There is no hiding the fact that we are fond of American muscle cars here at MC&T. We’re such big fans of these expressions of American automotive excellence that we went and named our website after them. However, without the events that transpired 54 years ago today, it is possible that the muscle car era would have never taken off in the way that it did. We are of course talking about the birth of the legendary Chevrolet Camaro.
On this day all the way back in 1966, the Chevrolet Camaro officially went on sale at dealerships across the country. With the introduction of their own sporty-coupe, GM intentionally kicked off a battle with the Ford Mustang that continues to rage until this day. With styling inspired by the grand touring cars of Europe and eight different powertrain options, the 1967 Camaro became an instant success. By the end of the model’s first year on sale, GM had managed to move 285,748 units. A staggering figure by today’s standards, but it remained dwarfed by the Mustang’s dominating sales performance of 472,121 units that year.
While the first-gen Chevrolet Camaro was never able to catch up to the Mustang in terms of sales, it remains one of the most iconic and sought-after sports cars ever built. These early Camaros are popular platforms for high-dollar builds, and have managed to win SEMA’s Battle of the Builders competition four out of the last six years. Not a single Mustang has managed to capture that crown.
The Chevrolet Camaro is an icon of the automotive world, despite taking the occasional break from existing. General Motors have sold over five million examples of their pony car since its inception, making it one of the most successful models of all time. It’s expected that GM will garage the Camaro once again, but today is not that day. If you’ve got a Camaro, today is about celebrating a half-century of bad-assery.