Editor’s Note: The decade of the 1960s is considered by many to be the greatest in American automotive history. There’s little mystery why. The 1960s gave birth to the “muscle car wars” and game-changing performance pony cars. Legends like the Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, HEMI-powered Mopars, and several others. How does one choose which is best? Controversially, we’re guessing. That’s why you’re taking some of the heat, too. We sync’d up with our friends on Summit Racing’s social media team to put the question out to their Facebook and Instagram audiences: What is the top car of the 1960s? The countdown to #1 concludes with…

1969 Chevy Camaro advertisement
(Image/General Motors)

Some of you cast your vote for the general “1969 Camaro” model.

Others submitted the 1969 ZL, or Z/28, or COPO/Yenko.

But any way you slice it, the 1969 Chevy Camaro was your collective #1 choice for the top car of the 1960s. And by a long shot.

Chevrolet may have unleashed the Camaro for the 1967 model year, but Ford gets some of the credit (or blame) for helping create the Bowtie-wearing monster. The first-generation Camaro was conceived and built in response to Ford’s popular Mustang introduced a few years earlier.

The first-gen. F-body Camaro (1967-69) remains one of America’s quintessential muscle cars, but the 1969 version seems to hold a special place for many. This final year of that first generation offered a sportier design than the previous two model years. New door skins, rear valance panel, and rear quarter panels gave the ’69 Camaro a wider, more aggressive look, and also included a redesigned grille with deeply inset headlights which made the car look faster.

The 1969 Camaro also included some legendary “special-edition” packages.

Although the 396 was the largest engine you could get from a factory Camaro, Pennsylvania Chevrolet dealer Don Yenko helped elevate the Camaro’ status from pony car to true muscle car by retrofitting it with a solid-lifter, 427-cubic-inch engine. You could order a few of these COPO/Yenko setups from Chevrolet under the special Central Office Production Order (COPO 9561), and a few were delivered to Yenko’s dealership where they received distinctive Yenko/SC and sYc striping.

Much like the COPO/Yenko Camaros, the 1969 ZL1 (COPO 9562) also featured a 427 V8. However, the ZL1’s all-aluminum, 427 weighed roughly 160 pounds less than the iron block in other COPOs, making it the quickest and most valuable Camaro of the time. Add in the fact that only 69 of them were built, and the 1969 ZL1 remains arguably the most desirable, sought-after (and still fast) Camaro you can find.

Base model or special edition—the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro dominated our social media conversation about the top cars of the 1960s.

green 169 chevy copo camaro 427 enigne
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Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.