Needs Love: 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

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There is something undeniably attractive about purchasing a project candidate that runs and drives. It allows the new owner to immediately indulge in the classic motoring experience, tackling its restoration as time, circumstances, and, more critically, their budget allows. That is the opportunity presented by this 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z. The seller admits it needs love, but it is a surprisingly unmolested vehicle that should be a straightforward project. They have listed the Camaro here on Craigslist in Seaford, Delaware. It could be yours for $11,000 OBO, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Mitchell G. for spotting this promising project.

Chevrolet was marking time when it released the 1987 Camaro range, with the new model receiving only minor cosmetic changes. The most obvious was relocating the central brake light on cars fitted with a rear spoiler. The history of this IROC-Z is unclear, with the seller providing few specific details in their listing. The first owner ordered it in Code 41 Black, and while it retains a healthy shine, a close inspection reveals the typical assortment of small chips and scratches. There are no horrendous problems and nothing that might prevent the new owner from enjoying the car immediately. It would benefit from a cosmetic refresh, but the lack of significant panel damage and apparent rust should make the process relatively easy. A couple of small badges have gone AWOL, and the undamaged wheels would benefit from some TLC with a high-quality metal polish. A welcome inclusion is the T-Top, and the lack of interior moisture damage suggests the seals are in good order.

The seller supplies no information on this Camaro’s mechanical specifications, but the badges suggest its engine bay houses the 305ci TPI V8. Shifting duties are covered by a four-speed automatic transmission, with power assistance for the steering and brakes standard equipment in 1987. The V8 should deliver 190hp and 295 ft/lbs of torque, placing it in the middle of the performance spectrum for the IROC-Z in that year. It should despatch the ¼-mile in 15.9 seconds before soldiering on to 135mph. The seller indicates the Camaro runs and drives but not whether it is genuinely roadworthy. That is a question worth asking, but the signs are positive. I hope it is because that is a lure for those considering pursuing it further.

This Camaro’s interior is a surprise packet because it is unmolested. Items like the factory radio/cassette player are often gone, but this car has avoided that fate. It isn’t going to win its new owner any show trophies, but the overall condition is better than average. There is no appreciable wear on the seatcovers, with the remaining vinyl upholstery equally impressive. The dash and plastic haven’t succumbed to UV damage or abuse, although the wheel and carpet exhibit some wear and deterioration. It is also nicely equipped in a 1987 context. The new owner receives air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a six-way power driver’s seat, power mirrors, cruise control, and a tilt wheel.

This 1987 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z shows promise as a project candidate, especially if it is a turnkey proposition. It would certainly benefit from a cosmetic refresh, but the lack of significant panel issues should make the task straightforward. Values have recently softened for cars needing work, although spotless examples are climbing slowly. Contacting the seller with a respectful offer could be the best approach because it might save a few dollars that the buyer can put toward the build. Is this Camaro a classic you would like to park in your workshop?

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  1. Tbone

    People make fun of these now because their power numbers are so pedestrian by current standards, but they were the bees knees back in their day. Always wanted to use bees knees in a sentence. Now I’ve done it twice

    Like 21
    • Scrapyard john

      I like it a lot. Nothing from back in 1987 is fast by today’s standards, really. You’d get more attention cruising in this than a modern Camaro, though.

      Like 13
      • Scrapyard john

        I think what makes them laughable is the guys who wore mullets always drove them. No idea why, but I can definitely picture a bro with a muscle shirt and a mullet rocking this thing with Guns N Roses blaring on the stereo – and that’s kind of the image they portray. But I still like it.

        Like 7
      • Larry James

        I’m originally from Detroit, and back in the day there the mullets were driving gen II Camaros & T/As. It was the Chaldeans who bought all the IROCs with daddy’s money.

        Like 0
  2. Davey Boy

    Had a Trans am about this year. Can’t remember exactly what year but it was multi port fuel injection. 350 auto. Red. Someone did work and it was quite fast but it would have a check engine light about half the time it started and ran horrible when it did. Put tons of money in it and never could figure it out. Real bummer because it was a blast to drive when it ran right. Someone is going to get a real nice car with this one.

    Like 8
  3. SirRaoulDuke

    This strikes me as a good deal.

    Like 2
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember


    Like 0

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