The second generation Chevrolet Camaro is a pony car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors produced for the 1970 through 1981 model years. It was introduced February 26, 1970. It was longer, lower, and wider than the first generation Camaro, and is "widely considered the best all-around domestic musclecar ever produced." A convertible body-type was no longer available. GM engineers have said the second generation is much more of "A Driver's Car" than its predecessor.
Most of the engine and drivetrain components were carried over from 1969, with the exception of the 230 cu in (3.8 L) six cylinder — the base engine was now the 250 cu in (4.1 L) six, rated at 155 hp (116 kW). The top performing motor was the 396 cu in (6.5 L) L78 rated at 375 hp (280 kW). Starting in 1970, the big block V8s (nominally 396 cu in (6.5 L)) actually displaced 402 cu in (6.6 L), yet Chevrolet chose to retain the 396 badging. Two 454 cu in (7.4 L) engines (the LS6 and LS7) were listed on early specification sheets and in some sales brochures but never made it into production. Besides the base model, buyers could select the Rally Sport option with a distinctive nose and bumper, a Super Sport package, and the Z-28 Special Performance Package (priced at US$572.95) featuring a new high-performance LT-1 360 hp (268 kW) 380 lb·ft (520 N·m) of torque 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8. The LT-1, an engine built from the ground up using premium parts and components, was a much better performer overall than the previous 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8s used in 1967-69 Z-28s; greater torque and less-radical cam, coupled with the 780 cfm Holley four-barrel, permitted the Z-28 to be available with the 3-speed. Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission as an option to the four-speed manual for the first time.
350 LT-1 in a 1970 Z-28.
The new body style featured a fastback roofline and ventless full door glass with no rear side quarter windows. Doors were wider to permit easier access to the rear seat and new pull-up handles replaced the old handles for which the lower button had to be pushed in to lock the door. The roof was a new double-shell unit for improved rollover protection and noise reduction. The base model featured a separate bumper/grille design with parking lights under the bumper while the Rally Sport option included a distinctive grille surrounded by a flexible Endura material along with round parking lights beside the headlights and bumperettes surrounding on both sides of the grille. The rear was highlighted by four round taillights similar to the Corvette. A convertible was not offered, making this the only Camaro generation not to offer one.
The '70½ was the first Camaro offered with a rear stabilizer bar. The four-wheel disc brake option (RPO JL8 of 1969) was dropped.
Inside, a new curved instrument panel featured several round dials for gauges and other switches directly in front of the driver while the lower section included the heating/air conditioning controls to the driver's left and radio, cigar lighter and ashtray in the center and glovebox door on the right. New Strato bucket seats, unique to 1970 models, featured squared off seatbacks and adjustable headrests and the rear seating consisted of two bucket cushions and a bench seat back due to the higher transmission tunnel. The optional center console, with standard Hurst shifter, was now integrated into the lower dashboard with small storage area or optional stereo tape player. The standard interior featured all-vinyl upholstery and a matte black dashboard finish while an optional custom interior came with upgraded cloth or vinyl upholstery and woodgrain trim on dash and console.
The 1970 model was introduced in February 1970, halfway through the model year. This caused some people to refer to it as a "1970½." model; all were 1970 models. The 1970 model year vehicles are generally regarded as the most desirable of the early 2nd generation Camaros, since the performance of following years was reduced by the automobile emissions control systems of the period and later the addition of heavy federally mandated bumpers.
The 1971 Camaro received only minor appearance changes from its 1970 counterpart. Inside, new high-back Strato bucket seats with built-in headrests replaced the 1970-only low-back seats with adjustable headrests. The biggest changes came under the hood due to a GM-corporate mandate all engines be designed to run on lower-octane regular leaded, low-lead, or unleaded gasoline, necessitating reductions in compression ratios and horsepower ratings. The 250 ci 6, 307 ci V8 and two-barrel 350 V8 were virtually unchanged as they were low-compression regular-fuel engines in 1970 and previous years, while the LT-1 350 V8 used in the Z/28 dropped from 360 to 330 horsepower (250 kW) due to compression ratio decline from 11.0:1 to 9.0:1, and the big 396/402 V8 dropped from 350 to 300 horsepower (220 kW) due to compression ratio drop from 10.25:1 to 8.5:1.
Source: Wikipedia, 2011