Chevy Camaro History (1967)
Article by Mark Trotta
Arriving late on the pony car scene, the Chevy Camaro quickly made up for lost time with a long list of luxury and performance options.
The long hood/short deck exterior was based on a 108-inch wheelbase and offered as coupe or convertible. Three optional platforms were available; RS, SS, and Z-28.
Body construction on the 1967 Camaro was semi-unitized; the front chassis is a sub-frame held by four rubber-isolated mounts, and rear chassis is part of the unibody. This design was intended to give a smoother and more quiet ride than a full unibody car, and also allowed maximum space for the already small rear seat and trunk.
The Camaro's engine compartment had been designed to accommodate Chevy's 396 big-block, and easily accepted the 325-horsepower L-35 motor, later joined by the 375-horsepower L-78 big-block.
Starting with the base 230-cid six-cylinder, a buyer could order an optional 250-cid six-cylinder, or a 327ci small-block V8 in either 210 or 275-horsepower versions. Also available was Chevrolet's venerable 350-cid small-block, which would make its debut in the 1967 Camaro. (The 350 did not appear in other Chevys until 1968.)
Standard transmission for first-year Camaros was a column-mounted three-speed manual, with floor-mounted four-speed optional. The two-speed Powerglide automatic could be had with any model, and on big-block equipped cars the Turbo-400 three-speed automatic was offered.
RS And SS Packages
With nearly 80 factory options and 40 dealer accessories, the Camaro could be ordered to nearly anyone's liking. The RS package included electrically-powered headlight covers, revised tail-lamps, and special RS badging.
A 350-cid V-8 came standard with the SS package, with both the 325 and 375 horsepower 396 engines available. Externally, non-functional hood-mounted air inlets, special badging and body stripes distinguished the SS models from the others. RS and SS options could also be combined.
1967 Camaro Z-28
Originally brought out to qualify the Camaro for the SCCA Trans Am racing series, the Z-28 option was quietly introduced in December of 1966. Class rules required engines to be no larger than five litres (305 cubic inches). Chevrolet combined the 3.00-inch stroke of a 283 engine with the 4.00-inch bore of the 327 motor to produce a high-revving, 302ci small-block.
All early Z-28 engines received special forged-steel crankshaft and pistons. Other performance upgrades included an aluminum high rise dual-plane intake manifold, 780-cfm 4-barrel Holley carburetor, 2.02" intake valves, 1.60" exhaust valves, and a Duntov-designed solid-lifter camshaft. Engine compression for the 1967 Z28 Camaro was 11.0-1.
The Z-28 option also included a close-ratio 4-speed manual transmission, heavy-duty suspension, front-disc brakes, quick-ratio steering, and 15x6-inch Corvette Rally wheels.
Exterior features on the Z28 included a special hood with functional air-intake, trunk-lid spoiler, and dual stripes running across the hood and trunk lid. There were no exterior badges on first-year Z-28's.
To keep the 302's advertised power rating less than one horsepower per cubic-inch, the factory figure of 290-horsepower was measured at 5,300 rpm. Actual redline was 7,500 rpm, and real figures were closer to 350-375 horsepower!
It's curious to note that first-year Z-28-equipped Camaros included Chevrolet's 2-year/24,000-mile warranty and 5-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty. 602 buyers ordered the Z-28 option in 1967.
1967 Indy 500 Pace Car
The new Chevy Camaro was chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500, only the third time for a Chevrolet to receive the honor. Driven by three-time Indy 500 winner Mauri Rose, the RS/SS Camaro was painted white with contrasting blue interior.
Four cars were built for the race, and approximately 100 replicas offered to the public. Most replica pace cars were equipped with the 375-horsepower 396 big-block, others had a 295-horsepower 350 small-block motor.
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