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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


If anyone doubted the impact of the Z28 upon Camaro history, his or her walk through the valley of automotive ignorance ended after a single turn behind the wheel of any 1983 Camaro, whether it be the base Sport Coupe model or the upscale Berlinetta and Z28 models. Wheras the original and second generation Z28s had been conceived as “tack-on” options to the base model, the first of the third generation Camaros to be developed had been the Z28; all other Camaros were derived from this base. Starting from the lofty parameters established for the Z28 meant that all Camaros were embedded with a healthy dose of Z28 genes...
1983 Camaro Z28 Engineering Story Promo

http://www.facebook.com/testdrivejunkie
 

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The first time I drove a Camaro was this model at Pat Fitter Chevrolet in McAlester Oklahoma. I was 18. Pat, who was one of my dad's best friends, took me out. To this day I remember it as a one of the great moments in my life.
 

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It's ironic that he spent so much talking about the reduction of "compliance" on a car that became the poster child for poor structural integrity.
 

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I LOVE me some 3rd gens, BUT yeah, structural rigidity was never a strong point. And I shudder when I think of the ultra cheap plastic interiors, and the cracked dash pads (coffee table), the ripped side bolsters on the drivers side seat, the cheap speakers, fading interior materials, and falling headliners...LOL it certainly was a bowl full of cost cutting rattles and squeaks.

There was some great underlying tech there though. but it was implemented badly at first. Later with the TPI motors and better electronic engine controls, it was OK.

And with frame ties, and a strut tower brace, and 1LE sway bars they are magical!
 

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Still a timeless design after nearly 30 years.

Yes, they were flawed, especially the first few model years (Iron Duke, anyone?) but no car had made such a quantum leap from one generation to the next (exception being C3 to C4 vette) either before or since.

These cars were a hoot to drive, and even today, still offer an outstanding example of pure handling without electronic nannies.
 

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I understand the last of the line used structural adhesives in addition to welds for a stiffer structure -- or was that just the convetibles?
 

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I recall around 86 Car and Driver did a head to head to crown the best handling car they could get there hands on and the Z28 won best American car and the RX-7
wan best import and both where neck to neck with each other
 

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That crossfire injection system was one of the most trouble prone fuel injection designs ever.

Ask any '77-82 Corvette owner.
 

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I understand the last of the line used structural adhesives in addition to welds for a stiffer structure -- or was that just the convetibles?
I'm going off my memory, but I think it was across all Camaro models. I always love the fancy term for "glue" :)
 

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1982 was when the third gen was introduced not 1983.

1984 was the year that the z won car and drivers best handling car in America.

1982-83 the cars had a super stiff suspension with progressive rate rear springs. 1984 the suspension was softened and the progressive rate springs taken out. The car actually handled better.
The 84 was a significantly nicer car to own,and drive than the 82-83.
 

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That crossfire injection system was one of the most trouble prone fuel injection designs ever.

Ask any '77-82 Corvette owner.
Once you learn it's tricks it works fairly well. I have and '83 with CFI and it ran horribly when I got it. It took me a bit to get it's gremlins tracked down. Thank goodness for the internet and ThirdGen.org.

BTW, CFI was on Corvette in '82 and '84 only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
1982 was when the third gen was introduced not 1983.

1984 was the year that the z won car and drivers best handling car in America.

1982-83 the cars had a super stiff suspension with progressive rate rear springs. 1984 the suspension was softened and the progressive rate springs taken out. The car actually handled better.
The 84 was a significantly nicer car to own,and drive than the 82-83.
I understand that 82 was the initial year for this gen, but the video footage came off a 1983 Canadian Laserdisc. :)
 

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Still a timeless design after nearly 30 years.

Yes, they were flawed, especially the first few model years (Iron Duke, anyone?) but no car had made such a quantum leap from one generation to the next (exception being C3 to C4 vette) either before or since.

These cars were a hoot to drive, and even today, still offer an outstanding example of pure handling without electronic nannies.

These (and the Firebirds) were/are just great looking cars. And you're right about the handling. Live axle and all, these cars could carve up a road and really were fun to drive.
 
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