First-generation Camaro debuted in September 1966, for the 1967 model year, up to 1969 on a new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and would be available as a 2-door, 2+2 seating, coupe or convertible with a choice of 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6 and 302 cu in (4.9 L), 307 cu in (5.0 L), 327 cu in (5.4 L), 350 cu in (5.7 L), or 396 cu in (6.5 L) V8 powerplants. Concerned with the runaway success of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet executives realized that their compact sporty car, the Corvair, would not be able to generate the sales volume of the Mustang due to its rear-engine design, as well as declining sales, partly due to the bad publicity from Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at Any Speed. Therefore, the Camaro was touted as having the same conventional rear-drive, front-engine configuration as Mustang and Chevy II Nova. In addition, the Camaro was designed to fit a variety of power plants in the engine bay. The first-generation Camaro would last until the 1969 model year and would eventually inspire the design of the new retro fifth-generation Camaro.
Introduced in February 1970, the second generation Camaro was produced through the 1981 model year, with cosmetic changes made in 1974 and 1978 model years. The car was heavily restyled and became somewhat larger and wider with the new styling. Still based on the F-body platform, the new Camaro was similar to its predecessor, with a unibody structure, front subframe, an A-arm front suspension and leaf springs to control the solid rear axle. Road & Track magazine picked the 1971 SS350 as one of the 10 best cars in the world in August 1971. RS, SS and Z28 performance packages gradually disappeared. The Z28 package was reintroduced in 1977, largely in response to the huge success of its corporate stablemate, the Pontiac Trans Am. 1980 and 1981 Z28s included an air induction hood scoop, with an intake door that opened under full throttle.
The third generation Camaro was produced from 1982 to 1992. These were the first Camaros to offer modern fuel injection, Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 four-speed automatic transmissions, five speed manual transmissions, 16 inch wheels, a standard 4-cylinder engine, and hatchback bodies. The cars were nearly 500 pounds (227 kg) lighter than the second generation model.
The IROC-Z was introduced in 1985 and continued through 1990. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Regulations required a CHMSL (Center High Mounted Stop Lamp) starting with the 1986 model year. The new brake light was located on the exterior of the upper center area of the back hatch glass. In 1987, the L98 5.7 L V8 engine became an option on the IROC-Z, paired with an automatic transmission. The "20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition" was offered in 1987 and a "25th Anniversary Heritage Package" was available in 1992 which was with a 305 cu in (5.0 L) High Output engine. Beginning in 1988, the 1LE performance package was introduced, optional on street models and for showroom stock racing in the U.S. and Canada. The B4C or "police" package was made available beginning in 1991. This basically created a Z28 in more subtle RS styling.
The fourth-generation Camaro debuted in 1993 on an updated F-body platform. It retained the same characteristics since its introduction in 1967: a coupe body style with 2+2 seating (with an optional T-top roof) or convertible (introduced in 1994), rear-wheel drive, and a choice of V6 and V8 engines. The standard powerplant from 1993-1995 was a 3.4 liter V6. A more powerful 3.8 liter V6 was introduced as an option in 1995 and made standard in 1996. The LT1 V-8 engine, which was introduced in the Corvette in 1992, was standard in the Z28. Optional equipment included all-speed traction control and a new six-speed T-56 manual transmission; a four-speed automatic transmission was also available. Anti-lock brakes were standard equipment on all Camaros. The 1997 model year included a revised interior, and the 1998 models included exterior styling changes, and a switch to GM's aluminum block LS1 used in the Corvette C5. The Camaro remained in production through the 2002 model year, marking 35 years of continuous production. Production of the F-Body platform was stopped due to slowing sales, a deteriorating market for sports coupes, and plant overcapacity