Chevrolet has released a pair of new videos celebrating 50 years of Camaros with rare footage of all six generations of the pony car in action. The video below features complete commercials and promotional videos, while the shorter video below is a compilation with snippets from ads throughout the car’s history.
To say that 2016 is the Camaro’s 50th birthday is a little misleading, since the car went into hibernation for several years at the dawn of the 21st century. The first Camaro debuted on September 12, 1966 as a 1967 model and was a quick reaction to arch rival Ford’s huge success with its sporty Mustang coupe and convertible.
Although the 1967-’69 is certainly the original Camaro icon, it only lasted three model years before being replaced by the long-lived second generation that hung around from 1970 to 1981. Interestingly, GM says that the best Camaro sales year ever was 1979, even though tough emissions standards meant that the most powerful engine on offer that year delivered just 175 horsepower.
Subsequent third and fourth generation models from 1982 to 1992 and 1993 to 2002, respectively, gradually built performance before GM pulled the plug on the Camaro amid slipping sales and its own financial turmoil.
Yet Camaro came back in 2010 just as GM was exiting its bankruptcy. That dramatically redesigned model took cues from the most revered Camaro of all time: the 1969. It wasn’t a great car to start, but it came into its own by the end of its run, with such highlights as the 1LE handling package and the 580-hp ZL1. It also inspired the latest Camaro, which hit the market late last year and has already spawned a fire-breathing, 640-horsepower ZL1 backed up by an all-new 10-speed automatic developed with, of all potential partners, Ford.
These videos are a pretty cool trip down memory lane. Take a look for yourself.