Barrett-Jackson 2016: 1990 Camaro IROC-Z

image

This is probably the epitome of a clean third generation Camaro. One that would make a perfect weekend cruiser or daily driver. No ridiculous body or interior modifications and a bit more than stock power. If you’re into third gens as much as I am, then I know this car will appeal to you like it did to me.

image

What I like about this car:
1. The wheels are stock to the car in design and conservative in size. This 20″+ trend I’ve been seeing for the last few years is awful.
2. Manual transmission. I’m assuming either a t56 or TKO unit by its 6 gear count. This era Camaro definitely shed it’s massive, straight-line missile persona developed by the second generation cars, so rowing your own gears is a requirement as far as I’m concerned.
3. 383 small block chevy. 10 years ago I might have groaned about this, but I’m just happy to see a TPI unit and not the now ubiquitous Gen III/IV small block.
4. Hard top. I love the open feeling of driving a T-Top car, but as far as structural integrity of a unibody car goes, hard top rules supreme.

What I dislike about this car:
1. The color. I’m sure I’m beating a dead horse with loving stick shifts and hating the color red, but it’s how I feel. I would have loved to see metallic green, bright yellow or even black or white. Is there space here for me to complain about painting the headlight buckets gloss black? At least they’re not body colored…
2. Air brushing. I’m not a fan of the displacement treatment on the hood, especially since it’s a 383, so it wouldn’t displace 5.7 liters. The IROC logo on the ground effects doesn’t do much for me either. On top of all that, the red/yellow combo either reminds me of McDonald’s or Hulk Hogan. No thanks.
3. Some of the body treatments are a little lame. The spoiler is nice and understated but the cowl-induction hood and shaved handles just bring me back to a 1990’s superchevy car. The flat hood is such a great design feature of this car because it accentuates how low the cowl is.
4. The TPI unit. This is conflicting because on one hand I applaud them for keeping the coolest part under the hood of some third generation Camaros. However, even with the nicest aftermarket parts, they’re probably sacrificing a bit of horsepower over a carb. I’d keep the TPI, but this detail shouldn’t go unnoticed.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

There’s two of these motherfuckers.

I shit you not. There’s two of these things sitting in garages asking for princely sums of money. If you forgot (because I tend to post so infrequently) you can find the article HERE where I said you’d never see another of these again. Boy, was I wrong.

You can also find a bunch of old dudes disliking it’s striking similarity to their own 80’s Magnum PI mobiles right HERE. They’re probably bent out of shape because back in the day the Ferrari regularly got worked on by even the lowliest of small block chevy mills, like the crossfire 350 in this 1984 Corvette. I KID, I KID. But seriously, guys, yes the Stiletto is uglier than a Ferrari. Continue reading

1983 Camaro Stiletto

I’ve always thought myself to be a bit of a third generation Camaro aficionado. This would be the 1982-92 run of cars that were the perfect combination of sport and style. What the first year models lacked in power, they made up for in good looks and great handling. Don’t believe me? Ask that car god you hipsters all pray to: Jeremy Clarkson.

By 1983, the Camaro came with the 190hp 305-cubic inch L69. It’s classic combination of a 4bbl carb, hot cam, a good set of heads, and a manual transmission brought the lowly, five-liter, Chevy mill out of malaise-era limbo. From then on, the Camaro just got more bad ass as each year passed.

1983 was also the year for this strange, Ferrari 308-looking, coach-bodied 3rd gen, called the Stiletto. As you can see from the craigslist ad (or click here for a screenshot) it’s obviously strange, different and well-kept. I don’t know if that translates to being rare in the sense of being valuable, but it certainly is something you’ll probably never see again. Strangely enough, I came across this simply searching for “camaro” under our local phoenix craigslist.

Although the previously mentioned 190hp L69 was the hottest engine at the time, I assume they chose to use the lesser 165hp LU5 crossfire because it looks cooler and was more “futuristic” in it’s time because of it’s dual throttle-body setup. I’m sure that eventually it will be an engine people remember fondly, but like other people approaching their thirties with a car-loving parent I was taught that “Crossfire” will always be synonymous with “Piece of Shit”.

At $25,000 they only want half as much as the 1LE that we saw the year before last at the Imperial Palace car museum. I’ll let you be the judge on whether that price is a bargain. Hopefully we cross paths with this ultra rare third gen at next year’s Barrett Jackson, which is just around the corner. Until then, enjoy the rest of these pictures from the craigslist ad.

The Worst of Barrett-Jackson 2013

If you haven’t read Trevor’s article entitled, “10 Things I Loved About Barrett-Jackson 2013” then you should check it out. It gives great perspective of the event seen from the eyes of a journalist. I figured that because of it, I’d like to cover the things I disliked about Barrett-Jackson 2013. Considering that nothing about the event itself was particularly unique from any other large event in it’s faults – and that we’re an automotive media website – I’d talk about the worst cars I saw there. They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I’m pretty sure these cars would only appeal to the aesthetic mindset of a pre-teen.

Continue reading

SEMA 2012: 1969 Yenko Camaro

When I was walking through SEMA, this 1969 Yenko Camaro (apparently owned by Reggie Jackson) was just minding it’s own business at the Classic Industries booth. I did not see it, and I blame that not on myself, but on the absolute saturation of first and fifth generation Camaros there. If you don’t believe me, just go back and take a look at our very own SEMA coverage, there was quite a bit of love for GM’s pony car. Continue reading

SLP Pontiac Trans Am Firehawk

Let’s begin with a history lesson: With all of the special packages applied to pony cars of every era, we must ask what the “Firehawk” is. Well to put it simply, when F-bodies were in full-wedge-effect, GM would send them over to SLP to get them slapped with some bolt-ons to sell them to you at a higher price. During 2 generations (or 3 platform refreshes) You could order a Pontiac SLP Firehawk.

The rarest of these being the 91-92 models, only 25 left with option code “B4U”. Next is the 1993-1997 models, though only the 1997 model is worth noting, as it comes with a 345hp-rated LT4 small block. All came with the “R6V” RPO code. Then there’s a handful of 1998 Trans Am’s and Formulas driving around with Firehawk parts on them, but they don’t count. Next is the 1999-2002 Firehawks, carrying the “WU6” RPO code.The Firehawk you see here belongs to that iteration. But if you couldn’t tell that, you probably have no business being into F-body cars. Originally rated a 327hp, likely for novelty purposes as there is absolutely very little that sets a 305hp LS1 in a Firebird Formula apart from a 327hp Ls1 in a Firehawk – or even a 345hp LS1 in a Y-body Corvette. The rating climbed higher and higher and finally peaked at 345 with the LS6-intaked 2002 Model.

Okay, there’s the specs, so what makes these Firehawks so special? Prepare to be severely disappointed. You’re looking at a sticker package, exclusive wheels and tires, exhaust tips and the only actually performance improving modification being a lightweight hood fitted with “real” ram induction. The only thing this had over it’s SLP SS Camaro brother was aesthetics. At least it had that in spades.

For the record, this particular Firehawk is interesting in that it has chrome wheels, a new option for it’s year. Other than that, it’s a plastic-hooded Formula with a nasty snarl. Love those t-tops though.