Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Hemmings Cruise-Ins: The 1968 Chevy Camaro SS

Posted June 11, 2008 12:01 AM by dstrohl

Forty years ago, cars were cooler and gas was cheaper. The first part of that statement is just my opinion, of course, but you'll have to forgive me. I recently attended my first cruise-in at Hemmings Motor News in Bennington, Vermont. The weather in the Green Mountain State wasn't exactly summer-like, but May 29th isn't exactly summer in these parts. Still, the sight of a 1968 Chevy Camaro SS was enough to warm my heart. A glimpse of its 295-hp 350 engine didn't hurt either.

Back in 2005, George Mattar of Hemmings Motor News wrote that "General Motors was in a much better position in 1964 than it is today." Well, George, you're still right! Back in '64, GM flinched when Ford Motor Company introduced its popular Mustang. Two years later, America's largest automaker hit back hard with its own pony car, the Chevy Camaro. In case you're wondering, the name "Camaro" was the brainchild of Chevrolet General Manager Elliott (Pete) Estes. The Camaro was supposed to be called the Panther, but Pete thought that "Camaro" sounded better.

The 1968 Camaro wasn't the first in this long line of muscle cars, but it does stand out – even at a Hemmings cruise-in. Chevy introduced the first Camaro on September 21, 1966, not long after an American spacecraft named Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photographs of Earth from an orbit around the Moon. Through the years, General Motors treated the Camaro with the same reverence that science saves for the space program. There was a 30-minute movie called "The Camaro" that detailed the vehicle's development. There was also a video game and a line of women's clothing called the Camaro Collection.

Then there was a little-known 2003 flick called "Ronnie Camaro and the Seven Angry Women". The movie wasn't produced by GM, but the carmaker was probably glad that at least seven women in America weren't angry about the Camaro Collection. The film's plot involved Ronnie Camaro, a would-be rock star who used a secret pheromone to attract women. OK, so it's a really bad movie. But can you imagine a rock star / movie hero with a name like "Ronnie Prius"? I rest my case.

There were lots of cool cars at the Hemmings Cruise-In on May 29, so I took lots of pictures. The other cars I'll write about in this series are the 1968 Pontiac Firebird, 1969 Ford Cobra, 1969 Chevy Corvette Convertible Stingray, and 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. There were plenty of other classic cars there, too, but I'm partial to muscle cars. The name "Moose" may not be as cool as "Ronnie Camaro", but you don't need to be a rock star to have fun at a Hemmings Cruise-In.

Editor's Note: Want to know more about the history of the Camaro? Click here to read George Mattar's excellent article in the May 1, 2005 edition of Hemmings Motor News.

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