Introduction: After two years of watching the Ford Mustang enjoy tremendous success, General Motors finally launched its entry into the pony car segment, the Chevrolet Camaro. Although available with a mediocre six cylinder for volume sales, the Camaro could be equipped with several V8s and a myriad of performance options. Then, of course, was the famous Regular Production Code, Z/28, that would change the industrys view of pony cars.
Inspired by the success of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet launched its own pony car, the Camaro. Chevrolet stated that the “Camaro” was named after the French word for “comrade,” although some linguists argued that it was actually Spanish for a type of shrimp. Not exactly an awe aspiring name for a new pony car. Luckily, the Camaro had the muscle to back up its case. The Camaro was based on the upcomming 1968 Chevy Nova platform, and featured a unibody structure from the windshield and firewall back, with a separate steel rail subframe for everything up front. The Camaro was available from the start in hardtop coupe and covertible body styles, and could be order with nearly 80 factory options and 40 dealer accessories, including three main option packages and a choice of four different engines. The RS package included numerous cosmetic changes including a blacked out grill with hidden headlights, revised parking and tail lights, upgraded interior trim, and RS badging. Of greater interest to enthusiasts was the SS package which included as standard equipment a modified 350 cid V8 (the first 350 engine Chevy ever offered) with an available 396 cid big block producing 325bhp (L35) and later a 375bhp version, along with simulated air-intakes on the hood, special bumble bee striping, and a blacked out grill. It was possible to order both the RS and SS packages, and get a RS/SS Camaro, in which case the RS badging took precedence. Camaro popularity soared when a RS/SS Convertible with the 396 paced the 1967 Indianapolis 500 race.
via Musclecarclub.com – Chevrolet Camaro – History – 1st Generation.