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Camaro: Forty Years
Camaro: Forty YearsFOUR DECADES OF CHEVY'S GREATEST MUSCLE CAR, including the all-new model for 2009. The book Camaro: Forty Years, by Darwin Holmstrom, traces the history of the Camaro from its conception on 12 September 1966 to the introduction of the latest incarnation to bear the name the first Camaro of the 21st Century.

The book is billed as "the most complete Camaro history ever published" and chronicles the rich, forty-year history of the American muscle car icon. It is superbly illustrated, with fabulous photographs of the models that made history.

The Camaro was the result of Chevrolet's efforts to come up with a car that could out-muscle the Mustang — Ford's pony car that was intro-duced in April '64. The interior of the Camaro had the pizzazz to match its stylish exterior and the new Camaro SS/RS was the pace car for the 1967 Indianapolis 500-mile race.

In the years after the Camaro's introduction, it set some of the top performance marks in American motoring history.

The classics of the muscle car era are here — the RS, SS, Z/28 and IROC-Z — along with the models that jump-started a new era of American performance cars in the 1980s. In vivid colour and fine detail, Camaro: Forty Years captures the innovations and fierce competition, the changes in style and the technology that combine to make up the story of this legendary car that is so much a part of American Auto history and is now on the brink of opening a new chapter.

By 1988, the Z28 name was pulled and the IROC-Z became the stand-alone Camaro model. Handsome aluminium wheels were part of the package in 1990 and by 1998 the (resurrected) Z28's length was nine inches longer than the original 1967 Camaro — even though the wheel-base was two inches shorter. The front and rear overhangs were con-siderable and added to the attraction of the car.

Interestingly enough, Berger Chevrolet of Grand Rapids, Michigan,
built high-performance Camaros in the late 1960s. As the Camaro neared the end of its production, Berger continued to construct powerful street cars.

In January 2007, the book reports, Chevrolet showed a convertible version of the Camaro at that year's Detroit Auto Show and it gener-ated even more excitement than the concept car had the previous year. It goes on to say that "…the new Camaro will be the most exciting car Chevrolet has produced since the debut of the original version in the fall of 1966. For Camaro fans, the best is yet to come."

Camaro: Forty Years by Darwin Holmstrom is out now in hardback and available from all good bookshops at an RRP of £35. There are 300 colour illustrations, and photographs are by David Newhardt. ISBN-10:978-0-7603-2816-3.

Darwin Holmstrom has written and co written many books on cars and motorcycling, including the best-selling Muscle: America's Legendary Performance Cars, Billy Lane Chop Fiction; It's not a Motorcycle, Baby, it's a Chopper and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles.

David Newhardt is one of the best car photographers working today. He is the author of such best-selling books as Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and has provided photography for MBI's best-selling titles including Muscle: American's Legendary Performance Cars and Corvette: Fifty Years.