Chevrolet Camaro Z28
By 1969, Chevrolet’s Camaro was no longer playing catch-up to Ford’s Mustang, and the Z/28 in particular was becoming synonymous with performance, thanks to its high-winding 302 V8 and highly-developed underpinnings. In 1968 and 1969, the Camaro Z/28s campaigned by Penske Racing and piloted by Mark Donohue won the SCCA Trans-Am Championship against ferocious competition from the Bud Moore and Shelby-prepared Mustangs, solidifying the growing Z/28 legend.
The year 1969 also marked the end of the first-generation Camaro, which remains highly coveted today. A lengthy strike at GM’s Norwood, Ohio assembly plant delayed the introduction of the new-for-1970 F-bodies, resulting in an extended production run for the 1969 models, which served as the main design inspiration for today’s Camaro.
The Z/28 Camaro was created for Trans Am Racing to take advantage of the Chevrolet’s redesigned high-output, small-block V8 engine. It boasted big valves, a solid lifter camshaft, forged steel crank, 4-bolt mains and 11:1 compression. Only 602 cars made it to dealers in the first year, but the word was out. Sales jumped to 7,098 in 1968 and soared to 20,302 in 1969, when the car was re-skinned to look squarer and more like the Trans Am powerhouse it had become in the hands of Mark Donohue. In 1969, only about 10% of the 243,085 Camaros that were built were Z/28s.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in June of 2010 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, San Diego, California.
290 hp, 302 cu. in. V8 engine, Muncie four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and stabilizer bar, live rear axle with heavy-duty leaf springs and staggered shock absorbers, and front disc, rear drum hydraulic brakes. Wheelbase: 108".
Sources: RM Auctions; Mecum Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel