Whilst engineers and designers feverishly labored overtime on the advancement of a 4-passenger sporting activities car they code-named the F-automobile, the Chevy general public relations, marketing and promotion staff geared up the earth for the introduction of a auto they identified as the Panther.
All by means of the summertime of 1965 almost each and every component of the vehicle’s style and design and enhancement, from preliminary design sketches to clay products, was photographed and very carefully documented. Chevy made use of the belongings to produce a 30 -minute film The Camaro, which was later on shown on Tv and in film theaters. They also introduced women’s clothes referred to as the Camaro Assortment and even a Camaro street race match.
In November, Chevy revenue executives and resourceful persons previewed prototype designs at the GM Tech Middle. Campbell-Ewald, Chevy’s venerable advert agency, quickly began get the job done on catalogs, direct mail and sales marketing products, alongside with print, outdoor and Tv/radio marketing. In April 1966, at the New York Automobile Display Push Convention, Chevrolet product sales executives admitted no name had been chosen for the new motor vehicle, but did announce that pricing of 1967 design will be in the Corvair-Chevy II vary.
Through early 1966 Chevy agonized around a title for its Mustang-killer. GM’s upper administration was nervous about the intense connotations of the Panther name. A comparable bout of cold toes would later on induce the Pontiac variation, code named the Banshee, to be renamed Firebird. In excess of its brief lifetime, the F-vehicle experienced been termed by quite a few names such as Wildcat, Chaparral, Commander and Nova. It is also rumored that Chevy deemed employing the letters “GM” in the identify, and came up with G-Mini, which advanced into GeMini and finally Gemini. On the other hand, GM’s upper administration vetoed the thought, fearing the motor vehicle may possibly be a failure.
Automotive legend has it that another person at Chevrolet lastly proposed the identify Camaro and upper management immediately agreed. Though the identify has no actual indicating, GM researchers reportedly discovered the word in a French dictionary as a slang expression for “mate” or “companion.” It truly is rumored that Ford Motor Corporation scientists also identified other definitions, which include “a shrimp-like creature” and an arcane expression for “unfastened bowels.”
Due to the fact a number or pre-launch products had already been launched applying the Panther name, Chevy’s most pressing obstacle was to now rename their new Mustang killer, the Camaro.
On June 21, 1966, all-around 200 automotive journalists obtained a telegram from Typical Motors stating, “Be sure to be accessible at midday of June 28 for critical push meeting. Hope you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Specifics will follow.” The mysterious telegram was signed, John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary. The subsequent working day, journalists gained yet another mysterious telegram stating, “Modern society for the Eradication of Panthers from the Automotive World will maintain to start with and past meeting on June 28.” As soon as again, the telegram was signed, John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary.
Finally, on June 28, 1966, General Motors held a dwell press conference in Detroit’s Statler-Hilton Hotel. It was the very first time in heritage that 14 cities have been hooked up in serious time for a press conference by means of telephone strains. Elliot M. “Pete” Estes, who replaced “Bunkie” Knudsen as Chevrolet Standard Manager in July 1965, begun the information conference by declaring all contributors ended up now charter associates of the Culture for the Elimination of Panthers from the Automotive Environment (SEPAW.) Estes confidently introduced that Camaro was chosen as the identify for Chevy’s new four-passenger sports car to honor the custom of starting Chevy product names with the letter C these as the Corvette, Corvair, Chevelle, and Chevy II. Most automotive insiders agreed it was a preposterous statement, supplied the reality that the Chevy Impala was then the very best-offering motor vehicle in the earth. Estes then went on to demonstrate that the Camaro name was, “derived from a French word this means comrade or pal and implies the comradeship of very good mates as a personalized car should be to its operator.” Automotive legend also has it that, soon after the push meeting, when a member of the automotive press asked, “what is a Camaro?” a Chevrolet merchandise supervisor rapidly answered by expressing, “a little, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”
Soon after the press convention, editors from major publications ended up invited to the GM Proving Grounds for a arms-on driving experience, hot laps with expert motorists and briefing on all elements of the Camaro. Dealers saw the Camaro for the to start with time in August, at the Chevrolet Revenue Conference in Detroit. Lifestyle Magazine teaser advertisements appeared in early September. On September 25, the very first Camaro ads appeared in national newspapers. On September 28, 1966, Chevrolet released an unparalleled advert blitz consisting of newspapers, magazines, radio, tv, outdoor and tv promotion.
The incredibly to start with Chevy Camaro television business can however be found on YouTube. It options a white Camaro RS/SS with the unique bumble-bee nose band emerging from a volcano. The voice around proudly introduces “The fiery new Camaro from Chevrolet… a little something you’ve got never witnessed before.”
Just prior to the formal June 29th start date, a press package deal with images, technical specs, and line stories ended up launched to newspapers and journals throughout the place. In excess of 100 members of the push ended up invited to take part in a gymkhana driving competitiveness at the GM Proving Grounds. The identical variety of celebration was held 1 7 days later in Los Angeles. A team of editors have been also picked to drive prime-optioned Camaro RS/SS styles from Detroit to their house metropolitan areas so they could publish, “I drove it individually,” aspect articles or blog posts in their nearby newspapers. At last, on September 29, 1966, the Chevrolet Camaro was introduced to the public.
Mustang’s two and a fifty percent year head get started in the industry did little blunt America’s eagerness to see the new Camaro. Chevy dealerships across the region had been filled to overflowing with curious and ready potential buyers. Dealerships had been issued exclusive window trim, urged to black-out their home windows and lengthen their showroom hrs. Extensive traces formed to even glimpse the new motor vehicle. Individuals waiting in line were also far more than inclined to discussion the deserves of Mustang and the nevertheless unseen Camaro. It is rumored that regional police ended up usually identified as support handle the crowds.
At the time within dealerships in most metro regions, potential buyers ended up handled to not 1 but a few Camaro models. Chevy created each energy to supply their largest dealers with a base activity coupe, Camaro RS and a Camaro SS convertible. The tactic was an extension of the imaginative tactic applied in Chevy’s nationwide adverts which confirmed all a few Camaro models below a tag line, “How a lot Camaro you want relies upon on how significantly driver you want to be.”
The sticker price tag of $2,466 for a Camaro base coupe and $2,704 for a base convertible was absolutely competitive with Ford’s pricing of their 1967 Mustang types which was $2,461 for the common coupe, $2,692 for a normal fastback and $2,898 for a standard convertible.
Getting a web page from Mustang’s good results in earning added profit from options and components, the Camaro could be purchased with approximately 80 factory possibilities and 40 seller equipment. Potential buyers could also possibility up to a bigger 250-inch variation of the regular straight 6 engine, a choice of 327-cubic-inch tiny-block V8s fed by both a two-barrel or a four-barrel carburetor and two versions of the 396-cubic-inch big-block V8. In get to keep the new Camaro from using income away from the Corvette, a corporate edict forbade equipping it with engines bigger than 400 cid. Transmission options incorporated a four-speed handbook, a two-speed “Powerglide” and in late 1967 the new three-pace “Turbo Hydra-Matic 350”.
The initial 1967 Camaro created at the Norwood, Ohio, plant had a VIN ending in N100001 the very first built at the Van Nuys, California, plant experienced a VIN ending in L100001. The 1967 Camaro was the only design year to have its VIN tag mounted on the doorway hinge pillar. VIN tags on later products were being moved so they would be obvious by the windshield. 1967 was the only design yr to function aspect vent home windows. 1968 saw the introduction of a fresh new-air inlet system referred to as Astro Ventilation. The bumblebee nose stripe integrated in the SS bundle also grew to become out there as a different option in March 1968.
As manufacturing facility-fresh Camaros rolled off the assembly traces at Norwood and Van Nuys, the Chevy crew worked just as really hard to preserve Camaro in the general public eye. Camaro, in reality, was picked as the Official Speed Auto for the 1967 Indianapolis 500. A white Camaro RS convertible with a 396 V8 engine, not usually accessible for that bundle, and a distinct blue bumble-bee stripe all-around the nose paced the industry. Above 100 particular reproductions of the tempo car were being also made as advertising cars for Chevy dealerships across the region.
A overall of 41,100 new Camaro’s ended up registered in the 1966 calendar-calendar year and an supplemental 204,862 in 1967. Ford, on the other hand, marketed just about a half million Mustangs in 1967. Nonetheless, the struggle lines were being drawn. Chevy knew they experienced a winner and devised a bold tactic. If they couldn’t beat Mustang on the showroom ground, they would at minimum defeat it at the track. And whilst GM was not officially into racing, that did not halt Chevrolet engineers from creating the Z/28, a single of the most potent and powerful performance packages of all time. But, that is still a further tale.