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The first Camaro was introduced on September 12, 1966 to compete with arch rival Ford and the hugely successful Mustang. The Mustang, which was introduced on April 17, 1964 sold over 263,000 units in its first year.
The first generation of the Firebird was limited to minor changes to the hood, grill and front end which are still prevalent today.
In 1978, the two-millionth Camaro was assembled at the Van Nuys plant in California. A record 272,631 units were sold that year.
The word "Camaro" is of French origin meaning "friend".
With Ford enjoying the success of the Mustang, Chevrolet developed the sleek and performance driven Camaro to bridge the gap between the Chevy Corvette and Corvair.
Since Chevrolet sponsored the International Race of Champions from the early 70's, the association of IROC with the high-performance Camaro Z28 was a perfect fit for Chevrolet. The IROC Z28 was introduced in 1985 and production concluded on December 31, 1989.
Chevrolet stopped production of the Z28 in the early 70's while the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am continued to improve. By 1976 nearly one-half of the Firebirds sold were Trans Ams. Chevy realized it had made a mistake and developed a new look and sound for the 1977 revival.
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