Nothing is more patriotic than doing a burnout in a Camaro Z/28, while smoking a Marlboro, and blaring Kid Rock. The fourth-gen Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was filled with that 90s enthusiasm that made you look forward to the future. It was also filled with enough wheel-spinning torque to make it one epic Cheap Thrill…

When the fourth-gen Chevy Camaro Z/28 dropped in 1993, it reminded Americans just how great their nation was. For decades, the ‘traditional’ muscle car had been strangled by environmental regulations, rendering them almost pointless. Then Chevy came along and said ‘screw that, we’re building a real American badass!’ To accomplish this, the bow-tie boys de-tuned the Corvette’s new LT1 5.7L V8 to ‘just’ 275 hp/325 lb-ft, then dropped it into an entirely new Camaro platform. The resulting Camaro Z/28 was the most powerful F-Body since the 1970 Camaro LT-1, and it could rocket to 60 mph in a scant 5.7 seconds.

A new dual catalytic converter setup boosted horsepower to 285 in 1996, and 1998 saw a revised fish-face front end design, along with the 346ci LS1 engine from the new C5 Corvette. Chevy claimed this all-aluminum monster motor produced only 305 hp in the Camaro. But a Car and Driver dyno test showed 286 hp at the rear wheels, which meant the LS1 actually made closer to 330 hp at the crank (10%–15% of the horsepower that an engine produces at the crankshaft is lost as it makes its way to the wheels through the driveline). That car (a loaded 1998 Camaro Z/28, in case you were wondering) hit 60 mph in just 5.2 ticks. By 2001, the LS1-powered Z/28 had been fitted with an LS6 intake manifold (i.e. the big-block in the Corvette Z06), and was producing 310 hp/340 lb-ft.

Brilliant motors aside, the interior of the 1993–2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is about as refined as drinking Boone’s Farm from a Dixie cup. Everything feels like it was made from melted-down Tic-Tac boxes and upholstered with used Q-Tip heads. The seats are garbage. Every panel either squeaks or rattles. And you can’t see the front edge of the car (which is actually quite far away), no matter how tall you are. To get around all of this desperate tackiness, we highly recommend pushing the right pedal all the way to the floor…

Regardless of the redneck-idness, a 1993–2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is actually quite a practical daily driver. They can average around 20 mpg, the Z/28 coupe has a big trunk (the Z/28 convertible… doesn’t), and they tend to be extremely reliable. Two important caveats though: The body/chassis design makes servicing the engine very difficult/expensive, and the LS1 engine has both an aluminum block and heads. So if you overheat it… something will probably crack or warp. But if you keep it serviced and drive ‘responsibly’, you’ll be just fine.

Prices for the 1993–2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 range from $7,000–$10,000, depending on the mileage, equipment, and condition.1993-2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28


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