IROC Z/28 1LE
The Third-Generation Camaro was released for sale in December, 1981, beginning production on October 12, 1981. The Camaro's design owed nothing to previous generations. The large and complex rear window reflected recent advances in car glass design. The front windshield reclined at 62 degrees, thus breaking an internal GM rule limiting such angles to sixty degrees. The rear seat folded down to expand the luggage compartment, which was accessed through a large rear hatch.
The 1982 model introduced the first Camaros with a hatchback body style, and such options as factory fuel injection, and a four-cylinder engine. The Camaro Z28 was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1982. Three models were available: Sport Coupe, Berlinetta, and Z28. 173,000 Camaros were sold in the United States in 1982. 12 percent of buyers took the four-cylinder, 37 percent the V6, while 51 percent opted for the V8.
For 1985, Chevrolet introduced the IROC-Z version that was named after the International Race of Champions. Offered as an option package on the Z28, the Camaro IROC-Z featured an upgraded suspension, lowered ride height, specially valved Delco-Bilstein shocks, larger diameter sway bars, a steering/frame brace known as the "wonder bar", a special decal package, and an optional Tuned Port Injection system taken from the Chevrolet Corvette. It also shared the Corvette's Goodyear "Gatorback" unidirectional tires in a 245/50/VR16 size vs. the Corvette's 255/50/VR16 size, and received unique new aluminum 5-spoke 16-by-8-inch wheels. The new wheels were designed with different offsets front and rear, resulting in the words "Front" or "Rear" cast into the wheels to distinguish which wheel went where.
Also new for 1985 was the G92 Performance Axle Ratio option which upgraded the rear axle gear ratio from 3.23 to 3.42.
Many different engine combinations were available through 1988, but the 1989 model year offered a unique combination known as the 1LE -
IROC-Zs with the TPI 350 had the 2.77 rear axle ratio as in the previous year, but the optional RPO G92 Performance Axle package modified the ratio to 3.27. The G92 also included the dual-converter exhaust and a 240 Horsepower Rating along with
Disc brakes, engine oil cooler, P245/50ZR16 Goodyear Eagle unidirectional tires, a 145 MPH speedometer, and a tachometer with a 5,500 rpm redline.
A total of 1,426 IROC-Z coupes were equipped with the Performance Axle package in 1989.
To take an IROC-Z coupe to the maximum performance extreme in 1989, when G92 Performance Axle was ordered with no air conditioning (C41), RPO code 1LE was automatically triggered. This included extra equipment intended to make the IROC-Z more competitive in SCCA Showroom Stock road racing events: larger 11.65-inch rotors with 2-piston aluminum calipers from PBR, an aluminum driveshaft; a special baffled fuel tank; specific shock absorbers; and stiffer suspension bushings. The fog lamps were also deleted. The 1LE was simply an option combination, not a separate package or model that dealers were aware of the existence of, resulting in 111 cars built with 1LE equipment in 1989.
For the 1990 model year, an airbag was standard. The new airbag came alone with a new "half-moon" gauge cluster, that was offered only in 1990-1992 Camaros. The sharp edges on the dash surfaces were rounded. Lettering on gauges was yellow instead of white. 1990 was thus a distinguishable model year as it was the only 3rd gen Camaro that didn't feature the "aero" GFX but did have the newer interior/dash features.
The RPO code 1LE was again available in 1990, triggered as in the previous year by RPO G92 Performance Axle combined with no air conditioning on the IROC-Z coupe. Only 62 Camaros were built with 1LE equipment in 1990
With only 62 units produced in 1990, this IROC-Z is extremely rare and only has 39K original miles. Third Generation Camaros have yet to truly appreciate, but this low production variant will surely be sought after.
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