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Author Topic: Camaro History  (Read 3902 times)
DonSTP
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« on: December 23, 2006, 10:38:59 AM »

  Huh What's the equivalent history of the Chevrolet Camaro as compared to Ford Mustang and Shelby?   Huh

I love my 68-RS convertible but I'm also value the history of Ford and the Carol Shelby.  Is there an "Icon" for Carmaros like there is for the Ford Shelby GT 500?  I was watching Barrett-Jackson the other night and they had a special about how Edzel Ford and Carol Shelby are back together again for the launch of the next generation GT 500.  http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Features/articleId=105085

We haven't even brought out the new concept Camaro yet...any history bufs out there that can chime in on this topic?

Thanks!
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lakeholme
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 06:37:40 PM »

What about the Dec. - Jan intro. of the Z 302 that went racing?
Driven by Mark Donohue, the Team Penske Camaro won 10 of 13 Trans-Am races to dominate the series, winning the 1968 SCCA Trans-Am Series Championship with 222 points. 
Most the Camaro histories, however, say GM executives were reluctant to "break the rules" and get into racing.  That's probably why Camaro has no "big name" and no song.
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Phillip
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"Charlotte AutoFair -- presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA -- is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast." --September 18-21, 2014
DonSTP
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 07:29:06 PM »

You make a good point and I did not know this.  I guess its also got to do with the marketing and what we see on television. 

It will be be good to see the Camaro make a nice splash at its unveiling with a little history behind the vehicle.

Thanks.
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lakeholme
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 08:22:37 PM »

You can already get some info. from GM about the new Camaro on their blogs: GM Fastlane and GM FYI. 
http://www.gmblogs.com/

It does not appear as if GM is placing much emphasis on Camaro history in their new car design...
 Sad  Sad  Sad
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Phillip
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Planning 2016 Sentimental Tour, AACA
AACA Southeastern Division Spring Meet Chair
"Charlotte AutoFair -- presented by the Hornets Nest Region, AACA -- is the largest and greatest Collector Vehicle Event in the Southeast." --September 18-21, 2014
hotrod68
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2006, 12:07:49 AM »

The Shelby was a specially-built Mustang farmed out by Ford and backed by the factory, hence they got all the billing and promotion. In those days GM was "officially" not into factory-backed racing. Insurance premiums were awful and there was a GM limit on cubic inches in the F-body cars, so no Camaros got factory-promoted 427s like the Mustang got 428s in '68 and '69. Many dealerships like Fred Gibb, Don Yenko, and Bill Thomas transplanted 427s into Camaros in '67 and '68, but it was a "back-door" thing, not nationally promoted. Even the 427 COPO cars of '69 got no national promotion. The Donohue Z/28 Lake mentioned is still a legend--it dominated the Trans-Am circuit in '68 against factory-backed Mustangs and put the Camaro on the map to stay. I have a healthy respect and admiration for the Shelbys also, but the Camaro did it the hard way--it kicked ass against all odds. Many a Yenko 427 car made a factory 428 Super Cobra Jet '69 Mustang with the Drag Pack eat dirt. The ZL-1 just ran away from them. Chevy may have not advertised their supercars, but they managed to build factory hot rods that put everything else on the trailer! I wish the new Camaro would do the same.
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HotRod'68  1968 SS350 coupe undergoing frame-off resto/rod. 386/350/4.11s
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Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2006, 04:05:05 PM »

Lets not forget Dave Strickler's "Old Reliable" NHRA Super Stock Z28 that won the 1968 NHRA World Championship title.  This Z28 dominated the ranks of Super Stock during the '68 season.  At last count, there were at least 40 major magazine articles written about this car during 1968 and 1969, and was the most famous Z28 of the late 1960's.

Of equal mention are Ben & Dave Wenzel and Bill Jenkins.  Both of these veterans debuted their brand new 1967 Camaros (a 1967 Z28 and L78) at the NHRA Indy US Nationals in 1967, crushed the competition, and won the both eliminators in Stock and Super Stock.  And this is the best part, Ben & Dave Wenzel are still racing their 1967 Z28 in Stock eliminator today.  Great guys!

Ed Hedrick, who was part of the Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins race team, put the 1969 Yenko 427 Camaro on the map in the NHRA national event winner's circle.  Ed was the only racer to win an NHRA national event when these Yenko cars were brand new.  This car and driver got plenty of ink!

Merry Christmas,

Jerry@CHP   
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GaryL
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« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2006, 12:38:52 PM »

Jerry, what is your estimate for HP on a basically stock DZ, 11:1, 30-30 cam, well tuned with headers and transverse muffler?
Happy New Year to all.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2006, 12:40:49 PM by GaryL » Logged

Gary

Lemans Blue X33. DZ, M20, manual steering. Only BU code rear end is original.
Jerry@CHP
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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2006, 10:33:58 PM »

Gary,

The average factory built 302 ranges in the 340-360hp range.  With some carb work, stagger jetting and distributor work, you can pick it up another 20-30hp.  Blue printing brings these 302's to life.  Over 400 without any problem.  One of our customers has what I call a day two 69 Z28........headers, no smog.  Built the way it would have been in the late 1960's.  We did the engine, blue printed it, converted M21 to a M20 wide ratio 2.52 trans and 4.10 rear w/street tires.  Car runs in the mid 13's granny shifting about 7000 rpm.  Car would run in the high 12's with a good driver in good air.  We had a great grudge match this summer at Capitol Raceway with the Maryland Camaro club.  One of our members has a 454 in his 69 Camaro.  He kept asking the guy with the day two Z28 for a match up at the starting line.  Guess what, the Z ran a 13.55 and the 454 Camaro ran a 13.90.  It was all in good fun and we had a blast with this grudge race at the Xmas club dinner last week.

Happy New Year to all,

Jerry     
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JoeC
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2006, 07:39:01 PM »

Don Yenko was working on projects with Chevrolet similar to Shelby was with Ford.
 Yenko had the FIA/ACCUS manufactures license to remanufacture Chevrolets as Carroll Shelby did with Ford and raced them in SCCA. Yenko mostly liked to race Corvettes and received many special Corvettes from Chevy that he raced beginning in 1961 and was National Champ in 62 and 63.
 The SCCA class racing was for two seat sports cars and they required 100 cars to be manufactured to homologate the model for production racing. The Shelby GT-350 was not a Ford in the eyes of  SCCA. It was a 2 seat sports car manufactured by Shelby American. Same with the Yenko Stinger. It is not a Corvair to the SCCA. It is a 2 seat sports car named the Yenko Stinger manufactured by Yenko Sports Cars.
 Yenko had to qualify and show proof of a manufacturing facility and personal to be recognized as a manufacturer by FIA and ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee of the United States) and build the 100 car minimum. Same as Shelby did.
As far as I know Yenko was the only Chevy Dealer to have this FIA/ACCUS manufactures license.
Chevrolet and Yenko tried to use his FIA/ACCUS manufactures license to qualify the 1967-68 Yenko 427 Camaro for the NHRA Super Stock 50 car factory built minimum. NHRA would not approve it . The Yenko 427 Super Camaro was approved for AHRA Super Stock in 1967 but not NHRA.
In 1969 Chevy did the 427 COPO Camaro and Chevelle to meet the NHRA 50 car minimum and marketed them through Yenko Chevrolet and other dealers.
Yenko did the paperwork with the FIA to homologate the 1969 427 Camaro and raced a ZL1 powered  69 Camaro at Daytona and Sebring in 69 and 70.
Yenko and Shelby were racing buddies in the SCCA for many years.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 07:41:54 PM by JoeC » Logged
GaryL
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2006, 10:53:39 PM »

Thanks Jerry. Great information!
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Gary

Lemans Blue X33. DZ, M20, manual steering. Only BU code rear end is original.
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