It’s hard to believe that the IROC Camaros of the F-body’s third-generation are now considered classics, and qualify for collector plates and insurance policies. So, we shouldn’t be surprised that the market is rising for them as many of the potential owners have now slipped past the half-century mark, possess more disposable income, and are empty nesters… or close to it. As did older enthusiasts, many potential IROC owners are now succumbing to the nostalgia of their youth and the cars they either owned or lusted after during those times.
Third-generation Camaros were produced from 1982-’92 in prodigious quantities and myriad configurations, from base models to Rally Sports and Z28s to IROCs. Production numbers notwithstanding, finding a good one these days can be a daunting challenge as many of them were rode hard and put away wet. Low mileage, rust-free examples with performance options are commanding the most attention and, consequently, the highest prices. Look hard enough, though, and you might still find a great Camaro at a great price, but you’ll need to move fast because the market for them is on the move.
We recently decided to make our own move on an ’88 IROC convertible. What caught our attention was the five-liter TPI (Tuned Port Injection) engine (220 hp) backed by a five-speed manual transmission. The diminutive engine may not have represented the pinnacle of Camaro performance, but we felt the gearbox would allow us to extract the most performance from it. This IROC also has the rare G92 option, which included a “performance” rear gear (3.27:1 Posi) and opened the door for a high-flow exhaust, four-wheel disc brakes, and engine oil cooler, which were also present on this Camaro.
The IROC had lived its life in Texas, so it is rust-free and its ragtop was recently replaced, plus all the accessories worked like they should. The engine, however, ran rough and lacked power, but didn’t smoke, knock, or act stupid, so we attributed the shortcomings to the fact that the owner had let it sit for a couple years and the gas had gone bad during that time. We managed to drive it on the trailer and dragged it home to Tennessee
Nine men are behind bars for allegedly stealing five brand new Chevrolet Camaros from General Motors’ Lansing Grand River Assembly plant.
BRIGHTON, Mich. (FOX 2) – A wild police chase early Monday morning ended with several people arrested after suspects broke into a Lansing-based auto plant and stole multiple sports cars.
Five stolen Chevrolet Camaros were recovered and nine people were arrested, police said. They’re now face multiple charges including fleeing police and concealing a stolen vehicle.
State police put out a BOL notice around 1 a.m. Monday for agencies in and around Metro Detroit and Lansing after vehicle thefts were reported on I-96.
Michigan State Police eventually located five of the stolen vehicles, observing them traveling at a high rate of speed.
After police attempted a traffic stop, the vehicles failed to stop, prompting the chase.
According to a Twitter post from police, the stolen vehicles eventually separated into two groups, consisting of two to four cars each. Multiple agencies pursued both groups while they traveled eastbound on I-96 through Ingham, Livingston and Oakland Counties.
At one point during the chase, police utilized stop sticks to disable the vehicles.
When he first laid eyes on the Z/28-badged Camaro that had lain dormant in a garage for decades just three blocks from his house, Bill Fowler figured it was just another hot rod that just another kid had his hands on back in the Eighties. Little did he suspect that he may have stumbled upon a long lost piece of Chevrolet history that passed through the hands of one of the most legendary mechanics in the world.
At least, little did he suspect until he heard the asking price
“He wanted $25,000 for the car, but then he wanted another $5,000 for the intake manifold,” Fowler said.
The seller, small-block Chevrolet tech manual author Larry Schreib, had good reason to ask that much for the latter: The three two-barrel manifold quite possibly came off of an L-70 350-cu.in. V-8, a 360-horsepower engine that Chevrolet managers had reportedly planned for the 1967 Camaro and even sent down the pilot production line before scrapping the option entirely. Much of what we know about the L-70 comes from Philip Borris’s book, “Echoes of Norwood: General Motors Automobile Production During the Twentieth Century,” in which Borris spoke with former Norwood plant employees who recalled building L-70-powered Camaros, painted with Z/28-style rally stripes. In the end, Chevrolet offered the single four-barrel L-48 as the only 350 in the 1967 Camaro and essentially replaced the L-70 option with the 302-powered Z/28.
An imaginative presentation is essential for drawing attention to a carmaker’s offerings at auto shows, special events, or dealers.
Chevrolet’s Show and Display Department took the idea to the extreme when transforming a few early-produced 1969 Camaros into “Double- Header” cars.
Several newspaper announcements from where they were scheduled to appear around the country stated, “The variety of ways a buyer can personalize Chevrolet’s popular Camaro in 1969 is dramatized in this specially built double-engined Camaro…”
ENGINE: Replacement clear acrylic (plastic) rocker covers that Mark had vacuum formed over original parts reveal the chrome-plated valvetrain items on the 350 V-8. Cutaways show the block’s water jackets, cylinder walls, pistons, and inside the heads and manifolds. White paint with a black outline highlights the areas.
An RS/SS body; an RS/SS front-end assembly with a 350-cu.in. V-8, TH350 three-speed automatic, and a highly detailed subframe and suspension; and a standard Camaro front end with the 250-cu.in. straight-six and a Powerglide two-speed automatic were attached to three platforms.
Mechanisms and electric motors worked in concert to rotate them and synchronize the tilting upward and downward of the modified-for-show body behind each altered front clip to provide the appearance of a whole car. The two front platforms also revolved 180 degrees, to better show the extensively cut away engines and transmissions with internals that turned slowly to highlight their operation
As a car-crazy boy growing up in suburban New Jersey in the mid-to-late 1970s, there were few places I could access in order to sate my desire to read about (and look at pictures of) cars. I didn’t get out of the house much, and there wasn’t a ton of extra spending money for magazines, so my school library was my outlet. From grades 2-6, I had Car of the Year: 1895-1970 by Henry B. Lent on near-permanent loan; over a spate of 18 months my name appeared on every line on the checkout card tucked into the manilla pouch on the inside back cover.
I think I even asked for a copy of it once for Christmas; in those pre-Amazon days, finding a copy for sale was nigh-on impossible, and it never arrived.For me, in my single-digit age bracket, it was an enthralling read. Every spread gave some history on a particularly significant car of the season.
On the left-hand page was a black-and-white photo of the car in question, often provided by a manufacturer, or a local historical society. On the right, a few hundred words that explained the car’s significance and put it in some context; the text was breezy and didn’t get bogged down in minutia. It was enough of a part of my childhood that I bought a copy online for cheap just a few years ago—an ex-library copy, just like the one I remembered growing up in the ’70s.
The Z28 is worshipped by legions of fans and is even begrudgingly respected by some whose loyalties lie with its competitors. It was conceived by Chevrolet’s Product Promotion Engineering Manager Vince Piggins, to pummel the Ford Mustang in the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Trans-Am Championship series. Race-prepped versions of the 1967 Z/28 helped instigate the on-track pony car wars, and Roger Penske’s team – with driver Mark Donohue – went on to dominate the 1968 and 1969 seasons.
The first-generation (1967-1969) Z/28s were icons of their era, in both street and race trim.For 1970-1974, Z28s were built on the second-generation of the F-body platform. Following the 1975-1976 hiatus of the nameplate, the 1977 edition arrived and was indicative of a decade of change in the auto industry, federal emissions and safety requirements, social norms, and more.
Accordingly, we thought it would be interesting to compare the 1967 Z/28 to the 1977 Z28, highlight a selection of developments, and touch upon a few of the circumstances that led to them.The 1967 Z/28 was limited to a maximum engine displacement of 5.0 liters (305 cubic inches) by SCCA rules, so Chevrolet engineered a V-8 that employed a 4.00-inch-bore 327 block and a 3.00-inch-stroke 283 crankshaft to arrive at 302 cubic inches.
It was fitted with forged bottom-end components, an aggressive solid-lifter camshaft, free-breathing heads with 2.02/1.60-inch valves, a high-rise aluminum intake manifold, Holley carburetor, dual exhaust with a deep-tone muffler, and an 11:1 compression ratio.
The hot small-block was significantly underrated at 290 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque in street trim and reported to make power all the way up to 7,000 rpm.The Camaro’s RPO Z28 Special Performance Package also came with heavy-duty cooling and a 3.73:1-ratio 12-bolt rear end with a radius rod on the passenger side to reduce wheel hop. Positraction was recommended and additional gear ratios were available, but a Muncie close-ratio four-speed and power front disc brakes were required at extra cost.
“I drive it like I stole it!” admits Larry Atwood, regarding his Pro Touring 1969 Camaro. Another owner might be tempted, at least initially, to go easy on his recently completed build after considering the expenditure required to realize his LT4-powered Gen V Bowtie dream.
With all the labor and parts, and the expertise mustered by the crew at the V8 Speed & Resto Shop in Red Bud, Illinois, to not only swap the modern supercharged engine into the classic chassis, but to dial it in to behave like Chevrolet intended all along, you wouldn’t want to risk breaking something right out of the gate, right? Then there’s the Detroit Speed subframe and suspension upgrades, the big Baer brakes… the list goes on and on. Nevertheless, Larry reasons, “We used all high-end components in the build and the Camaro came together well, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be able to withstand how I drive it.
“I was not attempting to create a new genre of cars. I was attempting to harden an old Camaro enough to survive One Lap of America.”
Unless you’re already familiar with Mark Stielow’s creations, there’s nothing to hint at the significance of the the car in the photo above. On the outside, it might look like a very nice custom 1969 Chevrolet Camaro with some modern wheels and tires. It is, however, much more than that. This is the car, nicknamed Tri-Tip, credited with starting the Pro-Touring movement. And, as the headline says, it’s for sale on Hemmings Auctions with no reserve. It also will be on display in the Lingenfelter booth at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There is no sound quite like a tuned-up big-block. Sadly, when our 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS396 rolled in the shop it had more of a wheeze than a growl. This engine got a refresh just five years ago, but in that time the car’s duties included teaching hundreds of young drivers how to use a manual transmission, driving road trips, tours, and general use. Given the oil in the ‘Maro’s tailpipes, Hagerty’s Davin Reckow knew there was something wrong but wasn’t sure just how far he’d have to dig to figure things out.
1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, This automobile is built as Functional Art on a stock 1984 Camaro and is called “DreamRyder”. All the body panels fit over the Camaro body and can be removed if needed. It is a driver, and runs very well. It is very popular at shows, draws incredible attention and has won many trophies. It is really a work of art and should be in a museum. I have built a complete set of molds and tooling capable of reproducing this body. I will sell the car and molds together or separately. This Camaro was built basically the same from 1982 to 1992 and includes Pontiac. The panels made from these molds will work on any of these cars. This is a great business opportunity. The car can be enjoyed as is or used as a reference for building new cars. You could sell kits or complete cars. There are many of these car out there to be used.