If you're of a certain age, say closer to 40 than 30, cars like
this 1983 Camaro Z/28 convertible are the vehicles of your
childhood. This is the same market force driving the values in
earlier muscle cars, and the day is probably not far off when
these, too, will be highly sought collectibles. This one in
particular should attract plenty of interest, as it was a
dealer-approved convertible conversion built before the factory was
building their own, making it a very rare piece indeed.
This Z/28 is still wearing its original paint and it shows very well today. The Z/28 was the top-of-the-line Camaro in '83, and these were the days when ground effects and stripes were the height of muscle car fashion. In fact, the Z/28 had extended and redesigned ground effects, a new hood, new taillights, and a new rear bumper to accommodate the valances. The NACA-style hood ducts aren't functional but they sure look cool, while the taillights were tri-colored to showcase a more European influence. Contrasting lower body stripes on the Z/28 accentuated its long, low profile and separated the bodywork from the urethane ground effects. The convertible conversion preserves the F-body look and may even hint at what the factory ragtops might look like. The custom deck lid replaced the original hatch and tilts from the rear, although there is a trunk opening that makes it a lot less cumbersome. Overall, a very good effort that works well and looks great. Wax it up and hit the road, and watch how many appreciative glances you get along the way.
The interior is 100% original, and is remarkably well-preserved for being more than 30 years old and reaffirms that the 47,608 miles are authentic. The blue cloth upholstery is still quite nice, without any rips, tears, or other noteworthy damage and the foam underneath is firm. Z/28s usually came loaded from the factory, and this one includes things like functional A/C, cruise control, power windows and locks, and a tilt wheel. Fortunately, a console was standard equipment, unlike the good old bad old days when even the basics were extra cost, and there's a full array of interesting gauges with dual needles separating MPH and KPH. There's also a modern AM/FM/CD stereo that sounds great and under that unique rear deck, there's a nicely preserved trunk with original carpets in excellent condition. The unique top is manual, but stows easily and fits well.
There is no way anyone can complain about the engine, however. The 305 cubic inch V8 used the famous Cross-Fire fuel injection system and its strong point was torque. For old school guys, it meant the end of the carburetor era, and today it means that it remains reliable and easy to drive with no carburetor fussiness. Virtually indestructible, these engines deliver solid torque numbers that move the relatively light Camaro with ease, and rumble with that typical American V8 sound, and recent maintenance includes a rear main seal and valve guides, so it's ready to rock. Gear swaps are handled by GM's reliable 700R4 4-speed automatic driving a set of 3.08 gears out back, which make the Z/28 a comfortable high-speed cruiser. Unlike its Mustang competition, the Camaro received better brakes and a more sophisticated torque arm suspension that made it one of the best handling cars of the era. Wheels are traditional Torque Thrusts wearing 245/50/16 Kumho radials.
Clean 3rd generation Camaros are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and early convertibles like this are a cool footnote in F-body history. Get in, turn the key, and I can almost guarantee you'll feel like you're 16 years old all over again. Call today!