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Author Topic: Was the 1967 camaro a disappointment?  (Read 5685 times)
JKZ27
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« on: November 14, 2005, 12:41:13 AM »

  After reading the Road Research Report on the 67 Camaro SS350 in my Nov. 1966 Car and Driver magazine I have to wonder if people, in 1966, saw the Camaro as a major disappointment. Seems C&D had not much good to say about the car as they used the first three paragraphs to absolutly trash Chevrolet and the Camaro. Apparently, nothing on the test car could please them. From the "mildly tuned" 350, to the Corvair derived styling, to the french or spanish meaning of the name Camaro, the car just could not meet their expectations. "Chevrolet's Camaro does not offer the extremes of performance that the Mustang does."C&D says.- When compared to the 390 GT and no mention of the following SS396 or Z28.
  For those of you who were potential buyers and/or enthusiats at the time (1966,67) did you feel the same? I was not around until 7 years later so by the time I had an opinion, the cars were already classics (old). I've owned and driven both a 66 Mustang FB and several Camaros but my judgement had already been skewed by newer, better handling, and better built cars.
 Thanks for any input.

  John
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KevinK
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2005, 08:02:17 AM »

 I was too young to remember what was going on in '66/'67, ...but about 11 years later in high school, ...I bought my 1st car, ...a '68 Camaro. I was hooked on them since : )
  Back to your question though, ...I'm sure the coverage by the various car magazines at the time, ...covered the gammit from good to bad reviews, ...so I'm sure for every bad review there was at least one (or more) good reviews of the Camaro. If the results of the SCCA circuit tell us anything about the car, ...I'd say opinions changed pretty fast the next couple years, ...if they were truely bad averall to begin with (which I do doubt). ...bottom line, ...there are always going to be critics...
 
  Kevin
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CNorton
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2005, 09:08:08 AM »

I recall those days fairly well (although I can't remember what I had for dinner last night) and it was my impression that the Camaro was not initially given high marks for performance although the styling was reasonably well-received.  The Z28 wasn't common enough to engender a lot of excitement on the street scene in my area.  The big blocks were OK but the 375 horsepower version on the street was not a common sight either. The 325 horsepower version was good for eye-candy but didn't perform all that well in an unmodified state.  Perhaps the problem was the .398 cam lift?  The first '67 to get my attention was one that had a 435 horsepower Corvette motor transplanted.  Between the local Dana Chevrolet transplants and the magazine stories that came along featuring the Motion cars, the Yenko cars, etc. the Camaro eventually assumed a more central role in the performance world.

Just my impression.
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waynechipman
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2005, 02:23:24 PM »

The 67 and 68 Camaros were a dissapointment compared to the Mustangs. Wasn't till 69 the Camaro caught up in styling. As far as getting spoiled by modern cars I do not get that. A stock 83 Camaro Z/28 will outhandle a stock 69, But lower and play with the 69 Suspension and they become Bad. Remember they won the Trans Am races against the Mustangs and put the literal whip on all the euro trash of the time. and we are not even getting to the thrill of four barrels opening compared to the nothingness of fuel injection. Real torque in one of these Cmaros pushing real horsepower smokes any modern garbage I have seen detroit and the rest of the world put out since 1974
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Ron C.
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2005, 02:54:11 PM »

Im curious how many ford advertisments are in that car and driver issue that trashed the 67 camaro compared to chevy advertisments.did you ever watch motorweek? boy they are so biased towards imports and trash domestic cars.they really favor the jap cars and their commercials are nissian commercials.just my 2 cents.
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maroman
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2005, 06:42:04 PM »

Good topic! Like a few others I was around back then, read every car magazine I got my hands on and believed what I wanted about what they said. I followed the Trans Am series in Autoweek. Magazines like Car and Driver were very biased toward European cars, so very few cars from America got good reviews, you could probably follow the $$ trail. Hot Rod did extensive tests on the first '67 SS 350 in Ca. and lied  with every word. They even put in a blueprinted 427 and said it was a 396 to lower the quarter mile times. The truest answer to your question is Chevrolet sold almost 221,000 Camaros that first year, hardly a diappointment.  I can't remember the first Camaro I saw, but I do remember my first ride {blue '68}, seeing my first '67 Z28{Mountain Green}, and riding in my first Z28{ Fathom Green '69}. I hope I never get old enough to NOT want a '67 Camaro!
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Doug  '67 RS/SS 396 auto I know the car since new
JKZ27
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2005, 10:37:28 PM »

  Funny, the same issue road tests both the new 390 GTA Mustang and the 67 Plymouth GTX. The GTX gets nothing but praise and C&D admits suprise to how awesome the big block Mustang handles. Go figure. However, the March 1967 Car and Driver got ahold of the 67 Z28 and, reluctanly, gave it an OK...."With the Z-28, Chevy is on the way toward making the gutsy stormer the Camaro should have been in the first place." also..."As a racing car, we expect the Z-28 to do quite well. Modified to the legal limit, the 302 engine should be capable of 390 horsepower."
   Great reading (or re-reading) material that gives me a little perspective having never experienced these cars when they were new. I did just sell my 66 Mustang 2+2 this summer in favor of a 68 RS to bring my Camaro count to three, if there were any doubt as to where my heart lies on this subject.
  Thanks for all replies,

  John 
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dab67
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2005, 10:43:28 AM »

The only thing disappointing to me about the 67 Camaro was I did not buy one sooner!!!!!!! I've owned in my life time a 68 AMX 390 4 spd, quick as all heck,which I put on blocks when I went in the service sold it and bought my only house with. A 72 442 Olds, nice but nothing special and 72 GTO Judge. For pure driving fun in my opinion my 67 Camaro is the most enjoyable. Love to get it out on the open road and just drive. Nothing fancy, nothing special just a heck of a lot of fun to drive. Quick response and it has enough horses to satisfy my needs.
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roper
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2005, 08:43:09 AM »

when is gm going to realize the potential market they are losing to ford mustangs? Those things are everywhere! The only way that I will ever purchase a new car these days is if they come out with a new camaro, hopefully a retro. GM should hire someone that enjoys driving cars for a change. This is Thanksgiving and I for one would like to give thanks for the first gen. camaros, and God, and my family, not neccessarily in that order!
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KevinK
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2005, 09:26:32 AM »

when is gm going to realize the potential market they are losing to ford mustangs? Those things are everywhere! The only way that I will ever purchase a new car these days is if they come out with a new camaro, hopefully a retro. GM should hire someone that enjoys driving cars for a change. This is Thanksgiving and I for one would like to give thanks for the first gen. camaros, and God, and my family, not neccessarily in that order!
 
    ...Keep your eyes peeled for the NAIAS in Detroit this January, ...I believe you may be pleasantly surprised with the 'new' cars GM has to offer... Smiley
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maroman
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2005, 06:46:38 PM »

Hemming's Muscle Cars Magazine just left the cat out of the bag. Read the editorial.
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Doug  '67 RS/SS 396 auto I know the car since new
nuch_ss396
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2005, 08:11:13 PM »

Im curious how many ford advertisments are in that car and driver issue that trashed the 67 camaro compared to chevy advertisments.did you ever watch motorweek? boy they are so biased towards imports and trash domestic cars.they really favor the jap cars and their commercials are nissian commercials.just my 2 cents.

Interesting observation !
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Steve A.
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