- The 1969 Camaro was the highest volume first
generation Camaro, selling 243,085 units in a long model run that extended from September
26, 1968, through the end of November, 1969. The 1970 model Camaro wasn't introduced until
February 26, 1970. This production total wasn't exceeded until 1978.
- Although part of the first generation of
Camaros, the 1969 model received an extensive exterior and interior facelift. New exterior
sheet metal included header, valance, fenders, doors, rear quarters, and rear end panel.
Wheelwells were flattened for a more aggressive look. The standard grille was redone with
sharper angles. The grille of the Rally Sport 1969 models featured vacuum operated covers
over the headlights, but the covers had see through slits to permit partial lighting if
the doors stuck.
- The 1969 Camaro was the only model year to
have headlight washers. The system was operated by vacuum much like windshield washers.
The headlight washers were included with all Rally Sports and could be purchased
separately as RPO-CE1.
- Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic transmissions
were available in any 1969 Camaro except Z28's. Availability was more restricted in
- Variable-ratio steering appeared in Camaros
for the first time in 1969. This meant that as the steering wheel was turned, the wheels
turned progressively more as they approached lock. This permitted faster steer but
prevented excessively quick response in straight-line driving.
- The console and secondary sawtooth
instrument cluster designs remained as in 1968, but the 1969 Camaro did get a redesigned
main instrument panel. It featured two main pods as before, but 1969's were squared off
instead of round. A smaller pod was placed between the two bigger ones. In the standard
arrangement, the left pod housed the speedometer, the right pod the fuel gauge, and the
center pod the optional clock. With the Special Instrumentation option, the secondary
gauges (fuel, battery, temperature, oil) were mounted on the console, the tachometer rook
over the big right side pod, and the clock again went into the center pod. If a tachometer
was purchased separately in 1969 Camaros (the first time this could be done), the fuel
gauge was relocated to the small center dash pod normally reserved for the clock.
- The 427-cid engine never appeared on 1969
dealer order sheets, but some were specially ordered by dealers. These were legitimate
factory built vehicles. These 427-cid Camaros are known as COPO cars, the letters
signifying Central Office Production Order. COPO 9560 Camaros included an aluminum block
"ZL1" 427-cid engine. Sixty-nine of these Camaros were built, fifty for
Chevrolet dealer-racer Fred Gibb and nineteen for other dealers. Although Chevrolet had
toyed with the idea of a special graphics package for ZL1 Camaros (and actually built two
for its own use), the ZL1 Camaros released to the public carried no special exterior
identification. The option cost was $4,160, more than the base Camaro itself. A second
category of COPO 1969 Camaro was COPO 9561. These had iron-block 427-cid engines.
Chevrolet dealer-racer Don Yenko received 201(or 199, depending on the source) of these
Camaros and sold some of them through his dealership with special Yenko graphics. Most of
the Yenko Super Camaros were sold through Yenko's distributorship, SPAN, Inc.
- Additional iron-block 427-cid Camaros were
factory-built under COPO 9561, but the quantity isnt presently known. Additionally,
dealer and owner installations of 427-cid motors into 1969 Camaros were common.
- Four-wheel disc brakes adapted from the
Corvette became a legitimate factory option in 1969. It is a misconception that these were
factory options only with Z28 and SS models. You could purchase RPO JL8 for any Camaro,
but it cost more if it wasn't a Z/28 or SS - $623.50 instead of $500.30. The design of
these brakes was completely different from the front disc rear drum option for 1969. The
disc/drum combination used a new single piston, floating caliper design. The Corvette
style was non-floating with four pistons per wheel.
- The 1969 Camaro was the first to offer
- The Camaro was the pace car for the
Indianapolis 500 auto race in 1969. Chevrolet sold 3,675 replicas of the pace car under
Regular Production Option Z11. These were SS Rally Sport convertibles with code 911 Dover
White exteriors, orange houndstooth cloth seats, custom interiors, orange striping, white
body sills and rear panels, Rally Wheels, bright exhaust tips, and cowl induction hoods.
Other options weren't mandatory, but to match the actual pace car, the following RPO's had
to be ordered: A01, A39, A85, C06, D55, D80, G80, M40, N34, N40, U17, and U63. There were
also a limited number of Pace Car hardtops produced under RPO Z10.
- All 1969 Camaros with four-speed
transmissions came with Hurst shift linkages .
- Cowl induction hoods with rear facing cold
air inlets were installed on all 427-cid COPO 1969 Camaros, on the pace car replicas, and
could be factory-ordered for any SS or Z28. A fiberglass version of the cowl induction
hood was also sold over-the-counter for use with the dual four-barrel carburetor crossram
setup, or (with an adapter) with single four-barrel engines.
- Factory-applied stripes on 1969 Camaros with
rear spoilers did not cover the small portion of trunk exposed between the spoiler and the
taillight panel. Dealers and owners often painted the trunk lip.