For the 1969 model year, Chevrolet lowered the Camaro, made it wider and sleeker, and gave it a more aggressive appearance than the 1967 and 1968 model years. It also came with options. Lots of options.
Today, when you buy a new car from the dealer, the options are part of an overall package. In 1969, all 130 regular production options (RPO) available to the Camaro could be ordered a la carte.
Forget about simply choosing a trim package and paint color — those could be applied to any Camaro. Fifty-two years ago, customers had 12 different engines, 13 different transmissions and a seemingly endless amount of axle ratios from which to select.
To put that into context, if a customer wanted an SS Camaro, they could choose between three different 396 engines or opt for a 4-barrel 350. Want to go fast? No problem! A new Camaro could be equipped with a 302ci powered Z/28 with optional Corvette-type 4-wheel disc brakes and topped off with a cold-air hood.
The ability to obtain a new car that had been made to order from the factory gave the Camaro broad appeal. Though dealerships stocked showrooms with many identically optioned Camaros, in theory, thousands of the pony cars could have been built without any two of them being identical— and that’s only with the options publicly disclosed at the time.
Now that half a century has passed, and the automotive aftermarket is thriving, the possibilities are endless. Are you lost in all the options?
Start here: From an individual consigner, we have the 1969 Camaro, four different ways, each with its own unique character, and each selling with No Reserve at the 2022 Palm Beach Auction, April 7-9, at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
First up is a red and black 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 RS that retains many of its original parts. Per the VIN and date codes, this Camaro was built the first week of February 1969 at the Van Nuys, CA, assembly plant.
The car was ordered with a solid-lifter 302ci V8 engine paired to a 4-speed M21 Muncie manual transmission. As a bonus, the smog equipment is still in place, and the engine bay features the correct spring-ring battery cables as well as the correct clamps and hoses.
Performance options from the factory include its special engine, power disc brakes, power steering, Rally Sport equipment and spoiler equipment. Additional factory options include tinted glass, a center console, special instrumentation, an AM-FM radio, a tilt steering column and a deluxe interior with molded door panels.
A National Corvette Restorers Society (NCRS) shipping report shows that the car was sold at Cormier Chevrolet in Long Beach, CA. This Camaro includes a Jerry MacNeish Certificate of Authenticity.
The second 1969 Camaro is a restored Z/28 finished in the correct code 72 shade of Hugger Orange.
The car has been restored to its original factory specifications and is also certified by Jerry MacNeish. In addition to its bright orange paint with white racing stripes, the exterior showcases an Endura (sport) front bumper, Rally Sport hidden headlights, front and rear spoilers, and a fully functional cowl-induction hood — all of which were RPOs.
Correct Rally wheels with chrome center caps and trim rings wrapped in new BFGoodrich Radial T/A white-letter tires complete the look.
Under the hood, this Camaro was optioned with a professionally built DZ 302ci V8 engine, paired to a Muncie 4-speed manual transmission that sends power to the ground with a 12-bolt rear end equipped with posi-traction and 3.73 factory gears.
The engine bay features the correct aluminum snowflake intake, DZ carburetor, deep-groove pulleys and angle plug heads. Additional elements include power steering, power disc front brakes and BU-code performance exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers.
The interior features new black Deluxe Comfort Weave upholstery, deluxe door panels, center console with gauges and wood-grain trim, a Hurst shifter with chrome shift ball, a factory dash-mounted tachometer, a Comfort Grip steering wheel and original factory-date-coded GM seat belts.
Next in the group is a 1969 Camaro convertible with all the makings of a Resto-Mod.
Finished in Fathom Green with black accents, this custom Camaro features a modified stinger hood with modern ZL1 badging.
The convertible is powered by a fuel-injected Ram Jet engine backed by a TKO 600 5-speed TREMEC manual transmission and 12-bolt posi-traction rear end with 4.11 gears.
Exhaust is expelled via competition titanium Hooker headers and a 3-inch stainless exhaust with X-pipe, complete with Flowmaster Super 40 mufflers.
Performance enhancements include a March Performance Ultra-Drive billet aluminum serpentine belt system and an aluminum radiator with a cooling fan.
The car utilizes Hotchkis Sport Suspension, while stopping power is provided by Wilwood 4-wheel disc brakes tucked behind a set of American Racing polished aluminum Hopster wheels sporting Nitto NT450 tires.
The interior was wrapped with Dynamat sound insulation before receiving the new carpet. Custom full black double-stitched genuine leather seats adorn the interior, along with matching door panels and dash pad. The dash has been outfitted with Classic Instruments’ All American 6-gauge set complemented by a billet aluminum steering wheel.
This pro-touring 1969 Chevrolet Camaro gets its motivation from the after-market sector. Originally a Camaro SS, the car was purpose-built to meet a specific set of performance levels and aesthetics. As such, the only remaining original parts are the body panels; every other component has been replaced, modified and custom-built.
Under the hood, this Camaro is powered by a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine with twin Turbonetics turbochargers producing 652hp at the rear wheels. Remarkably, the car has a very conservative tune with 15 degrees of timing and 8 psi of boost.
The V8 features a high-lift camshaft and valve springs. The valve covers had the lugs milled off, the voids were welded, and 10-bungs were placed for ventilation.
Fuel is supplied by Holley Sniper anodized fuel rails from a custom stainless-steel fuel tank with an electric fuel pump system, while air comes from a K&N filter element.
The exhaust then travels through a set of custom handcrafted headers and handcrafted header flanges with 1.750 runners.
A Bosch water pump sends the water to the intake, then returns off the back of the intake and routes to the front of the car to a mini radiator with a 7-inch electric fan, then to the anodized tank. It features a March Performance serpentine belt, a Griffin aluminum radiator and black braided hoses.
The engine is paired to a T56 6-speed manual transmission with a Z06 hydraulic clutch that sends power to a Currie 9-inch mini-tub rear end with Moser 33-spline axles. Stopping power is provided by Wilwood disc brakes and calipers on all four corners behind a set of custom Colorado wheels.
This Camaro sits on custom air-ride suspension with Firestone airbags and custom brackets to accommodate the larger rear tires. It also features Detroit Speed tubular A-arms, and a Hotchkis 1-inch sway bar to help alleviate body roll.
The exterior is finished with black paint, highlighting the shaved door handles and making the custom LED side marker lights stand out. Other unique elements include billet hood hinges, flush-mounted front and rear bumpers, and 5% window tint all around.
Custom-trimmed, -stitched and -perforated leather door panels and seats are found inside the Camaro, along with matching rear bucket seats. Other highlights include a leather headliner and leather-wrapped dash pad. Behind the steering wheel, the driver can enjoy push-button start ignition and monitor vital systems with black AutoMeter gauges with red numbers.
With all the options that Chevrolet offered on its iconic Camaro and all the high-tech aftermarket parts available today, these examples have you covered — whether you want an original or custom muscle car to add to your collection.