Chevrolet Camaro - Introduction
by Scott Settlemire
Dear Camaro Enthusiasts,
I've been privileged to work with the Camaro for many years. Growing up in a family owned dealership, I still remember when the Camaro got delivered prior to public announcement and I thought it was the most beautiful car I’d ever seen. And it’s been a passion for over 40 years.
For many years I worked at Chevrolet – always driving a Camaro when possible and I was blessed to be selected out of a pool of over 400+ people to work on the Camaro/Corvette Performance Car team in the 1990s.
It was a bittersweet time – we were building the best Camaros (in terms of performance/handling/fuel economy/quality) that had ever been built. However, as America’s tastes changed in transportation, the Camaro – and indeed the entire Sport Coupe market – went into decline as peoples’ choice switched to Sport Utilities and more practical sedans. It was particularly painful to hear in late 1996 that the Camaro would not, in all probability, be built after 1998. We were fortunate to keep the Camaro (and its cousin, the Pontiac Firebird) in the market-place through the 2002 model year.
Much speculation, finger-pointing, and blame has been placed and assigned as to WHY they went out of production. That said, there are many reasons why these very special nameplates were put on hiatus….some evident – yet I submit to you that there were many other reasons completely foreign to those who are not intimately involved within the auto industry. Suffice it to say that many people – both enthusiasts within the public domain – as well as many of us within the GM Family – were devastated when production of the 4th Generation cars came to an end in August of 2002.
As I write this preface in the final days of 2007, we have much to celebrate – as the Camaro WILL be back!
What you are about to read comes, primarily, from a pamphlet that I had produced and was included in a special "35th Anniversary Camaro Owner Portfolio" This portfolio came with each of the 3,369 Camaro 35th Limited Edition Camaro SS’s. It allowed our Camaro enthusiasts to have insight into some of the ‘tidbits’ of Camaro history.
I hope you’ll enjoy a walk down memory lane!
General Motors Corporation