The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro / Convertible Muscle Car

The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro featured here is a fine classic performance automobile. If there was ever a 1960′s car that resembled the Ford Mustang this is it. Chevrolet answered the Mustang with virtually the same formula. This included the same chassis, wheelbase and powertrain. About as close as you could get. The Chevy Camaro followed the long hood short deck Mustang formula but in a swoopier fashion.

1969 chevy camaro convertible

1969 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible

Chevrolet came out with their Camaro in September of 1966. The first generation Camaros ran from the 1967 through the 1969 model years. This was Chevy’s first offering against the Ford Mustang and their target market for buyers was the same. As an added promotional boost the 1967 Chevy Camaro was the pace car at the Indy 500 that year.

The 1969 Chevy Camaro

The 1969 Chevy Camaro saw some design changes since 1968. You would describe them as giving the car a more aggressive look. The Camaro’s body had the appearance of being longer and lower and the wheel wells were flattened. The front bumper was full width and the rear taillights were redesigned. Another change for 1969 were square dashboard gauges instead of the round ones from 1968.

The Chevrolet Camaro SS model came with a 350 or 396 cubic inch V-8 putting out an impressive 325 horsepower. In 1969 a 427 cubic inch V-8 delivering an even more impressive 425 horsepower was an option.

chevy camaro ss 1969

1969 Chevy camaro SS

Interestingly, Chevrolet actually printed advertising featuring both the Camaro and it’s Corvette models as being an aerodynamic duo. Both were positioned as performance automobiles but there would have been a difference in it’s targeted market.

The 1969 Chevy Camaro Z 28

This was step above the Camaro SS power and added only about $450 to the base price of the 1969 Camaro coupe. The Camaro Z 28 in 1969 had a redesigned 302 cubic inch small block V-8 and was only offered on the Camaro coupe. The Z 28 package was revised about mid year with the added cost to the coupe proce going up to about $500.

The Rare Chevy Camaro ZL 1

If you’re talking about the 1969 Chevy Camaro you have to take a look at the Camaro ZL 1. A Chevy dealer came up with an idea that led to the creation of the ZL 1 model. This was a Camaro with an all aluminum and modified 427 cubic inch V-8 which some referred to as the ultimate muscle car. Horsepower was said to 425. The dealer wanted to purchase fifty of these Super Stock cars after they were built. The dealer was expecting to purchase the cars for around $5,000 each but by the time they were built the factory invoice price rose to around $7,200.

1969 chevy camaro dash

1969 Camaro dashboard

Included with the ZL 1 were J 50 power brakes, the Z 22 rally Sports package, an N 40 power steering and a V 10 tachometer. Racing magazines at the time claimed that the Camaro ZL 1 could do the quarter mile in 10.1 seconds. The speed reached was 139 MPH.

In addition to these fifty ZL 1′s another nineteen were built for other Chevy dealers.

The ZL 1 is still being built by Chevrolet as of this writing. Chevrolet claims that the  2014 C Camaro ZL 1 is the highest Chevrolet performance car ever. For 2014 you can choose a 6.2 liter supercharged V-8 delivering a stunning 580 horsepower.

The 1969 Camaro SS Vs. The 1969 Ford Mustang

Since these two popular performance cars were essentially vying for the same market, it’s interesting to compare their respective specs and attributes. The comparison for the 1968 model year looks like this…

Wheelbase- Camaro 108.1 inches…Mustang 108.0 inches

Overall length- Camaro 186.0 inches…Mustang 183.6 inches

chevy camaro ss emblem

Camaro SS emblem

Weight- Camaro about 2,900 lbs on average…Mustang 2,750 lbs on average

Engines- Camaro’s two highest performance engines were the 396 and the 427 cubic inch V-8′s…Mustang offered a variety of engines, the two largest being a 390 and a 428 Cobra Jet. The Ford Mustang that year also had a 429 cubic inch Boss 429 which was a rare engine.

Transmissions- 1969 Chevy Camaro buyers could choose from a three or four speed manual or a two or three speed automatic.  Ford Mustang buyers in 1969 had the option of a three or four speed manual or a three speed automatic.

1969 Chevrolet Camaro Specifications

As mentioned above, the two engines available to 1969 Camaro SS buyers were a 350  396 and even a 427 cubic inch size V-8.

Transmission choices included a three speed manual, a special three speed manual, a four speed manual, a Powerglide automatic and a Turbo Hydra-Matic.

Front suspension were coil springs with rear suspension of two semi elliptical single leaf springs.

1969 chevy camaro dashboard

Another 69 Camaro dash view

Brakes on the Camaro were four wheel drum.

As mentioned above, the car’s wheelbase was 108.1 inches and it’s overall length was 186.0 inches. The length was increased from the  184.7 inches on the 1967 and 68 models.

Total Chvey Camaro 1969 production was 243,085 vehicles.. The Sport Coupe was the highest production model with 165,226 built and was the Camaro base model. Comaro Convertibles produced in 1969 totaled 17,573.

The new car base price of the 1969 Chevy Camaro Coupe was about $2,700. As mentioned above a buyer could add the Z 28 package for about another $500.

Compare the Chevy Camaro to the cars on our AutoMuseumOnlne articles linked below…

1967 Pontiac GTO

1969 Dodge Charger

1970 Ford Mustang

69 camaro ss

69 Camaro SS convertible

The 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Collector Car

Being the last model year of the first generation, the 1969 Chevy Camaro could be the most popular of all the Camaros. Models offered during 1969 included the Sport Coupe, the Super Sport and the Z/28.

Mint condition museum quality restorations can have price tags from the $30,000 plus range right up into six figures. The 1969 Camaro SS Convertible featured in this article could also be considered relatively rare as only 17,543 were built. It was also the last designed Camaro convertible in the first generation series.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)

The Sporty and Luxurious 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

Out of all the familiar automobiles from the 1960′s, and there were plenty, the Pontiac Grand Prix is one of the most well remembered. The 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix is a true classic car. This was Pontiac’s big sports luxury hardtop and was one of the most popular personal automobiles of the 1960′s.

1966 pontiac grand prix

1966 Pontiac Grand Prix

A Sporty Yet Luxurious Automobile

The Grand Prix was built on the Pontiac Catalina platform. This was Pontiac’s shorter big car chassis. The Grand Prix differed a lot from the Catalina with it’s sportier interior including popular Strato bucket seats. Between the seats was a console along with a floor shifter.

One thing the Grand Prix was well noted for was it’s luxurious interior while keeping the sporty touch. Seat coverings were either cloth upholstery or Morrokide. This sporty interior touch also included a tachometer and rear audio speakers. If a car buyer wanted to display performance yet do it in a luxurious enclosure, the Pontiac Grand Prix was his or her automobile.

The first generation Grand Prix debuted in 1962. The car was targeted at the younger car buyer and was designed as a performance car. It was a hardtop sports coupe. This was the same market that Ford Motor would target a few years later with their Mustang.

pontiac grand prix 1960s

Pontiac Grand Prix

1966 Grand Prix Styling

The 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix was little changed from the 1965 second generation Pontiac  however these second generation models were significantly changed from the first generation.

One change in 1966 was the addition of blacked out plastic grille. The pointed nose of the car had some resemblance to Pontiac’s GTO.

The 1965 and 1966 Grand Prix is noted for it’s flowing appearance, kicked up rear fenders and quad headlights. The first generation cars were much more straight lined. The second generation Pontiac Grand Prix was also a weightier car and the models in general used chrome sparingly.

The attributes of the second generation Pontiac Grand Prix were it’s performance, big size and luxury. Some drawbacks compared to the first generation models, although arguable, might be not as good workmanship and not as good handling.

1966 grand prix dash

1966 Grand Prix dash

1966 Grand Prix Production

The first generation Grand Prix was accepted quite well. Sales went from 30,195 in 1962 to 72,959 in 1963. The 1964 model year saw 63,810 vehicles built. Things changed in 1965. Production that year totaled 58,881 cars and then in 1966 production fell dramatically to 36,757.

One explanation for the downward spiral could be the introduction of the Ford Mustang in 1964. While the cars in many ways, size and weight in particular, were quite different, both cars were appealing to the younger market. Additionally, the Grand Prix was priced about $900 to $1,000 or so higher than the Ford Mustang.

Beginning in the 1969 model year the Grand Prix would be shortened to a 118.0 inch wheelbase becoming a mid size car and be part of the Pontiac LeMans series.

1966 Pontiac Grand Prix Specifications

Two engines were available for the 1966 Grand Prix. These were a 389 cubic inch V-8 with a four barrel carburetor putting out between 265 and 333 horsepower.  The 389 was the standard engine. The other was a 421 cubic inch V-8 that could deliver from 338 to 376 horsepower. Either engine made the 1966 Grand Prix a 1960′s muscle car. Interestingly enough, Pontiac discontinued the offering of a three two barrel carburetor set up on the 389 but kept it on the 421.

1966 grand prix rear window

1966 Pontiac Grand Prix concave rear window

The 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix was built on a 121.0 inch wheelbase with an overall length of 214.6 inches. This was an inch longer wheelbase than the original 1962 models. The Grand Prix was a full size Pontiac with a weight around 4,000 lbs.

Transmission options were a three speed and four speed manual along with a  three speed Hydramatic.

The links below are to additional AutoMuseumOnline articles for comparisons to the 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix…

1967 Pontiac GTO History and Specs

1969 Dodge Charger

The 1970 High Performance Ford Mustang

1966 pontiac grand prix rear

Pontiac Grand Prix rear view

The Pontiac Grand Prix Collector Car

Because the 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix was built in part to be a muscle car, chances are today you’ll see plenty that have been modified. There are some good looking Grand Prix street rods you’re sure to come across.

Price wise you’ll see some wide ranges because of modifications. You’ll see the best prices on original, or as near to original as possible, models. In general you’ll see higher collector valuations on the first generation Grand Prix models from the 1962 through 1964 model years. These are thought to be somewhat more distinctive and crisp looking and some would say better built.

A two door hardtop 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix, as of this writing and in excellent condition, might have a price tag in the high teens. We have also seen several priced above $20,000. Degree of modification and overall condition will mean a lot on this car.

The first generation Pontiac Grand Prix values as mentioned above will generally be more. You might find asking prices on mint museum condition vehicles as high as $50,000. While this is a high figure you’ll find others priced in the $20,000 and $30,000 range.

If you’re looking for a 1966 Grand Prix project car you should be able to find one in the $5,000 range. If the car doesn’t run you’ll certainly pay less.

(Article and photos copyright 2013 AutoMuseumOnline)