Second Generation Camaro - General Info FAQ

  1. Why do I keep hearing about an "F-body?

  2. What is a 1970 1/2 Camaro? How's it differ from a 1970 Camaro?

  3. When were the second-generation Camaros built?

  4. Where were second-generation Camaros built?

  5. What models were available?

  6. What major option packages were available on the Camaro?

  7. How many 1970 SS (or Z28 or RS) Camaros were built? Are they Rare?

  8. How many Camaros were built with xx, yy, and zz options (or colors, etc)?

  9. How much would it cost to restore my Camaro?

  10. What are the best sources of information and data on my car?

  11. How can I find out about the past history of my car?

  12. What are the major differences among the various 2nd generation Camaros?

  13. What were some of the rare options available on the Camaro?

  14. What else was special about a second-generation Camaro Z-28?

  15. Where there any 2nd Generation Pace Car Camaros?

  16. What is a COPO Camaro?

  17. What is a Baldwin-Motion Performance Camaro?

  18. Which Camaros are worth the most?

  19. I want a 1970 Z28, where can I find one?

  20. Why did the Camaro Gain weight over the years?


Q: What is "normative practice?"

A: "normative practices" are the factory configurations per released procedure for the model year.

The second-generation Camaro was produced at two US factories in large numbers, for many years.

Mid-year changes were deliberately made for marketing, production, and safety purposes. Each factory had specific unique assembly practices, many of which are undocumented.

However, in order to keep assembly lines rolling, exceptions to "normal" procedure could be and were made by GM on the spot. There were also assembly errors made, including mismarked tags and stamps, and vehicles with supposedly "impossible" option combinations. Buyers searching for original vehicles should realize that such unusual features can be real

The point is that when inspecting second-generation Camaros an occasional "non-normal" feature will pop up - this is to be expected. The reason for documenting typical practice is that the more unusual the feature, and the larger the number of exceptions to practice on a single car, the more the originality of that vehicle should be questioned. While it is difficult to say "never" or "always" about a second-generation Camaro, too many liberties from normative practice should sound a warning bell to any interested in an original vehicle.


Q: Why do I keep hearing about an "F-body?"

A: Each major car line at GM is given a letter name that includes all of the division-crossing bodys. The letter assigned to Camaro during development was "F." This letter also includes the Pontiac Firebird, which is built on the same basic chassis as the Camaro.

Click here for a list of General Motors body types.


Q: What is a 1970 1/2 Camaro? How's it differ from a 1970 Camaro?

A: Due to production difficulties with the redesigned 1970 model Camaro, the 1969 model year was extended through December 1969, well beyond the conventional end of model year. When the 1st of the new second generation Camaros started arriving in the showrooms in February of 1970 some people and some dealers called the car a 1970 1/2 Camaro. Officially, Chevrolet never acknowledged the car as a "1/2". It was a 1970 Camaro. So in summary, a 1970 1/2 Camaro IS a 1970 Camaro.


Q: When were the second-generation models built?

A: Model Run began in 1970, continued to 1981


Q: Where were second-generation Camaros built?

A: Production facilities: Norwood Ohio - 1970 - 1981 (except during a strike)
Van Nuys (Los Angeles) California - 1970 - 1971. 1976 - 1981.
When in operation, both plants normally ran 2 shifts. Production in Norwood was 55 cars/hour, while Van Nuys was 60 cars/hour. Both plants produced GM F-bodys.

The bulk of 1967-69 Camaros were built at the Norwood, Ohio factory (near Cincinnati), including all Camaros exported to Canada. A significant number (~25% of the total) were also built at the Van Nuys, California assembly plant near Los Angeles. The Van Nuys factory was the primary assembly plant for Western US and Central and South American Camaros.


Q: What models were available?

A: All Camaros were 2 door coupes.

A convertible model was not offered from the factory. A few were modified... see over here.
What is a model?
RPO - Regular Production Option. This is an option on top of a car model.

Base Model.

Type LT introduced in 1973 - ran until 1978.
LT stood for "Luxury Touring". A bit more luxury and comfort than the RS, but less brutal than the Z28.

Z28 became a separate model in 1977.
The Z28 was designed to be taken straight off the showroom floor and race competively in SCCA road racing competition. Included aggressive suspension and steering. More powerful engine combinations.

Rally Sport Coupe introduced as a model in 1978 until 1980.

Berlinetta model introduced in 1979, replacing the Type LT.
Ritzy, luxury cruising comfort. Styling options and nicer radios usually tossed in as part of the package. Trim was bright accented (chrome or silver), interior was usually cloth.


Q: What major option packages were available on the Camaro?

A: The Base model Camaro sport coupe could be ordered with the following major option packages:


Q: How many 1970 SS (or Z28 or RS) Camaros were built? Are they Rare?

A: Part 1 answer: This sounds like Camaro info. Every year Camaro ( including 1970) has its own section which contains stats and facts. Since the "SS" is an option, you can find information on it under "1970 Options". And also, since the 1970 SS is a "special" car (to me at least), I further describe the SS option in its own section at the bottom of the 1970 Camaro page.

PLEASE NOTE: Every year from 1967 to 1992 works this way. However, only 1970 to 1981 is this elaborately detailed.

Part 2 answer: We can see that out of all the 1970 camaros made (124,901) that 12476 came with the Z27 SS option. (roughly 10% of all 1970 Camaros were SS's). Is the 1970 SS rare? "sort of". Finding one for sale at a price you can afford.... that's another question.

It's currently 1998, and 1970 was 28 years ago... and a lot of bad things can happen to a car during this time.


Q: How many Camaros were built with xx, yy, and zz options (or colors, etc.)?

A: Chevrolet did not retain any statistical records on option combinations. Which means it is impossible to know with certainty the exact production number in situations of multi-option combinations.

However, using the Chevrolet single-option production data, simple statistics allow the estimation of production quantities of many option combinations. It's up to you to do the math. The higher the number of combined options in the calculation (and the rarer the options), the less reliable the result.

In a related question, there is no factory data whatsoever on the popularity of exterior or interior colors, either singly or in combination.


Q: How much would it cost to restore my Camaro?

A: A Lot usually. For a "good answer", get yourself several restoration catalogs. Look at your car and figure out absolutely everything you need to do, get, find, make or otherwise fix on your car. This becomes "the plan". Price out everything you need to do, who's going to do it and how much it's going to cost. (don't forget to rebuild the drivetrain and put paint on the car)....

Now, a "realistic answer", triple the dollar amount you arrived at under the "good answer".

Keep in mind if you're not doing all the labor yourself, most shops charge $40/50 hour to stay in business. To restore a car may take MANY hours....


Q: What are the best sources of information and data on my car?

A: One of the best (not necessarily in my own opinion either) places for information about your Second Generation Camaro is right here - you're looking at it. Spend some time (it'll take you months) poking through the information and you should find what you're looking for. If you own a US-built car, call the Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center at 800.222.1020 (toll-free US number), tell them you are restoring an early Camaro, and would like some data to help your labor of love. They will request your VIN, and then ship you a package of documentation that includes a detailed and extremely (though not perfectly) accurate specification of that year Camaro and the options. This is free!

Printed references include the following:

There are a number of other worthwhile publications for specific needs. For example, the original Chevrolet Chassis Service Manuals are available in reprint from the major reproduction suppliers.


Q: How can I find out about the past history of my car?

A: If your vehicle was originally sold in Canada, you can request a vehicle report. Call the GM Canada Customer Communications Centre at 800.263.3777 (inside Canada) and ask for Vintage Vehicle Services, or dial them direct at 905.644.4060. For a nominal fee you will receive basic information from the original computerized records such as the option by RPO number, date of shipment, and the Canadian dealer number.

Unfortunately this isn't available for Camaros sold in the US, since the US operation of GM chose not to retain the records. So the only recourse for owners of US-sold vehicles is for you to become detective with whatever evidence is at hand. Any paper documentation (records, receipts, Protect-o-plate, etc.) can be extremely valuable in this search. Your detective job has recently been made more difficult with the enacting of a US Federal privacy statute making it very difficult to conduct private title searches. Previously, in most states, it was possible to request a vehicle title history and so trace back through previous owners, even to the point of tracing it from state to state as a result of multiple moves, to the original owner and/or dealer. While this law is reportedly being challenged, and there have been reports of certain states not following it to the letter of the law, for at least the time being this statute has shut the door on most historical research studies. Of course, if you live in one of the states with a state privacy law or policy, you already had this problem even before the federal statute.


Q: What are the major differences between the various 2nd generation Camaros?

A: The answer to this question deserves and has its own page. Click this link.


Q: What were some of the rare options available on the Camaro?

A: Camaros were available with a wide range of options, some of which were obscure, or simply not well documented, which cause them to be quite rare. Some examples:


Q: What's up with the Z-28?

A: This deserves a section of it's own, and has one... see elsewhere.


Q: Where there any 2nd Generation Pace Car Camaros?

A: No Second generation Camaro paced the Indy 500 race.


Q: What is a COPO Camaro?

A: COPO stands for Central Office Production Order. This is the process used by Chevrolet (and other divisions of GM) for internal orders for limited production of non-standard cars. The Pace Car Camaros that actually paced the Indy 500 (because of modifications needed to the cars to meet the special requirements of reliability and safety for race duty) were ordered via the COPO process. The COPO process was also used to build special show cars, and sometimes, for special competition-oriented cars. However, the COPO process was used more often for mundane special fleet orders and doesn't necessarily indicate a high-performance vehicle.

Most commonly known COPO cars were built during the 1st generation. The one well known 2nd gen COPO is COPO 9796, the tall, 3 piece rear spoiler for 1970 and early 1971 Camaros.

If you are seriously interested in COPO vehicles (including COPO models from other GM car lines and other years) a contact for further information is:

Ed Cunneen
COPO Connection
PO Box 1036
Lombard, IL 60148
708.620.1299
Email: cunneen@copo.com
Web Site: http://www.copo.com/


Q: What is a Baldwin-Motion Performance Camaro?

A: Baldwin Chevrolet was one of a number of Chevy dealers that made special performance-oriented versions of the Camaro outside of the normal Chevrolet factory options. These dealers were literally offering complete turnkey race-prepped cars for sale to the public through their dealerships. These cars are often called Dealer Super Cars.

Any of these cars are very desirable and rare today, especially those with documentation.

I put additional Baldwin Info into my site over here

Another good site for information on dealer super cars can be found here.


Q: Which Camaros are worth the most?

A: As always, cars, no matter what the type, are only worth what the market will bear, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Here are some general and relative guidelines that may not always hold true:

Any Camaro in good, original condition, is worth well more today (1998) than it cost new. (Of course this is without consideration of cost of money and inflation.) Certain models and option combinations typically and historically command premium prices on the collector car market. Dealer-modified Camaros like Yenko, Baldwin-Motion, Nickey, Dana, and others can also command high prices.

Any SS Camaro, especially when combined with the RS package, and/or with an original big-block motor, is also desired. Typically, 4-speed cars demand better sales prices than automatic cars, and cars with rare options and/or many options add value.

With a surge in popularity for '60's cars, even base-model Camaros are becoming very popular.

The cars with the highest value in any category are usually in documented, original condition, with few or no modifications. Camaros which are irreversibly modified from original stock condition, such as engine/drivetrain swaps, interior changes, body modifications, etc., typically are not valued as highly as an original car.


Q: I want a 1970 Z28, where can I find one?

A: There are several places to begin searching for your desired car. One of the best places is the NastyZ28 swapmeet.

Other nice sources:
#1: Camaros for Sale on Ebay
#2: Auto trader

Check your local metropolitan classifieds.

Word of mouth.
Various other www searches, etc...


Q: Why did the Camaro Gain weight over the years?

A: Several reasons. Most of the weight was added due to increasingly heavier bumper structure. If you look at the exploded diagrams for the bumpers, you'll see what I mean. Also, engine emission controls (catalytic converter beginning in 1975) added weight. As more and more fancy options became standard, they added weight to the base model, and the availability of more sophisticated power options, A/C systems, and convinience options with their additional sound deadener, wiring and electrical motors added weight.


Last updated: 10/20/2011
Author: MadMike Maciolek

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