Ride Of The Week 06/07/2021: Steve Mike's 1978 Z28 Camaro
We’re saluting Camaros at Car Show Life by showcasing Chevy F-Bodies as we build up to Camaro Nationals in Frederick, MD, June 24-26.
First up is my dad’s cousin, Steve Mike, and the story of his 1978 Z28.
“I was 20 years old in my last semester of auto/diesel school at Rosedale Technical Institute in Pittsburgh talking with my 3 buddies about F-body cars. We all decided to purchase them. Jack ordered his first, a 1978 Z28. It was a 350, 4-speed with a 3:73 posi. Craig ordered his, a 1978 Trans Am, 400, 4-speed, T-top, and a 3:42 posi rear end. Jim found a 1977 Trans Am. It was a year old Bandit version, 400, 4-speed. I ordered mine in March of 1978. I sold my current and first car, a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in June, however, my car didn’t come in until August 3rd!”
Geez! However did he get by for two months without Uber or Lyft?!? Steve continues,
“It was a 350, 4-speed, 3:73 posi-traction, with air-conditioning. The color was bronze camel metallic with camel interior. The night that the car came in, two of my friends saw it on a car carrier. They immediately called me at work and said they saw my car. I told my boss that I was leaving to go see my car being delivered. He told me I would be fired if I left work. I went anyhow because I knew he wouldn’t." Ahh, the naivety of youth. Had he been fired, he wouldn't be able to afford the car in the first place. Bold move! Okay, back to the story...
"What a sight! I was so excited to see it after 5 months of waiting. I went to pick it up 2 days later. It was in the showroom and someone was sitting in it shifting gears! I told him to get out of my car! I was so nervous that day that my left leg was shaking. I stalled it pulling out of the showroom. It was raining so I drove it straight home and pulled it in the garage.”
Steve has since made many alterations to the car, the first of which started in the early 80s. “I had a 1971 4-bolt main 350 from a 1971 K5 Blazer that I built and installed 3 years later. I then changed the rear end ratio to 4:10. In 1990, I purchased a crate LS6 454 from Chevrolet and installed it. I removed the factory air at that time and also installed a Harwood hood for clearance. Next, I installed a TKO 600 Tremec transmission.”
This was the state of the car that I remember when he brought it over for my high school graduation party. I was thrilled that a mini car show broke out in the driveway.
Steve says that he recently redid the interior and installed Vintage Air. Even after all these years, he and two of his buddies still have their F-bodies. “Jack and Craig still have their cars. They are both as well kept and as nice as mine!”
Thanks for sharing your Z28, cous’! And thanks to his son, David, for scanning all of those great period pics for us! We’ll feature another Camaro next week. And, if you’re in Frederick, MD, visit Car Show Life and “SunShine” at Camaro Nationals, June 24-26. Visit CamaroNationals.org for the info!