This 1983 Camaro Is a Really Cool Example of an Underestimated Pony Car

When you think about American cars, you probably think about the legendary muscle cars of the late ‘60s, the land yachts that conquered the never-ending miles of highways, or the modern creations with absurd amounts of horsepower. There was, though, a sad time for the American car industry, ten dark years known as the malaise era.
1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 9 photos
Photo: Mecum
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The malaise era started in 1973 with the introduction of several mandates by the U.S. federal government with the intent to reduce pollution and combat the fuel crisis. This lasted up until 1983, and it was a dark, depressing time for the cars that we knew and loved from the ‘60s. The Mustang looked like your average grocery-getter, and the Corvette was shoulder-sagging slow…just a bad time.

With that said, I should dial back a little on the criticism and try to appreciate the cool cars that managed to emerge even in this context. You see, the problem was that Americans knew how to make fast cars, but not efficient ones, so you had figures like 170 hp (172 ps) from 5.7 liters (347 ci). But, as I mentioned, there were some cool cars, like the Camaro Z28.

The third-generation Camaro was a little different, with a wedge shape that steered away from its muscle/pony car roots. But, if you look past this design element, it’s a cool-looking car.

Being born at the end of the malaise era, the 5.0 liter (305 ci) engine managed to put out a crummy 190 hp (193 ps). No, it wasn’t slow, but not the tire-burning monster of the past. With that said, it was faster than the Mustang and anything Dodge was offering in this category.

If you want a piece of ‘80s vibes without breaking the bank, the third-gen Camaro might be the one for you. It isn’t fast, but it will sound really good, and you will look amazing while cruising in it - in a high school popular kid cool way.

Now that I convinced you to like this iteration of the Camaro, you should take a look at this one listed on Mecum. It’s a 1983 model, thoroughly restored, it has just 32,000 miles (51,500 km) on the clock, and it’s a numbers-matching car.

It’s in a really interesting color combination, brown with some gold accents. It might not be for everyone, but it looks nice, even with potato-quality photos. If you find yourself liking this car and want to buy it, keep your eyes peeled on Mecum, as this particular Camaro will go up in early January in Kissimmee.
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About the author: Călin Iosif
Călin Iosif profile photo

Călin’s origin story is being exposed to Top Gear when he was very young. Watching too much of Clarkson, Hammond and May argue on TV turned him into Petrolhead (an automotive journalist with a soft spot for old pieces of... cars, old cars).
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