Even though the Chevrolet Camaro left the gate late in the pony car race, according to host Bud Lindemann 1971 was the year Camaro caught the Ford Mustang. We know that seems like high praise to heap on a car, but there weren't a lot of indicators in this vintage road test that anyone at Car and Track was overly impressed with the Camaro.
In this week's found on YouTube vintage Car and Track road test host Bud Lindemann takes a look at a very yellow 1971 Camaro. Perhaps the most interesting part of this Camaro test is when Lindemann reveals the 350 in the 1971 Camaro delivers "somewhere around 245 horsepower". It is amazing to think that Chevrolet engineers were willing to admit that there could be more than a 15 horsepower variation in two engines built on the same day. We are guessing if that is the case with any engines being manufactured today, the engineers are keeping it under their hat.
However many horsepower Car and Track's test Camaro left the factory with, it wasn't enough for Lindemann who simply stated "off the line, our tester was no neck snapper. The Camaro redeemed itself when it came to handling though. As the host put it; "Whatever steam or Camaro lacked while accelerating, it more than made up for it in the pylon course."
The host mentioned several complaints about the Camaro during the road test, from the angle of the seats to the car's straight line performance. Perhaps most interesting was Lindemann's complaint the Camaro trunk remains too small to carry anything that goes in the trunk. While the complaint is a valid one, we were left wondering what it is exactly that Bud Lindemann would not be able to fit in the trunk of the Camaro.
Despite several complaints about it the car, it appeared that Lindemann's view point overall of the Camaro was positive. He closed the test by saying "I hope we don't lose (cars like the Camaro) to a thing called progress". We think if Bud Lindemann was still around, he would at the very least be happy with the neck snapping ability of the new Camaro compared to the 1971 model.