Friday, April 20, 2012
Car Of The Day: April 20, 2012
Today's car of the day comes from Firehawk73's collection and is GreenLight's 1971 Chevrolet Camaro.
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. 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.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Chevrolet Camaro
Dubbed "Super Hugger", the second-generation Camaro was developed without the rush of the first generation and benefited from a greater budget in light of the success of the first generation. Although it was an all-new car, the basic mechanical layout of the new Camaro was familiar, engineered much like its predecessor with a unibody structure utilizing a front subframe, A-arm and coil spring front suspension, and rear leaf springs. The chassis and suspension of the second generation were greatly refined in both performance and comfort; base models offered significant advances in sound-proofing, ride isolation, and road-holding. Extensive experience Chevrolet engineers had gained racing the first-generation led directly to advances in second-generation Camaro steering, braking, and balance. Although it began its run with a number of high-performance configurations, as the 1970s progressed, the Camaro grew less powerful, succumbing, like many production cars of the era, to the pressures of tightening emissions regulations and a fuel crisis. Major styling changes were made in 1974 and 1978; 1981 was the final model year for the second-generation Camaro.
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.
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 second-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.
Production and sales dropped due to a 67-day corporate-wide strike at GM that coincided with the introduction of the 1971 models in late September 1970, along with a continued declining interest in the ponycar market fueled by skyrocketing insurance rates for high-performance cars. Rumors of the possible cancellation of the Camaro after 1972 began to surface and were nearly confirmed a year later when another worker's strike hit the assembly plant at Norwood, Ohio, which was the only plant building Camaros and Firebirds.