y the end of the decade, the staging lanes at local dragstrips were clogged with Foxes. The 5.0 Mustang launched a performance subculture in the 1980s spawning magazines, specialty businesses, events, references in Vanilla Ice songs, etc. The Mustang was cheap, fast and begged to be modified. B
If you were a Chevrolet person at this time you weren’t exactly overwhelmed by the Camaro.
It was a decent enough car – it handled really well – but where was the fuel injection? Where were the manual transmissions – it seemed like every V-8 car on the lot was an automatic? The arrival of the IROC-Z in ’85 was like a beacon of hope. But then, mid-year, Chevrolet cancelled the L69 305 five-speed package and shipped every car with a 215 hp TPI 305 and… an automatic.
The announcement that the 5.7 would be available in the IROC-Z for 1987 was very exciting, but its 225 hp rating wasn’t and it, too, was paired only with an automatic. The 350 also added more than $1,000 to the price of the car and was only available in the IROC – which alone added more than $3,000 to the Z/28’s base price of almost $13,000. Meanwhile, a Mustang GT with 225 hp and a five-speed started at around $12,000. You do the math.
(Just for the record, GM had a car that generated excitement like the 5.0. It was called the Buick Grand National and it, too, was priced out of the reach of most 20-somethings.)
Still, some of us never lost the faith, despite the drubbing we took at the drag strip and in the car buff books. For us there’s Hemmings.com where you can seek out your old heroes for sale, some looking just like they did back in the day. Take for example this fully loaded 1987 IROC-Z 5.7 with 21,986 miles on the odometer. With more than $7,000 in options it stickered new for a whopping $21,000, and today, its owner is seeking $24,900. From the seller’s description:
1987 Chevrolet IROC Z28. 21986 miles. All original, not restored. Never driven in the rain. Very rare 5.7L engine option, leather interior, G80 rear Axle, Delco-Bose stereo system, T-Tops. All available options for 1987. 2nd Owner.
Find more Chevrolet Camaros for sale on Hemmings.com.