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The Evolution of Camaros: 1970-1973

6/19/2020
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In 1970, Chevrolet came out with (in my opinion) the coolest vehicle that has ever been produced. 1970 – 1973 Camaros are some of the best looking cars and some may not realize how much they have changed over those years. From the interior to little outside details that some people may not notice until you were told. I am going to go show and describe to you some of the changes that happened.

In February 1970, Chevy released their all-new Camaro that had an extreme makeover from the 1967-1969 Camaro. It featured the famous RS split bumperette option whereas you can see below. It features a 2-piece grille and the '70-'71 grille are smaller and have more rectangles than the '72-'73. Another noticeable item on the '70-'73 RS cars is that the park lights are located in between the grille headlights on each side.

The full bumper cars were a little bit different than the split bumpers as you can see from the picture below. The grill on the full bumper cars is a one-piece grill and the park lights were moved below the bumper.

Another noticeable difference is that 1970 was the only year Chevy offered the front header panel emblem with a chrome background. The emblem then changed to the red background shown below. And, in 1973 the full bumper cars had bumper guards that actually went over the front bumper.

When it came to some of the interior changes through the four years not a whole lot changed, but it was noticeable. 1970 was the only year to offer a low back bucket seat with a headrest. 1971-1973 all had the high back bucket seats.

In 1970-72 the center console also looked like the one you see below (part number 926-15752) that featured what some call the upside-down horseshoe shifter. In the picture in on the left (part number 926-15935) the center console changed in 1973 and you can also find these center consoles in the '73-'81 Camaros.

In 1970-1972 the OER Center Console, 1970-72 Camaro also looked like the one you see on the above right that featured what some call the upside-down horseshoe shifter. The image on the above left the OER Center Console for Auto Trans, 1973-81 Camaro changed in 1973 and you can also find these center consoles in the '73-'81 Camaros.

On top of 1970 being the only year that you could get a low back bucket seat, it was also the only year that you had the option to have a 12-bolt rear end installed from the factory. The 1970-1972 Camaros also had the options for the 402c.i. big-block Chevy, but the stickers and badging were actually shown as a 396 big block Chevy.

Unfortunately, 1972 was the last year you could purchase a Camaro with a Super Sport package. With emissions regulations starting to come into play, it meant the big block Chevy were not offered in 1973.

One of the last noticeable features comes around to the very back of the car, which is the spoiler and bumper. In 1970-1971 you had the option for a one-piece rear spoiler that had a low profile look to it. However, in 1971-1973 they started to offer the 3-piece taller spoiler that actually bolted to the rear quarter panels of the car. One of the last things you can spot to distinguish these cars is on the '73 Camaros: they had Bumper Guards on the rear as they did on the front for that year.

The body design looks like it was designed for speed and is about as aerodynamic as it gets. A neat feature about these cars is that if you are not a purest, most of the parts can be interchanged with each other. That’s why I have a 1972 RS Camaro with a '70-'71 grille, a 12-bolt rear end out of a '70 Camaro, and I am searching for some '70 Camaro bucket seats. I do love all Camaros, but to me, it doesn’t get much better than 1970 - 1973.

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