1967 Camaro Z/28: Enhancing Performance with Power

In this episode of Muscle Car of the Week, we delve into the fascinating world of classic American muscle cars. Our focus today is on the iconic 1967 Camaro Z/28, a vehicle that holds a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts. This vintage beauty boasts some impressive features and a rich racing heritage. Join us as we take a closer look at this remarkable machine.

The Birth of the Camaro Z/28

The Camaro Z/28 made its debut in 1967, representing a significant milestone in the evolution of the Chevrolet Camaro. It was a high-performance version specifically designed to participate in the newly established Trans Am racing series. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) introduced Trans Am racing as a platform for sedan cars with back seats to compete, creating a thrilling battleground for manufacturers to showcase their engineering expertise.

With the introduction of Trans Am racing, Chevrolet saw an opportunity to establish its dominance on the track and compete with other formidable contenders like the Mustang and Barracuda. The Camaro Z/28 emerged as the ultimate weapon for Chevrolet, boasting a range of performance enhancements that included a specially designed 302 cubic inch V8 engine, distinctive exterior features, and a finely tuned suspension system. This formidable combination propelled the Camaro Z/28 to success both on the race track and in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts around the world.

The Need for Speed

Chevrolet, eager to compete with the likes of Ford Mustang and Plymouth Barracuda, designed the Camaro Z/28 as their entry into the Trans Am racing series. The heart of this powerful machine was a specially engineered 302 cubic inch V8 engine, a result of combining a 283 cubic inch crankshaft with a 327 cubic inch block. With the addition of high-performance components like an aluminum four-barrel carburetor intake manifold, a solid lifter camshaft, and free-flowing exhaust manifolds, the Camaro Z/28 delivered an exhilarating performance.Performance Enhancements

To ensure optimal performance on the track, the Camaro Z/28 came equipped with a mandatory four-speed manual transmission, a heavy-duty clutch, and a 410 rear gear ratio with a limited-slip differential. The suspension featured mono-leaf springs at the rear, complemented by a traction bar on one side to prevent spring wrap-up. Power brakes and front disc brakes were also part of the package, making the Camaro Z/28 a well-rounded performer.

Distinctive Visual Features

The Camaro Z/28 was visually distinguished from its counterparts by the addition of bold stripes on the hood and deck lid. The hood design was notable, as it incorporated a cowl induction system. This innovative feature utilized fresh air from the base of the windshield, creating a low-pressure zone that fed air into the carburetor. The early cowl induction design found in the 1967 model set the stage for the raised cowl induction hoods that would become iconic in later years.

Trans Am Racing Success

The first batch of Camaro Z/28s was quickly snatched up by dealerships, with many being converted into race cars to compete in the Trans Am series. These lightweight and powerful machines were known for their incredible performance, often exceeding their advertised horsepower. Renowned engine builders such as Smokey Yunick and Traco pushed the limits, extracting over 400 horsepower from the 302 cubic inch engine through meticulous assembly techniques and tuning.

The 1967 Camaro Z/28 we have before us today is a genuine example of the breed, one of the 602 produced. Its original colors, Marina Blue with a black vinyl top, evoke a sense of nostalgia. While most of the car’s paint remains original, the addition of black around the Chevrolet logo on the decklid provides a unique detail. This particular Z/28 showcases several rare options, including a fold-down rear seat, deluxe interior, and retractable seatbelts.

The Exterior

The exterior design of the 1967 Camaro Z/28 is a captivating blend of muscularity and elegance. Its bold and aggressive stance commands attention, with its wide front grille and iconic split bumper exuding a sense of power. The sweeping lines flow effortlessly from the front to the rear, accentuating the car’s aerodynamic profile. The iconic pair of stripes on the hood and deck lid further enhances its visual appeal, leaving a lasting impression on all who lay eyes on this legendary muscle car.

One of the standout features of the Camaro Z/28 is its cowl induction hood. This innovative design not only adds to its striking appearance but also serves a functional purpose. The cowl induction system draws cool, fresh air from the base of the windshield, creating a low-pressure zone that feeds the engine. This ingenious airflow mechanism enhances engine performance and ensures optimal combustion, further solidifying the Camaro Z/28’s reputation as a true performance machine.

The attention to detail on the exterior of the Camaro Z/28 is remarkable. From the meticulously crafted badges to the carefully positioned emblems, every element contributes to its overall aesthetic appeal. The chrome accents on the grille and around the windows add a touch of sophistication, while the body-colored mirrors and door handles seamlessly integrate into the sleek body lines. These thoughtful design choices demonstrate Chevrolet’s commitment to both style and substance.

The Camaro Z/28 proudly rides on a set of 15 by 6-inch steel rally wheels, distinguishing itself from other Camaro models. These wheels, exclusive to the Z/28, provide a perfect balance of strength and style. Paired with the red-striped tires, they create a visually striking combination that complements the car’s overall design. These wheels not only contribute to the Z/28’s aesthetics but also enhance its performance capabilities, ensuring optimal grip and handling on the road or track.

In terms of color options, the Camaro Z/28 offers a range of choices to suit individual preferences. Whether it’s the classic Marina Blue, sleek Tuxedo Black, or vibrant Rallye Green, each color adds its own character to the already captivating exterior. These color options, coupled with the distinctive Z/28 badges and iconic racing stripes, allow owners to personalize their Camaro Z/28, further cementing its status as a symbol of individuality and performance on the road.

The Interior

Stepping inside the 1967 Camaro Z/28, you’re greeted by a driver-focused interior that exudes a sense of purpose and performance. The cockpit is designed to provide maximum control and comfort during spirited driving experiences. The bucket seats, upholstered in premium materials, offer excellent support and keep you firmly planted, allowing you to fully enjoy the exhilarating ride that the Z/28 delivers.

The instrument panel of the Camaro Z/28 features a clean and intuitive layout, placing all the essential controls within easy reach. The iconic round gauges provide vital information at a glance, including speed, engine rpm, and fuel levels. A Stewart Warner Green Line tachometer mounted on the steering column adds a touch of vintage charm and helps ensure precise shifting during high-performance driving.

Attention to detail is evident throughout the interior of the Camaro Z/28. From the tactile feel of the steering wheel to the quality of the materials used, every aspect reflects Chevrolet’s commitment to craftsmanship. Delicate touches like the retractable seatbelts and optional deluxe interior package add a touch of refinement, making the driving experience even more enjoyable.

The Camaro Z/28’s interior strikes a balance between performance-oriented features and everyday practicality. While the focus is on delivering an engaging driving experience, Chevrolet has not compromised on convenience. The inclusion of a fold-down rear seat provides additional storage space, allowing you to carry essential items or luggage for those longer journeys. Combined with ample trunk space, the Z/28 proves to be a versatile muscle car that can handle both thrilling drives and practical needs.


The 1967 Camaro Z/28 holds a significant place in the history of American muscle cars. Its unique combination of power, performance, and distinctive design elements has captivated car enthusiasts for decades. This timeless classic continues to evoke awe and admiration, representing an era of automotive excellence.

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