Chevrolet Camaro Z28
The second generation Chevrolet Camaro is a pony car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors produced for the 1970 through 1981 model years. It was introduced February 26, 1970. It was longer, lower, and wider than the first generation Camaro, and is "widely considered the best all-around domestic musclecar ever produced." A convertible body-type was no longer available. GM engineers have said the second generation is much more of "A Driver's Car" than its predecessor.
Most of the engine and drivetrain components were carried over from 1969, with the exception of the 230 cu in (3.8 L) six cylinder — the base engine was now the 250 cu in (4.1 L) six, rated at 155 hp (116 kW). The top performing motor was the 396 cu in (6.5 L) L78 rated at 375 hp (280 kW). Starting in 1970, the big block V8s (nominally 396 cu in (6.5 L)) actually displaced 402 cu in (6.6 L), yet Chevrolet chose to retain the 396 badging. Two 454 cu in (7.4 L) engines (the LS6 and LS7) were listed on early specification sheets and in some sales brochures but never made it into production. Besides the base model, buyers could select the Rally Sport option with a distinctive nose and bumper, a Super Sport package, and the Z-28 Special Performance Package (priced at US$572.95) featuring a new high-performance LT-1 360 hp (268 kW) 380 lb·ft (520 N·m) of torque 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8. The LT-1, an engine built from the ground up using premium parts and components, was a much better performer overall than the previous 302 cu in (4.9 L) V8s used in 1967-69 Z-28s; greater torque and less-radical cam, coupled with the 780 cfm Holley four-barrel, permitted the Z-28 to be available with the 3-speed. Turbo Hydramatic 400 automatic transmission as an option to the four-speed manual for the first time.
The new body style featured a fastback roofline and ventless full door glass with no rear side quarter windows. Doors were wider to permit easier access to the rear seat and new pull-up handles replaced the old handles for which the lower button had to be pushed in to lock the door. The roof was a new double-shell unit for improved rollover protection and noise reduction. The base model featured a separate bumper/grille design with parking lights under the bumper while the Rally Sport option included a distinctive grille surrounded by a flexible Endura material along with round parking lights beside the headlights and bumperettes surrounding on both sides of the grille. The rear was highlighted by four round taillights similar to the Corvette. A convertible was not offered, making this the only Camaro generation not to offer one.
The 1972 Camaro suffered two major setbacks. The UAW strike at a GM assembly plant in Norwood disrupted production for 174 days, and 1,100 incomplete Camaros had to be scrapped because they could not meet 1973 federal bumper safety standards. Some at GM seriously considered dropping the Camaro and Firebird altogether, particularly while the corporation was under pressure to adapt its vast number of makes and models to difficult new regulations for emissions, safety, and fuel economy. Others pointed out the fiercely loyal followings the cars enjoyed and were convinced the models remained viable. The latter group eventually convinced those in favor of dropping the F-cars to reconsider, and Chevrolet would go on to produce 68,656 Camaros in 1972.
970 SS396s were produced in 1972, and this was the last year for the SS model. This year the badging changed from "Z/28" to "Z28". Horsepower ratings continued to drop, not only due to lower compression and tighter emissions but, beginning with the 1972 model year, a switch from gross (on dynometer) to net ratings based on an engine in an actual vehicle with all accessories installed. With that, the 350 ci LT1 dropped from 330 gross horsepower in 1971 to 255 net for 1972 and the big-block 396/402 was now rated at 240 net horsepower compared to 300 gross horses in 1971.