With an experienced team and a lot of data.
Protect your 1980 Chevrolet Camaro from the unexpected.
By 1980, U.S. automakers were responding to the dramatic influx of mid-sized, front-wheel drive cars from Japan. Chevrolet’s answer was the Citation line, which threw up a line of V-6 engines in various displacements. Those V-6s found their way into the 1980 Camaro to replace the old 250 cid six.
The new V-6 engine was now a 115hp, 229 cid unit, except in California, where a 110hp 231 cid Buick-built V-6 was used. Both were referred to as 3.8-liter units, but were quite different. The only other engine in California was the 155hp 305 cid V-8, while a 120hp 267 cid V-8 was offered for Rally Sport and Berlinetta models. The Z28 got a 190hp 350 cid V-8.
Six-cylinder engines actually proved quite popular. Of the 152,005 1980 Chevrolet Camaros sold, 51,104 (about a third) were V-6-powered. Prices ranged from the base V-6 Sport Coupe at $5,498 to the Z28 at $7,121. Again, manual gearboxes were not available in California. Four models were offered: the Sport Coupe, Rally Sport Coupe, Berlinetta and Z28. The Rally Sport was basically a paint job and could not be combined with any other model.
The Z28 Camaro was fighting a losing battle against the Pontiac Trans Am in this period. The Pontiac’s 400 cid WS6 V-8 might be gone, but the turbocharged 301 cid V-8 still produced 210hp and 345 lb-ft of torque. Even so, a total of 45,137 buyers lined up to buy the Z28, which now had a rear-facing air-scoop with electronic actuation, functional front fender ports and front and rear fender flares. The 190hp Z28 V-8 engine was optional on other models, but not in California.
By and large, luxury and comfort still occupied the minds of most 1980 Chevy Camaro buyers. Most popular options included automatic transmission (132,625), tinted glass (130,570), air-conditioning (107,175), power brakes (94,250), whitewall radials (81,240), tilt steering column (79,514), rear-window defogger (78,003), dual sport mirrors (63,572), power windows (44,716), cruise control (38,089), intermittent wipers (34,285) and windshield antenna (31,560).
Appearance favorites were color-keyed front and rear floor mats (81,824), style trim brightwork group (59,016), Rally wheels (55,232), auxiliary lighting (46,486), and glass T-tops (24,816). Performance options, meanwhile, were limited. Apart from the Z28 engine, (41,825 buyers), 12,721 customers ordered the sport suspension, 17,655 checked for the Positraction axle and 12,237 bought the wide-ratio 4-speed gearbox.
The 14 available colors were quite evenly spread: Dark Blue topped the list (17,399) followed by Black (16,291), White (16,090), Bright Blue (16,013), Charcoal (14,437), Silver (14,420), Bronze (12,089), Dark Brown (10,726), Gold (9,431), Dark Claret (8,507), Red, (7,795), Red Orange (4,374), Bright Yellow (3,174), and Lime Green (1,258). Vinyl roofs were not available on 1980 Camaros.