The Chevrolet Camaro is one of America’s most renowned institutions, a barometer of American car culture and values.
With American icons come hearsay, tall tales, and legend. Let’s separate fact from fiction with four things you never knew about the Camaro.
1. Oh Hi, Panther Z28
Originally, the Chevrolet Camaro was supposed to be named Panther Z28. After a series of press leaks, Chevrolet decided to rename it ‘Camaro,’ which is believed to be a play on words with the existing models at the time, which included the Corvette and Caprice.
One tale goes that Chevrolet executives used a French dictionary to come up with the term. Many swear its the Russian term or a made up word instead of the French word for ‘comrade.’
2. Terrible options
Early on, the Chevrolet Camaro came with the choice of several add-ons, some of which were downright baffling in terms of practicality.
One was a fold-down rear seat which did not extend the length of trunk storage, creating a wall between the back seat and trunk. This design led to speculation that its only purpose was to be a flatter surface in which to store utility items.
A second option was a liquid aerosol tire channel hidden in rear wheel wells that would disperse snow melting liquid on its tires under cold weather conditions. It was another terrible idea, with less than 200 buyers ordering this initial add-on.
3. V6s vs. V8s
Today’s vehicles range from 300 to 350 horsepower, which beats the most powerful V8 in the original Camaro with 295 horsepower.
However, horsepower was calculated differently at the time, where certain car parts were not included with the vehicle during testing.
4. Production in Canada
The first Chevrolet Camaro came out of Canada, not the United States. It was built in St. Thérèse, Quebec, Montreal.
One of the greatest institutions in American history originated in Canada. Who would have thought?