Fourth Generation 1993 - 2002
An all new fourth generation Camaro as introduced to the world. Production was moved to the Ste. Therese, Quebec assembly plant (located in a suburb of Montréal) though the size remained similar to the ‘92 model, Camaro had an all new interior and exterior – including new short arm/long arm front suspension. All models included dual airbags (a Chevrolet first) a conventional glove box along with analog instrument displays and tachometer. The V-6 increased from 140hp to 160 hp. The V-8 was now an lt1 (bringing back a hallowed rpo code to Camaro) rated a 275hp and standard in the Z28. The new models used a non-ozone depleting cfc-substitute air conditioning refrigerant referred to R-134a. (a Camaro and Chevrolet first) For a fourth time, Camaro was chosen to pace the Indy 500 -- the pace car was a striking black-over-white exterior with special multi-colored stripes and interior seat covers that featured a very special weaving process. A total of 633 replicas were produced for the public. Of those 633 pace car replicas – all featured a 4-speed automatic transmission save for one – which was built with a 6-speed manual transmission for Jim Perkins, who is not only an avid Camaro enthusiast – but served as general manager of Chevrolet Motor Division at the time – and further, drove the Camaro pace car for the race!
Many people could hardly wait to get their hands on a new “4th Gen” convertible – and in 1994 that was finally possible! The top was power operated and included a full headliner and heated rear window. Sequential fuel injection was added to the LT1 V-8 engine. The Z28 standard 6-speed manual transmission featured “computer assisted gear selection” (much to the chagrin of enthusiasts) to improve fuel economy. New options included a keyless entry system, and leather seating surfaces in either graphite or neutral. Units produced for the 1994 model year reached 119,799.
A much needed traction control system was now optional for Z28 models and a new all-season tire could be ordered to complement the system. A 200 hp V-6 was optional on all base coupes and convertibles. It was the first year for RPD D42 – whereby customers could have roof and mirror color match the body color on coupes with the t-roof option. New exterior colors included purple, Sebring silver, and mystic teal. Optional Delco-Bose stereo now had 5 speakers—based on customer input -- up from three the previous year. 122,738 units were produced for the ‘95 model year.
Two new models were added, the rally sport coupe and rally sport convertible. They included front and rear fascia extensions, ground effects along the sides, and a three piece rear spoiler extension. This option was actually added after the vehicle was completed at Sainte-Thérèse. Cars would be shipped to a division of ‘magna – decoma’ to have the RS package installed - then the vehicle would once again return to Ste. Therese for final inspection before being turned over to gen-auto for shipping. The 3.8 liter 200hp engine was made standard on all base models and was available with 5-speed manual or 4 speed automatic transmissions. The SS package made a come-back and was available to dealers from arrangements with Chevrolet and s engineering of troy, Michigan. The SS featured a 305 hp engine, special hood featuring a functional scoop and forced induction, restyled rear spoiler, revised suspension, corvette-style wheels and special badging. As with the RS package – vehicles would be shipped to the SLP Engineering facility in nearby LaSalle, Quebec for conversion to Camaro SS – then returned once again to Ste. Therese for final inspection. Once all was approved, Camaro SS would be turned over to gen-auto for a train-ride to the United States. (or a truck-ride to select Canadian cities) production for the ‘96 model year was 61,362. Of those, 2,410 were of the new SS model.
Camaro turned 30! To celebrate, Camaro was chosen to pace the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August of ‘96. The pace car was a t-roof coupe in Arctic White with “Hugger Orange” heritage stripes – similar to the Indy 500 pace car of 1969. A special white and black houndstooth interior fabric was featured – part of Camaro’s early heritage. Three pace cars were specially prepared for the race, but curiously, they were all 1996 models in 1997 anniversary trim. While all ‘97 Camaros featured a 30th anniversary logo on the front seats, a special “Z4C” anniversary package was available as a replica of the Brickyard pace car. The package was available as a Z28 coupe or convertible as well as an SS coupe or convertible. A total of 4,534 of these anniversary models were built. Interiors on all Camaros featured a new instrument panel and front seats. A new premium sound system was offered as was a 12 disc cd changer. Camaro SS production reached 3,038 of which 958 were “Z4C” anniversary models. A total of 60,201 1997 Camaros were produced.
In addition to a completely restyled front end incorporating new reflector optic headlamps, fenders, hood, grille, and bumper fascia, there were between 650 and 1,000 new parts and components in the ‘98 Camaro versus the ‘97 models.
The biggest news was the all new, all aluminum Gen III 5.7 liter V-8 engine. This Corvette inspired engine developed 305 horsepower in the z-28 and 320 horsepower in the Camaro SS performance/appearance package. All ‘98 Camaros now received a new Bosch 4-wheel disc brake system with integral abs. Cloth interior fabrics were new as was the edition of white leather which was now available on all Camaro models. The SS package was now produced for the most part at S. Therese assembly -- with SLP Engineering adding the air induction hood and special SS rear spoiler (as well as any additional ‘second sticker’ content) SS production was down slightly to 3,017 – largely due to a GM strike. Further, with the additional changes to the Camaro, it took much longer to perform engineering validation on the new SS model. Total Camaro production for the ’98 model was down to 48,490 again, largely due to the strike.
For 1999, traction control was now available on all Camaro models which assisted traction in inclement weather—something most Camaro customers were pleased to see. Gas tanks were enlarged to 16.8 gallons, new colors offered were “heritage” colors and included bright blue metallic, “Hugger” orange as well as light pewter metallic -- of which pewter would become one of the best selling Camaro colors. SS production once again hit a high of 4,826 units – still not enough to meet demand. Total Camaro production was 45,461 in the ’99 model year.
The two thousand model year brought several cosmetic changes to Camaro. The aluminum wheels – both 16” and 17’ were restyled to give Camaro a fresh look. Interior fabrics were revised as were interior colors. A new color, Monterey maroon, was introduced...and all colors were renamed to feature “descriptive” names. Once again, Camaro was used extensively at raceways country-wide as festival cars or pace cars – including 50 white Camaro SS convertibles which were used at the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. Berger Chevrolet in Grand Rapids, Michigan celebrated their 75th anniversary by offering 30 limited edition 375 horsepower Camaro SS’s to the public — bringing back the nostalgia of the late 60’s and the C.O.P.O. cars offered by Berger, Yenko, Fred Gibbs, Nickey, Dana, and Baldwin Motion. GMMG of Atlanta, Georgia – and GMMG owner, Matt Murphy worked to produce limited edition cars for Berger, as well as Dale Earnhart Chevrolet – Tom Henry Chevrolet – Hot Rod magazine -- and Carl Black Pontiac (Firebird)SS production soared to 8,913 units with total 2000 Camaro production of 45,417.
For 2001, Camaro offered even more horsepower and torque. The Z28 was rated at 310 hp and the SS at 325hp. The Camaro remained a low-emissions vehicle based on U.S. EPA regulations. Suspension changes improved ride compliance without sacrificing the legendary handling what is the essence of Camaro. Sunset Orange Metallic was a new color for 2001. SLP engineering added several additional “Second sticker” options - among those: Center mounted dual exhaust; a special Camaro SS grille insert; and a distinctive Camaro RS package on the 6 cylinder models that increased horsepower by 10 to 210hp (using ‘take-off’ Z28 exhaust systems) and dual black or silver racing stripes on the hood and decklid – along with RS emblems and optional 5-spoke “ZR1” style aluminum wheels. Camaro continued to receive accolades from the press and owners alike. The 2001 model year was cut short in order to start production of the 2002 model which would be the last Camaro to be built for some time to come. In August of 2001, it was announced that Camaro – and its cousin the Pontiac Firebird – would go on “hiatus’ for the foreseeable future after the 2002 model year -- and that the Ste. Therese Assembly plant would be shuttered indefinitely.
For the 2002 model year, Chevrolet produced a total of 3,369 special Camaro SS’s to celebrate Camaro’s 35th Anniversary. These coupes and convertibles were produced with RPO “Z4C” and included, among other things: A distinctive set of dual silver stripes that faded into a checkered flag effect on the hood and deck lid; a two-tone leather trimmed interior in ebony with pewter seat inserts; black painted wheels with machine finished facing; anodized brake calipers; 35th Anniversary emblems on and in each car; an embroidered trophy mat; and a special owner’s portfolio. Each of these cars was painted Bright Rally Red. These distinctive 35th Limited Editions were featured at the 2001 NASCAR Brickyard 400 in August of 2001 -- where Camaro had been the featured ‘Festival Car’ since the inaugural race in 1994. In August of 2002, Camaro made a final appearance at the Brickyard when 57 Special Camaro SS Convertibles were built to serve as Festival Cars (once again!) Each of these cars featured RPO “Z7D” “Brickyard 400 Appearance Package” on the window label. They were distinctive in that they were painted Sebring Silver Metallic and featured the Black painted 17 inch wheels with machine-faced finish wheels lifted straight from the 35th Anniversary package. All other 2002 Camaros featured a special dash plaque identifying it as a “35th Anniversary Camaro” No other major changes were made the 2002 Camaro.
Special Topics 4th Gen
GM Assembly Plant Quebec
Since the debut of the Fourth Generation F-body car platform in 1992 as a '93 model, General Motors Ste. Therese, Quebec, has been the sole assembly plant for the Camaro and it's Fbody car cousin, the Pontiac Firebird. Take a ride along the 8.4 mile production conveyor to see how they got built!
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2002 Final Production
In August 2002 the last 4th generation Camaro rolled of the St. Therese production line in Quebec, Canada. The car was ordered as non-saleable and found it's place at the GM Heritage Collection. It was truly a very dark day for Camaro enthusiasts worldwide.
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2002 35th Anniv. Chevrolet Camaro SS RPO "Z4C" by SLP
For the final 2002 Commemorative Edition, the SS trim level received a special stripe package, custom floor mats, a custom car cover and various engine and exhaust components by SLP as a second sticker option "Y2Y".
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2002 35th Anniv. Chevrolet Camaro SS RPO "Z7D" by SLP
In August 2002 Chevrolet Camaro made a final appearance at the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race in Indianapolis when 57 Special Camaro SS convertibles were built to serve as Festival Cars. Each of these cars featured RPO "Z7D".
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2002 35th Anniv. Chevrolet Camaro SS Performance Edition by GMMG
Based on a "Z4C" the modern supercar maker Matt Murphy of GMMG Incorporated in Marietta/Georgia, 20 miles north of Atlanta, created the 35th Anniversary Performance Edition with the choice of 4 stages, from 380 up to 680HP!!
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