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Sunday, May 8, 2016

Diecast Chevrolet Camaro's in white with hugger orange stripes



In honor of the recent M2 Machines 1969 Camaro release and for this month's 100th running of the Indy 500 i've decided to bring out one of my favorite Camaro packages; ironically i am not a big white color fan when it comes to cars, so for this being my favorite is an oddity.  However, when you soak it in with orange stripes and, on some models, and orange interior it really starts to catch my attention.  Heck, even a few have done the inverse: hugger orange with white stripes!  Here with the M2 Machines 1969 Camaro is other Camaro's in my collection with the similar paint scheme.










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The Z10 package

In 1969 Chevrolet was offered to pace the Indy 500 again, and the perfect car once again was the Camaro convertible.  The Camaro just paced Indy a few years earlier when the car first debuted, but this time the Camaro was heavily revamped despite still being based on the first-generation platform.  Unlike the 1967 pace car the 1969 had more of them to pace (about 24 cars) and more to offer to the public after the 1967 model caused quite a stir that GM could not have predicted.  All were white with hugger orange stripes and hugger orange interior.  396 CID V8 SS models with 3-speed automatic transmissions, and for the street version Pace Car door graphics that can be applied to the doors if the customer preferred.  After the Pace Car the demand for the trim was high so Chevy offered the Z10 package on the coupe as well.  This one uses the RS/SS package with louvered headlight covers, no Pace Car decals, and instead of an orange interior white seats were offered instead.  Strangely enough the package was offered only to the mid-west states for a few months after the race.



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M2 did a fantastic job with this casting as the white/hugger orange stripes are correct, the two-tone interior really stands out and shows off the interior details really well, and the rally wheels with white-letter tires help it stand out.  At first I was worried that the car would get the wrong grille as it looked like it had the 1968 RS/SS grille, but upon closer inspection the louvered headlights are there; why not paint the outer covers white to make them stand out?  As usual the engine looks rather flat, but otherwise it is executed perfectly.  Compare that to the Johnny Lightning version that I got back around 1999 from the Camaro series.  It has the painted louvered headlights and detailed lighting, but adds mag wheels, red hockey stripes over the wheelwells, all-white interior that does not have the best detailing around, and the body seems rather bloated.  The engine bay at least has a realistic-looking engine despite fewer paint details than the M2 and note the lack of a rear spoiler.  Still, it was pretty decent for it's time, but oh has time advanced since then.






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Jada Toys also got a bid on the 1969 package with the lowered version that features larger rear tires on custom wheels more designed for racing, side exhaust pipes, cowl hood more pronounced than the stock version, and an upsloped rear bumper.  Jada gets the headlight design perfectly, makes the orange stripes wider, offers an ivory color over the roof to simulate the convertible soft top, and the proper orange interior.  If it wasn't for the Big Time Muscle bits this would be one decent casting.





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New-Age Camaro's with the Z10 package

To celebrate the Camaro's 30th Anniversary in 1997 Chevrolet offered the 30th Anniversary package in, what else, white with hugger orange stripes.  The difference here is that it is offered in t-top coupe, coupe, and convertible, only on Z28 and SS trim models, and interior colors are only white leather (convertible-only) or gray/black two-tone cloth seats.  I do have the brochure for the 1997 Camaro and whoa what a pamplet it is with a variety of Camaro colors, including the 30th anniversary package next to the 1969 counterpart at a gas station, and at the garage section of the gas station is a 1967 RS Camaro in red.  Neat!



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To add to that the Camaro 30th package was a pace car again, but since the Viper got Indy pace duty in 1996 the Camaro did the Brickyard 400 instead (same area, just NASCAR instead of F-1).  Newcomer Racing Champions Mint introduced the special pace car trim on their 1996 Camaro Z28 (actually more like SS due to the hood scoop).  The Camaro has a nice exterior plagued by full-covered headlights and a rear spoiler area that for some reason is painted (black on the Brickyard car, red on all other versions).  The Brickyard car adds door logo's, stripes, white wheels, and detailed 1997 taillights.  The interior is nicely done in white, while the base at least has held together so far (thank goodness!), but why does the engine use the same Ram Air 5.7 V8 that is used in the similar Pontiac Trans Am casting, who knows?   Shortly after getting that one at a museum, I found at a Target in Vero Beach back in 1997 an unlikely variation: most lavendar (white with a hint of pink in the color) 1996 Camaro Z28's sport the 1996 rear-end with just the red spoiler area, but on a select few of these they also add the 1997 tri-taillight stamp that was used on the Brickyard Camaro, just in all-red.  I have not heard of anyone else finding this variation, so this is a rather odd, and neat, one-of-a-kind find.




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Hot Wheels got their share in the business by taking their 1995 Camaro convertible and turning it into the similar 30th package.  The white is more cream, the orange stripes wide, the 5-spoke wheels white, and the interior orange.  Then they add more orange stripes to the sides, and as a first China-made run it was the first 1995 Camaro convertible casting to not have CAMARO stamped on the rear decklid.  While over at Matchbox they prepped their 1993 Camaro coupe casting for the Premiere line with rubber tires, full detailing (including the 1997 taillights), and inverse the color-scheme with hugger orange and white stripes to produce their version of the 30th anniversary.  Truth be told I remember this was based on an actual 1997 SEMA show car.  The interior is also painted to match the cloth seat trim found on the 1997 30th package as well.


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On a side note Johnny Lightning detailed a 1998 Camaro Convertible based on the July 1996 Motor Trend magazine cover car that depicted what the 1998 Camaro would look like in hugger orange with white stripes; as it turns out Motor Trend was vary close to the final design of the 1998 Camaro.  Finally, the new rebirth of the Camaro convertible as a concept car in 2007 prompted many white with hugger orange spin-offs (some of them on the concept coupe), like Hot Wheels third recolor for their 2008 First Editions model, though it lacks the orange interior of the 1969 original.  Not shown is a Greenlight version that I got from CamaroZ28.com that depicts the concept convertible to the original 1969 pace car deco.  Even today you can buy a new Camaro in white with hugger orange stripes without having to order a package to get one.

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The 50th Camaro is not the same white/hugger orange combination as in the past, but hopefully one of my favorite Camaro packages will make a comeback sometime in the forseeable future.

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