Founded back in 1908, General Motors (GM) was originally made solely of Buick. It would not be until 1917 that GM would acquire Chevy. Before the second world was broke out, Chevrolet vehicles were very aesthetically similar to what was made by other car manufacturers. It wasn’t until the mid-50s that Chevy really worked on improving its lineup. The Corvette was the crown jewel of the Detroit-based company. However, it was a luxurious two-seater that only a specific demographic could afford.
While Chevy’s most respected vehicle still remains the almighty Corvette, the Camaro is trailing not far behind. Released a couple of years after the Mustang, the Camaro is one of few pony cars capable of rivaling Ford’s most popular vehicle. When looking the coolest special edition Chevrolets of the last two decades, it’s easy to see that a large number of them are Camaros. This is an indication that Chevrolet was in fact waging a commercial war with Ford Motors.
10 1968 Chevy Camaro Z28 COPO Convertible
The first generation Camaro was received mixed reviews upon its release. Unlike Ford’s Mustang, Chevy’s Camaro seemed to be an unfinished and hastily put together product. Though it is fair that the Mustang came out as the winner during the early stages of a decades-long rivalry, the Camaro shouldn’t be disregarded.
The ’68 Z28 COPO Convertible is one of the most quintessential cars of the 1960s. The reason behind this fact is quite simple: only one Z28 Convertible was made in 1968. As COPO stands for “Central Office Production Order,” most classic American car fans understood at this point that the Z28 Convertible was a special one-off project. This Z28 is the only convertible out of the 7,199 Z28s built in 1968.
9 1969 Chevy Camaro Yenko S/C 427
Most muscle heads have heard about Yenko Chevrolet cars but may not be aware of who Yenko really is. Yenko Chevrolet was a Chevy dealership located in Canonburg, PA. Owned by Don Yenko’s father, the shop offered its customers enhanced mass-produced Chevy vehicles. Don Yenko was a race car driver that participated in the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans behind the wheel of a Corvette. He came up with the idea of shoehorning powerful big-block V8s into regular Chevy cars.
The 1969 Chevy Camaro Yenko SC 427 is a true American legend. The gem comes with a 427 cu in L72 V8, one of the best engines offered by Chevy at the time. The almighty COPO big block V8 churns out 425 hp at 5,600 rpm and 460 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. It has been rumored that only 54 ’69 Yenko SC 427 were made. This may explain why they often go for over $300,000 these days.
8th 1969 Chevy Camaro ZL1
Back in 1969, Chevy’s lineup was quite exhilarating. On the lower end of the spectrum, Chevy offered the affordable Nova, which came at best with a 396 cu in V8 that produces 375 hp. The Chevelle was given the very potent L72 unit that develops 425 hp. Just by looking at those two beasts, one can easily understand that Chevy’s most popular and respected muscle cars were given the right treatment.
The ’67 Corvette L88 and the ’69 Camaro Yenko SC 427 are among the best Chevy cars released in the late ’60s. Though this is extremely accurate without a doubt, the trifecta would not be complete without the sinister ’69 Chevy Camaro ZL1. The original ZL1 is fitted with a 427 engine similar to the L72. However, Chevy’s COPO moved ahead with a design that ended up being closer to the L88. The beast within is factory rated at 430 hp, just like the L88, but really produces close to 500 hp. Chevy built only 69 units of the ZL1 for homologation purposes.
7 1985 Chevy Camaro Z28 IROC-Z
The 1980s were quite intriguing. The entire automotive landscape was in shambles following a succession of energy crises, but also following the enactment of several federal emissions laws. The Malaise Era that started back in the mid-70s was well and alive ten years later. The monstrosities released during the late 60s and early 70s were nowhere to be found. With that being said, it was still possible to find muscle cars that would rock your socks off.
The Camaro IROC-Z is the type of cheap classic American cars that look incredible modified. In fact, the IROC-Z looks terrific even if it is bone stock. On top of being sexy, the Z28 IROC-Z rocks a 5.0L LB9 V8 that develops 215 hp at 4,400 rpm and 275 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm. These numbers may not be astonishing today, but they were quite remarkable back in the mid 80s. What makes the Z28 IROC-Z truly special is the fact that it is an 80s icon.
6 1993 Chevy Camaro Z28 Pace Car
The early 1990s saw Japanese carmakers flooding the domestic market with their economical yet powerful machines. Cars such as the Subaru Impreza WRX, Mitsubishi 3000GT, or Mazda RX-7 seriously threatened the hegemony of homemade muscle cars. With that being said, American carmakers never failed to produce classic cars that transcended time.
The 1993 Camaro Pace Car was used at the legendary Indianapolis 500. Based on the Camaro Z28 fitted with a 350 cu in V8 that develops 275 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, the Camaro Pace Car was driven by Don Bailey. As with most Pace Cars, only a very limited number of Camaro Pace Cars were made. In 1993, 645 units were produced, thus making this special edition Camaro truly special.
5 2002 Chevy Camaro GMMG Dick Harrell Edition
Chevy slightly changed the look of the fourth generation Camaro in a bid to give it a more aggressive look. The fourth generation Camaro is often regarded as the ugliest Camaro ever made. Though it is fair to admit that Chevy’s pony car looked quite unattractive, it did come with some very interesting engines.
At best, the fourth generation Camaro comes with a 5.7L LS1 V8 that develops at best 330 hp. The widebody Dick Harrell Edition is the only fourth generation Camaro you should own. The car looks beastly and is quite unique. Only 33 were ever made. Underneath the hood sits a potent 427 cu in V8 that produces 630 hp.
4 2017 Chevy Camaro COPO
Central Office Production Order was put in place by Chevrolet back in the 1960s. Originally, it allowed dealerships nationwide to order vehicles with non-standard features, such as colors and motors. Some dealerships took advantage of the system to beef up some of the cars manufactured by Chevy. These cars were eventually used in NHRA events. The rest is history.
The 2017 Chevy Camaro COPO is not the type of car one would use as a daily driver, because it’s not street legal. While it is illegal to have the Camaro COPO cruising on America’s freeways, the beast was purposefully made to take part of NHRA events. With only 69 units made, the Whipple supercharged 350 cu in V8 version is the most attractive Camaro COPO of all. The unit produces a mean 580 hp at 8,000 rpm.
3 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary
Established in 1945, Mattel has become one of the largest toy makers in the world. As of December 2020, the multinational generated a revenue of $4.58 billion. Mattel owns iconic brands such as Barbie, UNO, and Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels, created in 1968, has been offering young boys worldwide with scale model cars that are some of the most fun to play with. As with most toys, some Hot Wheels have become true collectibles. For example, the 1969 pink, rear-loading beach bomb now goes for $175,000.
For Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary, Chevy released a special edition Camaro based on the 2SS trim level. The Hot Wheels package includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, a louder and more sinister exhaust system, and a lot of other goodies that makes the Hot Wheels edition a true sports car fitted with the latest technological advances.
2 2018 Chevy Camaro SS Redline Edition
Camaros are a dime a dozen. Similarly to the base Ford Mustang, the base Camaro is not a head-turner domestically. Unless it is a tastefully customized RS or SS, or the monstrous top-line Camaro, people will most likely not spend time drooling over any and every Camaro that would be driving by. Chevy is fully aware that people may not have $70,000 to spend on a loaded ZL1, but Chevy’s Marketing Department also knows that some people are willing to fork out a couple more thousands of dollars in order to own something unique.
The Redline may not be anywhere as insane as the top-line ZL1, but it sure is an attention-grabber. Based on the almost every trim level, it is possible to turn a dull Camaro into a more racy-looking machine. It gives the car a bit more aggressiveness, which is desperately needed on the 1SS and 2SS trim levels. The package is essentially made of parts destined to make the Camaro more attractive.
1 2020 Chevy Camaro GT4.r
The world of racing has so many ramifications that it is hard to follow each and every single one of them. In the States, NASCAR remains the most popular racing category. Worldwide, Formula 1 and World Rally Championship still are the most watched racing categories. However, GT Racing is equally thrilling as Formula 1 or NASCAR, but fails to receive all the attention it should be getting.
The Camaro GT4.r has to be one of the sickest special edition muscle cars money can buy. For a mere $259,000, it is possible to get a race car that is unfortunately not street legal. Unlike what is commonly believed, the GT4.r does not come with the supercharged 6.2L LT1 V8 found on the ZL1. In order to be allowed to race in GT4, the GT4.r received the naturally aspirated 6.2L LT1 V8 that comes with the Camaro SS. Though the power output of this unit is “only” 420 hp, it is important to keep in mind that the GT4.r weighs almost 700 lbs less than the ZL1.