Most models of cars come and go. They are fashionable for a while and then their time is gone, and they are forgotten – discarded to the scrapyard, never to be thought of again. But there are a few models that are classics, in terms of design and performance, cars that define eras and which, in many ensure. Think the old Volkswagen Beetle or the Willys Jeep or the original Mini – all classics. In the world of muscle cars there are two that endure, and which are both coveted and iconic. The one is the Ford Mustang and the other is the Chevy Camaro, both great cars. There is probably more known about the former, so with hat in mind here are five things that you probably never knew about the latter.
Not so new
The Camaro has been around in various shapes and versions for more than fifty years. It has endured and it has come a long way since it first rolled off the production line in 1967. Back then it retailed for little more than 200 dollars, which in todays terms is probably about what you would pay for the Chevrolet Camaro clutch by itself. Things have certainly come a long way. What is worth noting though is that the original design has still informed the shape and look of the car to this day.
Sales have been good
The Camaro has always sold well with statistics from the company suggesting that in the fifty years of its existence more than four million cars have rolled off the production line and been sold. Reports suggest that vehicles best selling year was 1979 when a whopping 282571 units were sold, a remarkable achievement.
Big in racing
The Camaro is not just a car that is popular with television detectives and young men looking to pull girls, it is also a very popular racing car. In fact, the Camaro has a real pedigree on many fronts. Camaros have taken the role of pace car for the Indianapolis 500 on at least eight occasions and they have filled similar roles in NASCAR as well. They have also managed to compete in the latter form of racing and in 2017 it was Camaro bodywork that was used for Chevrolet’s entries in the NASCAR Xfiniti Series.
What’s in a name?
Before it was called the Camaro, the car was known as The Panther. This name was more of a code name when the car was under development, as Chevy had always intended to give the car a name that started with a ‘C’ (other models they were producing included the Corvair, Chevelle and Corvette). But Panther proved so popular that when company GM Pete Estes introduced the car to the assembled media in 1966, he suggested that the attendees should consider themselves as charter members of “The Society for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive World.”
Such is the style, power and speed of the Camaro that for a while it was actually used by the police in Dubai as patrol cars. The people of the emirate are famous for their love of fast cars, so it a feather in the Camaro’s cap that it was chosen by the police there.