Mission Control: 1985 Starship Camaro

Among the myriad special editions of Camaros and Firebirds through the years, there’s one that rarely appears for sale: the Starship Camaro. Tapping into an era wherein neon lights and LCD screens were all the rage, this limited production Camaro incorporated a host of features not seen in other cars at the time, or since. Find this 22,000 mile Starship Camaro here on eBay where the reserve is unmet. 

Image courtesy of Chevrolet Forum

Looking like it took its inspiration from Knight Rider, the Starship interior created a novel driving experience while wrapped in the smooth-riding and luxurious surroundings of the Berlinetta package. According to Berlinetta.info, the Starship interior “….included specially designed telescoping control pods and a free standing, rotating, cassette player with equalizer stereo system.”  This package was only offered for three years and it’s the first one we’ve seen in decades.

The radio is mounted in a free-floating, rotatable / positionable “pod” that is still quite slick today. For all the talk of cars like my Subaru XT6 project having a jet-fighter cockpit feel, this Starship Camaro definitely pushes the envelop even further as it relates to mimicking an aircraft inside. To the left of the radio, you can see the adjustable control pods that held all of the vital driver functions and could be moved to be close enough that the driver didn’t have to take their hands off the steering wheel when making adjustments.

Finally, while this isn’t a Z28, the Berlinetta option was a more upscale Camaro and the Starship package ups the rarity factor big-time. With the low mileage and preserved condition, this is certainly one of the more interesting third-generation models we’ve seen in quite some time. While the Starship package doesn’t necessarily boost the price tag, it will likely be the only one of its kind at cruise night – but be prepared for pain if any of the displays fail!

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Comments

  1. ShaunD

    General Motors experimented with LCD dashes in several of its European cars in the late ’80’s and British Leyland also had a speaking dashboard in its sporty versions of the Maestro & Montego models. Questionable build quality and reliability saw both manufacturers ditch these ill-conceived ideas fairly quickly.

    5+
  2. Bill

    My ’84 Corvette had this disco dashboard display. Thank heavens the three units that failed in a row were all within the warranty period.

    5+
  3. Jeffro

    Friend in high school had one exactly like this. Had constant problems with the dash.

    4+
  4. MikeG

    A 5 year mission to diagnose faulty dashboards, to seek out new electrical connectors and new circuitboards…..to boldly go where no man has gone before!!!

    Very cool 80’s era fun!!

    26+
  5. edh

    Are they LCD or VFD displays?

    1+
  6. Vegas Vic

    Had not heard of this interesting Camaro, fun car, neat find Barn finds!

    6+
  7. John C Cargill

    Never heard of it at the time. But very 80s cool.

    5+
  8. Rustytech

    Nice find but good luck finding replacement parts for the very unreliable and rare electronics

    1+
  9. Mike_B_SVT

    My folks had an ’86 Berlinetta with this “starship” setup (I’ve never heard it called that before though). Dash went out one time under warranty, but other than that we had no problems with it. Maybe by ’86 they had the bugs mostly worked out?

    Ours was a sort of brown / gold metallic, with a brown interior. I remember the telescoping dash pods, and of course the “cobra head” stereo pod. Very cool. When you start it up the entire dash would light up like a spaceship.
    I was in charge of keeping it clean, and it had the same wheels as the car pictured above – which I hated washing, because of all those little spoke holes. What a PITA!

    Mom and dad kept it in the garage for years, even after buying a replacement for it – a ’93 Z-28 (fully loaded except for the Heritage Package). They still have the Z, but they sold the Berlinetta to my female cousin… whose husband did his best to destroy the car. Last we heard it was in a police impound lot in Spokane. Folks still regret selling it to this day :-/

    5+
  10. Keith

    I had an Oldsmobile with the wonderful digital dash. I didn’t drive it much and after about 2 weeks of sitting, the battery would die. If I jump started it, it would fry the dash. After the third replacement dash, I finally learned to hook up a charger instead of jump-starting.

    2+
    • RoselandPete

      Been there myself with my 86 Riv. Expensive lesson.

      2+
    • Doug S

      So that is why the cluster (dash) on my Z24 died when I jumped it back in 88
      JUNK NIPPONDENSO

      1+
  11. Rocco Member

    I like the wheels. It needs to be a V-8, sorry.

    0
  12. James Whitlock

    Who cares its nothing special! Barn find? Junk find! Almost as sad as someone saying they have a muscle car, it’s a 75 nova or better yet a 4 door 67 chevelle!

    1+
  13. al8apex

    This is simply a Berlinetta Camaro

    The sales brochure states Starship, but there is no such thing as a “Starship Edition”

    They were just referring to the “gee whiz” dash and radio as such

    Summary;

    Plain, base Berlinetta

    nothing special

    2+
  14. Rolf Poncho 455

    Ya Ya it’s stil a nice and good looking car! My opel katted
    GSi hade a lcd dash it’s also a GM product in south africa

    0
  15. MathieuB

    My brother had a small 91 or 92 GMC with that digital dash. He sold it to a friend who got steal the pickup 2-3 months after. We always wonder why it was stolen, our only guest was for the digital dash cluster since the pickup was like any other ones.

    0
  16. AMXSTEVE

    its cool and an important part of automobile history.

    1+
  17. Rich Tague

    Was working @ A nursing home in early Ninties when a woman i was working with had one of these Camaro Berlinetta , cool car , let me drive to local store & back . GREAT CAR !! She married in to $$$$ & rhis was one of her Toys .

    0

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