Busted Knuckles Auctions presents this beautiful 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS. This 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS is a fine example of the last year first-generation Camaro. The trim tag indicates the car was built in the first week of February, 1969 in the Norwood, OH assembly plant and bears the X11 designation. Finished in the correct Garnet Red (paint code 52) with the proper red standard bucket seat interior and white convertible top, the car is equipped with a correct date code 350 cubic inch engine displacing 300 horsepower built in the Flint, MI plant backed by a Hurst-shifted Muncie four-speed manual transmission. In addition to power steering, the car is equipped with power windows, AM/FM radio and console-mounted gauge package. It is properly badged and presents nicely with a few minor imperfections one would expect to find in a vehicle that has been driven and enjoyed. The odometer reading of slightly over 51,000 miles cannot be verified as actual, and in accordance with statutes governing licensed Missouri auto dealers the car will be sold “mileage-exempt” due to age. The car has been in the portfolio of the present owner since April 1990 and has been stored in a humidity-controlled environment during his ownership.
The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro was introduced at dealer showrooms across the United States on Sept. 29, 1966, entering the pony car market segment created when Ford introduced their Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. While some believed Chevrolet was late coming to the table with a competing product, the Camaro proved to have been a well-designed and well-engineered competitor earning a place in automotive history.
Available as either a two-door hardtop or convertible, the Chevy Camaro came standard with a 230 cubic inch six-cylinder engine and column-mounted three-speed manual transmission but offered some 80 options that could greatly increase the performance and comfort level depending on the buyer’s desires and budget. Through the first-generation line-up, options existed for a buyer to choose powerplants ranging from 230 to 396 cubic inches off the dealer’s order form. Through some creative manipulation of the General Motors Central Office Production Order (COPO) system, several dealers were able to offer Camaros with 427 cubic inch powerplants in limited quantities.
In addition to individual options on the Chevy dealer’s order form, there were also a few option groups that packaged different amenities to essential create a subseries of the car. Regular Production Option (RPO) Z22 was the R/S, or Rally Sport, package which was an appearance package that included vacuum-operated hidden headlights, revised taillights with backup lights below the bumper, RS badging and exterior bright trim. RPO Z27 (better known as the SS, or Super Sport package) was a performance grouping that offered a higher performance small block or big block powerplant, chassis upgrades to improve handling, special striping and non-functional chrome air inlets on the hood. The most well-known (and least ordered) package was the legendary RPO Z28, combining both appearance and performance options. The Z/28 was designed to compete (with modifications) in SCCA racing and was powered by a 302 cubic inch small block not available in any other Chevrolet. The only factory transmission option for the Z/28 was a Muncie four-speed manual. Compared to overall production, original Z/28 cars made up a miniscule percentage of first-generation Camaros. It was also possible to combine both the Rally Sport and Super Sport packages on a Camaro.
By the time the 1969 model year rolled around, Chevrolet was facing increasing competition from Ford’s totally new Mustang design as well as other domestic manufacturers who had entered the pony car wars. For the final year of Camaro’s first generation, designers came up with all new sheet metal with the exception of the hood and truck lid. While the car appeared visually to be very similar, the aggressive new design was an inch and a half longer and almost two inches wider than the previous two years. Many car enthusiasts feel the 1969 Camaro is GM’s premier offering in that class.
The public’s response would support that point, as nearly a quarter-million Camaros were sold in the 1969 model year, a figure somewhat enhanced due to the late introduction of the totally redesigned 1970 model Camaro because of production issues allowing new 1969 Camaros to be manufactured well into the 1970 model year. Of that number, 15,886 were V8 powered convertibles. There were 37,773 cars produced with the RS package, while the SS package was ordered on 34,992 cars. Many Camaros were ordered with both packages, but GM production records do not detail how many cars were produced that way or broken down as to how many cars with those option packages were hardtops or convertibles. The rarest 1969 Camaro was the six-cylinder convertible with just 1,707 units coming off the assembly line.