Everything You Need to Know About First-Gen Camaro Stripes
By Tommy Lee Byrd – Photography by the Author
When Chevrolet rolled the Camaro out to the public, it was an opportunity to deliver a car with numerous appearance packages and option groups. New car buyers could opt for Rally Sport, Super Sport, or Z/28, and sometimes combine groups to create a truly unique Camaro. Even a base-model Camaro could be optioned up to appear a little fancier, thanks to option groups like Z21, which included wheel opening moldings, driprail moldings, and special painted pinstripes along the body line. Painted stripes quickly became a trademark of the first-generation Camaro, and several designs came into play during the three-year run.
The thing with Camaros is that most people didn’t leave them as the factory intended. Many hot rodders swapped engines, improved the suspension, and added custom paint details of their choosing. Sometimes those paint modifications included removing the stripes all together. The old lacquer and enamel paints simply didn’t last as long as today’s materials, and even garage-kept cars would need to be freshened after a few years of service. Back when Camaros were just daily transportation, a cheap paintjob would be applied to bring the shine back, but the history of the car’s original look would be gone. These paintjobs also offered some creative license, as there was no rulebook as to how you could dress your Camaro during that time. Z/28 stripes on a Rally Sport? Sure. Super Sport emblems on a base model? Why not.
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Now that it’s been more than 50 years in the rearview mirror since those first-gen Camaros were sold, the details of each car can be hard to track down, unless you’re lucky enough to have a build sheet or other legitimate documentation that proves the car’s pedigree. And while stripes were once used to quickly identify a car’s option package, you can’t always trust that after so many years have passed. That’s why we wanted to compile some examples of striped first-gen Camaros and list the factory stripe options. We gathered photos from our past 20 years of car show experience and feature photo shoots to put together the best group to illustrate proper striping.
Keep in mind that official assembly manuals are available for these cars, which provide the exact measurements for each stripe. We’re not going into that level of detail here—this is merely an education on stripe styles and how they were optioned. Exact measurements are important on concours restorations—you’d be surprised how much 1/8 inch stands out on a stripe miscue. Some builders or painters freehand the stripes and get it pretty close, but it’s almost always noticeable that something isn’t quite right.
Luckily, companies like Auto Metal Direct, Year One, Classic Industries, and Summit Racing have many options to help lay out the stripes on your early Camaro. Some kits are a mixture of stencils and decals, while some are strictly stencils to give you the correct shapes and dimensions. It still requires patience and skill to pull off a proper stripe job, but the stencils certainly help speed things along. Take a look at our gallery of first-gen Camaro stripes and see what’s right for your car. We also added a few custom ideas at the end if you want to step outside the box a little.
L35, L48, or L78 (Super Sport)
Any of these three ’67 RPO groups called for a Front Accent Band, otherwise known as the nose stripe or bumblebee stripe, although the Camaro assembly manual only lists the stripe under the L48 RPO. The stripe itself was RPO D91.
D88 Multicolored Nose Stripe (canceled)
In our research, we found that Chevrolet originally proposed an alternative nose stripe that featured multiple colors in 1968. Had this gone through, it would’ve certainly been a period-perfect touch.
D90 Sport Striping
The D90 code was used in 1968 and 1969 for Sport Striping to be used on all Super Sport models. However, there are two styles of stripes, and both years could be ordered as a standalone stripe option on any Camaro aside from Z/28. For 1969, the D90 stripe was the famous “hockey stick.”
D91 Front Accent Band
One of the most popular stripes is the D91 nose stripe, sometimes called the bumblebee stripe. This stripe wraps around the nose of the car and was available for two years. In 1967, it was included in the Super Sport package, but for 1968 it could be added to any non-SS or non-Z/28 car.
D96 Accent Striping
The ’68 Camaro D96 stripe seems a bit mythical because you may never see a set of these stripes in person. It was a simple dual pinstripe that went from nose to tail along the middle body line. Nearly 20,000 cars were ordered with them, but it was not as stylish as the other stripes, so Camaro owners typically do not replicate them on modern builds. The following year, the D96 RPO remained but called for fender accent stripes to call attention to the new sculpted body lines on the ’69 body.
Z21-Style Trim Group
RPO Z21 is a ’67-only option, which includes dual pinstripes approximately 3/4 inch below the upper body line. These stripes were combinable with Super Sport package or standalone D91 Front Accent Band stripe. The Z21 package also includes wheel opening moldings and driprail moldings. Rally Sport cars (RPO Z22) had the same pinstripes as a standard item in the option group.
Z/28 Special Performance Package
The famous Z/28 package ran for all three years of the first-gen Camaro and was the only way to get hood and deck stripes. There was not a separate RPO code for the stripes, as it was part of the performance package.
When it comes to building a first-gen Camaro, it’s unusual to build it by the book, unless it is an extensively documented, highly optioned car. Custom details are not frowned upon in the Camaro community, so it’s common to see creative stripes that sometimes play off the original design. We picked out a few tasteful examples of custom stripe designs that work nicely on first-gen Camaros. Whether it’s a tweak of an original stripe design or the use of alternative colors, these custom combinations will get the creative juices flowing.
Auto Metal Direct
Summit Racing Equipment