1995 Chevrolet Camaro

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1995 Chevrolet Camaro

Available in 4 styles:  Camaro 2dr Coupe shown
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Kelley Blue Book Retail
$2,475–$4,575

Est. MPG

17–19 city / 26–28 hwy


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Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

By 

IndyStar.com
The name "Chevrolet" is synonymous with the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race.

So it's fitting that hordes of Chevrolet cars and trucks swarm over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.

Among them is the 1995 Camaro Z28 convertible support vehicle for Chevy's Corvette pace car. The Z28 is virtually a four-passenger Vette with its LT1 engine, drivetrain, moderate size and weight, and handling characteristics.

This convertible is a potent set of wheels on the road or on the track, and its sports styling and engineering changes separate it from past Camaro models.

The styling is a knockout. Most automobiles today adopt an aerodynamic theme, but this fresh-air Z28 establishes a benchmark for good-looking convertibles.

The front end has a mean look that denotes power. The headlight treatment invokes the look of a predator shark. And there's nothing on back from the low nose, 68- degree raked windshield and stylish white fabric top that takes away from the flowing look.

The sports-personified theme is carried into the interior, with a cockpit that instantly reminds a driver that there's no mistaking this vehicle for a family car. Its purpose is to go, and that's what made the Z28 convertible which Chevrolet Motor Division's Bill O'Neil provided for a test car exciting to drive.

The car is the most comfortable Z28 Chevy has built. The convertible top adds a touch of extra head room, although if you're wearing a hat you're going to end up taking it off -- or getting it knocked off -- when getting into the driver's seat.

Obviously, there are advantages and disadvantages for this type of automobile. Rear-seat room is rather confined for adults, but acceptable for young people.

The cockpit layout is straight-out sports car. The wheel drops into your lap. A full-gauge instrument panel is right ahead, with easy-to-read red indicator arrows covering white numerals on a black background.

So there's no floundering around trying to read the gauges when going fast.

With the Corvette LT1 V8 under the hood, this car gets out and runs. The small-block 5.7-liter (350- cubic-inch) engine was introduced in the 1992 Vette and incorporates an innovative reverse-flow cooling system where coolant flows through the heads first instead of through the block.

In Z28 form, the engine gives away 25 horsepower and 15 foot-pounds of torque to the LT1 in the Corvette. But with 275 horsepower and 325 foot-pounds of torque, power is immediate when you jump on the throttle.

The transmission is an optional four-speed automatic rather than a standard six-speed manual. Maybe you could shave a 10th of a second or so with the six-speed in a 0-60 mph run, but you'd need a stopwatch to know the difference.

The automatic is a lot more convenient to drive, as the six-speed has a computer-controlled lockout system that jumps the shift pattern from first to fourth gear under light acceleration. Under full throttle, you can go through all six gears.

The automatic produces a 0-60 mph time of 6.5 seconds, with a top speed rated at 150. When you put the hammer down, acceleration comes in a rush and without wheel spin off the line.

The test car was equipped with optional traction control, which Chevy lists under the fancy name of "Acceleration Slip Regulation." It's a $450 item, but for drivers with a yen for leaning on the power, it's worth considering.

A convertible at speed has a certain degree of noise, and over rough pavement a certain degree of body shake. Both were noticed in the test car, but at a controlled level.

Sound-absorbent headliner padding in the fabric top kept wind noise at about the same level as a closed coupe during normal driving. As speeds went up, decibel levels rose.

Designers of the Z28 convertible faced the same problems confronting any open car. Removing the top permits torsion twisting of the body.

But structural bracingof the chassis provides good resistance to body shake. It took some fairly uneven pave ment for any shaking to appear.

This car didn't start out as a coupe, with its roof cut off by some aftermarket shop. The Z28 convertible is manufactured on the line at Chevy's assembly plant to ensure a solid foundation for a rigid body.

The car was easy to drive fast, with pinpoint steering and wide radial tires that get a good grip on the pavement. There was no indication it would play tricks through the corners.

The ride leans a little toward the firm side, as befits the car's sporting image. But it wasn't harsh, and you could ride for a long time without excessive fatigue.

Obviously, a convertible isn't for everyone.

But for those in the market for a highly styled open performance car at a price that doesn't raise the specter of personal bankruptcy, the Camaro Z28 is well worth a look. And you get a bonus of being associated with the Indianapolis 500.

1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 Base price: $23,095.As tested: $27,675.Type: Front engine, rear-wheel drive, four- passenger, convertible coupe.Engine: 5.7-liters, OHV V-8, 16 valves, fuel injected, 275-horsepower, 325 foot-pounds of torque.Transmission: Four-speed automatic.Mileage: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway.Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds.Top speed: 150 mph.Wheelbase: 101.1 inches.Length: 193.2 inches.Width: 74.1 inches.Height: 52.0 inches.Curb weight: 3,480 pounds.Options: Air conditioning, four-speed automatic, power windows/locks, power seat, power mirrors, cruise control, leather seats, leather wheel, remote entry system, remote trunk release, fog lamps, traction control, body mouldings, "500" graphics.


    Expert Reviews 2 of 2

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