Huge result for low-mile IROC-Z puts third-gen Camaros in the conversation
What could be cooler than a minty-fresh IROC Camaro? Not much if we’re being completely honest. This 440-mile 1989 IROC-Z caught our eye when it showed up on Bring a Trailer auctions because of its low miles and preserved condition, but even more impressive is how much bidders were willing to pay for it.
Bidding skyrocketed early and settled in at $55,000 for nearly the duration of the auction. When the clock wound down, the final sale price settled in at $57,750, including buyer’s premium. That’s nearly double the #1-condition (Concours) value of an ’89 IROC-Z. Is this a flash in the pan, or the beginning of something big?
Historically, third-gen Camaros have been affordable. An exceptionally clean IROC-Z is commonly a sub-$20,000 car, and if you’re willing to settle for a Z/28 they’re even cheaper. Of course, the ultra-rare 1LE-equipped versions have sold in the $40,000 range, but those are race-ready factory machines of a different order.
Aside from being one of the cleanest third-gen Camaros to come to market in recent memory, this IROC-Z is extremely well optioned. The 230-horsepower 350 V-8 was the best engine option for 1989, and the first owner supplemented that power with a limited-slip differential and four-wheel disc brakes. Other upgrades include T-tops, 16-inch alloy wheels, and stylish rear window louvers. According to the build sheet, there are $4075 in options in this car—a little under a quarter of the total cost for the car.
Glorious as this IROC is and jaw-dropping as the result may be, keep in mind that a single sale doesn’t reset an entire market, especially when we are talking about a common model like the Camaro. However, third-gens have been cheap for a very long time and their arch nemesis, the Mustang 5.0 GT, has been on the rise as of late. Combine that with the huge surge in ’80s nostalgia in recent years, and the conditions are at least there for the Camaro to get a lot more popular, even if overall values don’t follow suit right away.