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41K Miles! 1986 Chevrolet Camaro IROC Z28

When I was a teenager, a friend of a friend had a late 80’s IROC-Z. Even though it had a fairly low-powered Tuned Port Injected small block, the car seemed really fast. This 1986 Camaro IROC-Z is said to have been parked in 1993 and has not been touched since! It can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $20,750. Located in Boulder, Colorado, the car is described as “incredible.” Thanks to Adam C. for the tip on this memory maker.

Photo courtesy: Super Chevy

I.R.O.C. stands for the International Race of Champions and according to iroc-z.com, Camaros were used for the races from 1975 to 1991. The IROC racing series features cars that are purposely built to be as identical as possible. This eliminates advantages gained in the garage and is said to be a truer test of driver skill. Since the cars are identical, driver skill and strategy is the deciding factor of the races, not mechanics.

There are only a few photos in the ad. The interior looks pretty clean and standard features standard cloth upholstery. The odometer shows about 41,000 miles and even though the car is dusty, it looks legitimate. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the engine. The car has not been started since 1993, so seals, hoses and other components are bound to need replacing. Hopefully with a little bit of work and fluid changes, it will fire up. What do you think about this car? Do you have any memories of this generation Camaro? Let us know.


  1. RoughDiamond

    That is a nice find, but I think the price is more in line with a 5-speed Camaro 1LE model in good condition. Personally, if I were to travel from TN to CO to have a serious discussion with the Seller, I would want to see an IROC Z that has been washed in order to appreciate the “incredible exterior”. The pictures have already verified how it looked when it was discovered.

    Like 8
  2. Bsherm

    The words “incredible” and “automatic transmission” don’t belong in the same article when referring to the sportiest versions of Camaros, Firebirds, or Mustangs.

    Like 16
  3. Angrymike

    I almost ordered one of these in 87, but found a clean 86 Monte Carlo SS for a whole lot less. Still like the lines on these. Seems like a clean ride, but to me the price is a little high.

    Like 8
  4. Steve

    Seems pretty clean, but IMO the asking price is too high (by at least 50%) for a non running car.

    Like 5
  5. John

    Something smells Fishy with this one…

    Like 4
  6. Saylor

    I remember these getting out ran all the time by 5.0 mustang’s . Luckily I had a beater 73 Z28 with low gears and a built 355 sbc which would hold it’s own against the fox’s … still have the old Z

    Like 13
  7. Rock On

    Then the Buick Grand Nationals came out and everyone would run and hide.

    Like 6
    • Bobby

      None of them had to hide from a Grand National. Now the GNX. Thats a different story.

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        The 305 powered IROC’s did, if they came outside at all. It was no contest between an 86-87 Grand National and a TPI 305.

        Steve R

        Like 2
  8. CanuckCarGuy

    Nice cruiser at 1/2 the asking price. I always liked this generation Camaro and enjoyed watching the IROC races, in part due to these cars. Its irksome to see hand prints and swipe marks on a car this dusty… it seems uncaring, as does the open window and dusty interior.

    Like 2
  9. Gary

    Had ordered a new 1984 Z-28 H.O. back then, it was the last of the Quadrajets. Great car, pulled hard for it’s time and handled fantasic. Took 3 month’s to arrive because of limited, limited slip availability.
    Then the 5.0 liter Mustang came on the scene. Hello to 12.95@ 105.5 mph with a new 1989 coupe automatic! That was my wife’s commuter car and my weekend warrior for the strip. Fond memories of the rebirth days from Detroit.

    Like 6
  10. Skorzeny

    What lunkhead bought this new with an automatic? What a waste. Would be a fun car otherwise…

    Like 0
    • Superdessucke

      A lunkhead who wanted the only (readily available) high performance engine available that year.

      The LB9 305 TPI was much heralded and only available with automatic in 1985-86. If you wanted a 5-speed in ’86, you had to buy the weak LG4.

      Sure, there were a few L69 cars built for ’86 with the 5-speed. But it wasn’t a regular production option. Only 74 were built, 63 for racing. So unless you were one of the lucky 11, this combination was the only high performance choice that model year.

      And the LB9 also lost 25 horsepower from 1985 due to a cam change. And in 1987, the 305 TPI was offered with the 5-speed and the hot cam once again.

      The 1986 cam is called the “peanut cam” due to its low lift. It also came on the 1987 and up automatic LB9s.

      So the 1986 is considered an orphan, and the least desirable IROC among third gen enthusiasts. I think that will keep the value of this car down below the five figures.

      Like 4
    • Miguel

      The majority of these Camaros were automatic, so there were a lot of lunkheads.

      Like 2
  11. Steve A

    $20k. lmao! 😂😂😂

    Like 3
  12. AMCFAN

    Yeah these seemed pretty fast…..until someone pulled up in a Fox Mustang with a 5.0. or an Omni GLHT or Shelby turbo Then you quickly realize they are not.

    Most lunkheads had these with an automatic……because that is how they were ordered. You drive into the dealership with your girl friend and most were already on the lot. It’s a car they (women) could drive and many woman had them.

    You had to be in the know to order a manual shift car and few were made. But you had the 305 and all that weight. Mind as well just get the automatic either way not a race car out of the box although looked the part.

    GM wouldn’t want to sell you a car that would out run their flagship “the Corvette” Fords flagship has been the Mustang and have hammered the Camaro for years. Gen III’s were the worst for performance.

    Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      That’s not a hundred percent accurate. The LB9 305 TPI only came with the automatic in 1985-86. So if you wanted that most powerful engine, then you got an automatic.

      In 1987, the LB9 was offered with the 5-speed manual and automatic. The former had the high performance cam and 215 horsepower. The combo was actually pretty well-known and was part of the G92 package in later years. The latter had the so-called peanut cam and only 190 horsepower. The 350 TPI also appeared for 1987 and only came with the automatic throughout the life of the third gen.

      So essentially, the most powerful engines in the Camaro lineup from 1985 to 1992 came with automatic only. That’s why you saw so many automatics.

      Like 0
      • firemedic2714

        You’re partially right. The 305/5-speed had equal to or nearly equal to the horsepower the 350/automatic had. I don’t know the year they started this, but GM gave the manually shifted 5.0L TPI 305 more ponies than it gave it’s automatic counterpart. I would have checked the 5-speed box on the order form anyway, but you would have thought other people would have to just for this simple reason.

        Like 0
    • PRA4SNW

      And I was one of those that pulled up in a GLH-T.
      That car surprised a lot of “sporty” car drivers.

      Like 1
  13. rodney

    305 or 350? I remember there being a significant difference but it was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

    Like 0
    • Miguel

      When I worked at the Chevy dealer in the 1987 and 1988 model year, I can count on one hand how many 350 Camaros we had on the lot for the full 2 years.

      They just aren’t that common.

      Like 0
  14. Jack M.

    Chipped Grand Nationals were plenty in the eighties in Toronto. Mustang 5.0’s had to choose their prey very carefully.

    Like 3
  15. AMCFAN

    That may seem true. I can count on one hand the number of Buick GNs on one hand in my area compared to everything else.

    But then again a kid wouldn’t be driving the Buick either. If so they were done at 40K miles. I know of one of the two local GNs and was owned by a guy in his late 30’s that shall we say liked to drink.

    Needless to say a GN although runs good but doesn’t stand for any abuse. His motor was done at 37K miles

    Like 0
  16. Reid Hall

    I just would like to say most everything mentioned, about camaro’s, iroc,and or iroc-z,is correct although , don’t forget the matching factors, that used to be clearly listed, and stated, in a camaro white book, although l am not sure if book is still, available, at major a book store, and or possibly online. But what you have to remember is in 1989,you could have
    gotten a special edition car,that only 200 -300, were built and or a little less were built ,and which l believe most of these were automatic, maybe some 5 speed’s, but very few the way I remembered it to be.So you could get a 350 V8 Tuned Port Ingjection,engine, a true iroc-z, engine, as well as a hotrodders,dream engine, so this is the car to look for, and buy, if you still can, and or if you can find one, and or afford it.

    Like 0

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