- Written by webmin
Image courtesy IROC-Z.com
Apologies for returning to the bowtie brand so soon after the Cavalier Z24, but we can’t highlight that Chevrolet model in the Class of 1986 without making mention of its big brothers, the Camaro Z28 and Camaro IROC-Z. Though still derided by some in the collector car world, the third-generation Camaros have an active and vocal enthusiast base, as we recently saw when we highlighted one for a Hemmings Find of the Day.
Having learned its lesson after dropping and quickly reinstating the Z28 in the mid-1970s, Chevrolet wasn’t about to face such an uproar again so soon, so it kept the Z28 on as the Camaro’s high-performance leader through the low-performance late 1970s and early 1980s and into the third generation of GM’s F-body platform. The 1985 model year proved to be a big one for Camaro enthusiasts, with the introduction of both the IROC-Z – with its ground effects, 16-inch wheels, Delco Bilstein shocks, front and rear anti-roll bars, fog lamps, and hood louvers – and the Tuned Port Injection 5.0L V-8, good for 215hp, or about 25 more than the carbureted 5.0L H.O. V-8. For 1986, not much changed on the Z28 or IROC-Z as much of their equipment and styling cues filtered down to the Camaro Sport Coupe, though they both received 145MPH speedometers late in the model year to replace the much-despised 85MPH units. The TPI 5.0L V-8, due to a camshaft change, actually lost 25hp, but gained 10 pound-feet of torque. As in 1985, manual transmissions were available behind all carbureted engines; the TPI engine could only be paired with the four-speed automatic transmission. Both the Z28 and IROC-Z sold well in 1986: 88,132 and 49,585 respectively, combined outselling the base Camaro by a wide margin.
This week’s selection for the Class of 1986 may be a no-brainer, but we’d still like to hear your input on the 1986 Camaro Z28 and Camaro IROC-Z. Would you put one in your garage dedicated to 1986 vehicles? Or would you pass on one even if it were dropped in your lap?