Like Batman versus the Joker or Michael Jordan versus Jerry Krause, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang have been duking it out for so long that it might be considered one of the greatest rivalries of all time. On April 17th, 1964 Ford released the Mustang to the public and forever changed the automotive landscape. The pony car set the stage for American performance coupes and after its release, the rest of the manufacturers had to play catch-up. Very few shared the success experienced by the Mustang with one major exception. Chevrolet designed their own pony car out of spiteful necessity, they couldn’t just leave Ford to swallow up this entirely new and exciting market. The very first Camaros went on sale September 29th, 1966, they were far more aggressive and sportier than the rest of the Chevrolet lineup and quickly cemented its place as the car that would go toe-to-toe with the Mustang for decades to come.
Two things are first noticed when entering the vehicle, everything is refreshingly simple and everything is very red. Today’s car collectors are lucky to have the luxury of being able to pick and choose cars from decades of production and the inclination to compare similar models over their years of production is something that almost can’t be avoided. When comparing these early era Camaros to their current-day counterparts one looks at the simplicity of the interior with a certain degree of satisfaction. Everything is how it should be, ergonomic, functional and uncluttered. In classic muscle car fashion, the 2+2 seating arrangement is finished in a pristine pleated vinyl and the matching carpet is a bit more shaggy than modern vehicles. This car has also been virtually undriven since its complete restoration, so everything is in perfectly new condition.
Timeless styling speaks for itself on the 1968 Camaro SS, featuring an angular ferocity that has secured its place as one of the most iconic car designs of all time. The first generation Camaro stood out against the rest of the Chevrolet lineup by taking some of the aggressive styling cues from the Impala and Chevelle and dialling up the intensity. This particular Camaro has received a lot of love in the form of a full ground-up restoration and just like the interior, everything about the exterior of this car, down to the last drop of paint, is in factory-fresh condition.
Upon a close inspection under the hood, any Camaro enthusiast will recognize this restoration as a true period-correct job done to factory specifications. In the engine bay sits a 396 cubic inch V8 codenamed the L-35 which is capable of 325hp. This engine was iconic for its time and the reason why this car wears the “Super Sport” badges. While it might not be capable of current-day performance numbers there is an element of originality and rawness that ignites all the senses.
Healthy competition is a good thing. True rivalries of talented opponents pitted against each other is the forging fire that creates all-time greats. Due to decades of steep competition from not only Ford but the rest of the manufacturers they inspired, the Camaro has become an icon that will be etched in the history books forever and the first generation set high expectations that would follow the car for decades to come. What you see before you is the truest, rawest and most clean version of a first-generation Camaro that you will find on the market today, a feather in the cap of any serious car collector.