With a platform shared with the successful Chevrolet Nova, a name derived from the French word for “friend” or “comrade,” and a mission to do battle with Ford’s wildly successful Ford Mustang, Chevrolet introduced the stylish 1967 Camaro 2+2 coupe and convertible to fanfare and success both in the showroom and on the race track.
So let’s get a quick, high-level overview of the first-generation Camaro and highlight special editions, so you’ll know which examples are best for you.
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At first glance, this seems like quite an impressive investment. Upon closer look, though, this owner may have just about broken even. Assuming the car was purchased at MSRP, and given their popularity at the time, it's highly unlikely it was purchased for less than MSRP, and allowing for some other costs such as insurance as well as auction fees, in the end, the owner had a car he could look at but not touch (drive) for 12 years. The same money invested in the S&P 500 would have yielded about the same result. Of course, if he was a fan of Disney, Netflix, Google, Apple or a number of other stocks, he could have bought this car now with a tiny fraction of the money he made. 🙂
My point is, buy a car to enjoy, not to speculate on it hopefully being worth enough in the future to break-even or profit. Unless your car was produced in the hundreds (and not tens or hundreds of thousands), it's not likely to be some magical profit unicorn in the future.
I agree with you, Tim. I’ve owned many cars over the years (like a lot of folks). Most of them have been “drivers”, but two of my purchases have been really special. In 1971 I bought my first high performance car, a custom ordered ‘71 Camaro SS 350. I fell in lust with that car and still have it after almost fifty years. After the first year it became my weekend fun car and I’m glad I was able to do that. I didn’t keep it low mileage (36,000) so that I could sell it and make a profit; it’s still my fun car, which I usually drive weekly. It even brings a smile to my face every time I look at it parked in my garage. After many years, I bought a new 2015 Porsche Cayman, my dream car. I don’t think I’ll ever sell that one either. It also gives my much joy, aka psychic rewards. Even though both cars are not daily drivers, they weren’t bought with the expectation of making a profit. The enjoyment I get from them is an ongoing, non-financial reward - worth every penny I’ve “invested” over the years. And if/when my son sells them after I’m gone (at a fair price), I hope the next owners enjoy them as much as I have.
You are absolutely right. Buy what you want, for the enjoyment of having it. If investment is your priority, then you are a small corner of the collectible hobby.
It is nice to have the money to spend, but there are some things in life that money cannot buy. There are Volkswagen Beetle owners that enjoy their "Bug" more than the owner of that 1967 Corvette "427" Coupe that is stored in a garage.
Get out onto the street, with a big smile and enjoy the world around you.
Looks like our comments about a specific vehicle sold at auction got moved to a new article about a buyer's guide. My other comment applies only to the article about rising auction prices for some vehicles.
When I was a kid, a family friend had a 1968 Z/28, black with the white stripes. I sure hope he kept it, as he may have owned one of the best Camaros ever. Going on a ride in it definitely helped stoke my passion for cars, especially performance-oriented.
I have a 1968 Camaro coupe. It began life as a 6 cylinder, "Grandma" car: 6, 2 speed power-glide automatic; power steering; red with an all white interior. Bright, sporty looks with a convenient size body to park easily.
Now it has a 350 V-8 with a little rumble, making it sound hot. Not so. With a rear end around 2:76 , it goes no where fast, but I can cruise the highway forever.
"SS" emblems and hood; this Camaro, along with any other '67 - 69, will draw thumbs up where ever you may go.
Sporty looks, not like a land yacht; these models will always be popular. If bought correctly, and with minimal maintenance, they will hold their value indefinitely.
Easy on the pocket book, and a smile on your face every time that you go for a drive:
DOES IT GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT?
I've had a bunch of different kinds of cars but one I never did get and it still bothers me at age 68 is a '69 Z/28 especially the RS version. I still love their looks and the sound of that lopey lope 302 solid-lifter camshaft.
Tracking the Indianapolis 500 pace cars and replicas is a bit difficult to do authoritatively, but the folks at CamaroPaceCars.com have summed it up this way.
Approximately 550 Indianapolis 500 Camaro pace car replicas were made, including the cars sent to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for track, 500 Festival, and “brass hat” use. Three specially-prepared 396-powered cars were ordered for use at Indy, though it appears only two were used. All pace cars and replicas were powered by 350 c.i or 396 c.i. engines. Only one of the actual 396/375+hp pace cars survives.
The 1967 Camaro pace car replicas can by identified by the “O-1” or “C-1” codes on the firewall data plate.
Probably the most-recognized first generation Camaro for a good reason, a total of 3,675 Indianapolis 500 pace car replicas were made, including the two actual pace cars (both of which still exist). Of that total, approximately 130 replicas were sent to the Speedway for the 500.
The majority - perhaps 80-85% of the pace car replicas - were powered by the 350 c.i. engine. The rest were powered by the 396.
The 1969 Camaro pace cars received the “Z11” designation on the firewall data plate.
The “Z10” coupes were not officially designated as pace car replicas, but like the 1964.5 Ford Mustang pace car coupes made three years before, they share their respective pace car replicas’ DNA, and are generally included in the Indy pace car history.
Approximately 450-500 Z10s were made. They sported white houndstooth interiors instead of the orange houndstooth in the Z11s.
The Z10s were available only through dealers in the southwest and Tennessee.
It was a rare honor for the Camaro to be given the opportunity to pace the Indianapolis 500 in two years so close together. They continue to have a devoted fan base.
In 2019, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Camaro pace car, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum hosted a Camaro Pace Car Homecoming, drawing over 200 Camaro pace cars of all generations, including the actual surviving 1967 pace car and the two 1969 pace cars.
Thanks for the 1st Gen overview. As a long time Camaro fan and owner of a 2011 convertible, I've heard about COPO and Yenko etc but never knew the back story. Nicely done.
It was a different era! It's amazing that car dealerships back then had the ability to order such impressive hardware and install it on their inventory. Granted we have many performance upgrades available (ROUSH for Ford, for example) but it's nothing quite like ordering a ZL-1 motor!
I purchased a 1968 Camaro SS 350 4-speed new off the dealer's showroom floor in 1968. I have seen the comment several times in "official" articles on '68 Camaro configurations that also stated that the "window" vents on the hood were only for big block cars. I have proof that that comment is wrong. My '68 SS 350 had the "window" vents in the hood from the factory.
The simulated 4 port inserts on either side of the hood was a part of the SS option. SS optioned Camaros could have been ordered with the 350 small block or the 396 big block.
My 1968 RS/SS 350 4 speed was bought from Mid-City Chevrolet in Laurel, MD with the "window" vents on the hood also from the factory! It also had a 4.56 posi multi-leaf spring 12 bolt rear.
I am the owner of a Canadian delivered 1968 Camaro and have had it since 1970 when i bought it from the original owner, a colleague at the office. It is a SS/RS 396/325hp convertible with 4 speed and posi rear. One of the more interesting regular production options (RPO) was KD1 also known as Air Reactor Delete. This was only for Camaros shipped to Canada and involved removing all of the AIR equipment like the pump/bracket, hoses and exhaust manifold fittings. The engine was timed differently and steel hex head plugs were put into the exhaust manifold where the AIR tube fittings would have been.
All Canadian Camaros also have full importation/production records still available from GM Canada in Oshawa Ontario (used to cost $50) so you can be absolutely certain of how it left Norwood or Van Nuys. Kudos to GM Canada for keeping this database alive.
very interesting. i have a 1969 Z28 that i have owned since 1971 when i bout it from the second owner who was destined for vietnam. originally sold in delaware according to the protect plate as a graduation gift to a high school girl who couldn't handle the no a/c, manual steering and 4 speed transmission so i was told. it had a regularlar hood and no spoilers. all of the smog kit was gone by then and f60-15 polyglot tires. impossible to parallel park. brutal on the road. easy to stall and not start up when hot. it is in my garage now waiting for me to get it going before it is too hot outside, fascinating story.
The Chevrolet in Burtonsville Md. could not sell its ZL-1 Camaro, and ended up selling the engine out of it. It sat on the showroom floor for two years. No touch signs everywhere.
I think you should check out, but I believe the small-block (L48) didn't use the simulated louvered hood insert from last year. It used the same as the big-blocks (396) featured a squared-off design with four ports per side. I bought a SS 350 in 1970, it was used but I am sure everything was original. It had the four ports just like the big blocks. Thanks Del