Camaro IROC-Z Review

Feb 26, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

The Camaro IROC-Z first appeared in 1984, and this muscle car has since become a popular classic car with a spot on any collector’s list of dream vehicles. When it first arrived, the IROC-Z was a Camaro that acted like a Corvette and looked like one as well. After 30 years on the market, the first models of the IROC-Z officially became classic cars.


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The International Race of Champions (IROC)

Although Chevrolet didn't introduce the Camaro IROC-Z until 1984, its origins begin a full decade earlier. The International Race of Champions, known as IROC, used the Porsche Carrera RSR as a universal competition vehicle. In 1975, they changed the official vehicle to the Chevy Camaro. The race took a four-year break starting in 1980, meaning the Camaro was out of the spotlight. When it returned, the race decided that the new Camaro Z/28 should be the official competition vehicle. Instead of sticking with the older model, however, Chevrolet wanted to create a special Camaro model to celebrate the IROC competition starting up again. They created the 1985 IROC-Z/28.

The First IROC-Z

The first Camaro IROC-Z was similar to the regular Z/28, but with enhanced handling and performance. Best of all, you didn’t even need a racing license to own or drive it. When the Camaro IROC-Z was first available, it cost $659 more than the original Z/28. It would give you a lower body, 50-series tires, larger 16-inch wheels, halogen fog lights, and a unique paint and graphics package. The front had a more rounded fascia and a chin spoiler. The original IROC-Z was available in red, black, silver metallic, bright blue metallic, and yellow.


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Original Specs and Awards

The edition of the Camaro IROC-Z that is considered a classic car is the original. The ’85 IROC-Z had a 305 cubic-inch V8 engine with Tuned Port Injection, 215 horsepower, and 275 pound-feet of torque. At the time, this was among the most powerful automobiles ever built. And it still managed to get 15 or 16 mpg in the city. With those specs, it should be no surprise that the IROC-Z was considered a top pick right from the start. There were only 2,497 units made, and it earned numerous awards, including the best-handling car in America. At the end of the year, the IROC-Z made the “Ten Best List” from Car and Driver in 1985.

Later Models

Throughout the years, the IROC-Z stayed mostly the same. There were a few different engines used and some minor interior updates, along with a change to the wheel configuration and the addition of fuel injection. By the 1988 model year, the Z/28 version was discontinued leaving just the IROC-Z and the base coupe. The IROC-Z was officially discontinued in 1990 but is still extremely popular today. You can still find these models in the hands of enthusiastic drivers and collectors, including the classic original version, and the later models, which collectors still love.

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