Growing up in the times that I did, it was common to see muscle cars roaming the streets of our city, looking to line up at traffic lights and tear off in a wild plume of smoke in an effort to obtain the crown of having the fastest car in the city. All my friends owned one, and I was certainly no exception. There is just something nostalgic and immutable in terms of the feeling you have when driving these beasts. They were always on the verge of being out of control, and that sense of danger really does add to the whole experience. One of my personal favorites is the Chevrolet Camaro, having owned several myself over the years. Join us as we head back to the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit where we check out some of the coolest Camaro cars on display at the 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering.
In the late 60’s there was a real push from the American car manufacturers to create fast cars. The basic premise was to build cars that had more horsepower under the hood than could be handled by most, and then to wrap that horsepower in stunning, beautiful body lines to evoke a sense of momentum and motion, even when standing still. The Ford Mustang had taken off in the mid 60’s and Chevrolet had to play catch-up, thus the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro.
The one we see above here is what I believe to be of the model year 1970 1/2. Why 1/2 you may very well ask? This was the introduction of the second generation Camaro (known as the F-Body to GM folk) and due to the retooling and new platform design from top to bottom, it was released half way through the model year. The split front chrome bumpers are a giveaway for this year, with a wide grill that looked like the car wanted to suck all the air out of our atmosphere, blend it with high-octane gas, and burn it like the fire from the sun to create limitless power. Thus was born a legend.
Stepping back a year to consider the last of the first generation Camaro, the 1969 Camaro was a true force to be reckoned with. Even today, the true 1969 Camaro Z/28’s fetch an astounding price at the auction, telling us that this car has a lasting place in history in terms of the muscle car. Beyond the Z/28 offering, Chevrolet also offered what many today call a Unicorn in terms of muscle cars, the COPO ZL1 Camaro, a true fire-breathing big block beast with an aluminum block and heads that could run low 10’s on the quarter mile. Only 69 of these cars were ordered that year, and today any of the survivors in good shape can fetch well over $450,000 USD at auction. These cars are spoken of in hushed whispers in muscle car circles, and very few enthusiasts have ever seen one in person.
The car pictured above is a 5th Generation Camaro ZL1, sporting a 6.2L supercharged engine that puts out over 580 horsepower. This made it the most powerful Camaro ever produced, and one that many of us enthusiasts covet today. This particular car at the Motor Gathering was a pristine white example of this fabled car, drawing people from far and wide.
And finally in today’s post, let’s revisit a Camaro we featured in our inaugural post for our series called “The 2016 Vancouver Island Motor Gathering“. This gem sports what I presume to be a big block engine, adorned with a 6-71 Blower that would leave half of you at the start line while the other half careens down the track at nearly the speed of light. If you’ve never heard one of these beasts run before, check out this YouTube video that features a blown Camaro making a few runs up and down the streets, basically terrorizing any errant squirrels or innocent puppies that may be within earshot. Talk about awesome!
Thanks for taking a stroll with us down memory lane today as we visit and revisit cars that were iconic for their times. Even in today’s contemporary world, these cars are known to many to be respected for their inherent beauty and their blistering speed. We share this love with other enthusiasts, and love to share these photographs and stories with everyone interested.
We really appreciate you popping by The Hollow today to share this adventure with us. We love to hear from all our visitors, so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have below.