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Chevrolet Camaro



History

Second Generation

1970-1981






Introduction: After just three years, Chevrolet released their second generation model halfway through the 1970 model year. This generation would last over 12 years and would see the once mighty Camaro become strangled by crash and emission standards.

Note: All engine ratings for 1970-1971 are in SAE Gross figures. All engine ratings for 1972+ are in SAE Net figures.


1970 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: Despite ominous predictions of the collapse of the pony car market, and development delays, the new Camaro was released with much fanfare and much success late in the 1970 model year. Most of the credit went to the new styling, which was European-inspired (some would say "Ferrari inspired") and would prove so popular that it would last until 1982. Still based on the Nova, the new Camaro was two inches longer and had five inch longer doors, and was now available only as a coupe (no convertible). It featured a new A-arm front suspension and better noise insultation. Under the hood, the proposed new 454 blocks never made it and the Camaro SS continued with the 350 and 396 engines. After January 1970, however, the 396 engines no longer displaced 396 cubic inches. Chevrolet actually enlarged them to 402 cubic inches but the executives decided to name it the 396 to take advantage of the name recognition and avoid any attention from insurance carriers. The RS option now included a free standing grill, twin bumperetes, an Endura rubber grill frame, and parking lights between the headlights and the grill. The SS option included a special black grill, hidden wipers, power brakes, engine trim, white-letter tires, chrome dual exhausts, and the SS396 also came with black-painted trunk panels and a special suspension.

The Z28 saw the most radical change -- an all new 350 cid engine know as the LT-1 350. It was rated at 360bhp (it had a rating of 370bhp when installed in Corvettes). This engine proved much more tractable, reliable, and generally outperformed the 302 engine of old. It was also available with an automatic transmission, the first time for the Z28.

Production:
RS: 27,136
SS: 12,476 (350/300: 10,012, 402/325: 1,864 402/350: 600)
Z-28: 7,733

Engines:
250 I6 155 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 235 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
307 V8 200 bhp @ 4600 rpm, 300 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
L-65 350 V8 250 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 345 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
Z28: 350 V8 360 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 380 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
SS350: 350 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 380 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
SS396: L-78 402 V8 350 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 415 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm.
SS396: 402 V8 375 bhp @ 5600 rpm, 415 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm.

Performance:
Z-28: 350/360: 0-60 in 6.1 sec, 1/4 mile in 14.4 sec @ 99.1mph.

1971 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: On the outside, the 1971 Camaro differed from the 1970 model mainly with the change to a high back seat with integrated headrest design. Under the hood, however, there were big changes. General Motors had decreed that all its cars for 1971 had to run on unleaded gasoline and this meant a drop in compression ratios and a big drop in power ratings. The Z-28 saw its 350 cid engine drop from 11:1 compression to 9:1 (which was still above the GM mandate of 8.5:1, but GM let it slide) and horsepower dropped to 330bhp from 360bhp. A new three piece rear spoiler for the Z-28 didn't quite make up for the decrease in performance. Both the SS350 and SS396 (still with a 402 cid engine) saw decreases in power ratings and a proposed 400 cid engine never saw production. The RS package was still available with corresponding trim and appearance changes.

Production:
RS: 18,404
SS: 8,377
Z-28: 4,862

Engines:
250 I6 145 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 230 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
307 V8 200 bhp @ 4600 rpm, 300 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
L-65 350 V8 245 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 350 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
L48 350 V8 270 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
Z28: 350 V8 330 bhp @ 6000 rpm, 360 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
SS350: 350 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 380 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
SS396: L-78 402 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 400 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1972 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: A 174 day strike at the Ohio plant where all Camaros and Firebirds were built severly limited 1972 model year production. Even worse, 1,100 unfinished Camaros had to be scrapped because they didn't meet 1972 federal bumper safety standards. With the declining performance market, there were many calls to cancel the Camaro. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and the Camaro stayed in production. Visually, the 1972 Camaros had a revised grill with only seven vertical slats instead of the previous 12. Another GM mandate required that all power ratings be given in net terms (including all accessories). Although that led to drastic drops in peak numbers, the new ratings were actually more accurate than the old gross power ratings because they were a better reflection of the power that actually hit the road.

Production:
RS: 11,364
SS: 6,562
Z-28: 2,575

Engines:
250 I6 110 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 185 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
307 V8 130 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 230 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
L-65 350 V8 165 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
L48 350 V8 200 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 300 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
Z28: 350 V8 255 bhp @ 5600 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.
SS350: 350 V8 300 bhp @ 4800 rpm, 380 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.
SS396: LS-3 402 V8 240 bhp @ 4400 rpm, 345 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1973 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: The big news for 1973 was the deletion of the SS option and the 396 (actually 402) engine, which left only the Z-28 with its 350 V8 to carry the performance banner. The RS option was still available and included revised front bumperettes which met the new Federal 2.5mph regulations. A new Type LT option was added as a luxury package which included a weak V8 (L-65) and several trim items. The Z-28 saw another decrease in power as hydraulic lifters replaced its solid ones. As a sign of the times, air conditioning was available on the Z-28 for the first time. Despite all this, production for all models was up.

Production: 96,751
6 Cylinder: 3,614
V8: 81,563
Z-28: 11,574

Engines:
250 I6 100 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 175 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
307 V8 115 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 205 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
L-65 350 V8 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 255 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
L48 350 V8 175 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
Z28: 350 V8 245 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1974 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: To meet new Federal government bumper standards, the 1974 Camaro was redesigned with thick aluminum front and rear bumpers. The only grille available (the special RS grille was dropped) was now shovel-shaped and the rear taillights wrapped into the fenders. Engines and trims continued from the year before except for the addition of the LM-1, a special low emission (and less powerful) 350 V8 for cars sold in California to meet the state's stricter emission standards.

Production: 151,008
6 Cylinder: 22,210
V8: 128,798
Z-28: ?

Engines:
250 I6 100 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 175 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
307 V8 115 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 205 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
L-65 350 V8 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 255 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
California only: LM-1 350 V8 160 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 250 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
L48 350 V8 175 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
Z28: 350 V8 245 bhp @ 5200 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1975 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: With extreme shortsightedness, Chevrolet eliminated the Z28 model for 1975. Maybe it was to save it from the utter embarrasement that the year's engine choices would bring. The Camaro was now powered by only three catalyst-equipped engines, a 250 L6 rated at a pathetic 105bhp, a two-barrel 350 V8 rated at 145 bhp and a four barrel 350 rated at just 155 bhp. For some unknown reason, Camaros sold well this year.

Production: 145,770
6 Cylinder: 29,749
V8: 116,021

Engines:
250 I6 105 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 185 lb-ft @ 1200 rpm.
350 (2bbl) V8 145 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 250 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm.
350 (4bbl) V8 155 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 250 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1976 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: There were a few changes to the 1976 Camaro, including a new aluminum panel between the taillights on the Type-LT, standard power brakes, and the availability of cruise control. The two barrel 350 was dropped to make way for an even weaker two-barrel 305 rated at 140bhp, while the four-barrel 350 received a power boost up to 165bhp.

Production: 182,959
6 Cylinder: 38,047
V8: 144,912

Engines:
L-22 250 L6 105 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 185 lb-ft @ 1200 rpm.
LG-3 305 (2bbl) V8 140 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm.
350 (4bbl) V8 165 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1977 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: 1977 saw a few changes (including intermittent wipers), but the big news was the return of the Z28 model, this time as a separate model (instead of as an option package as previously) even if it now stressed handling and appearance instead of power. The Z28 did handle well, even if it shared the same 350 4-barrel V8. But even in this sad state, the Camaro was more attractive than the hideous Ford Mustang II and the Camaro outsold the Mustang for the first time ever.

Production: 218,853
6 Cylinder: 31,389
V8: 187,464

Engines:
L-22 250 L6 105 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 185 lb-ft @ 1200 rpm.
LG-3 305 (2bbl) V8 140 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm.
LM-1 (California) 350 (4bbl) V8 160 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LM-1 (49-state) 350 (4bbl) V8 170 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28: 350 (4bbl) V8 185 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1978 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: Chevrolet added a new nose to the 1978 Camaro that got rid of the ugly metal bumpers and used an all new body color urethane front and rear fascia designed to meet the new 5 mph crash standard. The rear taillights were also redesigned, and incorporated 3 color lenses with the fuel door in the center. The Camaro now was available in five models, Sport Coupe, Rally Sport, Type-LT, Type-LT Rally Sport, and Z28. Translucent (i.e. smoked glass) T-tops were available on all models, while the Z28 received a full disco body package with front fender vents and a fake hoodscoop, and a more powerful 350 rated at 185bhp. But increasing emission regulation in California forced Chevrolet to offer separate engines for California and the rest of the nation. The Camaro outsold the Mustang II again.

Production: 272,631
6 Cylinder: 36,982
V8: 235,649

Engines:
L-22 (California) 250 L6 90 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 175 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
L-22 (49-state) 250 L6 110 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 195 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
LG-3 (California) 350 (2bbl) V8 135 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 240 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm.
LG-3 (49-state) 350 (2bbl) V8 145 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LM-1 (California) 350 (4bbl) V8 160 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LM-1 (49-state) 350 (4bbl) V8 170 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28 (California): 350 (4bbl) V8 175 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 265 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28 (49-state): 350 (4bbl) V8 185 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1979 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: The Type-LT was dropped for 1979, replaced by the new "Berlinetta" trim. All Camaros received a new instrument panel with more contemporary instrumentation and better control placement. Tighter emission controls resulted in slight drops in engine power across the Camaro's extensive engine line-up. Still, a record 282,571 Camaros were sold for 1979, including a record 84,877 Z28's, a feat that the Camaro would never top.

Production: 282,571
6 Cylinder: 21,913
V8: 260,658 (including 84,877 Z28's)

Engines:
L-22 (California) 250 L6 90 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 175 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
L-22 (49-state) 250 L6 115 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 200 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
LG-3 (California) 350 (2bbl) V8 125 bhp @ 3200 rpm, 235 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
LG-3 (49-state) 350 (2bbl) V8 130 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LM-1 (California) 350 (4bbl) V8 165 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 260 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LM-1 (49-state) 350 (4bbl) V8 170 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28 (California): 350 (4bbl) V8 170 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 265 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28 (49-state): 350 (4bbl) V8 175 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 270 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


Production: Total: 282,571 (L6: 21,913, V8: 260,658 - including 84,877 Z28s)
Engines: Performance: NA


1980 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: Hoping to improve fuel economy, the 1980 Camaro featured an anemic engine line-up which included a new Chevy odd-fire 229 V6 rated at 115bhp (a Buick even-fire 231 V6 rated at 110bhp was available in California) which replaced the venerable and heavy L6 engines, and a new 267 V8 rated at a pathetic 120bhp. Power for Z28 models actually increased as the 350 V8 was rated at 190 bhp, except for California buyers who received a 305 V8 rated at 155bhp which was mated to a standard three-speed automatic (no manual transmission was available). Due to the fuel crisis, sales dropped dramatically to 152,005 units.

Production: 152,005
6 Cylinder: 51,104
V8: 100,901

Engines:
LC-3 (49-state) 229 V6 115 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 175 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
LD-5 (California) 231 V6 110 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 190 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
L-39 267 (2bbl) V8 120 bhp @ 3600 rpm, 215 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
LG-4 (49-state) 305 V8 155 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 240 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LG-4 (California) 305 V8 155 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 230 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28 (California): LG4 305 V8 165 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28 (49-state): 350 V8 190 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 280 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A


1981 Chevrolet Camaro






Comments: A new engine computer enabled all V8 engines to be 50-state legal, but power ratings dropped slightly across the board. The Rally Sport model was dropped (again) and the Camaro was available in just three trims: Base Sport Coupe, Berlinetta, and Z28. These model names would continue in 1982, but not much else.

Production: 126,139
6 Cylinder: 52,004
V8: 74,135

Engines:
LC-3 (49-state) 229 V6 110 bhp @ 4200 rpm, 170 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm.
LD-5 (California) 231 V6 110 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 190 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm.
L-39 267 (2bbl) V8 115 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 200 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
LG-4 305 V8 150 bhp @ 3800 rpm, 240 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28: LG4 305 V8 165 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 245 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.
Z-28: 350 V8 175 bhp @ 4000 rpm, 275 lb-ft @ 2400 rpm.

Performance:
N/A








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