5 Coolest Special Edition Chevrolet Camaros You Might Not Have Heard Of
Aside from a decade-long, post-millennium hiatus, the Chevrolet Camaro has been in near-continuous production since the mid-60s. As a result, General Motors has had plenty of time to come up with unique, weird, and wonderful special edition Camaros to help draw in muscle car fans seeking something a little different than what their neighbor had parked in the driveway.
Hidden among these low-production Camaros are examples that have been largely forgotten, even by fans of the brand. Some of these vehicles simply didn't survive the ensuing years between becoming a used car and bumping up gently against collectible status, while others were wild enough that only a handful were produced in the first place.
These are the coolest special edition Chevrolet Camaros that fly under the radar of modern muscle collectors
Dick Harrell Edition Widebody Camaro
Marietta, Georgia's GMMG Inc would play a major role in building a long list of special edition Chevrolet Camaros, starting with the fourth-generation cars. Most of their vehicles were produced in partnership with General Motors and Chevrolet, working through various individual dealers who wanted to deliver something special to customers focused on performance.
One of the wildest vehicles to have left the GMMG shop was the Dick Harrell Edition Widebody Camaro. Offered just after the 4th gen car's final 2002 model year, it came about when dealer Berger Chevrolet purchased 30 overstock coupes (the last Camaros to be sold in the country) with the intention of replicating the design of GM Performance Division's one-off widebody show car
After obtaining permission from the mothership, a handful of these Camaros were converted with wider body panels front and rear and then given a C5R 7.0-liter V8 engine, which was the Corvette racing program's precursor to the factory LS7. All told, it pushed out a smoking 630 horsepower. The Dick Harrell name was chosen in order to honor the drag racer who was known as Mr. Chevrolet, who perished in a crash in 1971.
1984 Olympic Edition
In 1984, if you ordered RPO code 1A3 you drove home in a very rare Olympic Edition Chevrolet Camaro. Although 3,722 versions of this coupe were built, they been almost completely forgotten by collectors today, which means few of them survived the ensuing decades in good shape as compared to other special edition Camaros.
Built to commemorate the 1984 Winter Olympics, which took place in Sarajevo in the former Yugoslavia, this Camaro featured an Olympic rings decal on the B-pillar and came exclusively in white. The cars additionally featured orange and blue stripes along with a call-out to the year and location of the athletic competition (as well as the Sarajevo Olympics logo). They were sold during the latter two months of the 1984 calendar year, and were primarily offered in base Sports Coupe trim.
How many car companies are producing Olympic cars today? It's one of the forgotten marketing fads of the automotive industry's past, but it lives on with this unique Bowtie-wearing sports ambassador.
Chevrolet Camaro SS Earnhardt Edition
Another GMMG creation makes our list of the coolest special edition Camaros in the form of the 2001 SS Earnhardt Edition. Also known as the Intimidator Camaro, the car was designed by Earnhardt Sr. to be sold at his North Carolina dealership.
These LS1-powered cars featured an aggressive hood, unique badging all around, lowering springs, 17-inch American Racing rims, a hotter cam, an LS6 intake, and better breathing through an aftermarket exhaust system. Altogether the car offered 381 horsepower. A limited-slip differential was standard, as was a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox and the full list of Camaro SS options.
100 versions of the car were slated, but Earnhardt was killed while racing that season, and as a result only 83 ever made it out the door. Of those, a mere 33 acquired the Intimidator's signature on the tachometer, which had been planned for the entire run.
Callaway C8 Camaro
When the fourth-generation Camaro arrived on the scene in 1993, it immediately attracted the attention of hardcore tuner Callaway. Famous for building 200-mph editions of the Chevrolet Corvette, the company saw the opportunity to port over some of its LT1-based engine magic into the new Camaro's sleek shape. This would take the form of a 383 cubic inch version of the motor, the SuperNatural, which was good for up to 450 horsepower.
Of course, Callaway had some suggestions in the body work department, too.
It tasked Corvette Aerobody designer and Montreal native Paul Deutschman to produce the 'CamAerobody,' which extended the nose and tail of the car while also smoothing out its sides and adding vents that could release turbulent air trapped underneath its eye-catching body work.
Any Z28 was eligible for the conversion, which was offered until 1997 through the Mystic Chevrolet dealership (which coordinated with other dealers across the country). With the CamAerobody and the SuperNatural 400 engine paired together, the vehicle was considered a full 'Callaway C8,' but it was possible to also order just the sheet metal or simply the engine (and a convertible version was also in the cards). This mean you could put the car together step-by-step, saving up for each subsequent mod in between major mechanical or cosmetic surgeries.
Team Camaro by Choo Choo Customs
One of the less-known third-gen Camaro special editions were the 'Team Camaro' packages offered by Choo Choo Customs. The company, which was better known for its conversion vans and trucks than its muscle cars, had long been involved with General Motors as a popular customer, and decided to get involved with the F-body in the mid-'80s.
The end result was a trio of packages: the SS, the SX, and the Team Camaro. For the most part Choo Choo Customs focused on styling updates to the coupe, but the SS did feature unique side pipes to go with its huge SS call-out on the sail panel, as well as pin striping and a rear spoiler.
The SX also offered side pipes but had a more dramatic appearance what with its dual hockey-stick stripes, its rock panel decals, and the Camaro SX lettering on the lower door panels. This was matched by a completely revised rear fascia and a new bumper treatment.
The Team Camaro offered a fade-out graphic on the door announcing its name, with sill extensions in place of side-exit exhaust, a cowl hood, and a full wood panel dashboard.