The Chevrolet Camaro is a popular pony car made in North America by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors. It was introduced on September 29, 1966 — the start of the 1967 model year — as a Ford Mustang competitor. The car shared the same platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced in 1967. Four distinct generations of the car were produced before production ended in 2002.
The Camaro was initially advertised on Top 40 AM radio stations of the day in an attempt to woo the young adult market. Although it was technically a compact car (by the standards of the time), Camaro, soon joined the Mustang with a pony car designation. It may also be classified as an intermediate touring car, a sports car, or a muscle car.
Though the car's name was contrived with no meaning, GM researchers reportedly found the word in a French dictionary as a slang term for "friend" or "companion." In some automotive periodicals before official release, it was code-named "Panther." Automotive press asked Chevrolet product managers "What is a Camaro?", and were given the tongue-in-cheek answer being "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs". The name conveniently fit Chevrolet's "C" naming structure that included Corvair, Chevelle, Chevy II and Corvette.
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