My parents owned a number of different cars when I was a kid, but the one that left an indelible mark in my young brain was my father’s white 1979 straight-back Camaro with its light-blue interior and roaring V8 engine. There’s a part of my brain where that car will forever live rent-free, and riding in that beast has colored my sense of what a sports car or pony car should be. Ever since that beauty, the Camaro has had a special place in my heart, so it stung a bit when Chevy recently announced that they’re retiring this legendary car after the 2024 model year.
When Chevy made this announcement, they also teased some sort of special edition to send the Camaro out properly, but with few details. Recently, however, the curtain lifted on this final Collector’s Edition designed to celebrate the legacy of the Camaro and everything it has meant to drivers for decades. Is this the last time you’ll ever find a model badged as a “Camaro” at a Chevy dealer? No, probably not. It’s a safe bet we’ll see a future, probably electrified, model bear this same name. But at the very least, this is the end for the sixth generation of the Camaro, and whatever the future holds could be quite different.
A Brief History of Camaro
The genesis of the Camaro comes from the Ford Mustang and how incredibly popular it was, which prompted GM and Chevy to start working on a competing model. Internally, this pony car was developed under the code name “Panther,” though that name was never used publicly. It was unveiled to the press on June 28, 1966 as the Camaro. When asked what the name meant, Chevy replied that a Camaro is a “small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs.”
The first generation for the Camaro ran from 1967 through 1969, followed by a second-generation model released for 1970 and available through the 1980 model year (my father’s beast was one of these). Chevy released a third generation for the Camaro from 1981 through 1992, followed by a fourth-generation Camaro available from 1998 to 2002. Following this, Chevy took a break with the Camaro to rethink its design a bit, and we didn’t get a fifth-generation model until 2010, which was available through 2015. The sixth-generation Camaro launched for the 2016 model year, and has been offered ever since.
That is, of course, until now, when it’s being retired after the 2024 model year. Fortunately for those of us who have tremendous affection for this pony car, Chevy has seen fit to do justice to it this time around with an impressive Collector’s Edition available for this final year.
The 2024 Chevy Camaro Collector’s Edition
When Chevy first announced that the Camaro was being retired, they gave us a little glimpse of this model, but barely more than a shadowy image of it. More recently, they’ve moved this Collector’s Edition out of the shadows, and now we know a lot more about what it offers. For starters, this special edition is offered on the LT, LT1, SS, and Z71 trims for the Camaro, giving you plenty of options. There are some differences between what you get depending on the model you choose.
Looking outside the 2024 Camaro, this Collector’s Edition brings a new Panther Black Metallic Tintcoat exterior color with Satin Black accent stripes for LT, LT1, and SS trims. It comes with Satin Black wheels or available Polished Forged Wheels, depending on your preference, along with a front splitter and a rear spoiler from the ZL1 package on coupe models. With one good look, it’s clear why that first picture had it concealed in shadow. It looks like this car was forged from animate shadows ready to hit the road like a silent jungle cat.
If you go with a ZL1 model, then you’ll find a Panther Matte Black exterior color instead of the Metallic, and it’s powered by the 650-hp engine that makes the ZL1 an absolute legend. This is actually the first time a matte paint option has been offered for a Camaro from the factory. It also comes with a front splitter and rear wing on coupe models, both from the ZL1 1LE package. Where the other models have Satin Black accents, the ZL1 features a Black Metallic stripe along with red brake calipers and black lug nuts, just to round things out. Only 350 of these ZL1 Collector’s Edition models are being made, and they have serialized steering wheel badges inside to indicate which number each one is.
You’ll find unique front fender script badging on Collector’s Editions with a panther integrated into the “R” along with a panther inside on the steering wheel. Every Collector’s Edition also comes with a welcome kit that includes two posters that commemorate the Camaro over the years, as well as this final Collector’s Edition and the end of an amazing legacy. In case the gorgeous style, remarkable performance, and exclusive nature of the ZL1 Collector’s Edition wasn’t enough for you, all 350 owners of these models will also get a bespoke Canfield Sport 45mm watch made by Shinola, inscribed with a matching serial number to go along with each Camaro.
Other 2024 Camaro Models
Of course, if you’re not interested in one of these Collector’s Edition models but you still want a 2024 Camaro, then you have plenty of other options. The Camaro is available for 2024 in both coupe and convertible styles, with LT, LT1, SS, and ZL1 trims available. The 1LE package remains an available option for those last two trim levels. A powerful 3.6L V6 engine remains standard, with a 6.2L V8 engine and a Supercharged version of the V8 both available for those in search of even more power.
If you’re not one for driving a Camaro that any ‘80s kid will incorrectly refer to as “KITT,” then you’ll be happy to know that plenty of other exterior colors are available for this final model year including two new options: Riptide Blue and Nitro Metallic Yellow, both of which are available across all trim levels. Yes, I know that KITT was a Pontiac Firebird, not a Camaro, but the comparison still stands. Orders for the final Camaro of this generation are now open, so if you’re serious about getting one—especially a Collector’s Edition—then you’ll want to act quickly.
The Future of the Camaro
While the sixth generation for the Camaro is coming to an end, Chevy has been pretty open about saying that this is not the last we’ll see of the Camaro name in the years to come. They haven’t gone into any details about what the future holds for this vicious animal that eats Mustangs, but it’s a safe bet to assume that some sort of electrification will be involved. Personally, my money is on an all-electric four-door sports car along the lines of the Dodge Charger (which is also being discontinued, but I doubt we’ve seen the last of it either) that will have more of an identity next to the Corvette than the current Camaro does. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. I’ll be particularly happy if the future of the Camaro is available with a white exterior and light-blue interior, but that’s just me.