What Was the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z Named After?
Anyone who has a love of all things muscle cars knows the beauty of the Camaro. They are most likely also well aware of the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z. The question is, though, do they know what the IROC-Z was named after?
This Camaro was named after a race
According to Top Speed, the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z was named after the International Race of Champions (IROC). The IROC put the greatest drivers of the time, from all types of races to the test against each other. The goal was to test the drivers’ skills, not the cars.
The first car the IROC used was the Porsche Carrera RSR and then the Camaro Z28. The IROC shut down for a few years and returned in 1984. Chevy celebrated the return of the races with the commemorative edition Chevy Camaro Z28 IROC-Z.
The IROC-Z is a trim level of the Z-28. Chevy dropped production of the Z-28 in 1988 and created the upgraded trim level of the IROC-Z. It came with the same 305 as the Z-28 until you could order it with the same TPI V-8 as the Chevy Corvette, starting in 1987.
You could also get upgraded suspension, high-performance shocks, and sway bars. You could argue that the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z was a “Camaro That Thinks It’s a Corvette.”
The IROC-Z was offered for five years until 1989. The car was officially retired when Dodge took over the International Race of Champions sponsorship.
The IROC finds the greatest driver
The International Race of Champions (IROC) ran from 1974 until 2006 as a North American stock racing series. Each race consisted of 12 invited drivers who competed in identical stock cars. These cars were often Porsche, Chevrolet, Dodge, or Pontiac. A single team of mechanics also set the cars up. The race tracks were either oval or road courses.
Motorsport is different from other sports. While the winner (or the best), in other sports, can be determined by who is the fastest or has the highest points, it is more difficult in motorsport. There is a wide range of different cars. How do you determine the best driver with so many different kinds of cars and races?
That is where the International Race of Champions comes in. It was created to solve this debate and determine the best driver. The International Race of Champions brings the finest drivers from all the motorsport disciplines and puts them in the same car and on the same track to battle it out.
The International Race of Champions closed in 2007 and has never been revived.
The Camaro IROC-Z is collectible thanks to its production numbers
One part of becoming a collectible car is the production numbers—the lower the production numbers, the more highly sought after the car is by collectors. The rarer a car is, the more collectors want it.
Low production numbers is the only reason that the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z is a prized collector’s car. The production numbers are down because of the lack of sales. Finding an IROC-Z that is restorable and drivable is now challenging.
There were various reasons the Chevy Camaro IROC-Z was not a popular seller. One reason was that it was not the fastest Camaro at the time. The car was also heavier thanks to its unique front fascia, upgraded suspension, and sway bars. These features added 52 pounds to the car. It may not seem like a lot of weight, but it made a big difference when trying to race.
You can find current sales prices of various years of the IROC-Z on Classic. Here are a few examples of how much this car is worth today, with years and mileage:
- 1985 (15,000 miles): $22,500
- 1988 Convertible (1836 miles): $37,000
- 1989 (37,000 miles): $9,800
- 1990 (75,992 miles): $21,000
- 1985 (31,691 miles): $25,000