Hagerty.com

25 Camaro facts every enthusiast should know


#1

By the time I was born in December of 1969 my father Joe Oldham had already owned a Camaro. It was a black 1969 Baldwin-Motion SS 427—one of the coolest Camaros of all time. He took delivery in early December of 1968 and street raced it around New York City until some lowlifes stole it six months later. It was never recovered.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/18/25-camaro-facts-every-enthusiast-should-know

#2

Maybe there should be 26 Camaro Facts every enthusiast should know.
Fact # 26, The first use of the 350 small block engine in a production Chevrolet was in the 1967 Camaro SS, rated 295 HP, which was 20 HP more than the 4 bbl version of the 327 small block available as the standard V8. The big block version of the SS did not become available until Mid production of the '67 model Year.
I purchased my '67 Camaro in Sept. 1967 just before I left for Southeast Asia, my car was built the third week in December, of 1966, it has the 327 with Powerglide, bucket seats and console, Madiera Maroon paint with the Gold interior. I still own the car 51 years later. next to my wife and family it’s the love of my life. My wife and I got married six months before we bought the Camaro, and we both still love going to Cruise nites and car shows with our First Gen Camaro,


#3

Your number 7, First Camaro with 5 speed manual transmission.
You stated 1967-1982 all Camaros with manual transmissions got a 4 speed. I had a 1968 base model Camaro Hardtop 327, 4 barrel and it had a 3 SPEED floor mounted MANUAL transmission.


#4

Number 19, is totally wrong. The fourth gen debuted for 1993, and were built in Quebec (St. Therese to be exact), not Ontario.


#5

RE: #14 (First Pace Car). I understand author is presenting only high level summary. But this clip (as written) is SO oversimplified that it is misleading (i.e. “Chevy also built 100 replicas”). The 100 replica cars cited (an approximate figure) were shipped directly to Indy for the pre-race “Festival”. Pace Car Replicas were also offered to dealers as part of Chevy’s May 1967 “Pacesetter” promotion (unfortunately no exact numbers). As proud owner of one of these; would like to know that my insurance co. has the correct information!

For any interested-- additional detail can be found at:
www.camaropacecars.com/67index.htm
www.camaropacecars.com/Latest_Research.htm

There is also a well-written article at:
https://www.chevyhardcore.com/news/top-10-indy-500-chevy-pace-cars-of-all-time-1-1967-camaro/

THANKS!!!


#6

My brother just got a 68 with factory 327 and Auto Tranny. AC PS. Should we customize it or restore to stock? Original color was ivory with gold interior.


#7

In this case since you don’t have a special edition Camaro, i.e. SS or Z/28, I would say at least some modifications would only enhance your Camaro. Things like updated suspension and brake systems, a tire and wheel package, upgrading your transmission to an overdrive auto or manual, fuel injection and a nice stereo would increase the driving experience. The real question is, do you plan on owning the car for a long time, as any modifications or even a restoration would cost more than it will increase it’s value, so it only makes sense if you plan on keeping and driving the car for a long period.


#8

The jl8 brakes were an available option on any 69 Camaro not just SS or Z/28’s


#9

In 1969 my buddy bought a new Z/28. It had the 290 horse 302 HP.
This car had a chambered exhaust system. Was this the first and or the only year this exhaust system was offered. It was a great high revving car. To bad he didn’t have the coordination to shift @ the right RPM.


#10

@perlmansteven - Good eye. We are updating the story to reflect the three-speed manual option.

@geok86 - You are correct. The fourth-generation F-body debuted in January 1993. We are updating that in the story.


#11

Thank you for your input. We aren’t planning on keeping it. Thought it would be a nice project. I talked to Empire Auto in Temecula and they have quoted me a very reasonable price for doing the resto-mod. They suggested the same, changing the color to gunmetal gray, or silver put in a custom interior, add disc brakes and custom audio. I’ve seen some of their work and was very impressed. What should I be paying for the above mods?


#12

Very good article. One small correction to all BB cars had black tail panels except Tuxedo Black. The BB 69 Pace cars did not have black tail panels.


#13

Would be interested to see how many B4C 1LE car were made.


#14

#25 title is a little misleading. First year for cowl induction was 1967. First year for cowl induction hood was 1969. Two different applications of a similar concept.


#15

I purchased my 1967 Camaro on 4/1/67 and took delivery on 5/8/1967. At the time of purchase Chevrolet was offering a special of the bumble stripe and a 3 speed floor shifter at no cost. I was able to enjoy my Camaro for the next 4 months until I shipped out to Vietnam. I still own the car today and just went through a ground up restoration. When ordered this was a base car with a 327/210 HP engine. I have made numerous upgrades including vintage air, disc brakes all around, 3.55 posi rear end, power steering and brakes, and have build the engine up but keeping the original block. When we took the engine apart we discovered a forged crank which was usually used in the higher HP motors. It is great to have it back on the road after a 2 year restoration.


#16

I bought a 1967 SS RS Camaro back in 1978 from a guy who worked at Zales Jewelry store in Huron S.D. He had brought the car up from Florida and told me he bought it from the mother of the original owner who had purchased it new in 67. This car was dark blue with a black vinyl top and a white bumblebee stripe around the front and had SS badges. It had the RS package with the hideaway headlights, the 295 hp 350 and a power glide tranny. It also had A/C, power windows, factory tachometer, a counsel with the three gauges and a corvette teakwood steering wheel. The most interesting thing about this car was it had four-wheel disc brakes. The previous owner said he never modified anything and the car was ordered with all of those options, including the disc brakes. I had trouble with the disc brake calipers leaking. Through Hemmings magazine, I found a classified ad from a lady who was repairing Corvette disc brake calipers. I called her and she said she could put sleeves in mine and repair them since they were exactly like the Corvette calipers. I sent them to her and she did a great job they never leaked again. I believe that four-wheel disc brakes were available in 1967 if you ordered them. Unfortunately, I sold the car when I needed money. Some guy from Chicago bought it during a blizzard and winched up on a trailer and I have haven’t seen it since. I am still kicking myself.


#17

A 68 Camaro is always a fun project, but if you aren’t going to keep the car, anything you do to the car will cost you more than you get in return, but if you are doing it just for the fun, go for it. Cost estimates are difficult as there are so many different kits available just for the brakes. If you just doing a front power disc brake conversion only expect to spend at least a grand. A custom interior, in my opinion would be a waste as it would cost much more than freshening up your stock interior and you would never recoup the extra cost when you sell. As for color, they don’t call it “re-sell red” for nothing! A decent paint job will cost around 5 grand just for paint plus the cost of any repair work needed. So as you can see the cost ads up quick. We are currently doing a complete restoration on a 67 mustang at our shop, mostly original with just a few upgrades and the cost will come in somewhere above the 40 grand mark for a car that will be worth low 20’s when done, however this is a labor of love for the owner as she has owned this car since the early 80’s and it is her baby!


#18

I have an original 1967 RS convertible camaro with a 250 six cylinder and 4 speed. The protecto plate proves it is original. Can anyone tell me how rare this car is?

Thanks


#19

In the '70s, I had a couple '69 Z/28s with screaming 302s; both had the LeMans blue/white stripes combo. Interestingly, the rear spoiler on my early-‘69 car stopped 1" short and left a gap before reaching the rear fenders’ peaks. OTOH, the late-'69 car’s spoiler went all the way out to the fender’s top ridge. Tachometers were different, too. The EARLY car’s tach went to 7000, and my late-69 car had an 8000 rpm tach…my later car also had the cowl induction hood.

You never street-raced a big-block out of the hole with a 302 twisting a 2.20 first gear in the M-21 gearbox that fed a 3.73 posi. The rev-throwing ritual before the street race was fun. The big blocks would throw an earth-shaking 5000 rpm rev. Me?..I’d slooooowly raise my revs to 5000, and THEN I’d finish with a toss to 7500, or so.

When the light went green, the big blocks would do an earth-counter-rotating launch, and I just sat there. I’d then slowly ease out the clutch and walk up to his rear bumper where I’d be at a perfect 3000 rpm; BUT, he’s still in first gear waaaay PAST his torque curve twisting 5000 already.

It was then child’s play to slap the clutch and gas pedals to the floor, and dump the clutch at the beginning of my Duntov 30-30’s peak. By the time the big-blocks figured out what just happened, I had already speed-shifted to 2nd…to let 'em admire my chamber-flow exhaust tips, of course! And THAT was how a tiny 302 could waste big blocks on the street.


#20

Regarding fact 19, “First Camaro built outside the USA,” apparently Switzerland was part of the US in 1967 and 1968??