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Old 12-21-2013, 04:24 PM   #1
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Lightbulb 15 Coolest Camaros Through the Years by MSN Auto


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http://editorial.autos.msn.com/camar...ars-15-coolest


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Old 12-21-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
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lol, isn't that another way of saying "almost any Camaro made could get on this list"?
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #3
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For me the 1967 is the best then the 1993 and finally the 5th generation.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #4
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...the '67s had bad wheel hop problems. Didn't take away from its looks though
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:45 PM   #5
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69 for me
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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i didnt realize there was a ZL1 way back in 69. wow. its amazing that now the v6 stock camaro engine puts out what the early 396 engines did, and even the 350 engines of the 2002 SS camaro. great article though.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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The one I liked was the Pontiac firebird first generation convertible. I tried to convince my Dad to help me buy one as a kid. Bright red with a 454 in it.

He wisely said no. I got a '90 Pontiac sunbird instead. Too bad Pontiac is nothing but a memory now :(
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:04 PM   #8
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There were a lot of cool Camaros over its history. For a while there, I was really interested in picking up a late 2ndgen.
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Old 12-22-2013, 03:06 AM   #9
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Dump all the Camaros from 1974-2002. Poor performance, styling, and build quality.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:00 AM   #10
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Dump all the Camaros from 1974-2002. Poor performance, styling, and build quality.
Our Stock 2000 Camaro SS 6 speed manual runs 13.1 & our Stock 2002 Trans Am auto runs 13.2. With a full tank of gas the 2000 Camaro SS only weighs 3400lbs. That's what the current Camaros should weigh.

The build quality of the 67-73 wasn't any better.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:09 AM   #11
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i didnt realize there was a ZL1 way back in 69. wow. its amazing that now the v6 stock camaro engine puts out what the early 396 engines did, and even the 350 engines of the 2002 SS camaro. great article though.
Yeah back then the ZL-1 was the COPO Camaro. They made two '69 ZL-1 Corvettes too.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:21 AM   #12
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Very cool article, every Camaro I have owned is on n list 1987 IROC, 1994 Z28, 2010 SS, and 1LE although I have a 2014. Would be nice to have a 1967 ss/RS
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:27 AM   #13
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The one I liked was the Pontiac firebird first generation convertible. I tried to convince my Dad to help me buy one as a kid. Bright red with a 454 in it.

He wisely said no. I got a '90 Pontiac sunbird instead. Too bad Pontiac is nothing but a memory now :(
My x-bro-in-law had TWO early (I want to say '69, maybe?) Firebird convertibles. One had a 350 and the other a 400. Beautiful cars.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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Yeah back then the ZL-1 was the COPO Camaro. They made two '69 ZL-1 Corvettes too.
I knew a guy that worked at the plant where copo camaros were built in 69
He said they were all alum blocks and entire car was hand built. I have no reason not to believe it because they were very rare then too
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:44 AM   #15
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i didnt realize there was a ZL1 way back in 69. wow. its amazing that now the v6 stock camaro engine puts out what the early 396 engines did, and even the 350 engines of the 2002 SS camaro. great article though.
It's even more amazing than you realize. All pre-1972 engines were rated in SAE Gross Horsepower. All '72 and up engines are rated in SAE Net Horsepower. This creates a huge difference in the numbers, a 100 horsepower or more in some cases. I have an article that claims that a 325 horsepower 396 only makes about 220 Net Horsepower. That 3.6 V6 actually has more power than a lot of the Big Blocks of the Muscle Car Era!
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:03 AM   #16
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It's even more amazing than you realize. All pre-1972 engines were rated in SAE Gross Horsepower. All '72 and up engines are rated in SAE Net Horsepower. This creates a huge difference in the numbers, a 100 horsepower or more in some cases. I have an article that claims that a 325 horsepower 396 only makes about 220 Net Horsepower. That 3.6 V6 actually has more power than a lot of the Big Blocks of the Muscle Car Era!
But in most cases the performance motors were under rated for insurance reasons. Then there's the torque factor. Most of those big blocks put out 400+ lb ft of torque which is way higher than the puny 270 or so our V6 puts out.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:09 AM   #17
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lol, isn't that another way of saying "almost any Camaro made could get on this list"?
YES. They're all awesome
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:34 AM   #18
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I knew a guy that worked at the plant where copo camaros were built in 69
He said they were all alum blocks and entire car was hand built. I have no reason not to believe it because they were very rare then too
Well the ZL-1's big deal was the aluminum block. In 1969 that was a major thing for a large V8. GM had done it before, but with the 215 V8, hardly the same clambake. The ZL-1s also had aluminum heads. Hand built, well sure as much as any low-number production Chevy was hand built in the era before robotic construction. In the same manner, my '73 block 455 was "hand built" by Buick, because it has one oversize lifter bore requiring a factory oversize lifter. But these things weren't "hand built" the way we use the term today.

The odd things is that while the '69 COPO/ZL-1 Camaros were made to be dragstrip fighters, ultimately problems with things like heat transfer could be as much of a downside as the weight of an iron block engine. Still, they were churning out around 500 gross hp when the factory exhausts were changed to tubular headers
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:34 AM   #19
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I knew a guy that worked at the plant where copo camaros were built in 69
He said they were all alum blocks and entire car was hand built. I have no reason not to believe it because they were very rare then too
He's pulling your leg. There were thee COPO's available on 69 Camaros.

COPO 9560 had the aluminum block ZL1 427, rated at 430 horsepower(actually around 500, SAE Gross). There were 69 of those built. 50 of them went to Fred Gibb Chevrolet in LaHarpe, Ill. The other 19 went to various dealers around the country. The price of this COPO was $4150, making the engine option more expensive than the base car it was being installed in and making the car with the engine more expensive than a Corvette.

COPO 9561 had the cast-iron block L72 427, rated at 425 Horsepower(actually around 450 SAE Gross). 201 of these went to Don Yenko Chevrolet in Cannonsburg, Pa, for conversion to Yenko Super Cars. An unknown quantity(less than 600) went to various other dealers around the country. The price of this COPO was $489, making a 425/427 Camaro $130 LESS expensive than a 375/396 Camaro.

COPO 9737 was called Sports Car Conversion and consisted of a 1" front sway bar, 15" Rally Wheels w/E70-15 tires, and a 140 mph speedometer(later in the year it also included a tachometer). This was an attempt to take some of the "plain" out of the "Plain Janes" and was only available in conjunction with one of the other COPOs. Any car that has this COPO is a double COPO. Most of the Yenkos had this option, but some of the other cars that were sold around the country also had this option. The price of this COPO was $160($184 w/tachometer)

All of them were built in Norwood(Cincinnati), Ohio, along side all the other Camaros, using no special procedures and standard X11(Style Trim) and X44(non-Style Trim) bodies. They had no external markings, but they had all the heavy-duty Big-Block hardware in their drive lines. They all had ZL2 Cowl Induction hoods, but many of them didn't even have rear spoilers. Most of them had body-colored 14" wheels and small "dog-dish" hubcaps. They looked like a six-cylinder granny car that somebody had put a Cowl Induction hood on. This prompted their first nickname, "Plain Jane". The COPO name didn't come along until much later when collectors started digging into just how they were constructed. They weren't in the brochures, ordering guides, parts catalogs, or any other documentation. As far as GM was concerned, they didn't exist. GM built them strictly for one purpose, to win races, but considered them to be politically incorrect. Their intention was to sneak them out the back door, put them in the hands of racers and then deny publically that they ever built them. I tried to buy a part for one in the mid-seventies and the dealer parts department told me that they never made such a car. And this was the dealer that sold it new, along with six other ones!
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #20
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:39 AM   #21
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Great article on the 1969 Camaro ZL-1 in "Classic Auto Restorer" magazine, August 1994 issue.

http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Restor.../dp/B001MS5AL8

(I got my issue when it was new )
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:46 AM   #22
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lol, isn't that another way of saying "almost any Camaro made could get on this list"?
Yea that is the same thing I thought. Its just a list of every Camaro variation.
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #23
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Dump all the Camaros from 1974-2002. Poor performance, styling, and build quality.
Ok, here is a guy who has no idea what he's talking about. From 86-02, the top line Camaros, Firebirds, and Trans Ams offered the most powerful engines and the fastest cars available at their price range. So if Camaros had poor performance, then EVERY car on the planet around the same price had poor performance...which still means that comparatively, the Camaro was STILL the best performer.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:07 AM   #24
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Ok, here is a guy who has no idea what he's talking about. From 86-02, the top line Camaros, Firebirds, and Trans Ams offered the most powerful engines and the fastest cars available at their price range. So if Camaros had poor performance, then EVERY car on the planet around the same price had poor performance...which still means that comparatively, the Camaro was STILL the best performer.
Agreed, an argument can be made for the build quality (most were crap, not just camaro/firebird) or you may not like the styling but performance was on par. Especially the 4th gen.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:38 AM   #25
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But in most cases the performance motors were under rated for insurance reasons. Then there's the torque factor. Most of those big blocks put out 400+ lb ft of torque which is way higher than the puny 270 or so our V6 puts out.
And some of them were overrated too and the only ones that were underrated were the ones at the upper end of the horsepower ladder. The torque ratings were rated in SAE Gross then verses SAE Net now also. I'm not trying to tell you that today's V6 has as much torque as a Muscle Car Era Big Block, but the difference is not as much as you would think. Horsepower owes it's existence to torque. No torque, no horsepower.
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