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Looking back at 50 years of Camaro

Henry Payne
The Detroit News

Forged in the hot oven of Big Three competition, Camaro was Chevy’s response to Ford’s wildly popular sports coupe, the Mustang. Affordably priced but bearing the sexy lines of a more expensive European sports car, Ford’s rear-wheel-drive “pony car” took the world by storm in 1965, selling a staggering 680,995 copies in its first model year.

Reports of a long-hooded, two-door Chevy competitor to the Mustang surfaced in April 1965. Codename: Panther. Legend has it that the name Camaro was loosely based on the French word “camarade” from which the English term “comrade” is derived. The Camaro was unveiled in September 1966 for the 1967 model year. Its base price, $2,466, undercut the cheapest Mustang, which cost $2,510.

An epic, five-decade, cross-town rivalry with Ford was on.

Here’s a drive down memory lane, looking back at the notable years of Camaro for its 50th anniversary.