10 Things Gearheads Should Remember About The Z/28 Camaro

Arguably one of the most recognizable and overall badass muscle cars of its time – if not ever – the Chevy Camaro Z/28 still commands attention and value 45 years after its debut. Built with the idea of ​​a street-legal racer, the Z/28 came from the era of “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” and took Chevy buyers on a ride from their driveway to the drag strip.It hit the streets in 1967 , with a zero to 60 of 7 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 14.8 seconds at 96 mph. Its popularity crossed demographics from hardcore speed racers to drivers of the family cars, young and old alike and nearly a half century later, interest still remains.In 2022, the Z/28 model may be a build of the past, but it still holds a place in the hearts of many. So, whether muscle car fans own one, desire one, have a rivalry with one, or still hold nostalgic memories of one, here are 10 things we would like everyone to remember about the Z/28 Camaro.

10 It Could’ve Been The Panther Z/28

The Chevrolet Camaro was introduced to the public for model year 1967 with the Z/28 package. Throughout development, the muscle car was called the Panther and was sought to be a direct competitor of the Mustang.

According to Chevy Hardcore, the name Camaro officially took the place of Panther on June 28, 1966, prior to the release. They report that the evolution of the name was finalized by keeping the name similar to others in the Chevy lineup by having it start with the letter “C.”

9 The Z is For Zap!

The 1969 Chevy Camaro Z/28 marketing campaign touted the slogan, “We’ve got a mean streak.” The ad campaign started with Z is for “Zap!”

The content of the ad continues saying that “Zap” translates to the Z/28’s high-performance build. In actuality, the Z28 came from the number of the Regular Production Option (ROP) code—General Motors’s alphanumeric sales code for a Special Performance Package.

8th It’s A Homologation Special

The Z/28 was launched as a homologation special for the SCCA Trans-Am series. It was powered by a 302 cubic inch small block V8, specifically designed to meet the Trans-Am series requirement of engines smaller than 305 cubic inches.

It was rated at 290 horsepower, a routinely accepted underrated figure. The Z/28 package included performance upgrades as well as exterior aesthetics such as racing stripes and badging such as the “302” or “Z/28” emblems.

Related: These Are The Coolest American Homologation Specials Ever

7 The Rarest Z/28 Is a 1968 One-Off

By the standard of production numbers, the 1967 Camaro Z/28 is the rarest model year of the first gen, with only 602 made. Overall, the Z/28 is the lowest production model type.

In first gen Z/28’s there were no factory convertibles. A Chevy Central Office Production Order (COPO) brought the only convertible to the road in 1968 for a Chevy exec.

6 1969 Z/28 Package Changed Throughout Its Model Year

The 1969 Z/28 model year launched in fall of 1969. It extended through February 1970.

Heacock Classics reports a list of six different packages as the Z/28 option throughout the period. While the 302 cubic-inch V8 and the E70 x 15 white-lettered, black walls remained a constant; speedometers, brakes, and exhaust were varied. In these Z/28 packages cost started at $458.15 in September 1968 and was increased to $522.40 by November 1969.

Related: Here’s What The 1969 Camaro Z28 Costs Today

5 The Original Engine Is A True Z/28 Identifier

As we mentioned the Z/28 is a specific performance package available to buyers on their Camaro. According to Chevy-Camaro, the original Z/28 is the most reliable way to identify a true Z/28.

VINs and Trim Tags can help identify a true Z/28; but VINs in first gen Camaros don’t have any delineation for Z/28. There are specifics to each generation that can help decipher a true Z/28.

Related: Here’s What Makes The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 A Great Dragster

4 The Z/28 Got An LS In ’98

Chevy brought the LS1 to their Corvette in 1997. It made an appearance in the Camaro Z28 in 1998.

That first LS1 was a 5.7-liter, small-block V8. For 1997, the LS developed 345-horse and 350 lb-ft.

3 AZ/28 Sold for Just Under 1 Million

In 2016, a Z/28 sold for just under $990,000 at Sotheby’s. The Z/28 that attracted just under a cool million was one of racing fame.

This specific Z/28 came from the Penske team. It was driven by Mark Donohue at Daytona in 1968 for a second in class finish.

Related: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Discovered Inside Texas Barn

2 Jay Leno Was the First to Drive the 2014 Camaro Z/28 (Outside of GM)

On an episode of Jay Leno’s garage, Leno takes a look at the redesigned 2014 Chevy Camaro Z28 and becomes the first person to drive one, outside of GM. Just as the original Z/28’s priority was speed, so was this track-ready version.

Leno and a GM rep discuss changes including its lighter body, increased horsepower with its 7-liter LS7, dry sump lube system and enhanced braking. The 2014 Z/28 hit the market at a base price of $75,000, comparable to a fully-loaded Corvette. Creature comforts such as a/c and audio system were not included in that price.

1 The Z/28 Is A Pop Culture Favorite

A pop culture favorite, the Chevy Z/28 has been shown up in movies, TV series, celebrity garages and videos games. It is a mainstay road car in the Gran Turismo franchise, either initially or as an upgrade. Snoop Dogg got a ’91 and Matthew McConaughey drives a 1980.

A 1979 Camaro Z/28 shows up in Fast Times at Ridgemont High as the car wrecked by Spicoli, played by Sean Penn. AZ/28 also appears in The Junkman, Gumball Rally, Fast and Furiousand Charlie’s Angels, to name a few.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.