doors and four seats, and it was available in coupe and convertible version, and the customers could choose between six-cylinder and V8 powerplants. This first generation of Chevrolet Camaro remained available until 1969, when another, better model appeared.
Among the other features of the Camaro, was the 3.8L straight-6 engine with 140 horsepower, upgraded with a manual transmission of three speeds. The models made between 1967-1969 had 8,10 and 12 engines with a few options for transmission. The most popular feature in the 67s and the 68s was the automatic transmission with two speeds named “Powerglide”, while in the 69s, the Camaros were equipped with a “Turbo Hydra-Matic 350” with three speeds.
The GM issued an edict by which installing larger engines than 6.6L was forbidden for Chevrolet cars. That is why Chevrolet started to use ordering process, because the dealers who installed only 7.0L engines were requesting that. During the 69s, many dealers used the L72 engine package and nearly 1000 Camaros had this kind of engine.
COPO, or Central Office Production Orders in 1969 had two options, 9560 and 9561, both of which were offered in the models produced in 1969. The first had an aluminum 7.0L big-block which was created for drag racing. It was also called ZL-1 and the first to develop it was the drag racer Dick Harrell. This engine costs more than US$4,000, which means it is extremely expensive, that is why only 69 Camaros of this type were produced.
It estimated horsepower was 430, but if a tuning and exhaust changes were added, it could reach more than 500hp. The assembling of the ZL1 engines was a long process, each of the engines took 16 hours each and all of this was held in a room called “surgically clean”. The craftsmen made these machines at the Tonawanda Assembly Plant, and after this, the engines were put in Camaros of Corvettes.
Probably the most famous Camaro to the fans is the green one, which was also documented with worthy GM in the records of Canada. This Camaro was made in 1969, and it shares its features with nearly 80 Camaro models that were distributed in Canada. There were only four COPO Camaros in the world that were painted in Rally Green. It had the unique XT wheels, its power front disc brakes were upgraded and well designed, and its engine was paired to M21 4-speed. All together make a remarkably rare model.
The two other examples of Camaro, the silver one and the Blue Camaro, debuted in January 2013, during a Mecum Auction in Florida.