1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 372

1984 was a memorable year for a lot of things, and in many ways it signaled the start of the return of performance in American muscle cars. We still reference George Orwell’s concept of “Big Brother” from his book entitled 1984, and it was also the year of the launch of the Macintosh computer. But for American performance car enthusiasts, ‘84 marked the launch of the high-tech C4 Corvette, and today, we’re taking a peek at its little brother – a 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 time capsule with 24,000 miles on the dial.

Now before we scoff at the concept of a less-than-200 horsepower 1980s Camaro being a muscle car, we’re applying the term to what was available at the time. The mid 1980s were all about smaller cars, front wheel drive, and tightening emissions and fuel economy standards, so enthusiasts were happy just to have a choice with any V8, rear-drive sporty car offerings. The 1984 Z28 made hungry performance car customers happy, to the tune of over 100,000 sold! Apparently the now-cheesy full-on 80s commercials worked!

The 84 Z featured very aerodynamic styling, as Chevrolet tried to eek out all the tricks they could to help fuel economy ratings. This particular car is wearing the popular black color scheme with red and orange stripes and silver lower accents, and rolls on iconic cast aluminum 15 inch wheels. A non-functional NACA-type scoop breaks up the expansive flat hood, and a small ducktail spoiler sits at the base of the hatchback rear glass and over the large tail lights. This one even has t-tops. These third-generation Camaros are good looking cars.

Inside, the 1980s are on full display, with forward looking elements only hindered by a lack of technology to back them up. We dug the dual-needle speedo that points to metric and MPH on opposite sides, and a 7000 RPM tach for an engine that wheezes out at 5500 RPM. Plastic is everywhere, and the design is edgy and stark at the same time. An overhead console houses two interesting gadgets… a fully analog reminder center that consisted of various-topic thumbwheels you turned to remind yourself of important items like “financial”,“celebration”, and “recreation”. Behind that hangs the removable flashlight, a good idea that didn’t seem to catch on. Probably because it got lost after the second or third usage.

But the Z28 name means performance, right? The optional L69 5.0 HO V8 cranked out a relatively underwhelming 190 HP and 240 lb. ft. of torque from 305 cubic inches, but those were pretty big numbers for the time. Standard LG4 305 was only 150 HP. It utilized an electronic feedback rochester Quadrajet carburetor, iron heads with a 9.5:1 compression ratio, but was choked out with restrictive exhaust and a catalytic converter. This one is tied to a 4-speed automatic overdrive 700R4 transmission backed with a 10-bolt rear end loaded with limited slip differential and 3.73 gears. A 5-speed Tremec T5 manual was also available.

Where the 84 Z did perform was in the turns. After all, emissions compliance had nothing to do with suspension compliance. The 3rd gen Z is a full unibody design, so no more twisty subframe holding the engine and front suspension. These cars utilized a front strut design and coil springs at all 4 corners. Front and rear sway bars helped them corner, and a torque-arm ran from the transmission crossmember to the rear axle housing for better traction. 4-wheel disc brakes were the best ever on a Camaro. The stiff body and tuned suspension earned these cars high praise as the best handling American cars by the automotive press.

So although they weren’t that fast, with ¼ mile times in the mid 16s, their precise handling and clean styling made them fun cars to drive. So much so that 1984 marks the 3rd highest sales year in Camaro history, and a number not achieved since then.

1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 372

#Camaro #Z28 #MuscleCar

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2 thoughts on “1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 – Muscle Car Of The Week Video Episode 372

  1. mike a shamaly says:

    Come on give it some more credit….these cars were not that slow. They ran LOW 15’s with the 5 speed , and could hang in there with the quicker Fox body Mustang GT. Its chassis was superb for the time . They really were cool cars back in the day.

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