Rare Rides: The 1984 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta, a Sports Car for Luxurious People
The last (and only) time Rare Rides covered a Camaro, it was a heavily altered Callaway SuperNatural from the Nineties. While that Camaro was all about performance, today’s Camaro takes a different tack.
It’s a Berlinetta, the Cadillac of Camaros (probably).
General Motors stuck with its second generation Camaro for quite some time, stretching the life of its sub-Corvette sports car from 1970 to 1981. During that time, the Camaro was fettled and updated, and made consistently uglier until it was past due for replacement. Enter another F-body!
New for 1982, the Camaro and its Firebird sibling continued in the F-body tradition. GM went with a major redesign for the Eighties, and focused on bringing the exterior design up to date for both models. There were also efforts to add lightness to the platform for the sake of handling, and curb weight for the third gen Camaro dropped by about 300 pounds, to 3,086 for the lightest versions.
Other important changes for the new, modern Camaro included a hatchback where a trunk was found previously, available fuel injection, and a four-cylinder engine. Speaking of power, engines ranged in displacement from 2.5 to 5.7 liters. There was a singular 2.5-liter I-4, three different V6 mills depending on model year, and two different V8s. The smaller V8 was a 5.0-liter (305), with a 5.7 (350) at the top of the range. Transmissions were three- or four-speed if automatic, and four- or five-speeds if manual.
Carried over from its 1979 introduction on the old Camaro was the Berlinetta trim. A luxury specification, its base engine was a 2.8-liter V6, though spendy fancy people opted for the 5.0 instead. Exterior features found only on Berlinetta included the gold Berlinetta badges, headlamp insets painted in a contrast color to the body, and a unique finned alloy wheel design with gold tone and Berlinetta center caps. Gold effects continued at the rear, with a glistening horizontal trim bar across the lamp assembly.
Inside, there was an upscale cloth interior of high style, more Berlinetta badges, a complete instrument package as standard, carpeted rear wheel arches, and a storage well cover for parcels and your choice of monogrammed beige luggage. Unseen by consumers was additional sound insulation, for a more serene ride.
Luxury Camaro customers would have to move on from Camaro after 1986, as GM saw fit to replace Berlinetta with LT for 1987. This change coincided with the closure of the Norwood, Ohio plant, and left production solely at Van Nuys, California. The third-generation Camaro lived on through the model year 1992 before its replacement by the swoopy fourth-gen seen at the link above.
Today’s Rare Ride Berlinetta is an absolute peach in beige, gold, brown, and tan with stripes. With the 2.8 V6, an automatic, and 22,000 miles, it asks $12,900 in Ohio.
Speedlaw on Nov 09, 2020
When these were new, they were the joke car that an over coiffed wife of a prosperous local merchant would buy, or a secretary with her first job (in an economy where that job paid enough). Pass. Period. Not even a decent example...the 2.8 with an automatic ? Even back in the day there were a hundred better choices.
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