The Chevrolet Camaro nameplate turns 50 this year, and we like to think that the original creators would be pretty proud of how things have progressed. Despite a rough spot or two, the Camaro and all its family members — SS, Z/28, IROC-Z, etc. — have held their own on the global automotive stage, and the latest Camaro is hands-down the best one yet.
“On September 29, 1966, after Ford had already sold 1 million Mustangs, Chevrolet officially introduced the Camaro, a sporty coupe designed to beat the Mustang at its own game. When asked what the name meant, Chevy spokesmen replied that it was found in an old French-English dictionary and meant ‘friend’ or ‘comrade.’ Ford famously shot back, saying it found a Spanish dictionary that defined Camaro as “a small, shrimp-like creature,” Derek Sapienza wrote for our profile on the Camaro. “And with that, the greatest automotive rivalry in history was born.”
So after 50 years of bickering, Chevrolet wants to send a message out that it has no intention of slowing down. And it’s doing so with the 2017 50th Anniversary Special Edition Camaro, which adds a slurry of limited edition touches that you’ll only be able to get this year.
The package can be applied to either the 2SS trim or the 2LT (where it also adds the RS Package), and buyers will have their choice of color so long as it’s Nightfall Gray Metallic. Chevy then adds orange stripes on the hood and matching orange brake calipers, and installs a new front splitter and a mesh grille to further set the special editions apart.
Of course, you’re also entitled to special “FIFTY” badges on the rear tailgate to alert everyone behind you that the Camaro you’re driving is more special than most. That theme is carried over to the exclusive rims, which have “Celebrating 50 Years of Camaro” emblazoned on the center caps.
A black leather interior is punctuated with special suede inserts and, taking cues from the exterior, orange contrasting stitching.
“Six years into this next-generation horsepower war, the all-new Mustang is a major success for Ford, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat’s 707 horsepower has set a new mark for affordable horsepower, and while the Camaro — especially the fire-breathing Z/28 — can still hold its own,” Sapienza concluded. “After Ford’s famous ‘shrimp creature’ comment in the ’60s, Chevy shot back with a statement that declared, ‘A Camaro is a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.’ Five decades on, Chevy’s still hungry, and it has some big game to chase.”
Here’s to another 50.