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Hagerty Employee

When Camaro got rad: The IROC is the big dog, but the ’80s Z/28 remains affordable

There was a collective sigh of relief from the automotive world when Chevrolet’s sleek, third-generation Camaro finally started rolling out of assembly plants in Norwood, Ohio, and Van Nuys, California. Despite dreaded rumors of front-wheel drive, the all-new 1982 model remained rear-drive. The design was sharp and modern, a total departure from the model it replaced, and the lineup included a new Z/28 with V-8 power.


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I always liked the design of these cars, simple yet making a statement. My only issue is that when sitting in one and driving it feels like one is sitting in a hole.

I have the same complaint about Corvettes, and I've owned both. GM was notorious for excellent ergonomics, but they missed the boat on these two cars.

It may also be that I'm used to sitting up in the driver's seat. Which probably comes from Olds 98s and Buick Roadmasters in the old days. I really like two seat Thunderbirds but the mid 50s cars of that model had the same problem.

Intermediate Driver

I have an 83, T tops, plastic hood, 305 AT, love this car, always did. And as you discuss above it is slow, but handles like a go cart. You know you like it when You park and you can't stop from turning around and admiring it. (LS swap coming) My wife has a like new 77 Trans Am and the handling is day and night difference. Like the man said, "Its easier to make a 3rd gen fast, then make a 4th gen pretty".


"From 1988–90, Chevy dropped the Z/28 completely".  Not quite.  I had a '90 IROC/Z convertible, which was in fact a Z28.  Built in year of strike, 1 of only 1,294 IROC convertibles built that year.  Great ride and top-down cruiser.

Pit Crew

One of my older sisters had a new 1982 Z28 Pace Car Replica. I still think that is one of the Coolest color schemes on Any car. Unfortunately, the car was poorly manufactured and she traded it in on a new Datsun/Nissan 4x4 in 1984.


I have an 85 Z28 White and Red interior, with the TPI 5.0L 215hp engine.  I am the second owner, it has 36,000 original miles and interior.  The list of options is long and includes, T-tops with covers, am/fm cassette radio and original floor mats to name some.  An unfortunate illness compelled the original owner to part with this Camaro.  Reason it is so special to me is that it like the one I had in 1985.   


I'm surprised no one mentions the factory installed driveline vibration/rattles with the manual transmissions and the falling apart interiors.

New Driver

You don't need to make special mention of the poor quality interior of an 80s GM. That's coming from a proud 3rd gen owner.

Intermediate Driver

SORRY Old Road , i own an 86 Camaro from California with T-Top no rattles , no vibrations and my interior is immaculate if you take good care of your car it will last for a long we need to preserve these rare cars and enjoy them its Historical purposes think of the engineers that designed these cars pretty intelligent if you ask me i enjoy my 86 Camaro and i really enjoy riding it 350 small block LT1 Corvette Motor souped up to 600 HP VERY EASY TO DO WITH THIS MOTOR whoever designed this motor was very intelligent Frenchie
Intermediate Driver

Wow i must say I am all excited after reading about the Camaro really enjoyed it , and you are right well done my friend Frenchie