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How Do You IROC? 1986/7 Garage Find Camaros

1986 Camaro IROC Z28

We’ve periodically discussed how the 1980s Camaro line is potentially poised for a uptick in value, especially for rare cars like this 5-speed manual transmission-equipped Z28 here on craigslist and a 16,000 original mile convertible here on eBay. Frankly, I think this is a perfect pair of his and her’s Camaros for the Z28 enthusiast in your life, right down to the matching colors.

1986 IROC Z28 Camaro Interior

The T-Top coupe is clearly where I’d spend my money. I’ve seen these cars haul on the autocross circuit, especially with some minor suspension tweaks and a free-flowing exhaust. The 5-speed manual is a huge bonus and seemingly hard to find. It has 138,000 miles but looks well-kept, and those American Racing wheels are a nice upgrade – especially if they came from Chevrolet, as the seller claims. For only $5,995, I don’t see how you can go wrong on this one.


The convertible is also a stunning survivor, and with less than 20,000 original miles and an automatic transmission, I’m going to be cautiously optimistic that it’s had an easy life. Supposedly, the original owner bought it new in 1987 and kept it under cover ever since, only driving it occasionally. When he passed away in 2003, the Camaro remained stationary in the garage. It has the Posi-traction rear end, G92 performance axle package, 4-wheel disc brakes, heavy duty oil cooler and any other option you could throw at it.


What’s really ironic is that the 5-speed coupe was owned by a woman and the automatic convertible was owned by a man! Sorry – automotive gender stereotypes are a hard habit to break. Either way, these are two investment-grade Camaros, and bidders seem to agree as the soft top is currently bid to $12,000 with four days left on the auction. I think the time has come for these once-unloved muscle cars, and the smart money is on the higher-mileage coupe with the row-it-yourself gearbox. Which would you choose?


  1. Avatar photo MH

    I like the 5 speed but I would rather have the drop top. Not many of them around.

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  2. Avatar photo Charles


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  3. Avatar photo randy

    I was wondering when you would showcase these. They are a little too new. I loved them, until I watched some IROC races. The . most . boring . races . ever. I think that is about the time I quit watching races on TV.
    These will retain their value as far as I am concerned. I’d scoop one up if the circumstances were correct. I’ll be watching these for future reference.
    Yuk, I forgot about the 305 engines. Nevermind.

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  4. Avatar photo DENIS

    These both look like nice specimens….

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  5. Avatar photo AMCFAN

    I always liked the looks of these however most of the IROC’s I have seen were owned by women. The men in their life always had a Mustang GT. Have to hand it to Ford. They gave buyers what they wanted and didn’t break it off in them. You didn’t have to know someone to check off some secret order code to get a manual transmission. GM handed those out mostly with a six cyl.plain jane Camaro. Few were sold with a 350 with the bulk being the laughable underpowered 305. They were very expensive when new. Think about it. The Camaro has always been doomed from the start. GM was and is not going to sell you a vehicle that out performs the flagship Corvette for alot less. Funny thing is today 3 gen Firebirds and Camaros are in most cases worth more then the same year Corvette. Which isn’t saying alot.

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  6. Avatar photo jim s

    i would go with the manual. seems like the seller has done the work needed to get the car ready to be a driver. i would like to have a photo of the motor. i too think these are very good on the autocross course. in fact, i think, if you check the SCCA record book for Solo 1 and 2 you will find camaros, from this time frame, being driven by both males and females, winning their class. great find

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  7. Avatar photo Rando

    My ex had an 89 RS with the 305 and 5 spd. Underpowered? maybe. But it was impossible to get it to hook up if you really got on it. Talk about “sit & Spin”…Fun car. Got rid of it when she was too pregnant to get in and out of it. Shoulda kept the car and got rid of her….

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    • Avatar photo randy

      Sounds like my story as well, got rid of 2 nice cars and kept the wife, now they are all gone. Pay attention young guys!

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  8. Avatar photo Jason

    I still have an ’89 IROC-Z that I bought in ’98. It’s a t-top 350 auto with 78,000 miles. Was my daily driver for a few years but now is a pretty day cruiser. I get tons of compliments on the car and agree that they’re starting to appreciate in value.

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  9. Avatar photo JW454

    Here is the one I bought new in 1988. It was a RS that I added the IROC wheels to. I owned it ten years and I wish I had never sold it. It was a great car.

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  10. Avatar photo Jeff

    Thats not what I wanna hear. I’m on my first 3rd gen. She’s a bit rough and rather than putting to much into fixing it up, I’d rather upgrade to a better condition one in a year or two. There seems to be no shortage of rat bagged ones, and what some 16 year old kid on McDonalds wages has modified in his own vision of cool. It’s the unmolested good condition I worry about.

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  11. Avatar photo Charles

    Wives who demand that husbands sell our toys never stay forever anyway, because those are the types of people who are never happy. I learned that with my first wife. Good ridence! Wife #2 does not make those demands. She’s a keeper.

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  12. Avatar photo Charles

    These cars have lots of potential. We own two low mileage original 3rd Gen Trans Am’s. One is an 82 WS7 t-top car with 25k miles on it. The other is a 1986 WS6 t-top car with 31k miles on it. Both cars are in stock form. I have seven first place wins from various shows over the years for these two cars. The 82 is a slug with it’s 145 hp LG4 305, turbo 200 trans, and 3:23 10 bolt diff. The 86 will produce decent 1/4 runs of 15.2 seconds. It has the 305 TPI 210 HP 305 with a 700R4, and 3:27 9 bolt diff. In 87 all small block v8’s in f-body cars had roller camshafts and the 350 L98 engine was made available. The L98 equipped cars are faster, and will hold thier own with many classic muscle cars. Lots of owners upgrade to LS based engines with almost unlimited potential for HP upgrades. The cars lend themselves well to such mods, and are the perfect platform for an 80’s Era muscle car that will blow the doors off of almost anything on the road today. The 3rd Gen cars that are seeing price increases are the unmolested original cars, because most of these cars have been modified.

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  13. Avatar photo Charles

    The all original 82 slug

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  14. Avatar photo jim s

    the manual transmission car is now on ebay with a $6000 BIN.

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  15. Avatar photo piper62j

    Really nice… What a sweet deal… All the best to the seller.

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  16. Avatar photo OhU8one2

    A friend of mine had the 305 in a 77’Camaro. He too didn’t the motor,so he replaced the cam with a L-82 Corvette cam,Hooker headers,advanced curve kit in distributer. I must say the car was fast as hell. Nothing cruising Central Ave in Phoenix at the time could beat it. Truly amazing.

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  17. Avatar photo Chris

    I love both, and since they’re about turn 30, I could keep them LHD, here in Australia

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  18. Avatar photo Dan

    Loved this body style when they came out in 1982…knew I had to have one, the 305’s I drove were slugs, but the only way you could get a 5-speed. I ended up in 1990 buying an IROC, with the 350 motor and auto and still have it. It just turned 50,000 miles, which I hated but oh well, and no ugly T-tops….

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  19. Avatar photo Sunday Driver

    Bought this one new in 87.
    First year for a production convertible since 69 from ASC corp.
    Still have it!

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  20. Avatar photo CattooButt Member

    I like this body style on the Camaro. Personally the new body style looks like ass. A modern version of the IROC Camaro would have better appeal visually I think.

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  21. Avatar photo Tundra/BMW Guy

    OK, I have a question on the 16k convertible. With it having only 16k on the clock, why is the brake pedal worn through all the way to bare metal? The gas pedal looks well worn also but that one I am willing to concede that it might be a pic issue. Not so on the brake pedal.

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  22. Avatar photo Walter Joy

    A family friend offered their black 3rd gen Z28 automatic to me a few years ago (a year after they offered me their Chevette Scooter- they lived on a farm) that her husband had in high school. Sold it this year for a new truck. My neighbors have a black IROC-Z 3rd gen under some vines and stuff and hasn’t run in a while.

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  23. Avatar photo Glen

    A guy I know had a white one, beautiful car, until the place he had it stored in collapsed from too much snow!

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