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Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro Published: 19th Jul 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Camaro
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Why should I buy one?

General Motors’ answer to Ford’s Mustang is in several departments the better bolide and can be less expensive to buy. It’s as much a muscle car icon as the legendary Mustang but rarer, more individualist.


What can I get?

The Camaro came out in a little under three years after the Ford’s 1964 incredible début and is on its sixth generation. In common with the Ford it now tugs at the heart-strings with its retro look but essentially for this feature we’re majoring on the first generations up to 1981. Like the Ford, Camaro was clever reskin of a saloon (Chevy II) and available in coupé and convertible forms and with a variety of Chevelle-sourced straight six and V8 engines with up to 375bhp on tap plus options, such as disc brakes, power steering and auto trans. The most coveted Camaro is the SS 350 (Super Sport) and the legendary Z-28s. The RS was essentially an appearance package that offered upgrades of trim and that famous front split bumper design. The SS package was more centered around more powerful engines and suspension upgrades.

After the second generation, the wick was turned down with four-cylinder engines and less horses while the ‘Mk3’ was also a hatchback with lighter bodyshells but did see the convertible relaunched after a absence of almost 20 years. The fourth generation model (1993- 2002) even retains the original basic 1960’s F-body platform (albeit updated)!

Don’t forget the Pontiac Firebird; essentially it’s a rebadged Camaro with a modified nose. As with the Camaro, it’s the Firebirds produced from 1970-1073 that remain the most sought after and revered today. A 10th Anniversary Firebird Trans-Am was available in 1979, finished in silver charcoal paintwork, with a T-bar roof, silver leather interior, a plethora of power assisted everything and a heavy duty WS-6 handling package. Power was courtesy of the Oldsmobile 185bhp 403ci V8, though some cars were fitted with a few left over Pontiac 400ci engines, plus sported a four-speed transmission, so making them the most sought after.


What are they like to drive?

Not unexpectedly, given their similar saloon-based make up, the Chevrolet drives much like a Mustang, which means something akin to a powerful Capri. The top V8 models are good for 0-60mph in under eight seconds with the earliest car the quickest as by ’74 the 5.7-litre put out just 155bhp and luxury and looks were driving force for sales. Many Camaros and Firebirds are autos but be aware that the majority are two-speed ‘Powerglide’ affairs that saps the performance even on the beefy V8s considerably.

Like the Fords, Camaros aren’t sports cars as such but of the pair, the GM design has the edge for handling and the ride is generally regarded as the better while the brakes are good even on all drum set ups although discs are certainly preferred.


WHat are they like to live with?

Regarded enormous in their day, but today’s family Mondeo dwarfs them both with the GM cars the roomier – and cheaper: Think £25,000 for a regular original model in showroom shape and around £18,000 for nice ones and under ten grand for something usable, although values can triple for Z-28 models. The later ‘second gen’ are much cheaper and you can get a fine buy for the price of decent 60’s car with Pontiacs about a third dearer.

Parts supply, while never beating those of the Mustang is very good and their simplistic make up makes for easy home maintenance although rust can be bad.


We reckon

Choosing one against the other is like Coke or Pepsi but the 1970’s GMs are better drivers’ cars than equivalent Mustangs.

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