1969 CHEVY CAMARO – A TOTAL RESKIN. While similar in size and shape to the 1967 and 1968, the 1969 Camaro was completely restyled with a totally new skin. Above is a Z-28/RS. The Z-28 option was a Special Performance Package, while the RS (Rally Sport) option was an appearance package that included the hideaway headlights seen above.
1969 Chevy Camaro CONVERTIBLE
1969 CAMARO BIGGEST SELLER OF THE 1st GENERATION. The 1969 model year ran long for the Camaro, due among other things to delays in launching the 2nd-generation car. It was produced from Sept 26, 1968 through Feb 26, 1970, with a total build of 243,085, the largest volume of the 1st-generation (1967-1969).
1969 CHEVY CAMARO RALLY SPORT OPTION. The Rally Sport or RS option (RPO Z22) returned with vacuum-operated hideaway headlights, this time with 3 see-through slots that allowed light to shine through if the headlight doors failed to open. This one is an RS/SS, meaning it’s a Super Sport with the RS trim package. An SS without the RS option would have a ‘bumblebee stripe’ around the nose. An RS without the SS package would have RS stripes racing stripes, as above. But, when combined, the RS/SS always had the RS stripes.
MORE OPTIONS FOR THE CAMARO. As seen above, the RS package also included a different rear facia from the standard 1969 Camaro. The RS had separate backup lights below the bumpers, where they were incorporated into the tail lights in non-RS Camaros. A 4-wheel disk brake option (RPO JL8) became available for the first time, using unique 4-piston calipers. The Turbo Hydra-matic 3-speed automatic transmission became available with any V8 engine except on the Z-28, which used an M22 4-speed close-ratio heavy duty manual transmission (nicknamed “the Rock Crusher” due to its toughness).
1969 CHEVY CAMARO: TOP UP – TOP DOWN. A great shot of the ’69 from full plan view with top up, and top down. Note the ‘shark gills’ on the rear quarter panels aft of the doors. These are trimmed in chrome, although some had no trim. The wheels are not stock, of course.
1969 Chevy Camaro COUPE
1969 Chevy Camaro INTERIORS
1969 CHEVY CAMARO INTERIOR UPGRADES. The dash & instruments were totally new with a similar theme but very different shape. There were now 2 large pods strattling a smaller central pod. The option auxiliary gauges on the center console were square now and in 2 rows. In this configuration, the tachometer would reside in the right-main instrument pod, with the speedo on the left. Without the optional gauge pack, everything would have been resided in the main pods.
DELUXE INTERIOR w/HOUNDSTOOTH UPHOLSTERY
1969 Chevy Camaro SPECIAL MODELS
1969 CHEVY CAMARO Z28
This particular Z28 also has the RS or Rally Sport appearance package with hideaway headlights and the rest. When so equipped, they become a Z28/RS.
1969 CHEVY CAMARO SS (SUPER SPORT)
The SS or Super Sport option was a performance package, unlike the RS option which was purely a cosmetic package that could be applied to any other Camaro. This is a pure SS, and came with a 350 small block V8. Some were 396 big blocks. The lighter weight small block made for a much better handling car. This particular 1969 Chevy Camaro SS is missing its front bumper, maybe not back from the chrome shop in time for the show. And of course those Torque-Thrust-style wheels are not original, but still sort of period-correct.
1969 CHEVY CAMARO RS (RALLY SPORT)
The Rally Sport option was an appearance package, not a performance package like the Z28 or SS. It came with no high-performance parts, the only changes were cosmetic. But what a look! Gone were the exposed headlights and in their place was a whole new front grille with hideaway headlights. The headlight doors incorporated 3 horizontal window slits that allowed the headlights to shine through, just in case an errant door failed to open. They looked totally cool. And out back, a new rear facia included RS-specific tail lights devoid of back up lenses, which were now molded into the lower valance below the back bumper. If the RS was the only package on the Camaro, it got its own unique RS stripes. But, because the RS was purely a cosmetic package, it could be added on top of virtually any other option package, including Z28 and SS. Each had their own unique stripes, and when combined with the RS, they retained their own stripes. So, a Z28/RS would have Z28 stripes, and a RS/SS would have SS stripes. But a straight Camaro RS would have RS stripes. Make sense? Notice the differences between the non-RS above, and the RS below. The differences in the front facias are quite pronounced. But check out the rear facias. Again, the RS has separate back up lights below the back bumper, while the non-RS has them incorporated into the tail light lens.
1969 CHEVY CAMARO Z11 INDY 500 PACE CAR
A Camaro paced the Indianapolis 500 race in 1969, and Chevy sold 3,675 replica pace cars (RPO Z11). All were SS/RS convertibles Dover White paint, orange stripes, and orange houndstooth cloth seats, with the upgraded custom interior.
1969 Yenko Camaro
For more on this car, check out our page dedicated to this awesome 1969 YENKO CAMARO.
DON YENKO’S SECRET WEAPON
Pennsylvania Chevrolet Dealer, Don Yenko figured out how to order crazy-fast Chevy’s through ‘the back door’, cars that Chevy never meant to build, cars that violated all the rules that GM had set for its divisions. It was called COPO, and it stood for Corporate Office Purchase Order. In essence, it allowed a dealer, like Yenko, to custom order their cars just about any way they wanted to. So, he ordered up 100 ’69 Camaros with L72 450hp 427 big blocks and the M22 heavy duty close ratio 4-speed (known as “the rock crusher”), 12 posi rear ends, front disk brakes, heavy duty suspension, the works. This one has cowl inductions and spoilers front & rear. Of course they all had Yenko’s unique appearance package, the reverse hockey-stick stripe and the signature white “SYC” logos on the headrests. (The “Y” in the center is larger, and so is supposed to be read first. As such, it stood for Yenko Sports Cars) These cars were animals on the street. Most probably blew their engines early on, to be replaced by who-knows-what. This Yenko’s engine was replaced by a period-correct (I assume that means date-coded) COPO L72. One of only 100 built, and listed in the Yenko registry, it recently sold in auction for $203,500.
BRIEF HISTORY OF YENKO CAMAROS
Yenko Chevrolet sold a very limited number of Yenko Camaros in 1967, ’68 and ’69. The Yenko name didn’t appear on a new Camaro again until 1981, as the turbocharged Yenko Turbo Z. In modern times, new Yenko Camaros are again being produced in very limited numbers, based on the new 2010-and-later Camaro, and being sold through Nickey Chevrolet in Chicago.
In 1981, all vehicles sold in the US went to a 17-digit format. Prior to that, every manufacturer had their own system. GM used a 13-digit system for all GM cars & trucks from all Divisions. 1st & 2nd DIGIT – GM Divison (12 = Chevrolet)
3rd DIGIT – Engine (3 = 6cyl; 4 = V8))
4th DIGIT – Body style (3 = Coupe; 6 = Convert)
6th DIGIT – Year (9 = 1969)
7th DIGIT – Assembly Plant (N=Norwood; L=VanNuys)
Last 6 DIGITS – Serial Number of Car