After witnessing the early success of the Ford Mustang, General Motors was keenly aware that they needed a pony car. At the end of 1964, Chevrolet was commissioned to develop such a car, which would debut for the 1967 model year. The end result was called the Chevrolet Camaro, and you all know how the story unfolds from that. the. While the design of the first generation muscle car is considered one of the best of all time, it could have been very different. Thanks to a recent Instagram post from GM Design, we are fortunate to see one of the original Chevrolet Camaro Z / 28 car sketches written by Allen Young.
Known as the “Camaro Z-28 Advanced Design Proposition,” this 1968 sketch is unlike any Camaro we’ve ever seen. The proportions of the design scream Mopar, and especially in the rear section ¾. The windshield is also angled in a way only a designer could think of, although we’re sure the visibility would have been excellent. The front dash is where things look the most interesting though, as we can see the clues used by subsequent vehicles. There’s a bit of Buick Riviera in there, as well as Ford Torinos and Dodge Chargers. Oddly though, this Chevrolet Camaro Z / 28 almost looks like it might have been a Pontiac product with some very obvious GTO 68-69 styling cues.
There’s a reason Bill Mitchell didn’t end up using this Allen Young design. Senior General Motors management insisted on certain technical constraints and hardships for the car, due to the fact that it would share platform components with the Chevy II. After working with several of GM’s chief designers in committee, Henry Haga’s sketch and clay model were finally chosen. Haga had also worked on the 1968 Corvette, the 1965 Corvair and the all-powerful Super Nova concept.
While we wouldn’t change the first-gen Chevrolet Camaro Z / 28 that got the green light, it’s interesting to see what the design process looks like. With that said, who wouldn’t love to see some of these muscle cars in alternate reality come to life? Go ahead, GM Design.