Arriving late on the pony car scene, the Camaro quickly made up for lost time with a host of luxury and performance options available on RS, SS, and Z-28 platforms. The long hood/short deck exterior was based on a 108-inch wheelbase and offered as coupe or convertible. Body construction was semi-unitized, where the front chassis is a sub-frame held by four rubber-isolated mounts and rear chassis is part of the unibody. This design gave a smoother and more quiet ride than a full unibody car, and allowed maximum space for the already small rear seat and trunk.
Initially nothing more than an option code designation, the Z-28 moniker stuck, and now models so equipped sported either Z-28 or 302 badges. Dual low-restriction mufflers, heavy-duty radiator with temperature-controlled fan, and 15×6-inch wheels were included with the Z-28 package. The potent 302 small-block engine remained the same. A dual-four-barrel cross-ram intake manifold was available, using two 600-cfm carburetors.
Racing legend Mark Donahue, driving the blue #6 Camaro, won ten out of the thirteen Trans Am races this year, easily winning the 1968 series. The Penske/Sunoco prepped 302 engine reportedly produced 482-horsepower. With SCCA rules stating parts used on race cars must be available to the public, the Penske/Donohue race team should be credited for helping bring many heavy-duty race items to dealer parts-counters.
The rear decklid spoiler, first seen on Z-28 models, was now available on all Camaros, and buyers could now combine the Z-28 package with the RS package. 7,199 examples of the second-year Z-28 were sold. Consistently finishing ahead of Mustangs on the track, the resulting publicity greatly helped overall Camaro sales. Total first year Camaro production totaled 220,906, with 235,417 models sold in 1968.
Author : Valentina Matelli