Our feature car is a great looking 1970 Chevy Camaro RS/SS. The 1970 model year represented the start of the second generation of Camaro’s. The cars were all newly designed. The 1970 model year was also the first year where no Camaro convertibles were produced.

1970 camaro rs/ss
1970 Chevy Camaro RS/SS

Chevrolet produced Camaro RS models and SS models. The car featured here is a combination of both which makes it pretty special. If you bought an RS/SS package together the SS emblems replaced the RS emblems, but kept the Rally Sport’s hideaway headlights.

1970 Chevrolet Camaro

Though it didn’t make it to market until February of 1970, the second-generation 1970½ Camaro would be in production 12 years. As most collectors refer to it and for the purpose of this article, we are referring  to the second generation as starting with the 1970 model year even though the car did not come out until February 1970, thus the 1970½ .

The basic engineering of the Camaro was a unibody structure from the windshield and firewall back, with a separate steel rail subframe for everything up front. Double A-arms made up the independent front. For 1970, a big effort was made to cut down cabin noise by adding insulation at key points. The 1970 Camaro’s doors were longer by 8 inches and the roof was moved back giving the car a sleek long hood, short rear deck which was a main trait of the Pony Car.

pony carsThe 1970 Camaro started the second-generation and featured many different styling cues. The new car was longer, lower, and wider than the first generation Camaro.

It was referred to as the “Super Hugger”.  It was considered a gorgeous design inspired by European sports cars, and even though production was delayed, its sales and production numbers were excellent. The design for the second generation models had the benefit of not being rushed through like with the first generation models. First generation Camaro’s were the answer to Ford’s Mustang and GM had to catch up with Ford and do it fast. The GM designers now had the benefit of having first generation Camaro’s success as a starting point to go into the second generation.

1970 also marked the first time in the four year history of the car that a convertible option was not offered.

The RS package included numerous cosmetic changes including a distinctive front end look that most noticeably featured two front bumpers on the left and right of the nose of the car in place of the normal full width bumper. It also included round parking lights and hidden windshield wipers. A distinctive front grille along with that split bumper combination became the Rally Sport’s signature styling cue.

The SS package contained a modified 350 V8 producing 300hp with an available 396 producing 350hp, along with simulated air intakes on the hood, special bumble bee striping, and a blacked-out grill. It was possible to order an RS/SS.model such as the one we have here.

The Muscle Car Market Was Changing

While the 1970 Camaro was being introduced, the muscle car market was disappearing, or at least changing. In 1970, the federal United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established. Then there were new emission standards dictated by the federal government. In 1971 Congress passed the first major Clean Air Act, requiring a 90 percent reduction in emissions from new automobiles by 1975. Environmentalists played a very large role in curbing emissions from all automobiles and the effect on the muscle car era was significant.

1970 Chevy Camaro RS/SS Specifications

As mentioned above, the SS (Super Sport) package contained a modified 350 V8 producing 300hp with an available 396 producing 350hp. Although 1970 was the first year of the second generation Chevy Camaro, it is also seen as the last of the high compression engine.

1970 chevy camaro specsTransmissions available were three and four speed manuals along with the Turbo Hydra-Matic and Powerglide automatics.

Brakes included cast-iron front discs with rear drums.

Dimensions included an overall length of 188.0 inches, wheelbase 108.0 inches, height 50.1 inches, width 74.4 inches.

Additional Auto Museum Online articles are found on the links below…

1969 Chevy Camaro

1969 Ford Gran Torino

Reference material for this article included…The Complete Book of Camaro: Every Model Since 1967 by author David Newhardt…Camaro: Fifty Years of Chevy Performance by Mike Mueller.

The 1970 Chevy Camaro Collector Car

It goes without saying that early Chevrolet Camaros are popular collector automobiles. The Chevy Camaro in general is a popular car but the early models, the Pony Car era models, are something special. These were the models that came out before the EPA mandates.

camaro dashboardsAt this date, current asking prices for 1970 Camaros range from the high $20,000 area to the $60,000 + range. The wide range of values are due to the exact model and of course overall condition, originality and degree of restoration.

At his writing we see a 1970 Camaro RS/SS model with an asking price of $64,500. The model years prior to the federal emissions standards appear to have higher valuations among collectors.

(Article and photos copyright Auto Museum Online)