Rare 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Hugger Edition

In 1980, race car driver Tom Nehl decided to put together a special edition Camaro to help fund his 24 Hours Of Daytona race team. Taking inspiration from the 1969 Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car program as a way to generate money and support, he worked out a deal with the Jacksonville area Chevrolet Dealerships to sell his customized Camaros. He also enlisted the help of Special Vehicle Department’s Bill Mitchell to tune the cars. There were just 90 of these Hugger Camaros built and this one is number 26. You can find this project here on eBay in Denver, North Carolina with a current bid of $7,100.

The majority of these Camaros built were painted in Hugger Orange, but a few were ordered in other colors. Each one was fitted with SVD parts, including a rear sway bar, unique front fascia, and Koni shocks. They also installed a set of magnesium Minilites, hood pins, a Racemark steering wheel, and Hugger graphics. The stock Z/28 350 V8 was left stock and that actually works out to your advantage with this one. Since the engine and transmission are missing, not having to source unique components will make restoring this one a bit easier.

Besides getting it running, your also going to need to get it looking good. The body has dents and dings, as well as some rust. There’s also damage to the SVD front fascia, which will likely prove to be the biggest issue with fixing this car. While the interior needs a fair amount of work, everything but the steering wheel is stock Camaro and easy to find. The Racemark steering wheel is here, but is missing its leather wrapping.

This Camaro is going to need work, but thankfully the Hugger specific parts look to be present. The front bumper is a bummer, but you might be able to track down a replacement or possibly repair it. If this were a regular Camaro, it probably wouldn’t be worth restoring, but the fact that it’s a genuine Hugger makes it well worth saving!


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  1. Jeremy

    I’m curious as to how you might verify it as an authentic Hugger.Is the VIN specific to this edition, or is it easily “cloned”?

    Like 2
    • jerry z

      With the cracking stripe package on the car, kind of hard to duplicate that! Also 78A is orange on the trim tag.

      Like 1
  2. Coventrycat

    I’d do my mullet up special for that one.

    Like 4
  3. Superdessucke

    This Hugger needs a hug.

    Like 1
  4. George Mattar

    Needs a ton of work. LS and a Tremec. I believe Bill Mitchell used to tune cars for Joel Rosen at Motion on Long Island. Those cars today bringing more than $150,000. Not this heap.

    Like 2
  5. Ike Onick

    Yes, the rare “Windshield, Interior, and Good Taste -Delete” option box was ticked on this crate.

    Like 5
  6. Eric Fowler

    Yeah I would touch it taking it straight to the scrapyard.

  7. John

    …Everyone say it with me….LS Swap

    Like 1
  8. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    This is a rare and significant model that deserves to be restored! We have actually featured 4 of the 90 so far! Here’s the links to the other three:




    Like 2
    • Ike Onick

      What makes it “significant” to a buyer? I find that sellers (Including me) always have “rare and significant” items.

      Like 1
      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        As far as special edition 2nd gen Camaros go, this is about as good as it got. If you don’t like Camaros and don’t appreciate special editions then you probably won’t ever get it.

      • Dex

        Jesse, regarding the special edition 2nd gen Camaro comment, wouldn’t the Macho Z be more rare and possibly more desirable?

        Like 1
      • Ike Onick

        Jesse- Answering the question would have been helpful. I ask again, what makes it “significant”. I really liked the 1969 Z-28 I owned. That car struck me as “significant” and I certainly “got” that Camaro.

  9. chillywind

    Bill is a good friend of mine, never knew he did this.
    I will have to ask him this week. In 85 when I got into cars, I had heard of these and always thought they were real performance machines. Just found out they are only handling enhancements. ho hum

    Like 1
  10. Arthell64 Member

    I personally prefer a stock 80 z28 over this. While I’m sure it probably deserves to be restored I don’t like the front spoiler or stripes. I didn’t care for the macho trans am either.

    Like 1
  11. Lee

    So many people are saying its only scrap yard worthy or a big pile of junk. I can’t even muster up an idea of where they are getting that from. In my eyes, i see a beautiful and extremely rare classic that deserves not only an A+ restoration, but historical preservation. I hope this car finds a loving home where it will not only be taken care of, but actually driven as well!

    Like 5
  12. Rosco

    Worth restoring due to the rarity as long as you don’t plan on getting back what was spent on it.

    Like 1
  13. John

    A really ugly car, IMO.

    Like 4
  14. Gary

    I remember seeing these at Gary Fronrath Chevy when they were new. Always liked them but couldn’t afford one then.

    Like 1
    • Ike Onick

      Count your blessings.

  15. Dex

    Sells at $7530, now relisted at $9000. Guess it didn’t really sell.

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