The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro: GM Rises to the Mustang’s Challenge
Question: how is a 1965 Mustang like an iPhone? Answer: whether you like it or not, there’s no denying that it raised the bar and scared the crap out of its competition. GM execs were well aware of this in early 1965, when they saw the public’s response to Ford’s new pony car. They set about crafting an answer to the challenge, and would play a giant role in automotive history. GM Goes Panther Hunting On June 21st, 1966, 200 journalists got a telegram from General Motors, asking them to gather at noon on June 28th in Detroit for a meeting of “SEPAW.” The telegram was signed by Chevy’s public relations director, John L. Cutter. RELATED: See images of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS
The first question most of the reporters asked was, “what the hell is SEPAW?” The mystery deepened the next day when a follow-up message came. It said, “Society for the Eradication of Panthers From the Automotive World will hold first and last meeting on June 28.” Once again, signed by Cutter. The message left its recipients scratching their heads, wondering what was going on.
The Panther Revealed
“Panther” was GM’s code name for the project that would lead to the creation of the 1967 Chevy Camaro. Unveiled to the press on September 12, 1966, the “Mustang killer” was built on GM’s F-body platform. It was available as either a 2-door coupe or convertible, with a choice of either six or eight cylinder engines.
PHOTOS: See more images of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro RS
The top-of-the-line Z/28 package was the brainchild of muscle car visionary Vince Piggins, who realized that the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro needed some serious horsepower under the hood to make its name. Piggins gave the Z/28 a 302 cubic inch engine. It went 0-60 in 6.7 seconds and finished the quarter mile in 14.9 seconds at 97 m.p.h.
Joe Customer could own a Camaro for costs ranging from $2,466 to $3,273. The pricepoint was in line with that of the Mustang, and told the world that a great American sports car was loose on public streets. The rest, as they say, is history.
RELATED: See images of the 1967 Chevrolet Camaro Z28