Posted Juerg Weidmann on April 26, 2011
The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro was part of what is historically known as the first generation of this automobile model.
Considered by many to be one of the cars of this period with the widest variety of optional trims and engine types, the 1969 Camaro was in the class of sports car, a 2-door that had muscle and excellent road handling, but at the same time could be considered a family vehicle.
The Development Of The Camaro Model In the early 1960s, Ford had developed the Mustang as a response to the Chevy Corvair Monza. Its distinct sports car styling prompted General Motors to develop their own 4-seater that had plenty of engine power and general appeal to the younger buying market.
The first generation Camaro was introduced in 1966, with the automobile given the following year's designation. Camaro was chosen as the name of the vehicle mainly because very few people would recognize it or know its meaning, which according to Chevrolet was Old French for "friend" or "companion".
By 1969 the car was a bestseller, and General Motors was already thinking of tweaking the design to attract an even larger consumer base. This would be the final year of the Camaro in its first generation styling; the 1970-1973 models would have a radically different body style and choice of engines, leaving their own impressive mark in the annals of American automobile history.
Features Of The 1969 Camaro For 1969, Chevrolet decided on a slightly different exterior appearance for the Camaro, and the result was more squared-off body panels, a more aggressive front grille that was presented with a wide, obtuse angled look with the two large, round headlights set far apart, and radical multi-sectioned taillights. For the first time, buyers could pre-order the famous RPO Z11 trim, which was the Indy 500 exterior package.
An amazing array of engine types and sizes were available in the 1969 Camaro. The standard engines for the car had up to now been under 400 cubic inches, but the larger 427 V-8 was now a popular choice. The popular 350 cubic inch and 396 cubic inch V-8 engines would dominate the second generation Camaros, but were already package options in 1969. The ZL 1 option included an all-aluminum block 427 V-8 that was an absolute racing engine; only 70 of these cars were produced and are still one of the most sought after collectibles in the American auto market.
Power 4-wheel disc brakes were also available on the 1969 Camaro, a feature that was still in its infancy at the time. The interior of the car featured a new dashboard and instrument panel that contained mostly square shaped instruments. The manual transmission Camaro's produced that year were fitted with the Hurst positive-shifting linkage, and the car also sported a theft-deterrent steering column.
1969 Camaro Facts & Figures Nearly 245,000 Camaro vehicles were produced for the 1969 model year, most of which were built at the Norwood, Ohio plant. All of the cars had bucket seats, 85 percent had an AM radio, 57 percent had power steering, 57 percent came with automatic transmission, 22 percent featured a dashboard clock, and 18 percent had air conditioning. Even during the 1969 sales year, General Motors had decided to revamp the Camaro for the 1970s, therefore the 1969 model was the last of its breed. The entire body was redesigned for 1970, as was the interior, and the engines and transmissions were changed dramatically.
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