The Chevrolet Camaro debuted three years after the Ford Mustang. At the time, it was clear that Ford was more innovative. However, this legendary Chevrolet managed to become a proper rival to its cross-town competitor. Ever since its introduction in 1967, the Camaro has earned its place among the top-selling muscle cars on the market. Unfortunately, however, Chevy decided to retire this iconic model from 2003 to 2010. Yet it returned in an even better and more dedicated form which immediately became one of the best Camaro models and muscle cars on the market.
Interestingly enough, although it was born as a Mustang fighter, the Camaro was always a bit different, with a unique style and approach to the muscle and pony car market. During the ’70s when the Mustang II was pathetic use of the legendary name, Camaro was keeping the muscle car flame alive with somewhat more powerful models. Even during the ’80s, Camaro was arguably a better-engineered car than then eponymous Fox-body Mustang. With that being said, we broke down the top 25 legendary Camaro models produced over the years below.
25. 1969 Camaro ZL-1
Back in the late 1960s, Chevrolet was under a racing ban proposed by General Motors. This meant that no official Chevy products could race. And Chevrolet, as a manufacturer, couldn’t participate in any racing activity. Of course, nobody stopped Chevrolet from helping racing teams through its backdoor programs where special engines and components were developed. In the late ’60s, Can-Am was a famous racing series, and it featured prototype class cars with V8 engines. Chevrolet wanted to purpose-build a power plant for this championship and produced an all-aluminum 427 big block called ZL-1 in 1969 (via Motor Trend).
It was a high-revving, 7.0-liter V8 with around 550 HP. Chevrolet produced about 200 of those engines. While most of them went to Can-Am racing teams, 69 ZL-1s were installed in C.O.P.O. Camaros and sold to drag racing teams. The Camaro ZL-1 was totally the same as the regular 1969 Camaro on the outside, but it was so fast it was barely street legal. The official 1969 Chevrolet literature doesn’t mention the ZL-1 option for the Camaro, but if you were a successful drag racer or a dealer, you knew about this expensive option. That is why only 69 Camaro ZL-1s were made.