The 1960s and early 1970s were the golden era of muscle cars in American automotive history. Before fuel prices spiked and had them scrambling for fuel efficiency, the major auto companies were all focused on bringing out the most powerful pony cars that would leave competitors in the dust. The leader of the group in popularity has always been the first muscle car to come, the Ford Mustang, but rivals Ford has not let it have that title easily. And General Motors’ main competitor against the Mustang is the Chevrolet Camaro.
The first generation ran from 1967 to 1969, while the second generation lasted from 1970 to 1981. It was then replaced by the third generation which lasted from 1982 to 1992, and then the fourth generation from 1993 to 2002.
Lastly, there is the fifth generation from 2003 to 2015 and the sixth and current generation which runs from 2016 to the present. And while the Camaro never overtook the Mustang as General Motors executives hoped, it became a cultural icon in its own right. It has a long history of appearing in films, most notably in the form of the character Bumblebee in the Transformers franchise, and is considered one of the great examples of the classic era of muscle cars.
The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 gained notoriety as a race-oriented performance package over the original Chevrolet Camaro, and its second-generation incarnation is just as fresh.
1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z28: History of the Z28
When Chevrolet sold the Camaro, they offered it in a variety of trim levels, as you’ll find on most cars today. The SS (Super Sport) and RS (Rally Sport) are both popular looks and performance packages, but there is one more that few people know about. This show pack is not advertised and is hidden in the catalog; only true fans know what to ask for. For that, he doesn’t even have a fancy name. The Z/28 moniker only comes from Chevrolet’s internal code for the performance package, RPO Z28.
The Z/28 is a more powerful trim level than the standard Camaro, as it was built specifically for track racing. Although Chevrolet didn’t advertise it, the legend of the Z/28 spread among performance enthusiasts by word of mouth. It was so successful that Chevrolet continued to offer the Z/28 in the second generation and beyond, selling performance packages from the introduction of the Camaro until 1974, before bringing it back in 1977.
1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Specifications
The 1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was equipped with a naturally aspirated 5.7-liter V8 small-block V8 engine. This gives it a claimed 245 horsepower at 5,200 revolutions per minute and 280 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 revolutions per minute. In practice, however, Chevrolet didn’t report horsepower on the Camaro, and the 1973 Z/28 could hit 360 horsepower. Thanks to that power, it goes from zero to sixty miles per hour in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 125 miles per hour.
Despite the reported horsepower, sadly, performance drops compared to the original Z/28, as in 1973 the muscle car era faded in the face of rising fuel prices. The Camaro isn’t the only muscle car to suffer from this, as the second-generation Mustang was branded a downgrade from the original. But don’t let that lead you to think that the Z/28 isn’t a serious performance car, but it’s still a lot of fun on the track or on the road. As an added bonus, the 1973 edition was the first model of the Camaro Z/28 to offer air conditioning.
1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Price
The original MSRP of the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 in 1973 was $3,713, which is a pretty reasonable $23,726 in today’s money. You might expect classic muscle cars to sell for more than that right now, but there’s good news if you’re in the market for one. The first-generation Z/28 was the most desirable, while the second-generation was somewhat neglected, and its price dropped every year in a row.
According to Hagerty, the average price of a 1973 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was only $29,500. What you end up paying will naturally vary depending on the condition of the particular Camaro you’re looking at, and you could easily pay more or less than that. Of course, the downside of the 1973 model is that you get a lower performance model than the first generation, but that doesn’t make the 1973 model a classic muscle car.
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