Thirdgen Camaro and Firebird History


Welcome to the ATGO Thirdgen History Page. On this page you will find the history for the 82-92 Camaro and Firebirds. Also check out the Thirdgen Tech Data page for more information.


Thirdgen History


Camaro History


1982 Chevrolet Camaro History

3rd Generation Camaros are introduced: Sport Coupe, Berlinetta, and Z28. The Z28 selected as the Indy 500 pace car. Five engines were available with the Camaro. The LQ8 2bbl 4 cylinder, the LQ9 TBI 4 cylinder, the LC1 2bbl V-6, the LG4 4bblbl V-8, and the twin TBI LU5 V-8. Transmissions were a 4 speed manual and a 3 speed automatic. All Camaros came with front disc brakes.

Sport Coupe came standard with the LQ9 (LQ8 in Canada and overseas) four cylinder. The LC1 V-6 and LG4 V-8 were optional. Dog dish hub caps were standard; wheel covers were optional as were 14×7 steel 5 spoke body-colored rally wheels.

Berlinetta came standard with the LC1 V-6. The LG4 V-8 was optional. Berlinetta came standard with exterior gold `Berlinetta’ badging on the rear bumper and C pillars. The headlamp pockets were painted in an accent color and tail lights got a gold and black horizontal divider bar. Berlinetta also got its own lower body pinstriping. The Berlinetta came standard with its own unique 14×7 finned aluminum wheel with gold accenting and `Berlinetta’ center cap. Also standard was the custom cloth interior, rear storage well cover and additional carpeting on rear wheelhouses (`deluxe luggage compartment trim’). Berlinetta also came standard with additional body insulation, softer suspension and full instrumentation. The Berlinetta also had its own unique steering wheel with `Berlinetta’ badge.

Z28 came with the LG4 4bbl V-8 as standard motor and LU5 twin TBI `Cross Fire Injection’ 5.0 liter/305 motor was optional. All Z28’s came with lightweight SMC (Sheet Molded Compound) hoods. The LU5 optioned Z28’s also came with functional hood air induction flaps. The Z28 had a different nose that did not have the three horizontal slits above the grille as on the Sport Coupe and Berlinetta. Z28 came standard with a 3 piece rear spoiler and black horizontal bar in tail lights. The Z28 also came with front, side, and rear lower body valances in silver or gold. Just above the valance was a two-color lower body stripe that encircled the car. Headlamp pockets on the Z28 were black. The Z28 came standard with a new 15×7 cast aluminum 5 spoke wheel accented with either silver or gold. Z28 badges appeared on the right rear bumper, and on the side valance just behind the front wheels. A 1982 Z28 can be distinguished from a 1983 and 1984 Z28 by its lack of the bowtie emblem by the Z28 emblem on the rear bumper.

6360 Z28 Indy Pace Car replicas were produced and came with special silver and blue paint scheme, special 4-color lower body striping, Indy 500 door decals, special blue cloth/silver vinyl interior, and red pinstripes on the standard Z28 aluminum wheel.

The Camaro is Motor Trends Car of the Year for 82. It was 500 lbs. lighter, dimesions were reduced, and had a shorter wheel base. Windshield slope is 60 degrees, about 3 degrees steeper than anything GM had tried before it. It was also within 70 lbs. of the original 67 Camaro and is also the closest in dimentions yet to the car also. 1st time a 4 cylinder was available in a Camaro.



1983 Chevrolet Camaro History
5.0 liter H.O. motor introduced mid-year (March 1, 1983). H.O. motor came with a higher lift and longer duration cam, dual snorkel intake system with `5.0 Liter H.O.’ decal on air cleaner, specially calibrated Quadrajet carburetor, lightweight flywheel, electric cooling fan, bigger 2.75 inch exhaust and Corvette style wide mouth monolithic catalytic converter, 5.0 Liter H.O. exterior badging and interior emblem badging came standard with 3.73 rear axle gear. In 1983, L69 was only available with a 5 speed manual transmission.

New L69 cam:      L69 305 H.O.         
                  190 HP / 240 Lb.Ft.      
                  Tach: Yellow 5000      
                        Red    5500      

Lift:             Intake       .410                
                  Exhaust      .423           

Duration:         Intake       320  
(crank)           Exhaust      320  



4 speed automatic 700R4 introduced and was the only automatic available on V-8 cars. 5 speed manual was introduced and was only manual transmission available on V-8 cars.

All Z28 hoods were switched from SMC to steel except the LU5 air induction hood. Last year for this functional induction hood, only available on the Z28, which featured opening flaps for a ram air-like effect. Charcoal was added as a wheel accent/valance color. Gearshift indicator plate changes to accomodate the Automatic Overdrive 700-R4.



1984 Chevrolet Camaro History

Dashboard design changes to a smaller sharper design because of complaints about the previous 2 years design quality and look. Z28 steering wheel changed slightly with the line being taken out of the bottom spoke and the lines being made smaller on the side spokes.

Berlinetta gets electronic instrumentation. Included bar-graph tach, digital speedometer, and stalk-mounted cassette/radio, fingertip steering wheel side pod mounted controls, cruise control in steering wheel, and an overhead console.

Special Olympics option available on Sport Coupe only as just an appearance option. All these Sport Coupes were white. The package itself was comprised of striping and decals. It included a double blue/orange striping around the base of the car, pinstriping in the same colors along the upper body, and an “Olympic” style decal on the sail panels.

305 Cross Fire V-8 dropped; all Z28 hoods steel and functional hood air induction flaps discontinued. Clutches switched to hydraulic operation on manual transmission cars.

L69 H.O. Z28 motor now available with automatic transmission. All automatics now 4 speed 700R4 units.

Road & Track selects the 84 Camaro as 1 of 12 best cars in the world along with the Firebird. It won Best Sports GT category in the $11,000 to $14,000 range. Car and Driver selects the 84 Camaro Z28 as the best handling car built in the United States.


1985 Chevrolet Camaro History

New noses for all Camaros and new, deeper valances and front spoiler for the Z28 and the newly introduced IROC-Z28. The NACA style hood ducts were replaced by simulated hood louvers on the Z28. Z28 got new `grid’ pattern taillights. The number of lower body stripes grew from 2 to 4 on Z28 with a body colored gap between the top 3 stripes. Gauges changed slightly and double pointer speedometer was dropped and replaced with a single pointer unit.Berlinetta aluminum wheels became an extra cost option and Berlinetta now came standard with its own unique wheel covers that were styled to look like the optional aluminum wheel. The Berlinetta aluminum wheel also became an option on the Sport Coupe but with argent accenting rather than gold and a `Camaro’ center cap rather than `Berlinetta’. Lower body pinstiping on the Berlinetta was revised by an additional stripe.The new IROC-Z option was available on the Z28 and came with new 16×8 aluminum rims, P245/50VR-16 Z Rated Goodyear Gatorback tires, fog lights, CAMARO on front license plate panel, .5 inch lowered ride height, body colored valances, Delco-Bilstein rear gas shocks, special front struts, increased spring rates, special jounce bumpers, 5 degrees of caster (up from 3.5 on Z28) in front wheel alignment, `WonderBar’ front frame rail stiffener, special valving in steering for increased steering effort, larger rear stabilizer bar with stiffer bushings, IROC-Z exterior decals and interior dash badge, and a thinner two-color lower body stripe.`Tuned Port Injection’ (TPI) motors introduced. The Corvette got a 350 version (L98) and the Camaro got a 305 version (LB9); available in the Z28 or IROC-Z. LB9 was available with automatic only. L69 H.O. 305 was only available in IROC and only with 5 speed manual. L69 production was restricted half-way (April 26, 1985) through the model year.MPFI V-6 LB8 motor introduced to replace carbureted LC1 V-6. It Had similar port injection as LB9 TPI V-8.All manual transmissions now 5 Speeds.7.5 inch rear end dropped and replaced with a new 7.625 (7 5/8) inch rear end for all Camaros.G92 (performance axle ratio) only available on IROC-Z for 1985.

The IROC-Z28 is capable of .92g’s on the skidpad and 63.3 MPH slaloms.


1986 Chevrolet Camaro History

Sport Coupe restyled and upgraded. New lower body striping, black headlamp pockets, black mirrors, and F41 suspension calibration standard. New silver 15×7 (up from the 14×7 rally wheel) steel 5 spoke rally wheels became standard equipment on the Sport Coupe. Sport Coupe also got the previous year’s Z28 taillights with the horizontal black separator bar. The Berlinetta model was discontinued early in the year.Late in the 1986 model year, the 85mph speedometer in the Z28 and IROC-Z were replaced with a new 145 mph unit. All 1986 Camaros had the newly required CHMSL (center high mounted stop light) mounted externally on the leading edge of the hatchback glass. This was the only year Z28’s and IROC-Z’s had the CHMSL mounted here. Fog lamps were now available on the Sport Coupe and Berlinetta, and the fog lamp/`CAMARO’ front grille assembly of the IROC was now available on the regular Z28. New clear coat/base coat paint was adopted this year.The original 215hp 305 TPI motor came out in 1985 available both in the Z28 and IROC-Z. The motor was detuned for 1986 losing 25hp due to a cam change. Torque was increased though, from 275 to 285. Automatic transmissions were required on all 1985/1986 TPI powered cars.


1987 Chevrolet Camaro History

The Sport Coupe got restyled rally wheels (unique to this year), new lower body stripes, and argent headlamp pockets.The dropped Berlinetta model was replaced with the new ‘LT’ option for the Sport Coupe. The LT option incorporated most of the Berlinetta’s equipment except the electronic instrumentation.Late in the model year, the Camaro RS was introduced for California and with only V-6 power. RS had Z28 style valances that were painted body color (like IROC) and had no lower body stripes. The RS got the 15 inch 5 spoke aluminum Z28 wheel which were painted to match body color. 1987 RS Camaro came only in red, white, or black. It also had the same steering wheel used in Z28’s and IROC-Z’s.Delco-Bose sound systems and leather interior were available for the first time and were available on all Camaro models.Automatic gearshift knob is switched from round to square in all models.The CHMSL moved to the spoiler (which was slightly increased in size) on all cars equipped with a spoiler (all Z28’s, IROC-Z’s, spoiler optional on LT and Sport Coupe). Lower body stripes on Z28 still numbered 4, but gap between the top three stripes was removed.Camaro convertible was introduced for the first time since 1969 as a regular production option. The convertible was available on the Sport Coupe, Sport Coupe LT, Z28, and IROC-Z. The new 350 TPI motor was not available in the convertible however. The convertible conversion was performed on t-top equipped (t-top models have extra bracing) Camaros by ASC. Only 1,007 convertibles were produced this first year of production. 1987 was the 20th anniversary of the Camaro and the convertibles were considered the anniversary editions and were signified by a special dash badge that read `20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition’. Also specific to the 87 convertibles were the one year only third brake light and fairings extending a few inches onto the top edge of the doors. G92 performance axle ratio and J65 four wheel disc brakes were available this year on the IROC-Z convertible.1987 was the last year for Camaros produced at the Norwood Ohio plant, the original Camaro Plant.The 350 TPI and 5 Speed 305 TPI combinations were finally available on the IROC-Z28 after alot of testing. The 350 was only available in the IROC-Z and only with an automatic transmission. The exterior differed in appearance only by `5.7 Tuned Port Injection’ badges rather than `Tuned Port Injection’ badges. The TPI 350 motor was not visually distinguishable from the TPI 305. A few things can be used to disinguish a 350 TPI from a 305 TPI (other than the badges, which are often changed to sell a 305 TPI as a 350 TPI). All TPI 350 IROC-Z’s (1987-1990) and all TPI 350 Z28’s (1991-1992) had automatic transmissions and most had rear disc brakes. The eighth digit of the VIN is and `8′ for 350 TPI’s and an `F’ for 305 TPI’s. The service parts identification list in the center console glovebox will list the code B2L and L98 for a 350 TPI, LB9 for a 305 TPI. The under hood sticker should list the motor as a 5.7 liter rather than a 5.0 liter. All TPI 350 (1987-1992) Camaros had a tach with yellow at 5000 and red at 5500. They also all came with the Borg Warner 9 Bolt and 3.27’s in 87 only.In 1987, the 215hp 305 TPI motor returned on the newly available 5 spd / 305 TPI combination only. Torque was rated now at 295, up from 275 in 1985. Automatic 305 TPI’s still got the weaker cam and 190hp rating.All 5 spd 305 TPI Camaros came with the better cam (25hp advantage) until 1990 when G92 HAD to be specified to get the better cam in the 5 spd 305 TPI. Roller lifters and new valve cover/head design on V-8 Camaros. Valve covers featured new sealing and mounting through center of cover. Heads featured new raised lip for improved valve cover sealing.G92 and L98(B2L) cars finally got the Borg-Warner HD 7.75 inch four pinion rear end, produced by GM Holden’s Limited of Australia (Firebird WS6 cars went to this unit in 1986). These units can be identified by their 9 bolt (rather than 10) differential cover that has a rubber plug. The Borg-Warner logo is also cast into the bottom of the differential case. This rear axle came with tapered rather than straight roller bearings and a cone-clutch rather than disc-clutch limited slip unit. These units came painted black from the factory while most others were bare metal.

G92 for 1987 required the following options:


  • 5.0 TPI (LB9) Limited slip differential (G80) Rear disc brakes (J65)
  • Engine oil cooler (KC4)



G92 (performance axle ratio) available only on IROC-Z with 5.0 TPI (LB9). G92 was available on IROC-Z convertible in 1987. All 1987 350 TPI (B2L) IROC-Z’s came standard with the 3.27 BW rear end and everything that was included with G92 but did not have the G92 RPO code because it was mandatory; this changed in 1988 however when a 2.77 BW rear was standard and G92 had to be specified to get the 3.27’s. All 1987 350 TPI (B2L) IROC-Z’s required J65 rear disc brakes, G80 limited slip differential, and KC4 engine oil cooler



1988 Chevrolet Camaro History

LT option dropped. Z28 model dropped and replaced by the IROC-Z28. (although interior dash badge still read `Z28 IROC-Z’, rather than just `IROC-Z’ as on exterior badges)Automatic gearshift plate changes with smaller letters, an orange indicator, and a flat lined slide pattern instead of the all white, larger lettered, smooth and rounded slider of previous years. The 16 inch wheels that had been standard equipment on the IROC were restyled and now became an extra cost option for the IROC. The standard IROC wheel was the old 15×7 inch aluminum 5 spoke Z28 wheel and this wheel was also now standard on the Sport Coupe. In 1988 only, this wheel rather than having only the recessed areas painted gold or silver, was completely painted gold or silver (for that `double-dunked’ in paint look). The IROC-Z door decals were moved from the front of the doors to the rear. Z28 exterior badges were replaced with IROC-Z badges. The lower-body stripe was reversed changing from black on bottom with trim color above, to black on top with trim color below, now with a gap (of body color) between the two stripes. Newly available DX3 stripe delete option eliminated IROC-Z decals and stripes altogether.Sport Coupe took on the appearance of the defunct regular Z28 except for: `CAMARO’ rather than `Z28′ exterior badges; body colored headlight pockets rather than black; and gold or silver wheel center caps rather than black; the regular hood rather than the louvered hood; and the 1985-1987 IROC two tone lower body stripe rather than the four-color Z28 body stripe. This was the last year for the Sport Coupe and was the only year for this particular appearance. Early in the year, Sport Coupes came with a `shorty’ rear wing rather than a spoiler. This ungainly addition was discontinued and replaced with the standard spoiler midyear. RS available in California, Texas, and Florida and with V-6 power only.Serpentine belt now on Camaro V-8’s. Long-lived LG4 carbureted 305 replaced by the new LO3 throttle body injection 305. All Camaro TPI motors bumped up 5 hp due to slightly higher lift/longer duration cam profiles, additional valve seat angle, exhaust port/exhaust manifold changes.G92 (performance axle ratio) still available on IROC-Z convertible in 1988. G92 code was now available on the 350 (B2L) IROC-Z and now had to be specified to get 3.27 rear end (was standard in 1987) as a 2.77 rear was now standard on the 5.7 TPI. J65 rear disc brakes, G80 limited slip differential, and KC4 engine oil cooler were still required on all 5.7 and G92 cars.

Secret showroom stock racing 1LE option (option level 0 IROC-Z) first available. Only 4 produced.


1989 Chevrolet Camaro History

Sport Coupe dropped, replaced by returning RS model. RS now available with LO3 V-8. Headlight pockets on RS no longer painted black. Camaros now came with rear shoulder belts. The Corvette PASS-KEY ignition lock system was adopted for all Camaros.The base 15 inch IROC wheel was restyled to have the appearance of the optional 16 inch wheel. P245/50ZR-16 tires replaced the P245/50VR-16 tires on the IROC-Z when equipped with the 16 inch wheels. TPI motors got better performing `Multec’ fuel injectors. The exterior of the TPI plenum changed slightly: the ridges on top of the plenum did not extend as far forward. Calibration refinements eliminated the cold start injector.Four wheel disc optioned (J65) IROC-Z’s rear brakes were increased in size from 10.5 inch rotors to 11.65 inch rotors with PBR Australian built aluminum calipers and more reliable parking brake actuators. Front discs still had 10.5 inch rotors with Delco-Moraine single piston calipers.

G92 option included N10 performance exhaust system (dual catalytic converters) which increased power output by 13% on cars so equipped. For 1989, G92 also required the following options:


  • 5.7 TPI motor (B2L) or 5.0 TPI motor (LB9) with 5 speed (MM5) manual. 16 inch wheels (N96) P245/50ZR-16 Goodyear Gatorback tires (QLC) Limited slip differential (G80) Rear disc brakes (J65)
  • Engine oil cooler (KC4)



G92 and J65 (rear disc brakes) no longer available on IROC-Z convertible.G92 and J65 (rear disc brakes) no longer available on LB9 automatic IROC-Z.1LE performance package option (option level 0 IROC-Z) became more well-known.

1LE package was obtained by ordering the following:


  • Level 1 IROC-Z with 5.0 TPI engine with 5 speed or 5.7 TPI engine Optional axle ratio (G92) (305/3.45, 350/3.27) and its required options.
  • Air conditioning delete (C41) (standard heater)



Then the 1LE performance package was installed consisting of:


  • Fog lamp delete Aluminum driveshaft (JG1) Performance exhaust system (N10) (dual catalytic converters) Special deflected disc shocks Aluminum spare wheel with smaller spare tire (N64) Larger (11.86 inch) front rotors with Girlock or PBR Australian built HD front dual piston aluminum calipers Special swinging fuel pickup in gas tank and special 18 gallon baffled fuel tank for fuel pickup down to .5 gallon reserve to prevent fuel starvation in hard cornering.
  • Some came with special 16×8 light alloy mesh wheels. (XWL)



111 1989 1LE IROC-Z’s were produced.

A new progressive throttle linkage was added to give smoother initial acceleration. The throttle had a smaller rate of advance at beginning of travel, and a larger ratio as the throttle was depressed



1990 Chevrolet Camaro History

The 1990 model year was only a half year of production due to Chevrolet not renewing the IROC contract, no IROC-Z’s were produced after 12/31/1989. Instead, the 1991 Camaros were introduced early during last half of the 1990 model year.1990 IROC’s and RS’s are easily identifiable: 1990 was the first year for the updated interior which included drivers side airbag, redesigned instrument panel, yellow lettering on dash, rounded controls, etc. So 1990 IROC’s are the only IROC’s with the new interior. 1990 RS’s are the only RS’s with the new interior and the older valances (before the new `scooped’ side valances).The LB8 2.8 liter V-6 was replaced by an increased displacement 3.1 liter LH0 V-6.In 1990, the base engine for the IROC was finally the LB9 TPI 305 rather than the base LO3 V-8. However, G92 had to be specified now to get the better cam/230hp LB9 motor in the 5 speed LB9 IROC-Z. Previously, all 5 speed LB9 IROC-Z’s got the higher output LB9. One other difference between a 1989 5.7 IROC and a 1990 5.7 IROC are the pistons. The 350 (only) received lighter weight pistons thus a slight horsepower increase of 240 (1989) to 245 (1990). In 1990, TPI Camaros switched from MAF air metering systems to MAP systems. This eliminated the mass airflow (MAF) sensor.IROC-Z convertible now came standard with 16 inch wheels and P245/50ZR-16 tires.G80 limited slip differential became standard equipment on IROC-Z.The Borg-Warner HD rear end was dropped and replaced with the old 7.625 (7 5/8) inch rear end. Because the Borg-Warner axles were no longer being used for the G92 option, optional axle ratios changed slightly: LB9 305 TPI 5 speed went from 3.45 (1989) to 3.42 (1990) and the B2L 350 TPI went from 3.27 (1989) to 3.23 (1990).

Content of G92 was expanded and purchased as a `performance package’ rather than requiring other options. G92 could be ordered two ways: with or without air conditioning. Ordering G92 `without air conditioning’ (C41 standard heater) added the 1LE performance package. G92 performance packages were only available with B2L or LB9/5 speed. All 350 IROC-Z’s were required to have one of the G92 packages in 1990.


G92 with air conditioning (C60):

  • Optional axle ratio (305/3.42, 350/3.23) Rear disc brakes (J65) Performance exhaust system (N10) (dual catalytic converters) Engine oil cooler (KC4)
  • 5.0 liter TPI (LB9) with 5 speed gets revised cam for 230hp rating.

G92 with out air conditioning (C41) in addition to above adds 1LE performance package consisting of:

  • Fog lamp delete Aluminum driveshaft (JG1) Aluminum spare wheel with smaller spare tire (N64) Larger (11.86 inch) front rotors and PBR Australian built HD front dual piston aluminum calipers
  • Special swinging fuel pickup in gas tank and special 18 gallon baffled fuel tank for fuel pickup down to .5 gallon reserve to prevent fuel starvation in hard cornering

The 1989 1LE special deflected disc shocks were dropped for the 1990 1LE IROC-Z and standard IROC-Z gas shocks were used.

34 1990 1LE LB9 (305 TPI) IROC-Z’s were built. 28 1990 1LE B2L (350 TPI) IROC-Z’s were built


1991 Chevrolet Camaro History

The regular Z28 name returns since GM was now unable to make IROC-Z’s. All lower valances and rear bumper redesigned. Side valances had scoops in front of each wheel (like Mustang GT). Z28 got a large Ferrari F40 style rear wing. On the Z28, `CAMARO’ on the front license plate panel was replaced with the bow-tie emblem. The hood louvers on the previous year’s IROC were replaced by hood `power blisters’ on the Z28. Engine designations were removed from side valance badging and only appeared on the rear bumper.The standard wheel for the Z28 was a newly styled 16 inch wheel. Standard tires for the Z28 were P235/55R-16 tires; P245/50ZR-16 tires were optional on the Z28, and standard on 350 Z28 and Z28 convertible.RS was available for the first time with 16 inch wheels. Tires for the 16 inch wheels on the RS and RS convertible were P235/55R-16. RS also got the grid taillights like the Z28. The CHMSL was moved from the spoiler to the inside top edge of the hatchback glass. The slightly smaller non-CHMSL spoiler from 1982-1986 replaced the CHMSL spoiler on the RS.G92 packages with air conditioning (C60) and without air conditioning (C41/1LE) still available on Z28. All 350 Z28’s were required to have one of the G92 packages in 1991. G92 was not available on the Z28 convertible (as was the case with the previous year’s IROC-Z convertible).289 1991 1LE LB9 (305 TPI) Z28’s were built. 175 1991 1LE B2L (350 TPI) Z28’s were built.

B4C `Special Service’ police package became available to law enforcement agencies only. Cars were RS coupes with Z28 5.0 TPI or 5.7 TPI drivetrains and Z28 suspensions. These cars came equipped with the 16 inch wheels and P245/50-ZR16 tires, engine oil cooler, rear disc brakes, and limited slip axle. Midyear, the 1LE 11.86 inch front brakes and HD calipers became optional for the B4C. This package was the only way to get air conditioning and the HD front brakes. There were 592 1991 B4C Camaros built.


1992 Chevrolet Camaro History

25th anniversary of the Camaro and last year for the 3rd generation Camaro. 1992 also marked the end of Camaros being produced at the Van Nuys plant (the only Camaro producing plant since the Norwood plant closed at the end of the 1987 model year).`Heritage Edition’ package available on all Camaros. There were 8,197 made. Package included first generation Camaro style hood and rear deck stripes, body colored grille, black headlamp pockets, a 25th Anniversary badge on rear spoiler (RS) or hatchback rear edge (Z28), and a 25th Anniversary badge on dash. Initially Heritage package only available as a white car with red stripes; black car with red stripes; or red car with black stripes. Mid-year, additional Heritage Edition colors available: polo green car with gold stripes (this combination also got gold badges and gold accent wheels); and purple haze car with silver stripes.A Special 25th Anniversary `Collector’s Edition’ Camaro was planned, but then dropped. There were to be 602 (same as the number of 67 Z28’s) produced. Only two prototypes were completed however. The prototype Collector’s Edition Camaro started as a white Heritage Edition RS Camaro with black stripes. Then the B4C police package was added, then it was equipped with the Corvette L98 5.7 aluminum head motor, fitted with siamesed intake runners, and then tubular headers. This brought the horsepower rating up to 270. The car was also equipped with a ZF 6-speed and GTA black `lace’ 16×8 wheels. Only 1 of the 2 cars were kept and can be seen at shows.Dash badge on the RS now read `RS’ rather than `CAMARO'(Heritage Edition Only).`Tuned Port Injection’ disappeared from the TPI throttle body cover. Mid-year, valve covers on TPI motors changed from silver to black (like LO3 V8). Also, at some point near the end of the production year, the traditional smooth-appearance Camaro TPI runners were replaced with rough, cast-appearance TPI runners (like on the Corvette L98). These runners were possibly old Corvette stock being used up on the Z28s since the Corvette’s L98 was replaced by the LT1 in 1992.Z28 convertible came only with P235/55R-16 tires for 1992.There were 705 1992 1LE Camaros built.

HD calipers and 11.86 front brakes became standard on the B4C special service package. There were 589 1992 B4C Camaros built.

Firebird History


1982 Pontiac Firebird History

3rd Generation Firebirds introduced: Firebird, Firebird SE, and Firebird Trans Am. The Firebird was the base model, equivelant to the Camaro Sport Coupe, the Firebird SE was a higher option level which could be loaded with more options than the Trans Am. The Trans Am was the highest performance level for the Firebird.

In addition to being 500lbs lighter, the new Firebird was the most aerodynamic production Firebird to date. Wind tunnels were used to form the body shape. The aerodynamic developements extended to the finned aluminum wheels with smooth caps and a functional spoiler. Trans Am received a turbo bulge hood styled loosely off the earlier turbo Trans Am. Plans had originally been made to use the Pontiac 4.9 turbo, but it was scrapped at the last minute. The hood remained and was made fuctional for the Cross-fire injected 305. The SE could be had with every option the Trans Am could have but didn’t use the bulged hood. Leather seating was also availble on all models. Firebirds were available several engines. The standard fuel injected 90hp 2.5L 4 cylinder Pontiac Iron Duke, a 102hp 2.8L V6, and two 5.0L V8’s. The first and most common was the LG4, a basic carburetor equiped 305 producing 145hp. The other was a new fuel injected 305 using a fuel injection system similar to the 82 Corvette’s 5.7L and producing 165hp. The base model Firebird came standard with 14″ steel wheels. 14″ aluminum and 15″ aluminum wheels were available on the SE and Trans Am. Pontiac had also hoped to drop all the “Trans Am” badges from the new cars to save royalties paid to the SCCA for use of the name. Early promotional cars were marked “T/A” as an alternative, however the production cars came marked as Trans Am regardless. The WS6 option available on the SE’s and Trans Am’s included 4 wheel disc brakes, P215/65R15 Goodyear Eagle GT radials with 15″ cast aluminum wheels, stiffer springs, thicker front and rear sway bars, a high ratio 12.7:1 steering box, and limited slip rear differential.

Its dimesions were reduced, wheel base is shorter, and is a lighter car. It is also the closest in size to the 67 yet. Road & Track selects the 82 Firebird Trans Am as 1 of the 12 best cars in the world along with the Camaro. It won Best Sports GT category in the $11,000 to $14,000 range with the Camaro. 1st time a 4 cylinder was available in a Firebird. Windshield slope is 60 degrees, about 3 degrees steeper than anything GM ever tried before.



1983 Pontiac Firebird History
The Firebird remained basically unchanged. All Firebirds switch to a T-handle automatic gearshift knob. Shift indicator changes for the Automatic Overdrive 700-R4. Midyear the L69 high output 305 was introduced. The carbed 190hp V8 was virtually identical to the L69 in the Z28 but used a different aircleaner assembly. Instead of the Camaro’s dual snorkle aircleaner, the L69 Trans Am received yet another functional cold air intake designed to utilize the bulged hood. The Trans Am was selected as the DAYTONA 500 pace car. Pontiac sold 500 Daytona pace car replicas thru their dealerships. The limited edition cars featured full body ground effect skirts extending around the entire car. The front bumper grills were replaced with molded plastic panels, with the “Trans Am” script on the right panel. Also included were Recaro leather seats, special 15″ “AERO” wheels with smooth covers, red gauge backlighting, leather appointments, Daytona 500 graphics, and a unique white and charcoal paint scheme. The pace cars were only available with the LU5 Crossfire injected 305 or the L69 carburated 305. Other special packages were also available such as the Recaro trim package which included the Recaro seats, and black paint with gold highlights.


1984 Pontiac Firebird History

Trans Am now available with the same ground effects as were used on the previous years pace car replica. Grill inserts in front fascia replaced with solid pieces. New 20 slot 15″ aluminum wheels also available. For the 15th anniversary of the Trans Am, Pontiac released another special limited edition Trans Am. Using the same body as the 83 pace car replicas, but with new 16″ 20 slot convex aluminum wheels with Goodyear P245/50VR16 unidirectional tires. The new wheel/tire combo was very similar to the current Corvette’s P255/50ZR16 arrangement. This was the first appearance of 16″ wheels on a third generation f-body. The 1500 15th Anniversary Trans Ams also included upgraded WS6 suspension with new 25mm rear sway bar vs the normal WS6’s 23mm bar. The other features included gray multitone and white leather Recaro interior, steering wheel, shifter, and parking brake handle, white striped taillights, white wheels, special blue stripes and blue hood decal, 4 wheel disc brakes, and ttops. The only available V8 engines were the LG4 and L69.

Trans Am drag coefficiant is .32 but capable of .29 with standard Aero wheels over the High-Tech turbo aluminums. At the time it was the most aerodynamic car GM ever produced.


1985 Pontiac Firebird History

All Firebird models undergo redevelopement to boost sales. LB9 Tuned Port Injected 305 is released. The new port fuel injected engine replaces the 305 H.O. as the hot ticket. Using a tuned runner design the 305 makes 215hp. The new engine gains attention but is not available with a manual transmission. Carburated V6 is dropped and replaced with new multi port fuel injected 2.8L V6 making 135hp. Borg Warner 9 bolt differential is available for first time. The new positive traction rear end is said to be stronger than the Dana 44. New improvements evolve the interior by adding new Recaro styled seats, a new dash with redesigned gauges that use an embossed graph patterned background, new door panels, new T handle shifter for autos, new ergonomic console, updated stereo, dash mounted map pocket, and new ergonomic steering wheel. Further attempts to put the Trans Am into higher regard include a new digital dash and a new overhead console.The console includes two manually adjusted reminder wheels, a positionable map light, a removeable “Firebird” flashlight, and a small pocket for a garage door opener or sunglasses. T-tops are also redesigned to use pin mounting rather than the previous years latches.Firebird receives restyled nose with wrap-around strips known as “bumperettes” to replace the old grille/solid inserts. Wrap around strips also on bumper. New tail lenses introduced on Firebird.The Trans Am “Power Bulge” hood discontinued in favor of new flat hood with twin louvered nostrils that are not functional.Trans Am receives restyled nose with integrated fog lights, new redesigned ground effects now standard. New “low density” taillights have grid pattern. Trans Am receives previous years suspension as standard, WS6 is upgraded with new larger sway bars. Aluminum 16″ 20 slot wheels now available on all Trans Am’s.

Recaro option no longer available, but Recaro seats were.


1986 Pontiac Firebird History

All Firebirds receive center high mounted stop lamps as required by Federal legislation, placed on top of back window. Standard 2.5L 4 cylinder engine dropped, multi port fuel injected 2.8L V6 now becomes the standard engine.Firebird SE discontinued.New optional rubber/vinyl wrap-around rear spoiler introduced on Trans Am, available only in black. Mid year Pontiac introduces new light weight crosslace wheel available on Trans Am.

Only 26 Trans Ams with the 305 H.O L69 in 86. Discontinued because of fuel boiling. Paint RPO’s change for new base-coat, clear-coat process.


1987 Pontiac Firebird History

Firebird body remains basically unchanged. All center high mounted stop lamps relocated to new position below spoilers. Large hood Firebird emblem disappears forever. All V8’s receive factory roller camshafts. Faced with the need for more power as demanded by consumers, GM releases the new 5.7L with tuned port fuel injection. Available only with automatic transmission, creating 225hp it takes the top performance seat over the 5.0L. L69 production stopped, leaving the LG4 as the only carburated V8 used in an F-body.Trans Am GTA introduced, available with the LB9 305 TPI motor or the L98 350 TPI. Gold 16″ flat mesh diamond spoke wheels standard on GTA, and 16″ 20 slot wheel standard on Trans Am. Formula receives 16″ convex wheels only.Firebird Formula introduced, available with LG4, LB9 and L98 350 TPI motor. The earlier Trans Am “Power Bulge” hood returns on the Formula only.Wrap-around spoiler updated and now standard on Trans Am and Formula. Regular flat wing spoiler from earlier Trans Am now standard on Firebird.

Trans Am and Formula get optional 140 mph speedometer. Trans Am GTA gets new seats with inflatable lumbar and side bolsters. GTA also receives special door panels, epoxy filled emblems, body colored ground effects, and special GTA horn button.


1988 Pontiac Firebird History

Again the Firebird remains basically unchanged. 170hp LG4 carbed 5.0L dropped in favor of new 170hp L03 throttle body injected 5.0L. All V8’s receive serpentine belt systems and A/C compressors move to passengers side of engine de-cluttering the underhood area. Firebird Formula gets new high tech 16×8″ aluminum wheels with silver WS6 centercaps. GTA wheels slightly restyled. Convex 16″ wheels dropped as all Trans Am’s get the 16×8″ diamond spoke aluminum rims available in different colors such as white, red, charcoal, and black, in addition to the GTA’s gold. GTA recieves new steering wheel with integrated radio controls. Trans Am made available with body colored ground effects like the GTA. Optional on the GTA was a new “notchback” hatch. Rather than glass the new “notchback” consisted of a fiberglass trunk lid with a flat vertical glass window. The notch back also incorporated redesigned rear seatbacks with an integral headrest.


1989 Pontiac Firebird History

GM makes new N10 dual catalytic converter exhaust available, freeing up 13% more power from some LB9 and L98 equipped Trans Am’s. Firebirds optioned with t-tops receive new Lexan plastic tops. The new tops are lighter in weight and tinted darker, but are more dome shaped and age rapidly. GM replaces many sets with glass under warranty, but the Lexan tops continue through 1992. All rear disc brake optioned Firebirds now receive PBR brake calipers and larger brake rotors. This resolved issues GM encountered with the earlier rear discs, and increased stopping power. Introduction of GM’s Vehicle Anti Theft System or V.A.T.S. makes all Firebirds more theft resistent by incorporating a small resistor into the key. VATS equipped cars also display antitheft system warning decals in the lower rear corners of side windows. The Trans Am is selected to pace the Indianapolis 500. Pontiac markets another pace car replica. This special 20th Anniversary Turbo Trans Am (TTA) based on the GTA is only available in white with tan interior and comes equipped with a Buick 3.8L V6 with a turbocharger developed from the Grand National. These replicas are as close to the actual pace car as any replica offered up to this time. The only changes made to the cars that actually were on the track during the race were the additions of strobe lights and safety equipment. 1,555 were produced, 5 being test cars. Out of 1,550 cars produced by PAS, the actual pace cars were randomly selected and sent to Indy for testing and modification. When they were released to the public they were underrated in power. Not all came with T-Tops or came with leather either, there were hardtops and cloth cars. Every car has an an automatic transmission, the 2004R. The five test TTA’s, because they were for pre-production use, were pulled off of the assembly line without regard to color and they were not white. At least two of these test cars were sold to private individuals. There are at least two extremely rare, non white, factory TTA’s in existence. Its known that one is red. GM did not offer a factory convertible TTA. However, one was created by ASC.


1,324 T-Top & Leather Interior
187 T-Top & Cloth Interior
24 Hardtop & Leather Interior
15 Hardtop & Cloth Interior (Base)

4 Test Cars with T-Top & Cloth Interior
1 Test Car with Hardtop & Leather Interior



1990 Pontiac Firebird History

Drivers side air bag now standard. Firebird interior again meets a redesign, this time the changes are much less drastic. Pontiac changes the lower dash and underdash panels. Accessory switches get new panel above heater and radio controls. Shoulder belts are added in the back. Console gets new shift indicator and different leather boot. Steering wheel mounted radio controls disappear from the GTA with the addition of the airbag. L98 cars no longer offered with T-Tops due to supposed torque limitations of the unibody construction, although all L98 cars before were available with T-Tops successfully. Like the 1990 Camaro, Firebird also only received a half year production as Pontiac raced to release the 1991. LB9 and L98 platforms updated with new speed density fuel injection. The elimination of the MAF sensor was for cheaper production costs and supposed improved performance.



1991 Pontiac Firebird History

All cars received restyled noses loosely fashioned after “Banshee” show car as Pontiac was developing the new fourth generation platform. Trans Am’s ground effects restyled as well. Base model Firebird available with Trans Am ground effects. Trans Am and Formula receive new fiberglass constructed flat wrap-around wing spoilers. The new styling brought higher sales, up from 1990’s sales. All L98 cars now receive N10 dual cats standard. Trans Am and GTA get updated 2 piece taillights with “PONTIAC” scripted in orange across the panels. Center high mounted stop lamps move to inside top edge of hatch. Firebird convertible reintroduced. Firebirds with ttops were sent to ASC for conversion to convertibles. Previously ASC converted cars for customers but it had never been through GM. The Firebird convertible was available with the LHO 3.1L V6, the L03 5.0 V8, and the LB9 5.0 V8. Production improvements led to use of new body sealants that added to the rigidity of the body.


1992 Pontiac Firebird History

Final year for third generation platform. 1992 provided few changes for the Firebird. Mid-year tuned port injected cars received blank throttle body plates rather than the “TUNED PORT INJECTION” plates of prior years, and black painted valve covers rather than the previous years silver components. The end of the L98 in the Corvette led to rough cast runners finding their way into L98 birds. Some cars received special rubber snubbers on the rear hatch frame designed to make the hatch more stable. Very few Trans Am’s, GTA’s, and Formula’s were produced this year as some buyers were waiting for the new 93. Firehawk was introduced. Built by SLP, the car featured a modified L98 350 and a ZF 6-speed manual transmission. Only 25 Firehawks were built, with sticker prices in the $40,000 range. Below are the specifics:

  • 11 of the cars had the “Competition Package” 3 of the cars were produced with aluminum-block engines 4 of the cars were painted colors other than the mandatory Red. One was aqua, one was white, one was blue, and one was green. One car had T-Tops One car was a Trans Am Convertible. This was also the last 1992 car built. The 1992 option code for an SLP car was B4U.
  • Although the last car produced in 1992 is listed as car #27, only 25 Firehawks were produced. Car no.’s 18 and 23 were cancelled and never built.


*All information on this site was captured from various online resources,. ATGO can not be help accountable for the above information. If you have any info you would like to add or update, please e-mail StevenK [at] austinthirdgen [dot] org.