The world is full of emulators, and the automotive industry isn't short on them. In fact, the Chevrolet Camaro might be the greatest of all time. Chevrolet developed, engineered, and brought the car into the world to do one thing: rival and beat the Ford Mustang. Donut Media takes us back through time to understand why the Camaro was, and still is, significant.
In 1964, Ford rolled out the Mustang and effectively created an all-new segment: the pony car. Chevrolet already beat Ford in the small, mid-size, and full-size segments with the Nova, Chevelle, and Impala. The brand was incredibly successful, but the Mustang ate up huge amounts of market share. Quickly, Chevrolet got to work on the "Panther" project, or what would ultimately become the Chevrolet Camaro.
The first Camaro team wanted an aggressive design with a wide wheelbase and performance all wrapped in one package. In 1966, Chevrolet manager at the time, Pete Estes, announced the Camaro in a record-breaking 14-way, multi-city phone call with press pools. The message was short and sweet: "The Panther is dead, long live the Camaro." Commence suspense. Estes also famously told the press the Camaro is a small vicious animal that eats Mustangs. Thus, a multi-decade rivalry kicked off.
The Camaro would first outsell the Mustang in 1971 and the two would trade sales-title crowns for years to come. As we all know, the Camaro would eventually meet its end in 2002. But, in 2010, Chevrolet returned with the fifth-generation car, which harkened back to the original with a retro design and a 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 engine. Now, in its sixth-generation, the Camaro and Mustang still duke it out. The 2018 Mustang will arrive with 460 horsepower, which is not so coincidentally 5 more hp than the current Camaro SS. Now, it's Camaro's turn to punch back and we'll likely have its answer shortly.