Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

One Owner: 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Pace Car Edition

Few honors are more coveted by American car manufacturers than to have one of their models selected as the Official Pace Car for the Indianapolis 500. The roll call of the chosen is long, with the Chevrolet Camaro picked on nine occasions. Companies leverage their good fortune by producing replicas for public consumption, which is the case with this 1982 Camaro Z28. It is 1-of-6,360 cars produced to celebrate the milestone and is a low-mileage, one-owner survivor. It is time to find a second owner, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Springtown, Texas. Bidding sits at $8,700 in a No Reserve auction that has generated plenty of interest.

The Third Generation Camaro landed in Chevrolet showrooms for 1982, and there was never a danger that potential buyers would confuse it with its predecessor. The styling was radically different, with a steeply-raked windshield and a body that owned much to extensive aerodynamic development. Its impact was such that it proved a no-brainer as the choice for that year’s Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet released a road-going version, with all cars featuring a striking combination of Silver and Bright Blue paint, with distinctive graphics and decals. The seller claims this car is a one-owner survivor and is candid about its overall condition. The panels are free from significant defects, and this garage-kept classic is rust-free, but it is far from perfect. Its presentation is acceptable if considered purely as a survivor and wouldn’t cause a new owner shame. However, the paint has a selection of chips, marks, and some evidence of deterioration. The same is true for the graphics and stickers, leaving the winning bidder to contemplate whether restoration or preservation is the appropriate path. This Z28 features a glass T-Top that is in good condition. The original storage bags are present and show no signs of damage. The alloy wheels look excellent for a vehicle of this type, and the glass appears flawless.

This Camaro is a car with an interior that sends mixed messages. The seller claims the vehicle has a genuine 34,000 miles on its odometer, and the lack of significant interior wear seems to support that. However, there is damage to the driver’s seat that looks out of character with the rest of the trim, and we receive no information on how or when this occurred. That is frustrating because it and a tiny hole in the lower driver’s door trim appear to be the only flaws in an otherwise original and unmolested interior. Luxury appointments might seem modest by modern standards. Still, items like air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, a rear defogger, a leather-wrapped tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player were considered pretty cutting-edge in 1982.

The Third Generation Camaro represented a significant shift in design philosophy, and we only need to examine the specifications of this Z28 and compare them with its predecessor to understand the truth. This car features its numbers-matching 305ci CFI V8 producing 165hp and 240 ft/lbs of torque. The power feeds to the road via a three-speed automatic transmission, allowing this 3,119 lb Camaro to cover the ¼-mile in 16.5 seconds. That is faster than its auto-equipped predecessor, despite the 1981 model having more power and torque at the driver’s disposal. Part of the secret lay in the company’s weight-loss program for the Camaro because the 1981 model carried an additional 400 lbs. The money spent on aerodynamic development also paid dividends when the subject turned to top speed. This car could hit 121mph, while the 1981 model ran out of breath at 105mph. The mileage claim for this car must be taken at face value because no mention is made of supporting evidence. The Z28 runs and drives well, but a lack of recent use has prompted the seller to suggest it should receive a thorough inspection and a complete service before being considered genuinely roadworthy.

The lack of information about this Camaro’s mileage claim has not negatively impacted potential buyer reaction. Factors like its originality, unmolested state, and lack of rust may have combined with the seller’s decision to list it with No Reserve to produce impressive activity. The car has attracted thirty bids, suggesting people like this car enough to put their money where their mouth is. Would you do the same, or will you sit out this dance?


  1. Connecticut mark

    I had an 81 z28 automatic , I pushed more than 105 mph. Would rather have it than this sticker 1982 with ugly rims, there is nothing different than a regular 1982, but stickers.

    Like 5
  2. Billy

    I’m afraid I’ll have to retain my “wall flower” status at this dance. Too many items to wunderkind about?

    Like 2
  3. Johnny Major

    I bought a 1982 Z28 new in that year. The car was a very fun daily driver but had absolutely no power and very poor quality built from the factory. It was garage kept, babied, washed/waxed weekly, maintenance religiously but completely fell apart at 80K

    Like 6
  4. jrhmobile

    I remember when these were first introduced. It was such a radical departure from previous design, and immediately made older Camaros look, well, old.

    The later versions, with better assembly techniques and more sophisticated powertrains this is the first year, in the best colors and the rarest version. Nice.

    Like 4
    • Bick Banter

      Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that carpet along the console. But that’s some very interesting color fading right there!

      The Ceasefire 305 is unfortunate. It’s too bad they didn’t get the actual pace car engine, which was an aluminum block 350 that made over 250 HP. The real pace cars also used P245/60R15 tires versus the P215/65R15s on the replica.

      Like 2
  5. PaulG

    This silver / blue combination faded within a couple years of exposure, some of the worst paint from GM throughout the 80’s, especially the Fremont built cars.
    These have a following but like others have said, the later versions especially with the 5.7 are more desirable. Owned an ‘89 IROC that was fun in its day.

    Like 5
  6. Stan

    Gorgeous 🇺🇸

    Like 6
  7. Robert Proulx

    A nice example but i’d give it a major once over with brakes plus suspension and full tune up. The fun part is even top notch parts are plentifull and cheap and these are easy to work on. Hoping it still has the original turbo hydro-flush 200 i’d probably have it redone knowing these units had a tendency to self destruct when hooked up to anything with moderate amounts of torque

    Like 2
  8. PRA4SNW

    This is a very nice example and a logical choice as Indy Pace Car for the first year of this body style.

    The company that is selling this is like a ghost: it’s website has no content, same with Facebook and Instagram. Weird.

    Like 2
  9. Dan

    It’s a very nice looking Camaro but I would stay away from the Cross Fire Injected ones. They were very trouble prone. It was like trying to balance 2 carburetors. GM dumped it quickly in favor of the 5.0 high output. It was A bit quicker and much more reliable.

    Like 7
    • Greg in Texas

      It’s not difficult to update fuel injection and CDI ignition systems, especially in this model with parts and tech videos everywhere.

      Like 0
  10. JoeNYWF64

    A 2nd gen camaro(especially a ’70-’71) ordered as a stripper – no radio or power anything & a manual trans & 14″ wheels might not be much heavier than a fully loaded ’82(especially if you put later lighter aluminum wheels on the 2nd gen).
    I don’t think i ever seen a z28 ’82 or newer with heavier factory steel wheels. But I’ve seen steel wheels on a handful of 2010? camaros, all probably with V6’s, i guess.

    Like 1
  11. Peder

    I had an 82 z-28 pace car. Mine was a 305 standard not crossfire. Hard top with a four speed. Loved that car hated giving it up but too many electrical issues were found on mine. My 91 is vastly better but I love this car and still have some regret getting rid of mine.

    Like 4
  12. michael morgan

    I actually spent some time at the Chevy dealer thinking about buying one just like it. So glad I didn’t. I knew a girl that bought an 87 Camaro that was constantly having something done in the service department. All that plastic inside would fall apart regularly. Trans was having regular issues.

    Like 1
  13. Richard

    Does anyone know if they made one of these ’82 Pace Cars with a manual transmission? I’m 68 years old and I remember thinking when these came out it seemed like a breath of fresh air into the auto industry. We were just coming out of a blah era in Detroit.

    Like 2
    • John Kriegshauser

      Yes, they offered a 4 speed manual transmission on these Pace Car Camaros. However, the manual was only available with the carbureted 305 V8, which I believe only produced 145 HP. I bought one of these with the manual trans from the original owner back in 2009, had only 10k miles on the her. The 4 speed Pace Cars are very rare as most were automatics with the Crossfire injection. Nice looking car, but no hot rod. Enjoyed that car about a year, then sold it for a nice profit!

      Like 2
  14. Nelson C

    From an appearance standpoint the 3rd generation cars were as crisp and contemporary as the 1970 model was. Regulations were like standing on a person’s chest. Performance was suffering but you showed up looking sharp.

    I went to work at GMPG in January of ’86. Chevrolet was running transmission testing to certify the 5M behind the 5.0 TPI. There were around 16-18 Z-28s and IROCs testing together. Spend an entire shift running them up and down the hills, circle and straight away to ensure the box would live once out in the real world. My favorite was an ’84 that started out as a 5.0 HO and converted. Only one with a power seat that I could adjust to my 6’6″ frame.

    Like 2
  15. Greg in Texas

    These are very sturdy cars and Moore reliable than comments suggest. If it was owned by a race boy or muscle guy racing to meet boys, they do like any other cars that get abused. This car is nicer than most survivors. But shhhh don’t tell anyone, the price might go up if everyone finds out some people lying to keep the bids down!!

    Like 0
    • Billy

      What? ? I must have missed something in the translation.

      Like 0
  16. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $9,300.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.