One Owner Survivor: 1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z

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There has often been debate about when The Malaise Era ended, and this 1985 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z proves that manufacturers were winning their battle to recapture some of the performance lost to tighter emission regulations. It is an original and unmolested survivor that would be perfect for someone seeking a turnkey classic that attracts attention. The seller is parting with a car that has been a part of their life since Day One, listing the Camaro here on eBay in Davenport, Florida. Bidding sits below the reserve at $18,100.

Chevrolet introduced the IROC-Z to its Camaro range in 1985, taking the name from the International Race of Champions Series conducted between 1974 and 2006. The series pitted twelve invited drivers against each other in identical racing machinery, with the Camaro serving as the chosen model on twelve occasions. The owner ordered this IROC-Z in Code 75 Red, which appears to have never undergone any repairs or restoration. The paint retains a healthy shine, but a close inspection reveals a few minor chips and marks. However, its overall condition is comfortably acceptable for a genuine survivor that has seen service as its creators intended. The panels are straight, and the aerodynamic features are free from cracks and physical damage. Rust was less of a problem with these cars than earlier models as manufacturers developed better anti-corrosion processes. Therefore, this Camaro’s rust-free status is unsurprising. The glass, including the panels for the T-Top, is in good order, and the distinctive 16″ alloy wheels are spotless.

Chevrolet adopted an innovative approach to recapturing performance with its Third Generation Camaro range. It struggled to extract power from its strangled V8 motors, focusing on weight reduction and aerodynamic efficiency to counter plummeting power. The strategy was wise because it bore further fruit when Chevrolet came to grips with fuel injection and electronic engine management systems. This Camaro’s 5.0-liter V8 benefits from Tuned Port Injection to produce 215hp and 275 ft/lbs of torque. It feeds to the limited-slip rear end via a four-speed TH700-R4 automatic transmission, while the IROC-Z package brought welcome suspension upgrades, creating a total driving experience. The ¼-mile ET of 15.6 seconds demonstrated that Detroit was making progress, and the situation would continue improving in subsequent years. Perhaps the best news for potential buyers relates to this car’s history. It is a one-owner classic that has always been meticulously maintained and “babied” throughout its life. It is a turnkey proposition where the winning bidder could fly in and drive it home.

The Camaro’s interior presentation is consistent with its odometer reading of 55,800 miles, with few things warranting criticism. There is slight wear on the driver’s seat’s outer edge, and it appears the leather on the wheel and shifter knob may be beginning to deteriorate. Otherwise, the Black custom cloth upholstery is in good order, the factory mats protect the carpet from wear, and there is no evidence of UV damage to the dash, pad, or other plastic components. It is nicely optioned in a 1985 context, with the new owner receiving air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, a tilt wheel, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player with a graphic equalizer and power antenna.

Cars from the 1980s spent many years in the automotive wilderness, but they are slowly becoming more popular in the classic market. That is undoubtedly the case for the 1985 Camaro IROC-Z, which has experienced continual value increases during the past few years. This one is a gem, and the bidding action demonstrates that. I believe the bidding will top $20,000, which should surpass the reserve. Therefore, if a 1980s classic has been on your radar, it might be worth monitoring this auction.

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  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    You’ve got to love these cars. Beautiful design with enough power to get you in trouble. Beautiful example here.

    Like 6
    • Big Len

      I absolutely agree. I just wish the front overhang was 5 or 6 inches shorter.

      Like 2
  2. Rbig18

    Had an 88. Handled ok, slow though but I did and still do like the looks. Their weakness was in absolute terrible build quality. Rattle trap very quickly, poor cloth interior that wears out fast. Power window motor failures. I have fond memories but would never consider one as a classic to own.

    Like 3
  3. Claudio

    Make mine convertible 1992 for the airbags and swap in an LS and upgrades and its all FUN

    Like 0
  4. Claudio

    Make mine convertible 1992 for the airbags and swap in an LS and upgrades and its all FUN

    Like 0
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    No denying that these look great, but I ate them for lunch in my ’86 GLH-T.

    Like 0
  6. H Siegel

    Nice z I always liked this body style. Now I had one of these if you need to do any work on it you will need metric tools I know this because I went to pull the transmission out of mine to fix a front seal leak and rolled under it with a handful of my standard wrenches and none fit got back out and sold it. Also check the area underneath in front of the rear wheels mine had rust holes both sides. GLWTA

    Like 0
  7. Philip Lepel

    Though i love my 83 mustang ive always loved the look of these Camaros. Roomy, smooth, and stylish. What power they didnt have you could add. As all cars from the 80’s. I sure did!

    Like 0

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