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Monday, November 28, 2022

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This 569-Mile 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z Costs As Much As A Brand New Camaro ZL1

Chevrolet’s modern Camaro might be struggling in the sales battle with the Ford Mustang and Dodge Challenger, but it seems Chevy fans are more than happy to spend big money on perfect examples of the 1980s iteration of the bowtie pony car.

A good-as-new 1987 Camaro IROC-Z with just 569 miles (916 km) on the clock is currently up for grabs on the Bring-a-Trailer auction site, and at the time of writing with four days still to go it had already attracted the kind of money that would bag you a brand new $64,395 Camaro ZL1.

They might cost similar money, but there’s definitely no similarity between the 2022 ZL1 and its great grandaddy when it comes to performance. Chevy finally brought the 350 cu-in (5.7-liter) V8 back to the Camaro for 1987, having offered nothing bigger than a 305 (5.0-liter) motor since the third-generation Camaro made its debut in 1982. But the 225 hp (228 PS) L98 350 was only available with an automatic transmission that year, and since this car’s original buyer clearly wanted to shift his own gears, it makes do with a 215 hp (218 PS) 305.

Zero to 62 mph took around 7.0 seconds, which was fairly healthy shove for the mid-1980s, but to experience similar performance in a new ZL1 (650 hp / 650 PS, 0-60 mph / 97 km/h in 4 seconds), you’d probably have to pull a handful of plug leads off the 2022 car.

Related: The GM-80 Project Almost Became The First FWD Chevy Camaro And Pontiac Firebird

It’s nostalgia, though, not absolute performance that’s fuelling this car’s $60,000+ auction bidding frenzy. The third-generation F-bodies are now at that age where people who had them – or just desperately wanted one – first time around, can afford to get another, and don’t need to settle for a tired beater.

You’ll certainly struggle to find an example with so few miles and in the same unrestored condition. The B-a-T listing says it was delivered new to Central Chevrolet in Fremont, California, in 1987, and remained in storage from 1988 until this year, explaining its timewarp status.

Chevy introduced the IROC-Z in 1985 as an option pack on the Z28 that added extra equipment and upgraded suspension. It was the most desirable Camaro of its day, it’s a car regular people can relate to, and most were thrashed and abused, three factors that help explain both its desirability today, and buyers’ willingness to spend big money to take rare survivor examples like this one home. How high do you think the bidding will go?

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