The 1967 Chevy Camaro debuted on September 26th, 1966. The Camaro was the Bow Tie division’s answer to the wildly successful Ford Mustang. Chevrolet gave the Camaro a more streamlined appearance than the Ford, and used a partial frame to help minimize noise and improve ride quality. The rear portion of the car was a unibody design that helped save money and space.
Many of the Chevy Camaro options and option packages didn’t become available until later in the year. The Camaros with the Z/28 Special Performance Package didn’t start rolling on the line until late December 1966, with cars finally hitting showroom floors in early January 1967. The Z/28 was aimed at the Sports Car Club of America Trans Am Racing series. In order to qualify, the engine could displace no more than 305 cubic inches. Z/28 steward and COPO wizard Vince Piggins wanted to wring as much power as possible out of the Small Block. Instead of building the ultimate 283, or developing an all-new platform, Piggins used a 283 crank in a 327 block. The new engine displaced 302 cubic inches and was rated at 290 horsepower
However, Car and Driver magazine wrote, “The 290-horsepower figure quoted for the Z/28 engine seems ridiculously conservative. It feels at least as strong as the 327, 350-horsepower engine offered in the Corvette.” In Sports Car Graphic magazine, Jerry Titus said, “logical to expect a fully prepared version of the 302 to produce well in excess of 370 honest ponies.”
RPO Z28 was more than just the 302 cube Small Block. Also included in the package were dual deep-tone mufflers, quick-ratio steering, special suspension, 15-inch by 6-inch wheels clad in red stripe tires, 3.73 rear gears, and a heavy-duty radiator. Selecting the Z28 package also required the buyer to add other options such as power brakes with front discs or heavy-duty front disc brakes with metallic rears, and the four-speed close-ratio gearbox. A Positraction diff was recommended.
The second-generation Chevy Camaro introduced a myriad of changes. To mark the beginning of the Camaro’s second generation in 1970, the body had been completely redesigned. The concept of a semi-unitized body carried over, but few other components did. The body was slightly longer and wider than the previous generation, with a more sculpted look aimed at the European market. The convertible body was no longer available, but the new Camaro did feature hideaway windshield wipers, in-glass radio antennas, and side-impact beams in the doors. The second-generation Camaro would be built through the 1981 model year.
The 1979 Chevy Camaro was still available with the Z/28, but the package was more of a grand touring offering than the fire-breathing, competition oriented equipment of the first generation. The Z/28 option netted the buyer a 350 cubic-inch Small Block V8 making 175 emission-strangled horsepower, blacked trim on the grille, headlight and parking light bezels, tail lights, and rear panel, Z/28 specific hood and front fenders, front air dam, sport suspension with special shocks, front and rear sway bars, power brakes, four-speed manual transmission (an automatic trans was available), 15-inch by 7-inch wheels, raised white-letter radial tires, a string-wrapped steering wheel, decals on the front air dam, rear spoiler, wheel wells, rockers, and mirrors.
Our feature 1979 Chevy Camaro Z/28 is finished in Bright Red over a red interior, and is powered by the 350 cubic-inch Small Block V8 making 175 horsepower. Backing the mouse motor is a three-speed automatic transmission. The Camaro is equipped with power brakes, power steering, power windows, factory air conditioning, and a Delco AM/FM stereo. The Camaro presents quite well, but there is no word on if it has been restored.
This handsome Chevy Camaro Z/28 will cross the auction block at the Mecum Auctions Kissimmee, Florida event taking place January 2nd through the 14th.