Saturday, October 14, 2017

Why are there 1970 1/2 Camaros?

Things had been right on schedule for the all-new Camaro body stampings at Fisher Body, when during what is called “final die tryouts”.

Right before production stamping begins, the quarter-panels kept wrinkling and splitting. The body dies required too much draw for the sheetmetal to cooperate.

Fisher decided to reconfigure the draw dies, which are the two halves needed to pound out a fender or panel from flat sheet stock. This required a short delay.

Unfortunately, the resulting quarter-panels stamped from the new dies were worse than the previous attempt. So Chevrolet delayed the intro for the Camaro—again—while Fisher created entirely new dies.

Having to extend the production of the 1969 Camaro also created its own problems. From having to fill the parts pipeline with more 1969 components when suppliers were well into 1970 Camaro production was one issue.

In some cases, completely different suppliers made components post-August 1969, from those original, earlier manufacturers. Stockpiling 1969 components when facilities were already stocked with 1970 parts was another.

And, of course, all intro plans—marketing, promotion, and advertising—had to be postponed. In fact, Chevrolet advertised the 1969 Camaro alongside 1970 Corvettes, Chevelles, and Novas as part of its early 1970 muscle-car lineup.

In the first quarter of 1970, dealers were selling both 1969 and 1970 Camaros side by side. An additional 42,803, in total, 1969 Camaros were produced from August through November that would not have existed had the delayed 1970 production not happened.

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