The Chevrolet Camaro was introduced in North America by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors at the start of the 1967 model year as competition for the Ford Mustang. Although it was technically a compact car (by the standards of the time), the Camaro, like the entire class of Mustang competitors, was soon known as a pony car. It may also be classified as an intermediate touring car, a sports car, or a muscle car. The car shared the same General Motors "F-Body" platform and major components with the Pontiac Firebird, also introduced in 1967. Production of both cars ceased in 2002.
Though the car’s name was contrived with no meaning, GM researchers reportedly found the word in a French dictionary as a slang term for "friend" or "companion." Ford Motor Company researchers discovered other definitions, including "a shrimp-like creature" and an arcane term for "loose bowels." In some automotive periodicals before official release, it was code-named "Panther." Historical examples exist of Chevrolet product managers being asked by the automotive press "what is a Camaro?", with the tongue-in-cheek answer being "a small, vicious animal that eats Mustangs," a sideways reference to the competing Ford Mustang.
While the Camaro was never the flagship for Chevrolet, it was for many years one of its most popular models. If its frequent inclusion in automotive enthusiast magazines is any indication, the Chevy Camaro is one of the most popular cars for modification in automotive history.