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Chevy to honor 50th birthday of Camaro at Dream Cruise

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet brand will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Camaro muscle car — now in its sixth generation — with public events planned during the Woodward Dream Cruise in August.

Tours will be given at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, where the Camaro is built, from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Aug. 18. That event also includes a celebration for Camaro owners and fans, with a car show, heritage display and talks with GM employees who work on the Camaro , including chief engineer Al Oppenheiser.

At the plant, Chevy will offer Camaro-only parking for up to 500 muscle cars. Anniversary merchandise and food will be available.

“This is an unprecedented opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at building the Camaro from the ground up,” Todd Christensen, Camaro marketing manager, said in a statement. “Whether you’re a Camaro owner or simply a fan, it’s an event you won’t want to miss.”

The following day, Chevy is inviting the public for a “Camaros and Coffee” event at 7:30 a.m. at the Joe Louis Arena Riverfront parking lot, 19 Steve Yzerman Drive, in Detroit. Chevy says it will have parking available for 500 cars on a first-come, first-served basis. At 9:45 a.m., the 50th Anniversary edition Camaros will lead the rally participants to Woodward Avenue for a cruise.

On Aug. 20, the official day of the Dream Cruise, Chevy will have a special heritage collection of the Camaro at its display, expected near Old Woodward and Woodward Avenue in Birmingham. Among vehicles slated for viewing include the new 2017 Camaro ZL1 and 1LE variants.

“Over the past half-century, the Camaro has fostered enthusiasm, camaraderie and memories like few other vehicles,” Steve Majoros, marketing director of Chevrolet cars and crossovers, said in a statement. “It’s a passion Chevrolet takes seriously and the activities this summer are a way of giving back to those who have made the Camaro an icon.”

Chevy announced the Camaro during a press conference on June 28, 1966, and it arrived in dealerships in September 1966. During its first model year, 1967, Chevy sold 220,906 Camaros.

The 2017 ZL1 is features a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine with an estimated 640 horsepower and a new 10-speed automatic transmission. It is available this fall. Pricing has not been announced.

The Camaro took a seven-year production hiatus when the fourth generation ended production in 2002 and the fifth generation returned in 2009 as a 2010 model.

Details on the anniversary and registration for the Lansing event are available at www.camarofifty.com.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319