Sunday, June 27, 2021

IROC-Z Camaro: Chevrolet's 1980s Road Course Legend


Camaro IROC-Z

IROC-Z Camaro History 

Back in 1984, Chevrolet wanted to produce a Camaro that would closely mimic the Camaros that were being used to race in the IROC (International Race of Championship) Racing Series. 

The good idea was pushed forward when Chevrolet signed on to be the official sponsor of the IROC Racing Series. This move gave Chevrolet permission to use the name IROC on their Camaros, which in turn spawn the birth of the road course king, "IROC-Z Camaro".

The IROC-Z Start

Starting in 1985, the new IROC-Z became available to the public and would go on to be produced as a Camaro performance option until 1990. The turn of the decade brought up the end of the licensing agreement with the IROC Racing Series. Chevrolet had other plans for the future of the Camaro and decided not to renew the sponsorship with the race series and dropped the IROC-Z from production.

For those years that the IROC-Z was in production, they became such a staple in the Camaro lineup, Chevrolet would drop the Z-28 from production for the years of '88, '89, and '90. The IROC-Z would become your primary choice if you wanted a performance-based Camaro. 

When Chevrolet halted production for the IROC-Z because of their licensing agreement end with the IROC Racing Series, they also had to drop the IROC-Z nameplate. After a few years on hiatus, the Z28 performance package was brought back for 1991.  

The IROC-Z: A Better Camaro

What mostly stood out about the IROC-Z is its 5.7-liter (350-cu.-in.) Tune-Port Injection (TPI) engine which was bigger than its sister motor, the 5.0. 

5.7 Liter Camaro Engine

The 350 TPI came with a four-speed 700R4 automatic transmission and a special suspension package better known as the 1LE package that included: 
  • 4 wheel disk brakes
  • 3.42 positraction rear-end 
  • An aluminum driveshaft
  • Large 12" front rotors
  • Aluminum calipers
  • Engine oil cooler
  • Gas tank baffles 
  • Larger anti-roll bars
  • Specially valved Delco-Bilstein shocks
  • Larger diameter sway bars
  • Steering/frame brace known as the "wonder bar" and
  • More aggressive springs that lowed the Camaro by .05 inches.

1989 IROC-Z Camaro

The special Camaro would also get 16-inch rims, an upgrade from the smaller 15-inch rims, more aggressive side-skirts for the body kit, large IROC-Z decals on the doors, and special trim.

Although throughout the years the IROC-Z was released from the factory with a few different trim options and setups like t-tops, controvertible, and even a 5-speed transmission, the most common trim options are mentioned above. 

Important? It should be noted that although the 5.7-liter IROC-Z Camaros are the most common and sought-after Camaros of all the IROCs, if you're looking to buy an '85, you can find them with the bigger 5.7-liter engines, but they will not be original. In '85, they only came available with the smaller 5.0-liter engine.

5.0-Liter Camaro Engine

Unfortunately for the IROC-Z, it was produced in a time when power was not a priority, and the horsepower and torque numbers it boasted in the mid-to-late '80s sucked in comparison to today's sports cars. But the reason why the IROC-Z is a collector car and will stay a collector car is not because of its power outputs, but because of its connection to the IROC Racing Series and its road course capabilities. 

Shopping for an IROC-Z Camaro

If you're searching for an IROC-Z, you must be careful for there are a lot of impostors out there. A lot of the exterior IROC-Z options such as the vented hood, front spoiler, and ground effects options were available for order on regular Camaros, Z28s, and can be bought as aftermarket pieces. So check the VIN numbers and do some research via. some reputable sources before you go laying down big money.


If you already own one, I would suggest saving it and passing it on to someone in your family, because in time they will be just as valuable as a Camaro from the Muscle Car era.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

First Camaro Ever Built: #N100001 Found and Restored


First Camaro before restoration.

First Production Camaro

All restorations of iconic vehicles and their facts are very important to the history of the model's bloodline. Where a vehicle's been, who has owned it, special stories of the vehicle, and what makes a vehicle worth restoring in the first place are all things that are very important to the restoration process. 

When Camaro #100001 (the first Camaro ever built) was found, and the attempt to restore it back to its original condition was on its way, just finding out the whole 50-year history of the Camaro took two years alone. Tracking down the owners and recording all their backstories and adventures they had with the vehicle was just part of the process of restoring something so important to automotive history.  

Why The First Camaro Matters

This special 1967 Camaro started out as a 230 cu.-in. 3-speed sports coupe with a Bronze exterior color and tan interior. It was a far cry from what it ending up being before its restoration, a beat-up old-looking '80s style drag car with a roll-bar, slicks, a hood scoop. 

First Camaro Ever Built

The restoration would include all the options the Camaro had on it back in 1966 including the original engine, trans, whitewall tires, push-button radio, front antenna, and a deluxe seat-belt package. 

For a Deeper Look at the First Camaro Ever Built, Check Out the 18 min. Video Below. 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

2022 Corvette IMSA Special Edition Stingray

2022 Corvette C8.R

2022 Corvette IMSA Special Edition

The 2022 Corvettes are pretty cool as they are, but to pay tribute to the success Chevrolet and Corvette had with the C8.R in the 2021 IMSA inaugural racing season, a special edition Corvette will be available in 2022. Corvette's C8.R and the Corvette team did exceptionally well for Chevrolet last year, winning the manufacturers', drivers', and team titles in the IMSA sportscar championship series. 

2022 Corvette Stingray R8.6

IMSA Corvette Appearance Package

The 2022 Corvette Stingray ISMA GLM Championship Edition sports/supercar comes with a unique appearance package and all the small mechanical upgrades the Corvette will receive for 2022. Unforntelty, at least I was led to believe, that Corvette was not just going to settle on the C8 the way it was, but from what we know now, not many changes are going to find their way to the 2022 Corvette. Hopefully, mid-way through 2022, talks will start getting fired up about some of the major changes that have been discussed in the past e.i. eRay LT2 AWD hybrid and single and twin-turbocharged versions of the Vette.

2022 C8.R Corvette

The IMSA Corvette Stingray appearance package will include two color combinations: Accelerate Yellow with Gray corvette racing graphics and Hypersonic Gray with yellow accents. These special Corvettes will be outfitted with the larger rear wing and mirrors crafted in Carbon Flash.

2022 C8.R Rear Spoiler

They will also include black rocker guards and splash guards, yellow brake calipers, and Black Trident wheels with "Jake" logos on the center cap. On the interior, you get a C8.R Special Edition numbered plaque along with an interior design that follows your chosen exterior look. Yellow seat belts will come with Corvette's GT2 seats, or you can opt for the competition bucket seats for the all-around racing feel and vibe. 

2022 Corvette Interior


All special edition Corvettes will be sold as a 3LT model with the Z51 package, which is Corvette's highest trim. You will also get a special edition indoor car cover that matches your special edition color scheme. Expect to pay an extra $6,595 for the package along with the extra cost of the 3LT Z51 package. There will only be an official 1,000 models made, so expect for the price tag to be high and the car to be rare to find. 

C8.R Corvette

What's New for the 2022 Corvette Stingray

As mentioned above, not much will be changing. Even the horsepower and torque rating will be staying the same for the 6.2-liter LT1 (490 hp and 495 torque), which is still a good number. 

According to Chief Engineer Josh Holder, the Corvette injection system will be operating at a higher pressure which will help the 6.2-liter small-block get better emissions and better stability at idle RPMs. There have also been some other changes to the enhanced "Active Fuel Management" range. 

The Corvette will now deactivate cylinders over a broader range of RPMs and in lower gears. Although the hope would be to get better EPA ratings, there has been nothing noted yet.   

The few last changes will be aerodynamic changes that probably won't be too noticeable. So if you were wondering if the C8 was going to be another long stretch of similar-looking Corvette's year-after-year like previous generations, that's the way it's looking.