Ultimately, the injection of athleticism couldn't quite restore the third-gen Camaro's fortunes or its place in history. "They won't go to ten times their original value like first-generation cars anytime soon," concedes Rhudy. When Chevy finally rediscovered the winning combination of great design and strong performance in 2010, it chose to completely ignore the IROC era (as Z28s were renamed from 1988 through 1990) and instead drew a direct link to 1967. That's too bad. If nothing else, the third-generation Camaro proved that there is life beyond retro. And for that, it deserves some respect.
5.0L OHV V-8, 145-230 hp, 235-290 lb-ft; 5.7L OHV V-8, 225-245 hp, 330-345 lb-ft
4- or 5-speed manual ,3- or 4-speed automatic
Strut-type, coil springs
Live axle, coil springs
Discs/drums or discs/discs
3400 lb (est.)
524,364 Z28s (and IROCs), including 14,196 convertibles -- out of 1,528,561 total Camaros
$10,099 (1982); $16,055 (1992)
Beyond fulfilling the basic needs of the budget enthusiast -- it's cheap, plentiful, rear-wheel drive, and (in some iterations) fast -- third-gen Camaros capture an era that now looks quite rosy. Skip over the $500 Craigslist specials and anything with fewer than eight cylinders and find a later car with no rust. For less than $10,000, you'll have an attractive, quick car that you can either preserve as a weekend cruiser or cheaply modify to embarrass some new Camaros.