The legendary 1967 Camaro was Chevy’s answer to Ford’s Mustang, and they’ve been duking it out ever since.
The early 1960s saw American auto manufacturers desperately trying to sell cars to the emerging baby-boom market. Chevrolet attained some success with its sporty Corvair Monza. Ford responded first with a sportier Falcon, then with its grand-slam, home-run pony car, the Mustang. At first, Chevrolet hesitated to abandon the technologically advanced Corvair, but when it finally entered the pony car market in 1967, its new Camaro instantly became one of the most iconic cars of the classic muscle-car era, a serious competitor for the Mustang. Since then, some of the most important performance cars in American history have been Camaro models: RS, SS, Z28, and IROC-Z.
When muscle cars went dormant for a generation, it was once again the classic pony cars that jump-started American performance. The battle that raged between Camaro and Mustang in the 1980s rejuvenated the US auto industry’s interest in high-performance muscle cars.
The Camaro lost its way in the 1990s, with Chevrolet pursuing technological advances and Ford pursuing classic American muscle. As was the case in the 1960s, Ford’s muscular pony car trounced Chevrolet’s technologically advanced sporty car in the race that mattered most: showroom sales. The Mustang thrived while the Camaro left the scene. Fortunately, that departure was only temporary. Chevrolet introduced a twenty-first-century Camaro in 2010, and it has become one of Chevrolet’s most popular models.
With stunning photography from author Mike Mueller and never-before-seen archival photography from partner General Motors, Camaro: Fifty Years of Chevy Performance chronicles the Camaro’s rich history, from the early attempts to reach the youth market in the 1960s, through the potent and turbulent years of the classic muscle-car era, the resurgence of muscle in the 1980s, the sad decline of the 1990s, and the triumphant rebirth of the new car in this new millennium.