As much vintage Americana as the Ford motor company’s Mustang, on which it was blatantly based, GM’s Chevrolet Camaro would become a part of automotive lore. Built specifically to appeal to the Baby Boomer generation that was just coming of age and looking for cars completely unlike their parents’ cars, like the Mustang it had speed in spades. A powerful engine, backed up by a head-spinning plethora of design and engine options all but assured there would be a Camaro to fit the needs of every racer-at-heart.
On this day, September 29, in 1966, Chevrolet introduced their newest model, the Camaro.
Like its competitor at Ford, it was based on a compact sedan, with a souped-up 3.8 L I6 engine producing 140 hp. Base price for the coupe was $2,466.
The name “Camaro” was not chosen for any reason other than the way it sounds, but GM researchers did allegedly discovery the term in French means “comrade” or “pal.” They made much use of that definition in the press event during the unveiling — though they did also provide one of their own. When one of the journalists on hand asked “What is a Camaro?” a GM product manager quickly replied: “A small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”