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Car Book Reviews

Camaro: Forty Years

by Darwin Holmstrom

Camaro—Forty Years

It's odd that a book commemorating a car's 40-year history comes out five years after its production ended. One can conclude that Darwin Holstrom’s chronicle of Camaro history serves as both a belated celebration of an American muscle car and stokes the fires of excitement for the Camaro's return in 2010. Even into its final year of production in 2002, the Camaro’s future was shaky and undecided, and Chevrolet finally declared its status as "on hiatus."

In 2006, Chevy unveiled a Camaro concept to measure public reaction. They could have taken orders on the spot because there was no doubt the futuristic-looking pony car with strong design ties to its origins would hit the streets. Holstrom’s 345 pages (and nearly as many photographs from David Newhardt) begin with the concept of a small, sporty car from General Motors, even before its chief competitor Mustang had arrived. That concept evolved into the Camaro to compete with Ford’s Mustang, launching a new era in American performance cars. Enthusiasts and car history buffs will enjoy learning about the early SS models and special editions such as the Yenko Camaro that had 450 horsepower. That history continues with the weaning of horsepower in the 70s and early 80s, and its resurrection from then on to the 2002 25th anniversary model. This retelling of Camaro history serves as a great refresher course before the new model arrives.

Reviewed by Chuck Arehart


See our Camaro: A Legend Reborn book review
Read our 2010 Chevrolet Camaro review

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(Updated: 07/23/09 SV)

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