When new, the third-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z28 offered an incredible amount of performance bang for the buck. A pair of 5.0 and 5.7-liter V8s reliably made between 190 and 240 horsepower in various tunes. That may not sound impressive today, but it was a revelation in the 1980s and still makes a Camaro of that era a good car to drive. That's partly why it is so satisfying to see this one get the attention it deserves.
At first sight, the black and gold Chevrolet Camaro looks like a ghost. Covered in a layer of fine, white dust, it haunts one side of the garage. According to the owner of this car, it was originally purchased by her dad and only had about 28,000 miles on the odometer. About 12 years ago, it developed a rod knock, so it was parked. The original engine was replaced with a Summit Racing 355 cubic inch V8 and FiTech electronic fuel injection.
The WD Detailing crew takes the Camaro back to their shop and goes to work. Right off the bat, they notice the "basket-weave" style wheels are from a Pontiac Trans Am of the same era, which is the fraternal twin of the Camaro. While not original, the wheels look good on the car. Except for the Firebird emblems on the center caps, you wouldn't know the wheels were from a Pontiac.
A quick wash transforms the car's exterior, revealing the original black paint and gold trim. Inside, it's a different story. It's clear the car has been lived in. Not because of the empty wrappers, discarded pen, and Camaro parts catalog, but because there are signs a family of mice took up residence. It's not as bad as the Studebaker the team tackled or the TVR infested with ants, but it serves as a reminder that anytime a car is parked for a long time, it becomes a haven for critters.
Cleaned up, the Camaro looks ready for a cruise night or an early morning run to a local cars and coffee event. The owner says she plans to drive it with the t-tops off, wearing her denim jacket and aviator shades once it's back on the road.