If you're of a certain age, say closer to 40 than 30, cars like this 1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 are the quintessential cool-guy vehicles of your childhood. This is the same market force driving the values in earlier muscle cars, and the day is probably not far off when these, too, will be highly sought collectibles. In fact, many would be argue it's already here, with popularity in 'modern classics' growing each year. With HUGE performance via a built-up 407 Stroker V8, superior handling .....
thanks to an upgraded suspension, and those iconic good looks, this is a car that can easily be enjoyed and/or shown without worries about depreciation. Oh, and those low 22,763 miles on the odometer are in fact ACTUAL.
In our opinion, this Z/28 is still wearing its original paint and it certainly shows very well today, which is quite the feat for a red car that's quickly nearing its 40th birthday (Yikes!). Sure, it's not perfect and there are signs of touch-ups here and there, but the curb appeal is still massive. The Z/28 was the top-of-the-line Camaro in '83, and these were the days when ground effects and stripes were the height of muscle car fashion. In fact, the Z/28 had extended and redesigned ground effects, a new hood, new taillights, and a new rear bumper to accommodate the valances. The NACA-style hood ducts aren't functional but they sure look cool, while the taillights were tri-colored to showcase a more European influence. Contrasting lower body gray on the Z/28 accentuated its long, low profile and separated the bodywork from the urethane ground effects. Well-preserved originals like this aren't easy to find given the way they were driven when they were new, but on this one the details are all correct and the Z/28 badges on the lower parts of the body let everyone know what time it is. Wax it up and hit the road in this coupe, and watch how many appreciative glances you get along the way.
The interior is a stock set-up, and just like the exterior, it's remarkably well-preserved for being more than 37 years old. The gray upholstery is still in great shape, without any rips, tears, or other noteworthy damage and the foam underneath is still firm. Strapping the driver and passenger in place are rather rare Simpson seatbelt harnesses, and with all the added power under the hood they'll certainly come in handy. Z/28s usually came loaded from the factory, and this one includes things like functional R134a A/C that blows cold, cruise control, power windows and locks, a tilt wheel, and an upgraded Alpine AM/FM/CD/AUX head unit that handles the tunes through upgraded speakers inside the cabin and a big subwoofer under the hatch. So be sure and get that Huey Lewis playlist fired up on your phone, or maybe Bon Jovi if you want to fully embrace the '80s Camaro stereotypes. Fortunately, a center console was standard equipment, unlike the good old bad old days when even the basics were extra cost, and there's a full array of sporty Z/28 gauges in the dash and console. The rear seat barely looks used (although I'm sure there were plenty of propositions in the '80s), and under the hatch there's a nicely preserved trunk with original carpets and that aforementioned subwoofer.
Compared to modern cars, the original drivetrains inside these 3rd generation Camaros are somewhat anemic, but with the professional upgrades under the long hood of this beauty, there's no way anyone will be complaining now. In 1996, the inefficient original motor was swapped in favor of a GM V8 crate engine that's been bored and stroked 407 cubic inches, producing more than enough horsepower to easily flick the lightweight coupe in and out of the corners. Balanced and augmented with ported Brodix aluminum heads, Wiseco pistons, Oliver forged rods, and ARP bolts that work in concert to deliver huge power to the wheels, it also has a great lope thanks to a Crane Hydraulic cam with a custom grind. The original 305 cubic inch V8 was the last hurrah of carburetion before the widespread adoption of fuel injection across the line, and the builders stayed true to that era by topping the block with a Quadrajet 4-barrel carburetor and an open-element air cleaner. Virtually indestructible, these GM crate engines deliver boastful torque numbers that move the relatively light Camaro with ease, and rumble with a killer American V8 sound thanks to a set of long-tube headers and a Borla exhaust system. Gear swaps are handled by a reliable 700R4 4-speed automatic that was rebuilt in the late '90s with the addition of a TCI flexplate, and it's driving an Auburn Pro 7.5 rear end filled with a set of 3.23 Richmond gears out back, which make the Z/28 a comfortable high-speed cruiser and off-the-line scalded dog. More upgrades are found underneath, including SSM subframe connectors up front, Hotchkis suspension components in the rear, fat sway bars front and back, and upgraded Koni shocks at the corners. Unlike its Mustang competition, the Camaro was already one of the best handling/stopping cars of its era, and with power 4-wheel disc brakes and a responsive power steering system, this car takes that advantage even further. Wheels are beautifully preserved Z/28 5-spoke alloys (borrowed from a 1994 model) wearing 245/50/16 BFGoodrich G-Force Sport blackwall radials that put a perfect endcap on this slick Camaro.
Clean 3rd generation Camaros are becoming increasingly difficult to find, which isn't hard to understand. They were often ridden hard and put up wet, and more than a few died at the hands of enthusiastic young owners. Finding one with such low miles, incredible preservation, and butt-kickin' performance upgrades is a rare sight indeed. Get in, turn the key, and we can almost guarantee you'll feel like you're 16 years old all over again. Call today!