“The inside of the old Camaro smelled like asphalt and desire, gasoline and dreams.” – Maggie Stiefvator, The Dream Thieves
One of civilization’s greatest inventions was the internal combustion engine. It revolutionized daily life freeing men from the toughest manual labor and making various forms of transportation once dreamt become possible. In 1888, Bertha Benz completed the first long-distance trip in a motorized carriage solidifying the limitless possibilities of mankind’s most pivotal invention. Since then, man has twisted, bent, and molded metal in intricate designs set atop four wheels to make daily lives faster, more productive, and ultimately more exciting.
The Chevrolet Camaro, an iconic muscle car, was produced in 1966 and made available to the public in 1967. Even the legions of diehard Ford enthusiasts can admit the Camaro is as American as apple pie. Along with the other iconic pony cars, the Camaro was created during a time of pent-up consumerism that exploded after World War II. Years of wartime had American consumers longing for bigger and faster cars, they needed excitement. Muscle cars were Detroit’s answer to trying to stop imported cars that had caught GI’s eyes overseas.
Over its 50+ production years, the Camaro has undergone numerous changes and improvements, but has ultimately remained a symbol of American muscle and power. Unfortunately, with the rise of electric vehicles, Chevrolet has decided that in 2024 the sixth generation of the Camaro will be its final. Even with this devastating blow for legions of Camaro owners and fans, there is an upside. Certain model years have become more valuable and worth investing in.
Generation 1 1969 Model Year
One of the most recognizable years of any Camaro is also the best year to invest in. The 1969 model year introduced a major redesign and remains one of the most sought-after for collectors. The ‘69 Camaro featured a more aggressive look with a wider stance and a longer hood. It also had a variety of engine options, including the legendary 427 cubic inch V8. Through the COPO program, GM partnered with famed tuner Fred Gibb, creating the race bred ZL1 427. With only 69 ever produced due to their high cost, they have become extremely coveted. Same applies to the 1969 Yenko Chevrolet Camaro.
Generation 2 SS 1970 Model Year
The 1970 Camaro SS is considered one of the most desirable models of the SS series, with its rarity adding to its value as a collector’s item. The ‘70 SS is considered one of the most desirable Gen 2 models due to its sleek design, powerful engine options and superior handling. The Camaro SS may not have had a 427 or a 454 but you could get a 396 making 375 horsepower. The following year, the L78-code that engine and specs disappeared from Camaro’s lineup.
Generation 3 IROC-Z 1990 Model Year
The 1990 Camaro IROC-Z is a true American Classic. It’s part of the third generation of Camaros which ran from 1982 to 1992. During this time, Camaro underwent several changes, and the IROC-Z was the most powerful and exciting of them all. With its sleek lines and aggressive stance, the 1990 Camaro was a real head-turner. The IROC-Z came equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that produced 245 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque. That was a lot of power for a car of this era, and it meant that the IROC-Z could go from 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds.
Generation 4 SS 2002 Model Year
If you are looking for something a bit more modern, you might want to consider investing in the 2002 Camaro SS. This Gen 4 Camaro offers a unique middle ground: modern power and ‘90s styling with quintessential Camaro character. The SS stands out among the crowd with its distinctive hood scoop, rear wing, and extra performance bonuses. The 2002 Camaro SS featured a 5.7-liter V8 engine that produced 325 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. This was also the last year that the Camaro was produced before it was discontinued in 2002. The next production year didn’t start until the new wave of reimagined muscle cars appeared in 2010.
Generation 5 2012-2015 Camaro COPO
The Generation 5 Camaro COPO is a limited-edition model designed specifically for drag racing. These cars are built to order by Chevrolet for professional and amateur racers alike. It has a powerful 427 cubic-inch V8 engine that produces up to 760 horsepower and goes from 0-60 in under 2 seconds. The COPO Camaro also features a racing transmission, rear-wheel drive, and a specifically designed suspension for optional traction on the drag strip. With only a few dozen produced every year it makes them highly sought out by collectors and drag racing enthusiasts. The COPO edition is not just owning a fast Camaro, it’s owning a piece of racing history.
If you were ever considering buying a Chevrolet Camaro, now is the time. Once their production ends in 2024, the internal combustion engine models will become rarer and rarer as time goes on. Prices will only continue to go up as collectors start to snatch up the remaining ones. Additionally, the American as apple pie Camaro has an incredible following among car enthusiasts which puts them in demand for years to come.
The best part about investing in a Chevrolet Camaro? The sheer joy of driving one. Chevy designed these cars to be driven hard and fast, plus they offer a level of excitement and power that is unmatched in other vehicles. If you’re a fan of American muscle cars, there is nothing quite like the experience of driving a Chevrolet Camaro.
If you are looking to begin investing in or enhancing your current collection, Gateway Classic Cars has two different platforms available to buy your next vehicle. We have a purchase now option with over 3,700 vehicles in our inventory (https://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/inventory), as well as, our new auction platform at Gateway Classic Auctions (https://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/auctions) that features 80-120 vehicle lots each week. For more information contact us at (866) 395-5861 or check out our website.