After witnessing the early success of the Ford Mustang, General Motors was keenly aware that they needed a pony car of their own. In late 1964, Chevrolet was tasked with developing such a car, which would debut for the 1967 model year. The end result was called the Chevrolet Camaro, and well you all know how the story goes from there. While the design of the first-gen muscle car is labeled as one of the greatest of all time, it could’ve looked quite different. Thanks to a recent Instagram post made by GM Design, we have a chance to see one of the original sketches for the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 car penned by Allen Young.
Known as the “Advanced Design Camaro Z-28 Proposal,” this 1968 sketch looks unlike any Camaro we’ve ever come to know. The proportions of the design scream Mopar, and especially in the rear ¾ section. The windshield is also raked back in a way only a designer could think of, though we are sure visibility would’ve been great. The front facia is where things are most interesting however, as we can see cues utilized by later vehicles. There is a bit of Buick Riviera in there, as well as some Ford Torino and Dodge Charger. Oddly enough however, this Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 almost looks like it could’ve been a Pontiac product with very obvious ’68-69 GTO styling cues.
There is a reason that Bill Mitchell didn’t end up using this Allen Young design however. Upper management at General Motors insisted on certain engineering constraints and hardpoints for the car, due to the fact that it would share platform components with the Chevy II. After working with several of GM’s chief designers in committee, Henry Haga’s sketch and clay model was ultimately chosen. Haga had also worked on the 1968 Corvette, the 1965 Corvair, and the almighty Super Nova concept.
While we wouldn’t change a thing about the first-gen Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 that got the green light, it is interesting to see what the design process is like. That said, who wouldn’t like to see some of these alternate reality muscle cars brought to life? Get on it, GM Design.