The 1980s were a transition period for the muscle car segment. Domestic automakers were having to adjust to new emissions standards. Gone were the days of the open-throttle 454 V8s and other large engines that dominated previous years. Instead, there were cars like the third-generation Camaro with all kinds of emissions control parts strapped to the engine. These ‘enhancements’ did nothing positive for performance. There were some workarounds that automakers managed to find such as Ford did with the Mustang SVO.
For the most part, the ’80s muscle cars should mostly be avoided at all costs due to their lack of performance. But there are a few worth considering nevertheless. We looked at some of the best and worst that came out during this transitional period. The 1980s were known for big hairstyles, loud music, and of course the T-Tops. The ’80s will forever be remembered for their unique place in the history books as a result of many strange aspects. However, they won’t necessarily be remembered because of their muscle cars outside of a few rare models. Check out the few best and some of the worst the unique era offered right here.
1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
The 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is a classic American muscle car that was produced by the Chevrolet division of General Motors. It was part of the third generation of Camaros produced from 1982 to 1992. The Z/28 was a high-performance version of the Camaro designed to compete with other muscle cars of the time like the Ford Mustang and the Dodge Challenger (via Motor Trend).
The 1982 model year was the first year that the Z/28 was available with a fuel-injected engine, which was a significant improvement over the carbureted engines of previous years as a result. The Z/28 also had a sport-tuned suspension and a special body kit that made it stand out from other Camaros. Therefore, the IROC-Z had potential, but the car had limited appeal due to its style and the emissions standards of the day.