The Chevrolet Camaro was devised as a counterpunch to the famous Ford Mustang, and in the process it became a performance icon itself. GM had been forced to watch the massive success of the Mustang with nothing of their own to counter it, and immediately deemed it necessary to respond in kind. A pony car was approved in 1964 and was ready for the 1967 model year. Like the Mustang, the Camaro was offered in a range of models, from an attractive yet basic coupe to potent and pricey high-performance models.
The base model featured a 230 cid inline-6 engine, making 140 horsepower. This model was available with the RS appearance package, which included a blacked out grille, hidden headlights, interior upgrades, revised taillights and parking lights, and RS badging. Moving up the ladder, the SS featured a standard 350 cid V-8, but was also available with a 396 cid V-8 making 325 horsepower.
Then there was the Z/28. It was conceived essentially as a “turn-key race car” aimed at the 1967 SCCA Trans Am road racing series. It featured a high-performance 302 cid V-8, rated at 290 horsepower but rumored to be even more potent. More than just an engine, the Z/28 also featured front disc brakes, 15-inch rally wheels, a clutch from the 396 V-8 setup, close ratio four-speed transmission, F41 suspension, heavy-duty front coils and rear leaf springs, and a functional hood air intake (the SS’s hood intake was non-functional). Positraction was optional.
Of the 99,855 Camaros built for the 1967 model year, 34,411 were SS models, and just 602 were the coveted Z/28, making them very rare and therefore likely candidates for cloning. Today, you are given few pre-determined factory option packages at new car dealers, but there was once a time when you could spec out a car a la carte. The Camaro offered 80 different factory options and 40 different dealer accessories, meaning there are many uniquely-spec’d 1967 Camaros out there.