Chevrolet Camaro Z28


In 1964 the bosses at Chevrolet were spitting blood when arch-rival Ford launched their best-selling Mustang.

The whole of the US auto industry sighed in admiration at the galloping pony’s runaway success but Chevrolet was determined to come up with a pony car of its own. On the 29th of Sept 1966 200 motoring journalists were bemused by an official telegram sent from General Motor’s HQ informing them about a very special new car launch. And its name was Camaro – described by GM as a small vicious animal that eats Mustangs. But hidden deep away in Chevy’s model and options lists was a very special Camaro package – the Z28.

Described by GM as ‘virtually race ready’ the Z28 had a 4.9 lite small block V8, power front discs brakes, upgraded suspension, close ratio manual gearbox and bonnet and trunk stripes. One of the rarest muscle cars of the 60s Chevy’s ’67 Z28 only sold 602 units in that model year and is now a hugely valuable US collector car icon. Chevrolet didn’t market the car at all and buyers had a hard job just to order the $3,273 Z28 which wasn’t officially listed but when they did navigate the options list they got Corvette cylinder heads a hot cam and a special baffled oil sump. Contemporary magazines tested the Z28 and managed 63 mph in first, 85mph in second and a top speed of 140. And they reported that the optimum revs to change up to the next gear was 7,500 rpm! GM even downplayed the Z28’s horsepower officially listing it at 280 bhp when the 302 cubic inch engine actually cranked out nearer 400 horses.

Sales in ‘67 were strong with 220,000 Camaros finding enthusiastic owners, helped in no small part by the fact that it was chosen as the ’67 Indy 500 Pace Car. By the following year GM realised that the Z28 had already become a track legend, marketed the car properly and sold 7,199 units. Drag and street racers loved the Z28’s performance that was shunty and peaky at under 4,000 rpm and then exploded like a sprinter as the tachometer soared round the dial. A legend the instant Z28 was born, prices and desirability have always been high. These days you’ll need around $150,000 to buy a good first-generation ’67 Z28 but as one of only 602 ever made, this is one investment that’s never going to lose you any money. And just think of the smoke from those rear tyres when you feed in 6,000 rpm and then dump that clutch…

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CAR DETAILS


Car Body: Steel 2 door couple and convertible (Z28 Couple only)
Production Date: 1967-68 (602 built)

ENGINE


Displacement: 302 cubic inch 4.9 litre V8
Maximum Power: Approx. 390 bhp

PERFORMANCE


Top Speed: 140mph
Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.9 secs
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