While new performance cars get everyone excited, the used market is sometimes a better place to get your speed fix. And if a muscle car is what you are after, look no further than the Chevy Camaro Z/28. It was the most extreme of the fifth generation Camaro, and is impressive to this day. Furthermore, you can get one for less than you think, with many for sale around $40,000. Incredible, considering that only 1,801 fifth-gen Z/28 Camaros were built.
An example of what we’re talking about is this one on eBay. For less than $40,000, you get one of the best V8 engines GM has ever made, one of the most sophisticated suspension systems on the market, as well as some of the most aggressive wheels and tires you will see on a production vehicle anywhere. And they all came with a manual transmission.
The 2014-2015 Camaro Z/28 can trace its roots back to the first generation Camaro, and the Z/28 badge has historically signified the most hard-core Camaro on offer. With the fifth generation model, Chevy turned the muscle car into an all out track weapon.
The Z/28 featured several performance modifications to help it obliterate the racetrack. Chevy saved weight by removing the rear seats, fitting thinner rear class, and reduced unsprung mass with lightweight wheels and carbon ceramic brakes. Even air conditioning and a radio were options, a la Porsche 911 GT3 RS. All of this amounted to a 300 pound weight savings compared to its porky brother, the ZL1. Along with sticky Pirelli Trofeo R tires, the body also was significantly changed to produce more downforce in the name of more grip. The suspension was punishing on the road, but created impressive stability on track. It also was the first mass produced production car to featured trick spool valve racing dampers, manufactured by Multimatic. That’s right, the same company that builds the Ford GT.
Somehow, its 505 horsepower LS7 V8 engine is maybe its least impressive statistic 5 years later. The handling, however, is where the Z/28 shined, and surprised muscle car critics everywhere. It managed a still remarkable 7:37.47 Nurburgring lap time. While the Camaro ZL1 1LE has beaten that with a 7:16.04, it also has a 145 horsepower advantage. But at $70,000 for a base level ZL1 1LE, is 21 seconds at a German racetrack worth another $30,000?
All of this made the Camaro Z/28 a hugely capable track car when new, and that hasn’t changed to this day. With many for sale between $40,000-$50,000 with less than 20,000 miles, it really is about as fast as you can go for less that $50,000. Furthermore, it could even be a good investment. We reported back in June the sixth generation Camaro will not be getting a Z/28 model. This makes the fifth generation Camaro Z/28 the fastest, and possibly last Z/28 we will ever see.