Monday 12th September 1966
The Chevrolet Camaro was first shown at a press preview in Detroit, Michigan. It was available as a two-door convertible with 2+2 seating, and a choice of 3.8 L, 4.1 L inline-6 or 4.9 L, 5.0 L, 5.4 L), 5.7 L, 6.5 L, 7.0 L V8 powerplants. Concerned with the runaway success of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet executives realized that their compact sporty car, the Corvair, would not be able to generate the sales volume of the Mustang due to its rear-engine design, as well as declining sales, partly due to the negative publicity from Ralph Nader’s book, Unsafe at Any Speed. Therefore, the Camaro was touted as having the same conventional rear-drive, front-engine configuration as the Mustang and Chevy II Nova. In addition, the Camaro was designed to fit a variety of power plants in the engine bay. The first-generation Camaro lasted until the 1969 model year and eventually inspired the design of the new retro fifth-generation Camaro.