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Chevy Camaro Turns 45!

Maybe after another 45 years, we'll be able to finally buy the transforming one
by Gelo Gonzales | Sep 27, 2012
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Lasting 45 years in an industry as volatile as the automotive world is a pretty amazing feat. But that's the unique position the Chevrolet Camaro finds itself in as it prepares to blow 45 candles off of its cake. (Nevermind the fact that from 2002-2010, the Camaro was pretty much covered up in dust in the GM garage).

But hey, 45 years old! To put that in perspective, the Camaro was born around the same time the Beatles were kings of the world, nobody had heard what a VHS tape was much less the Internet, and the Philippines was just entering year two of the first Marcos presidency.

Save for the aforementioned eight year hiccup, the Camaro has held on to its stature as one of the premier American muscle cars in history. The muscle car has evolved into five generations with each lasting a minimum of nine years. In the auto world, that's the equivalent of an eternity, which again serves as a testament to how enduring the Camaro has been.

So in celebration of it's 45th birthday, we've decided to dig into the Camaro lore and run off some facts you may or may not have known about this iconic piece of American motoring. Just remember to send birthday wishes when you're finished reading, because, as those who have shared a road with the Camaro knows, it's best to be on this car's (and its owner's) good side—lest you want to eat its dust. (That's if its not traffic, which rarely happens. Still, the Camaro is one scary ride).
1. Chevrolet gave birth to the Camaro on September 29, 1966.

2. Initially, the car was supposed to be called the Panther, a pretty cool name given how cars named after animals ultimately turn out to be iconic beasts of wonder. Just check out the Mustang, the Beetle, the Shelby Cobra, or all those snobbish Jaguar cars.

3. An urban legend surrounding the car's Camaro name was attributed to General Motors researchers who supposedly found the word "Camaro" in a French dictionary as a slang word that meant "friend" or "companion."

4. When asked "What is a Camaro?" during its introductory conference in 1964, Chevrolet General Manager Pete Estes replied: "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs."

5. Magic Johnson has Larry Bird, the Chevrolet Camaro has the Ford Mustang.

6. Currently, the Camaro has five generations under its belt, with the fifth generation making its debut as the 2010 model.

7. From 2002—the year the fourth generation ended—to 2010, the Camaro was in deep hibernation, leaving the Ford Mustang to reign supreme as the king of American muscle cars. And then Bumblebee came forth, and made Camaros cool again.

NEXT: More Camaro bits and pieces 

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