Classic Cars

A Legend Roars to Life: Exploring the Iconic 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28

The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 is a legendary American muscle car that holds a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts. With its captivating design, powerful performance, and rich history, the ’68 Camaro RS Z28 remains an iconic symbol of the golden era of American muscle cars.

Introduction

When it comes to classic American muscle cars, few models can match the timeless appeal of the Chevrolet Camaro. Since its introduction in 1966, the Camaro has been a symbol of speed, power, and performance. In 1968, Chevrolet took the Camaro to new heights by introducing the RS Z28 variant, which would go on to become one of the most sought-after muscle cars of all time.

History of the Chevrolet Camaro

Before diving into the specifics of the 1968 Camaro RS Z28, it’s essential to understand the broader history of the Chevrolet Camaro. Developed as a direct competitor to the Ford Mustang, the Camaro was Chevrolet’s answer to the rising popularity of the pony car segment in the 1960s. It was designed to deliver thrilling performance while offering a comfortable and stylish driving experience.

The Birth of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro

The 1968 Camaro was the second generation of the model, following the successful launch of the first-generation Camaro in 1966. The ’68 Camaro featured a refreshed design and several notable improvements over its predecessor.

Design and Styling

The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 boasted a sleek and aggressive design that turned heads wherever it went. Its muscular lines, bold grille, and distinctive RS badging gave it an unmistakable presence on the road. The RS package added hidden headlights, a revised grille, and additional chrome accents, further enhancing the car’s visual appeal.

Engine Options

Under the hood, the ’68 Camaro RS Z28 offered impressive power and performance. It came equipped with a high-revving 302 cubic-inch V8 engine, which was specially developed for Trans-Am racing. This engine delivered an advertised 290 horsepower, although it was rumored to produce closer to 400 horsepower. The Z28 package also included a close-ratio Muncie four-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential, ensuring exhilarating acceleration and precise gear changes.

Performance and Handling

The 1968 Camaro RS Z28 was not just about straight-line speed; it also offered exceptional handling and cornering capabilities. It featured a sport-tuned suspension, quick-ratio steering, and performance-oriented tires. These enhancements allowed drivers to push the car to its limits with confidence, whether on the racetrack or winding country roads.

The RS Package

One of the defining aspects of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 was the RS package. This optional package added several distinctive exterior and interior features to the already impressive base Camaro.

Exterior Features

The RS package included hideaway headlights, which were concealed behind vacuum-operated doors when not in use, giving the car a clean and streamlined look. Additionally, the package featured revised taillights with backup lights located below the bumper, a unique RS grille, and bright accents on the exterior trim.

Interior Features

Inside the cabin, the RS package brought luxury and comfort to the performance-oriented Camaro. It introduced a wood-grain steering wheel, simulated wood accents on the instrument panel, and deluxe interior trim. These enhancements elevated the driving experience and made the Camaro RS Z28 a true grand tourer.

The Z28 Performance Package

While the RS package added visual flair and luxury to the ’68 Camaro, the Z28 performance package took performance to new heights.

Engine and Performance Upgrades

The Z28 package featured a high-revving 302 cubic-inch V8 engine, specifically designed for racing. It boasted a forged steel crankshaft, solid lifters, a high-performance camshaft, and a high-flow aluminum intake manifold. These modifications allowed the engine to rev higher and produce impressive power across the RPM range.

Suspension and Handling Enhancements

To complement the increased power, the Z28 package included numerous upgrades to the suspension and handling components. It featured heavy-duty springs, stiffer shock absorbers, and a larger front sway bar. These improvements resulted in improved stability, sharper handling, and reduced body roll, making the Camaro RS Z28 a formidable track performer.

Popularity and Legacy

The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 quickly gained popularity among automotive enthusiasts and racers alike. Its combination of striking design, exhilarating performance, and limited production numbers made it highly desirable.

Collectibility and Value

Today, the ’68 Camaro RS Z28 is considered a highly collectible classic car, commanding significant value in the market. Well-preserved examples in original condition fetch a premium, and those with rare options or unique specifications can reach astronomical prices at auctions.

Cultural Impact

Beyond its collectibility, the ’68 Camaro RS Z28 holds a special place in popular culture. It has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and music videos, solidifying its status as an icon of American automotive history. Its timeless design and legendary performance continue to inspire car enthusiasts and evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Conclusion

The 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28 represents the epitome of American muscle car engineering and design. With its captivating styling, powerful performance, and lasting legacy, it has earned its place in automotive history. Whether you’re a die-hard collector or a casual fan of classic cars, the ’68 Camaro RS Z28 is sure to ignite your passion for the golden age of American muscle.

FAQs

1. How many 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28s were produced?

Exact production numbers for the 1968 Camaro RS Z28 are not readily available. However, it is estimated that around 7,199 Camaro Z28s were produced in total for the 1968 model year.

2. What is the price range for a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28?

The price range for a 1968 Camaro RS Z28 can vary significantly depending on factors such as condition, originality, rarity, and optional features. Prices can range from around $50,000 for a project car in need of restoration to well over $100,000 for a meticulously restored or highly desirable example.

3. What are some notable features of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28?

Some notable features of the 1968 Camaro RS Z28 include the RS package with hideaway headlights, distinctive exterior trim, the high-revving 302 cubic-inch V8 engine, the close-ratio Muncie four-speed manual transmission, and performance-oriented suspension and handling upgrades.

4. How fast is the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28?

The 1968 Camaro RS Z28 was known for its impressive acceleration and top speed. It could achieve 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in approximately 6.5 seconds and had a top speed of around 130 mph (209 km/h), making it a formidable performer for its time.

5. Are there any modern versions or replicas of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro RS Z28?

While there are no official modern versions of the 1968 Camaro RS Z28, Chevrolet has released modern iterations of the Camaro that pay homage to its iconic design and performance. These modern Camaros draw inspiration from classic models and offer powerful engines, advanced technology, and contemporary styling. Additionally, there are aftermarket companies and enthusiasts who build replica or tribute cars based on the ’68 Camaro RS Z28, blending classic aesthetics with modern performance.

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