Chevrolet Camaro Generation 1 302/290 Z28 Coupe 1968

Car producer : 

Chevrolet

Model:

Camaro Generation 1 302/290 Z28 Coupe 1968

Year:

1967-1969

Type:

Coupe



The first-generation Chevrolet Camaro appeared in dealerships on September 29, 1966, for the 1967 model year on a brand-new rear-wheel drive GM F-body platform and would be available as a 2-door, 2+2 seat, coupe or convertible with a choice of six-cylinder and V8 power plants. The first-gen Camaro would last up through the 1969 model year.

The Camaro's standard drivetrain was either a 230 cu in (3.8 L) straight-6 engine rated at 140hp (104 kW) or a 327 cu in (5.4 L) (307 cu in (5.0 L) in later in 1969) V-8 engine, backed by a Saginaw three-speed manual transmission. There were 8 (in 67), 10 (in 68), and 12 (in 69) different engines available in 67-69 Camaros. And there were several transmission options. A four-speed manual was optional, replacing the base three-speed. The two-speed "Powerglide" automatic transmission was a popular option in 1967 and 1968 until the three-speed "Turbo Hydra-Matic 350" automatic became available starting in 1969. The larger Turbo 400 three-speed automatic was an option on SS396 cars.

There were a plethora of other options available all three years, including three main packages:

The RS was an appearance package that included hidden headlights, revised taillights with back-up lights under the rear bumper, RS badging, and exterior bright trim. It was available on any model.

The SS performance package consisted of a 350 or 396 cu in V8 engine and chassis upgrades for better handling and to deal with the additional power. The SS featured non-functional air inlets on the hood, special striping, and SS badging.

The Z/28 performance package was designed (with further modifications) to compete in the SCCA Trans-Am series. It included a solid-lifter 302 V8, 4-speed transmission, power disc brakes, and two wide stripes down the hood and deck lid.

The 1967 Camaro shared the sub frame / semi-unibody design with the 1968 Chevy II Nova. Almost 80 factory and 40 dealer options, including three main packages, were available.

The RS was an appearance package that included hidden headlights, revised taillights with back-up lights under the rear bumper, RS badging, and exterior rocker trim.

The SS included a 350 cu in (5.7 L) V8 engine and the L35 and L78 396 cu in (6.5 L) big-block V8's were also available. The SS featured non-functional air inlets on the hood, special striping, and SS badging on the grille, front fenders, gas cap, and horn button. It was possible to order both the SS and RS to receive a Camaro RS/SS. In 1967, a Camaro RS/SS convertible with a 396 engine paced the Indianapolis 500.

The Z/28 option code was introduced in December 1966 for the 1967 model year. It was the brainchild of Vince Piggins, who conceived offering "virtually race-ready" Camaros for sale from any Chevrolet dealer. This option package was not mentioned in any sales literature, so it was unknown to most buyers. The Z/28 option required power front disc brakes and a close-ratio Muncie 4-speed manual transmission (posi-traction was optional). It featured a 302 cu in (4.9 L) small-block V-8 engine, 3" crankshaft with 4" bore, an aluminum intake manifold, and a 4-barrel vacuum secondary Holley carburetor of 780 cfm. The engine was designed specifically to race in the Trans Am series (which required engines smaller than 305 cu in (5.0 L) and public availability of the car. Advertised power of this engine was listed at 290hp (216 kW). This is an under-rated figure. Chevrolet wanted to keep the horsepower rating at less than 1hp per cubic inch, for various reasons (e.g. insurance and racing classes). The factory rating of 290hp occurred at 5300 rpm, while actual peak for the high-revving 302 was closer to 360hp (268 kW) (with the single four barrel carb) and 400hp (298 kW) (with optional dual-four barrel carbs) at 6800-7000 rpm. The Z/28 also came with upgraded suspension, racing stripes on the hood and trunk lid, '302' front fender emblems on the 67 and early 68 cars, and 'Z/28' emblems in late 68 & 69. It was also possible to combine the Z/28 package with the RS package.

Only 602 Z/28s were sold in 1967, along with approximately 100 Indianapolis Pace Car replicas. The 1967 and 1968 Z/28s did not have the cowl induction hood, optional on the 1969 Z/28s. The 1967 Z28 received air from an open element air cleaner or from an optional cowl plenum duct attached to the side of the air cleaner that ran to the firewall and got air from the cowl vents. 15-inch rally wheels were included with Z/28s while all other 1967-9 Camaros had 14-inch wheels.

The origin of the Z/28 nameplate came from the RPO codes - RPO Z28 was the code for the Special Performance Package. RPO Z27 was for the Super Sport package.

Cars assembled in Switzerland, at GM's local facility in Biel, were all coupés with the 198 PS (146 kW; 195hp) 4,638 cc (283 cu in) small-block V8 - an engine which was not available in contemporary Camaros built in the United States. The Swiss-built Camaros were not available with the three-speed manual and had a differential lock and front disc brakes as standard. Some additional safety equipment was also standard.

The styling of the 1968 Camaro was very similar to the 1967 design. With the introduction of Astro Ventilation, a fresh-air-inlet system, the side vent windows were deleted. Side marker lights were added on the front and rear fenders which was a government requirement for all 68 vehicles. It also had a more pointed front grille and divided rear taillights. The front running lights (on non-RS models) were also changed from circular to oval. The big block SS models received chrome hood inserts that imitated velocity stacks.

The shock absorber mounting was staggered to resolve wheel hop issues and higher performance models received multi-leaf rear springs instead of single-leaf units. A 396 cu in (6.5 L) 350hp (261 kW) big block engine was added as an option for the SS, and the Z28 appeared in Camaro brochures. The 427 cu in (7.0 l) was not available as a Regular Production Option (RPO). Several dealers, such as Baldwin-Motion, Dana, and Yenko, offered the 427 as a dealer-installed replacement for the factory-supplied 396cid engine.

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