With the exception of its hiatus from 2003-09, the Camaro has been with us since 1967. So, naturally, it’s left a good-sized pop culture footprint. Here are five of our favorite big-screen Camaro appearances in no particular order:
“2 Fast 2 Furious” (1969 Yenko Camaro SC clone): Happily, the Marina Blue Yenko Camaro that infamously crashed into a yacht was a clone that no doubt started out life as a six-cylinder coupe before the producers turned it into a lookalike of a very valuable Yenko Camaro (named for the Cannonsburg, Pa., Chevy dealer Don Yenko, who built some of the most potent Chevy muscle of the 1960s).
“Transformers” (1977 Camaro): OK, to be honest, there was nothing terribly special about Camaros from the Malaise Era, when 175 hp was about the best it came stock. Multipoint fuel injection and real compression ratios would have to wait for the third-generation Camaro, but battered as it was, we have to say that this post 5 mph/pre-urethane bumper Camaro looked pretty decent on screen, battered as it was.
“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1979 Camaro Z/28): While this car’s appearance is brief (and ends badly), the post-wreck discussion between the characters is priceless. To set things up, surfer/stoner Jeff Spicoli (played to perfection by Sean Penn) has taken high school football star Charles Jefferson’s Camaro out for an unauthorized joy ride with Jefferson’s little brother. After totaling the car, this Shakespearean exchange ensues:
Jefferson's Brother: My brother's gonna kill us! He's gonna kill us! He's gonna kill you and he's gonna kill me, he's gonna kill us!
Spicoli: Hey man, just be glad I had fast reflexes!
Jefferson's Brother: My brother's gonna [crap]!
Spicoli: Make up your mind, dude, is he gonna [crap] or is he gonna kill us?
Jefferson's Brother: First he's gonna [crap], then he's gonna kill us!
Spicoli: Relax, all right? My old man is a television repair man, he's got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it.
“Halloween 5” (1967 Camaro): We have to confess: We’d forgotten that they got this many sequels out of the venerable teen-slasher franchise. In this one, the indestructible psycho Michael Myers chases some doomed teens in a ’67 Camaro convertible. At least he was a psycho with style.
“Eat My Dust!” (1968 Camaro SS): “Eat My Dust!” was the movie that would ultimately lead to Ron Howard’s successful transition to a director. The deal was, if Howard (who was famous from “American Graffiti” and soon to be from “Happy Days”) would star in this low budget piece of drivel, he could develop a movie that he would direct and star in. That second movie was the classic Grand Theft Auto. The car in “Eat My Dust!” was a thoroughly messed-with 1968 Camaro.