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Thread: A window into changed times...

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    A window into changed times...

    Checkout this walkaround of a 1982 Camaro Z28 Indy 500 Pace Car:



    Some highlights -

    * Fifteen inch wheels
    * 165 hp V-8
    * Three-speed automatic transmission


    This was the apogee of "high performance" in '82!

    The car also lacks -

    * Air bags
    * ABS (but it's got rear drum brakes)
    * Traction control
    * Stability control


    No wonder it only cost $14,112 - and this was pretty much the most expensive Chevy you could buy that year, next to a Corvette.

    "Fuel injection" is displayed prominently on each door pull - because fuel injection was still a relatively rare feature in '82. However, the fuel injection system used here is very primitive - even though it looked cool. What you've got is basically a pair of throttle bodies spraying fuel into a more or less conventional intake manifold not unlike the manifolds used with carbureted cars. It would be another few years before really modern fuel injection - port fuel injection, with the whole system designed for FI from the get go - became available.

    But the hood scoops do work. The little flaps snapped open under full throttle to admit air to the twin-cleaner assembly underneath. Note that even fuel injected cars still used round air filters, too.

    The Crossfire Injection system seen here was only available with the automatic transmission. If you wanted a clutch, you got the even less powerful version of the little 305 V-8, with computer-controlled Rochester Quadrajet four-barrel.

    Fast forward to now. A four-cylinder Miata is quicker than the '82 V-8 Z28 and a new base model V-6 Camaro would clean the floor with the old Z and get 10 MPG better while doing it, too.

    Still, those early '80s F-cars were a lot of fun. They appeared during my high school years and we all wanted one. I finally got to drive one - on the sly - during the summer of 1985, when I worked as a lot boy at the local Chevy store. Compared to the stuff I was used to - the too-heavy, even slower Disco machines of the late '70s - the smaller, lighter third generation Camaro felt like a rocket sled. And for the period, they were quick - only a handful of cars could do better and most of them cost a lot more.

    I would not mind reliving those days - maybe by owning one of these early '80s F-bodies. Maybe they're not the quickest things going anymore. Who cares? Heart - and style - matter as much as the raw numbers.

    And that '82 Pace Car has both in abundance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member eesquared's Avatar
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    Well, it may have been a hot car back in the 80s, but I really hate the body style of those years. I think it's just ugly. The Mustangs of those years were ugly, too. I thought they all looked similar to Pintos.

    That's why I was really glad when the 90s models showed up on the scene. They were much sleeker, less choppy looking. My '95 Camaro had one of the first vortek engines and even though it was a 6-cylinder, it would move along nicely.

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    I guess it's in the eye of the beholder! I much prefer the third-gen Camaro to the 4th generation (and also the current, which is freaking monstrous as well as laden with "safety" and other crap I don't want).

    But my favorite Camaro (and Firebird) series is the '70-81 "second generation." The Firebird, especially. It was beautifully done, inside and out. Much more elegant and slick than the same-year Camaros.



    Quote Originally Posted by eesquared View Post
    Well, it may have been a hot car back in the 80s, but I really hate the body style of those years. I think it's just ugly. The Mustangs of those years were ugly, too. I thought they all looked similar to Pintos.

    That's why I was really glad when the 90s models showed up on the scene. They were much sleeker, less choppy looking. My '95 Camaro had one of the first vortek engines and even though it was a 6-cylinder, it would move along nicely.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    But my favorite Camaro (and Firebird) series is the '70-81 "second generation." The Firebird, especially. It was beautifully done, inside and out. Much more elegant and slick than the same-year Camaros.
    Amen! I was such a dumbass for selling mine, but college poverty forced me to do it. I located it a few months ago, but the new owner has made an abomination of it. I chronicled the search and discover on a website I made: http://campbellfamily-online.org/carsearch/


    That link may be useful to someone hoping to locate an old car they owned.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Steve,

    Oh the pain... the pain!

    So the guy turned it into an SE/Bandit clone... and a bad clone at that.

    Ugh!

    $35k? The guy is on crack. The whole bag of it. A perfect '77 SE - a real SE - would not bring that much, probably. Maybe if it was an absolutely mint (not restored) close to no miles example. And a 400/4-speed car. Otherwise..... fuggetaboutit!

  6. #6
    Yeah, it was kinda like getting kicked in the balls. Or, using the old girlfriend analogy from my site...finding out she married an abusive asshole had lots of kids to a guy that's been in/out of jail the whole time.

    I still look for another one, but Red is rare. I've also been leaning toward a 350Z roadster and was looking for some feedback from you.

  7. #7
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    In '76 (my year) there was a garnet red metallic that was (I thought) very sharp. But I really like my Carousel Red (orange)!

    On the 350Z:

    It's a sports car, so very different from a muscle car like our TAs. Much smaller, shorter wheelbase - no back seats - etc.

    But the handling is vastly better and the straight-line acceleration is very good, too.

    The Nissan V-6 is an excellent powerplant; very strong, reliable and durable. Gets not-bad gas mileage, too - for what it is.

    The only downsides - and this is subjective - are such things as the (small) interior and (depending on your body type) some blind spots to the rear.

    Of course, it's terrible in snow, too - but that's true of all RWD performance cars.





















    Quote Originally Posted by Steve View Post
    Yeah, it was kinda like getting kicked in the balls. Or, using the old girlfriend analogy from my site...finding out she married an abusive asshole had lots of kids to a guy that's been in/out of jail the whole time.

    I still look for another one, but Red is rare. I've also been leaning toward a 350Z roadster and was looking for some feedback from you.

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