Chevy Camaro – A tiny, Vicious Animal that will Eats Mustangs

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

While engineers as well as designers feverishly worked overtime on the development of a four-passenger sports car they code-named the F-car, the Chevy public relations, marketing as well as advertising team prepared the globe for the introduction of a car they called the Panther.

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

All through the summer of 1965 virtually every aspect of the vehicle’s design as well as development, by preliminary design sketches to clay types, was photographed as well as carefully documented. Chevy used the assets to create a 30 -minute movie The Camaro, which was later shown on TV as well as in movie theaters. They also introduced women’s clothing called the Camaro Collection as well as even a Camaro road race game.

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

In November, Chevy sales executives as well as creative people previewed prototype types at the GM Tech Center. Campbell-Ewald, Chevy’s venerable ad agency, immediately began work on catalogs, direct mail as well as sales promotion materials, along with print, outdoor as well as TV/radio advertising. In April 1966, at the completely new York Auto Show Press Conference, Chevrolet sales executives admitted no name had been chosen for the completely new vehicle, although did announce that will pricing of 1967 style will be from the Corvair-Chevy II range.

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

Throughout early 1966 Chevy agonized over a name for its Mustang-killer. GM’s upper management was nervous about the aggressive connotations of the Panther name. A similar bout of cold feet might later cause the Pontiac type, code named the Banshee, to be renamed Firebird. Over its short lifetime, the F-car had been called by many names including Wildcat, Chaparral, Commander as well as Nova. the idea’s also rumored that will Chevy considered using the letters “GM” from the name, as well as came up with G-Mini, which evolved into GeMini as well as finally Gemini. However, GM’s upper management vetoed the idea, fearing the auto might be a failure.

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

Automotive legend has the idea that will someone at Chevrolet finally proposed the name Camaro as well as upper management quickly agreed. Although the name has no real meaning, GM researchers reportedly found the word in a French dictionary as a slang term for “friend” or “companion.” the idea’s rumored that will Ford Motor Company researchers also discovered some other definitions, including “a shrimp-like creature” as well as an arcane term for “loose bowels.”

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

Because a number or pre-launch materials had already been released using the Panther name, Chevy’s most pressing challenge was to right now rename their completely new Mustang killer, the Camaro.

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

On June 21, 1966, around 0 automotive journalists received a telegram by General Motors stating, “Please be available at noon of June 28 for important press conference. desire you can be on hand to help scratch a cat. Details will follow.” The mysterious telegram was signed, John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary. The next day, journalists received another mysterious telegram stating, “Society for the Eradication of Panthers by the Automotive World will hold first as well as last meeting on June 28.” Again, the telegram was signed, John L. Cutter – Chevrolet Public Relations – SEPAW Secretary.

Chevy Camaro - A Tiny, Vicious Animal That Will Eats Mustangs

Finally, on June 28, 1966, General Motors held a live press conference in Detroit’s Statler-Hilton Hotel. the idea was the very first time in history that will 14 cities were hooked up in real time for a press conference via telephone lines. Elliot M. “Pete” Estes, who replaced “Bunkie” Knudsen as Chevrolet General Manager in July 1965, started out the news conference by declaring all participants were right now charter members of the Society for the Elimination of Panthers by the Automotive World (SEPAW.) Estes confidently announced that will Camaro was chosen as the name for Chevy’s completely new four-passenger sports car to honor the tradition of beginning Chevy style names with the letter C such as the Corvette, Corvair, Chevelle, as well as Chevy II. Most automotive insiders agreed the idea was a ridiculous statement, given the fact that will the Chevy Impala was then the best-selling car from the globe. Estes then went on to explain that will the Camaro name was, “derived by a French word meaning comrade or pal as well as suggests the comradeship of Great friends as a personal car should be to its owner.” Automotive legend also has the idea that will, after the press conference, when a member of the automotive press asked, “what can be a Camaro?” a Chevrolet product manager quickly answered by saying, “a tiny, vicious animal that will eats Mustangs.”

Shortly after the press conference, editors by major magazines were invited to the GM Proving Grounds for a hands-on driving experience, hot laps with professional drivers as well as briefing on all aspects of the Camaro. Dealers saw the Camaro for the very first time in August, at the Chevrolet Sales Convention in Detroit. LIFE Magazine teaser ads appeared in early September. On September 25, the first Camaro ads appeared in national newspapers. On September 28, 1966, Chevrolet launched an unprecedented ad blitz consisting of newspapers, magazines, radio, television, outdoor as well as television advertising.

The very first Chevy Camaro television commercial can still be seen on YouTube. the idea features a white Camaro RS/SS with the distinctive bumble-bee nose band emerging by a volcano. The voice over proudly introduces “The fiery completely new Camaro by Chevrolet… something you’ve never seen before.”

Just prior to the official June 29th launch date, a press package with photos, specifications, as well as line stories were released to newspapers as well as magazines across the country. Over 100 members of the press were invited to participate in a gymkhana driving competition at the GM Proving Grounds. The same type of event was held one week later in Los Angeles. A group of editors were also selected to drive top-optioned Camaro RS/SS types by Detroit to their home cities so they could publish, “I drove the idea personally,” feature articles in their local newspapers. Finally, on September 29, 1966, the Chevrolet Camaro was released to the public.

Mustang’s two as well as a half year head start from the market did little blunt America’s eagerness to see the completely new Camaro. Chevy dealerships across the country were filled to overflowing with curious as well as willing buyers. Dealerships were issued special window trim, urged to black-out their windows as well as extend their showroom hours. Long lines formed to even glimpse the completely new vehicle. Those waiting in line were also more than willing to debate the merits of Mustang as well as the still unseen Camaro. the idea’s rumored that will local police were often called help control the crowds.

Once inside dealerships in most metro areas, buyers were treated to not one although three Camaro types. Chevy made every effort to provide their largest dealers which has a base sport coupe, Camaro RS as well as a Camaro SS convertible. The tactic was an extension of the creative approach used in Chevy’s national ads which showed all three Camaro types under a tag line, “How much Camaro you want depends on how much driver you want to be.”

The sticker cost of $2,466 for a Camaro base coupe as well as $2,704 for a base convertible was fully competitive with Ford’s pricing of their 1967 Mustang types which was $2,461 for the standard coupe, $2,692 for a standard fastback as well as $2,898 for a standard convertible.

Taking a page by Mustang’s success in earning added profit by options as well as accessories, the Camaro could be ordered with nearly 80 factory options as well as 40 dealer accessories. Buyers could also option up to a larger 250-inch type of the standard straight six engine, a choice of 327-cubic-inch tiny-block V8s fed by either a two-barrel or a four-barrel carburetor as well as two versions of the 396-cubic-inch big-block V8. In order to keep the completely new Camaro by taking sales away by the Corvette, a corporate edict forbade equipping the idea with engines larger than 400 cid. Transmission options included a four-speed manual, a two-speed “Powerglide” as well as in late 1967 the completely new three-speed “Turbo Hydra-Matic 350”.

The first 1967 Camaro built at the Norwood, Ohio, plant had a VIN ending in N100001; the first built at the Van Nuys, California, plant had a VIN ending in L100001. The 1967 Camaro was the only style year to have its VIN tag mounted on the door hinge pillar. VIN tags on later types were moved so they might be visible through the windshield. 1967 was the only style year to feature side vent windows. 1968 saw the introduction of a fresh-air inlet system called Astro Ventilation. The bumblebee nose stripe included from the SS package also became available as a separate option in March 1968.

As factory-fresh Camaros rolled off the assembly lines at Norwood as well as Van Nuys, the Chevy team worked just as hard to keep Camaro from the public eye. Camaro, in fact, was chosen as the Official Pace Car for the 1967 Indianapolis 500. A white Camaro RS convertible which has a 396 V8 engine, not normally available for that will package, as well as a distinctive blue bumble-bee stripe around the nose paced the field. Over 100 special reproductions of the pace car were also produced as promotional vehicles for Chevy dealerships across the country.

A total of 41,100 completely new Camaro’s were registered from the 1966 calendar-year as well as one more 204,862 in 1967. Ford, on the some other hand, sold almost a half million Mustangs in 1967. Still, the battle lines were drawn. Chevy knew they had a winner as well as devised a bold strategy. If they couldn’t beat Mustang on the showroom floor, they might at least beat the idea at the track. as well as while GM wasn’t officially into racing, that will didn’t stop Chevrolet engineers by developing the Z/28, one of the most potent as well as powerful performance packages of all time. although, that will’s still another story.

Chevy Camaro – A tiny, Vicious Animal that will Eats Mustangs

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