As the Chevrolet Camaro heads into its 50th year, H&H Classic Parts compares the first — a 1967 Camaro SS — to the latest — the 2017 Camaro 1SS.
“In many ways, the ’67 Camaro SS 396 is beyond comparison,” says Tray Smith, vice president of H&H Classic Parts. “The first Camaro’s combination of style and performance are irresistible to classic Chevy enthusiasts. The 2017 Camaro SS is definitely impressive, but it comes at a hefty price.”
When adjusted for inflation, the latest Camaro SS comes in 50% more expensive than the original, and it’s also heavier; at 1,671 kg, it’s 163 kg heavier than the original. However, that extra weight doesn’t translate into a slower car, and the 2017 Camaro runs the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds (a full 2.2 seconds faster than the 1967 model), and sprints from zero to 100 km/h in about 4 seconds (2.5 quicker than the original).
Today’s performance comes courtesy of a 455 hp 6.2-litre V-8 that also puts down 455 lb-ft of torque through either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic. Back in 1967, the engine was bigger (at 6.5 litres displacement) but made just 375 hp and 410 lb-ft, with the fitted transmissions being a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic.
And also of interest is that the modern Camaro gets better fuel economy in the city than yesterday’s Camaro got on the highway, and the latter’s city economy rating is less than half that of the incoming model.
Otherwise, the two are nearly identical in their wheelbase, with the 2017 model just 68.2 mm longer than the 1967 mode, which is quite amazing considering the car has gone through six generations. Not so startling is that the originals crude solid rear axle located by leaf springs has “evolved” into a rear multi-link independent suspension.
“The ’67 Camaro had a single leaf on the rear axle, making it very prone to wheel hop. Chevy also placed both shocks on the same side of the axle, making launches impossible. Our estimated ¼ mile time is a best-case scenario number,” says Smith. “The 2017 model, on the other hand, is relatively easy to launch. Not to mention, the suspension and tires are light years ahead of late 1960s technology.”
One last comparison involves braking performance, with the 2017 car able to brake from 96 km/h in about 117 feet — more than the half the 250 the original takes up.