With a four-cylinder motor coughing up less than 100 horses along with V8s that could only dream of touching the 200 mark, many consider the early years of the third generation Camaro to be the Chevy’s darkest days. Towards the end of the third-gen’s life, performance had improved considerably — and it would do so again when the all-new fourth-gen was launched in 1993.

While it retained the rear suspension of the outgoing car, it got a new short-arm/long-arm front suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering to go with the sleek new styling. In fact, the body was made of composite plastic (apart for the bonnet and rear quarter panels) while the roof, hardtop or t-top, was black no matter what the body colour and though just two engines were offered for the new pony car, they were a huge step up from the mills in the predecessor.

The base Camaro had a 3.4-litre V6 making 160 horses putting it on a par with the V8s of the mid eighties but the Z28 was blessed with the LT1 small-block V8. This was the same motor that did the bizz under the bonnet of the ‘92 Corvette, and in spite of it being the recipient of a restrictive air cleaner and exhaust so that it wouldn’t outperform its sister car, it still delivered 275 horses which easily made it the most potent since the big block models of the early Seventies.

 

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It could be had with either a four-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission and quickly grew popular amongst enthusiasts longing for a return of the days of serious performance.

It rode on 16in alloys while the four-wheel antilock disc brakes provided ample stopping power. The Z28 was so good that it was selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car in ‘93.

About a decade ago these fourth-gen models used to be ten-a-penny but you’ve got to look a lot harder to find them now. The good news is if you do happen to get lucky, around Dh25,000 is usually all it’ll take to make it yours. That’s one of the cheapest ways into V8 power and even though the car is 25 years old, it still looks fresh today.

 

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