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Breaking the Mold

Firing Up: Camaro, Camaro, Camaro

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When Jan Brady, the middle sister from The Brady Bunch, expressed jealously for the accomplishments of her more popular older sister, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” became the most famous quote derived from the popular late ’60’s and early ’70’s family television sitcom. That TV moment was later mocked in a Snickers commercial that first aired during the 2015 Super Bowl (look it up on YouTube; it’s classic).

Comparatively, readers of Chevy High Performance are of the opinion the staff and I favor the Camaro due to the fact that there is one in just about every issue of the magazine, and chevyhiperformance.com houses a fairly large library of Chevrolet’s most popular model—most notably the ’69. It’s not because we are so dedicated to the Camaro, but being that the car was in production for 36 years (took a break from 2003-’09) and has been going strong for the past eight years, we now have six generations of Chevrolet’s “favorite high-performance offspring” cruising the streets and racetracks all over America. Needless to say, that gives us an abundance of Camaros to choose from.

And within each of those generations, car guys/gals of various ages tend to gravitate to the one Camaro that most played an important part of their life growing up—either as an owner or remembering a friend or family member who had or has one. I’m betting most of us can relate to at least one sweet F-body sitting in the high school parking lot that rocked a cool paintjob, had a wicked stance, and rolled on just the right wheels.

Being part of a generation that grew up in the 1970s, it was the first- and second-gen Camaros that sparked my muscle car interest. And when I graduated high school in 1980, the first-gens were just a tad over 10 years old and still affordable to a kid bagging groceries at the local Alpha Beta (remember that grocery chain?). Those cars struck a chord with just about every one of us who had the slightest bit of interest in ’60’s muscle. I remember car magazines from the 1970s portraying first-gen Camaros as muscle car royalty. Sure, the automotive publications were sprinkled with a fair amount of Chevelles, Novas, Mustangs, Dusters, Challengers, and Tri-Five Chevys, but the Camaros really got my attention.

Without getting into actual sales numbers of vintage Chevy muscle, consider this; the Nova was around from 1962-’79 (no, 1985-’88’s don’t count); the Chevelle rocked the streets from 1964-’78; and that includes the big-ass Laguna, and the Tri-Fives (hence the term) consisted of cars built for only three years (1955-’57). Those owners continue to reinvent build styles for that platform every 10-or-so years. Needless to say, there are way more Camaros roaming the streets than any other Chevys out there.

And for those who really understand the concept of extra work, check out JB Granger’s amazing LS-powered 1966 Corvair (“FnNader,” Mar. ’17). Dude went totally off the rails on that build. As he explained to me, “I wanted to build something totally different—something that no one else has.” Well, JB, mission accomplished.

So before you shout “Camaro, Camaro, Camaro,” just remember, we can only feature and report on the cars that are being built around us. If it doesn’t exists, we can’t cover it. So when you think about your next build, feel free to venture a little outside of the box. And if you come up with something unique and of the quality we are known to feature in Chevy High Performance magazine and on chevyhiperformance.com, we’ll be right there with camera in hand ready to shoot it … just after we get done photographing the next Camaro.

You in?

1966 Chevrolet Corvair 2/2

JB Granger broke the standard Pro Touring mold with his LS-powered 1966 Corvair.

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