1977 Chevrolet Camaro 454ci Coupe (LHD)
Result: PASSED IN
Freshly restyled for 1970, changes to Chevrolet's popular Camaro were more than just skin deep. While the first generation Camaro had used the same basic platform as economy cars likes the Nova, the new model had an all-new 2+2 platform that ensured a much better handling car capable of realising the full potential of the range of high performance engines offered. The new F-body was longer, lower and wider and most pundits agreed the new Camaro had a more sophisticated look than its predecessor, more akin to a European GT than an American muscle car. The convertible was dropped from the line-up, with the fastback coupe the only model available while a lot more thought went into the interior ergonomics. There were six engines available, ranging from a six-cylinder through the base 307-cid V8 to a full-house 396-cid unit pumping out 350 bhp along with a choice of four transmissions. Throughout the course of the 1970s Chevrolet continued to improve the Camaro and the original styling underwent a major revision in 1974, with a distinctive pointed nose inspired by the new Vega incorporating a deformable urethene panel and eggcrate grille, while in 1975 a new wraparound-style rear window improved vision considerably. Two trim levels were offered, the base model and the better equipped LT (or luxury touring package), first seen in 1973. Camaro's optioned with the LT equipment group received an electric clock, twin external rear view mirrors, Hide-Away wipers, full instrumentation (including a tacho), better sound insulation and a set of 14 x 7 Rally wheels. For 1977 a few minor styling revisions were carried out to freshen up the Camaros image, while engine options were limited to a 250-cid base-level six, a 305-cid V8 and the venerable 350-cid V8. The choice of transmissions included both three and four-speed manuals plus the Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic, while back axle ratios on both V8s were altered in a bid to improve fuel economy. In addition to the base model and LT package, the Camaro could also be ordered with the Rally Sport décor group, while the Z/28 performance option made a welcome return after an absence of two years, with its own distinctive, attention-grabbing graphics. In total 218,853 Camaros rolled off the production lines in 1977, the vast majority V8-powered, and they represent excellent value for money as far as American muscle goes.