The Driver’s Muscle Car: 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Cross Ram 4-Speed

  • November 23, 2020
Why We Like It

The range of Chevrolet Camaro really offered a lot to customers, ranging from thrifty inline 6-cylinder engines all the way up to a thundering 396 CI V-8 installed at the factory, or a mind blowing 427 CI V-8 installed by Yenko. If going fast was your thing, Camaro could help. But those who wanted to turn the wheel and actually have the car respond, not just plow forward with inertia and weight forcing it’s hand (and right foot), the Z/28 performance pack was most appreciated. Muscular enough to run from 0-60 in about 7-seconds and clear the ¼-mile around 15-seconds, it was respectably quick – not big block quick, but where the Z/28 was a little tame in neck-snapping torque, it more than made up for in handling. And let’s face it – not many muscle cars of the era could claim anything truly remarkable when it came to braking and cornering – but the Z/28 took it into consideration, making it a truly enjoyable driver’s car. This one looks absolutely exquisite, like it just rolled off the showroom floor, and judging by the provenance, it’s not far off.


A five-time Hershey AACA 1st Place Jr1, SR, PR1 and PR2 award winner, this Camaro Z/28 has some serious credentials, and it sure looks like it’s still in showroom condition. Restored in 1996, it has only been driven some 400 miles since, also subsequently refreshed. On top of that, it features a bevy of options, including the dual-quad cross-ram intake system, dual chambered exhaust, cowl induction hood, Endura bumper, shoulder and lap belts, 4.11 diff, and heavy-duty radiator among them. Of course, being a Z/28 the car rolled off the line with quick-ratio steering, power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes, multi-leaf rear springs, the M21 4-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter, Rally Wheels, and the requisite 290 HP DZ-code 302 CI V-8 engine. It’s weird the double-carb setup didn’t change the 290 HP rating from the single four-barrel 302 engine, at least not officially. Then again, most enthusiasts “allege” that the single four-barrel 302 unofficially put out closer to 350-400 HP, so we of course have to wonder what two big carbs would do on the dyno.the-drivers-muscle-car-1969-chevrolet-camaro-z-28-cross-ram75772542-770-0@2X


Painted in factory-correct Daytona Yellow with black stripes, “302” and “Z/28” badges correctly affixed and period-correct white lettering tires wrapping Rallyes, it’s not hard to love all this car evokes. The black interior presents just as exquisitely as the rest of the car, featuring bucket seats with head rests, a center console with gauges and, interestingly, no vinyl top – something slathered onto many early Camaros. But it does have just the right amount of faux interior wood to lend passengers that upscale, respectable feel, while giving the driver a fun argument for the Highway Patrol. “No, no, it’s not a racecar, don’t let the stripes and wheels and all that snarl from under the hood fool you. It’s just a commuter with a small block, which is great for fuel economy. Check out the fake burled wood! No racecar would have that!”
In the world of the muscle car though, the Z/28 was truly a remarkable offering, a breath of fresh air thanks to its handling ability. The 302 V-8 engine, while requisite in size for Trans Am series racing, was also lightweight allowing for easy turning and stopping. The steering was enhanced for quicker responses, power front disc brakes were standard, and it wore 7” wide tires for plenty of grip on the pavement. A Z/28 with the right driver on a gymkhana course was a weapon, laser sharp with enough power and gearing to bolt out of any turn like a shot. But, driven just around town, the car was also an absolute joy, thanks to its hyper athletic abilities to turn, stop, and go on a moments notice. With all it’s qualifications and specs, we love this example and have it earmarked as fair market where advertised.


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