Time to get your hands on a time capsule. This 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is not only a one-owner car, but it’s also an Indianapolis 500 Pace Car edition
And it has a terrific story that’s going to turn you into a barn find legend.
This was the debut year for the new 3rd generation Camaro. It was a big deal in the new car world, and so the car took a true victory lap. It got to be the official pace car for the Indianapolis 500. It’s also reported that Chevrolet only made 6,360 official replicas. But while the Z-cars were often used for blacktop battles all through the 1980s, this one is quite different. The story we’re told is that the consignor bought the car for his daughter. It wasn’t the right fit and so she got something new a few months later. He didn’t trade it in, and he didn’t leave it outside. It just went into the garage waiting for many of the other Pace Cars to fade into history. Even the low odometer is believed to reflect the full actual mileage. And the color package is quite unique. It’s a factory silver car where the lower section is encircled in a detailed decal package that looks like it’s done in blue and fading into the silver rockers of the Z/28 body kit. The sports hood has blue streets to match, and the red pinstripes on the decals go with the red accenting of the special Z/28 15-inch wheels. This coupe has aged gracefully. The paint looks fully original, including some fading and chips. It’s just the right style for a true survivor. In fact, that’s how you should look at the full presentation today…it feels like an early 1980s garage/barn find plucked fresh from hibernation, right down to the Goodyear tires. And so the way this one presents today just seems like it has a story to tell.
The interior continues the blue and silver two-tone. It has the kind of bright and complete presentation that really feels like a time capsule that has been sealed for decades. Details like the blue piping on the seat, the soft feel of the velour inserts, the vibrant blue of the seatbelts, the ribbed texture of the silver door panels, and so much more all would have been worn or faded in a car that saw any regular use. Even the T-tops still seal nicely on this coupe. As a premium-priced Z/28 Pace car, this was loaded with the best features, like power windows, power locks, cruise control, an electric rear defogger, and an AM/FM/cassette stereo. It all remains factory-correct, right down to the Indianapolis 500 badge in the smooth dash. In fact, the only alteration we can find is that the factory air conditioning has been switched over to modern R134a refrigerant (it will likely need a recharge to blow ideally cold again.) The T-style three-spoke sports steering wheel is on a tilt column, and so you get a clear view of the dual mph/kph speedometer that’s a distinct hallmark of easy 3rd gen cars.
Under the hood is the 305 cubic-inch V8 with Cross-Fire fuel injection. It’s an optional motor for the Z/28, which made it the top dog in 1982. And it’s a true rarity that was only offered for a couple of years. Fuel injection is the key to the right balance in this car. After all, it has a high degree of originality, but this modern delivery system means the V8 fires up nicely and runs smoothly. And if you do choose to add miles to this time capsule, as a true Z/28, it makes for a solid driver. So you have a three-speed automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes, front discs, and sports suspension with sway bars front and rear.
The best survivors have the best paperwork, and so the sale comes with the factory buildsheet, owner’s manual, and the original window sticker. This is the one-owner first-year third-gen Camaro that’s a rare pace car survivor.
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Location: Lithia Springs, Georgia, United States