It was 54 years ago that the Camaro first arrived on the scene. Here's to another 54.
On September 29, 1966, Chevrolet introduced the world to a brand new two-door coupe aimed at younger buyers who weren't quite ready to settle down and get a sensible family sedan: the Chevrolet Camaro. And so was started a fierce GM vs. Ford vs. Chrysler pony car war that wages to this very day.
That was 54 years ago, if you don't feel like doing the math, making Camaro one of the older vehicle nameplates in production today, although production hasn't been continuous; after lackluster sales in the late 1990s and early 2000s, GM pulled the plug on the fourth-generation Camaro after 2002, finally launching a fifth-generation model for 2010.
Some say it was the Ford Mustang that launched the US pony car segment. Others contend it was the Plymouth Barracuda - a somewhat less consequential car that launched a mere two weeks before the Mustang. Regardless, everyone can agree that it wasn't the brilliantly-named Camaro, which launched as a 1967 model more than two years later than the Mustang. It was a smashing success, selling some 285k units its first model year with its alluring mix of European GT-inspired styling and affordable performance.
Of course, that figure was positively dwarfed by the 472k examples of the 1967 Mustang sold around the same time, let alone the 550k to 600k Mustangs sold each of the preceding two years. Still, the Chevrolet Camaro soldiered on, establishing itself as a graceful, powerful performance icon in its own right.
Fast-forward to the modern era, and the Chevrolet Camaro is woefully behind both the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger in terms of sales, selling just 48k units in the US in 2019 to the Challenger's 61k and the Mustang's 72k. That's put Chevrolet's iconic pony car in a precarious spot as the latest rumors maintain the car won't be developed past 2023, meaning we might never get a seventh-generation Camaro - unless, of course, Chevy transforms it into a family-hauling crossover.
All the same, GM has sold a total of more than 5 million Chevrolet Camaros to-date, making it one of the most successful passenger car models ever. That's worth celebrating.