1969 Camaro Z28
I have always been a fan of older mustle and my favourate was the 1969 Camaro,i spent several years looking for one to purchase that was in good shape when i came across this 1969 Z28 for sale locallly….. so I just had to have it,as it turned out this is a canadian car sold new at Don Howsen Chev in Toronto,The car was restored about 10 years ago and still runs and drives great.
There’s not enough time to drive it as much as I like but I do make it out to several local car shows a year.
The 1969 model year was exceptionally long, extending into November 1969, due to manufacturing problem that delayed the introduction of the second generation model planned for 1970. It is a popular myth late-’69 Camaros were sold as 1970 models (due to GM publicity pictures of the ‘69 Camaro labeled as a 1970), but they were all assigned 1969 VIN codes.
The Z28 option was still available with the 302 cid small block. It was backed by Muncie four-speed with a new-for-69 standard Hurst shifter and connected to a 12-bolt rear axle with standard 3.73 gears. The 302 featured 11:1 compression, forged pistons, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, solid lifter camshaft, and Holley carburetion on a dual-plane intake manifold. A dual four-barrel crossram intake manifold was available as a dealer-installed option.
The Z/28 performance package was designed (with further modifications) to compete in the SCCA Trans-Am series. It included a solid-lifter 302 V8, Muncie 4-speed transmission, and power disc brakes.
There was approximately 6000 1969 Z28’s that were sold in Canada.
Chevrolet produced a special 302 cu in (4.9 I) (referred to as 5.0 I) engine for Sports Car Club of America SCCA Trans-Am Series road-racing from 1967–1969. It was the product of placing the 283 3-inch stroke crankshaft into a 4-inch bore 327 block. The 1967 302 used the same nodular cast-iron crank as the 283, with a forged-steel crankshaft that was also produced. This block is one of 3 displacements, 302/327/350, that underwent a crankshaft bearing diameter transformation for 1968 when the rod-journal size was increased from the 2.00 in. diameter small-journal to a 2.10 large-journal and the main-journal size was increased from 2.30 in. to 2.45. The large-journal connecting rods were heavier and used 3/8 in. diameter cap-bolts to replace the small-journal’s 11/32. 1968 blocks were made in 2-bolt and 4-bolt versions with the 4-bolt center-three main caps each fastened by two additional bolts which were supported by the addition of heavier crankcase main-web bulkheads. When the journal size increased to the standard large-journal size, the crankshaft for the 302 was specially built of tufftride-hardened forged 1053-steel and fitted with a high-rpm 8.00 in. diameter harmonic balancer. This engine was used only in the first-generation (1967–69) Z/28 Camaro. It had a 3/4-length semi-circular windage tray, heat-treated, magnafluxed, and shot-peened forged 1038-steel ‘pink’ connecting rods, floating-pin in `69, and forged-aluminum pistons with higher scuff-resistance, better sealing single-moly rings. Its solid-lifter cam, known as the ‘30-30 Duntov’ cam named after its .030/.030 in. intake/exhaust hot valve-lash and Zora Arkus-Duntov (the Duntov cam was the .012/.018 1957 camshaft known as the ‘097, which referred to the last three digits of the casting number) the “father of the Corvette”, was also used in the 1964-65 carbureted 327/365 and F.I. 327/375 engines. It used the ‘202’ 2.02/1.60 valve diameter high-performance 327 double-hump `461 heads, pushrod guide plates, hardened ‘blue-stripe’ pushrods, edge-orifice lifters to keep more valvetrain oil in the crankcase for high-rpm lubrication, and stiffer valvesprings. In 1967, a new design high-rise cast-aluminum dual-plane intake manifold with larger smoother passage turn runners was introduced for the Z/28 that the LT-1 350 1969 Corvette and 1970 Z/28 engines were equipped with until the Q-jet carburetor returned in 1973. Unlike the Corvette, the exhaust manifolds were the more restrictive rear outlet ‘log’ design to clear the Camaro’s front cross-member. It had a chrome oil filler tube and valve covers from 1967 to 1968, and chrome 14.00 x 3.00 in. drop-base open-element air-cleaner assembly on a 780cfm vacuum secondary Holley 4-Bbl carburetor. A ‘divorced’ exhaust crossover port heated well-choke thermostat coil was used to provide cleaner and faster engine warm-up. Its single-point distributor had an ignition point cam designed to reduce point-bounce at high-rpm along with a vacuum diaphragm to advance ignition timing at idle and part-throttle for economy and emissions. Balancer and water-pump pulleys, as well as optional power-steering pulleys, were deep-groove for fan belt retention at high-rpm. In 1969, the 302 shared the finned cast-aluminum valve covers with the LT-1 350 Corvette engine. Conservatively rated at 290 hp (216 kW) (SAE gross) at 5800 rpm and 290 lb-ft at 4800, actual output with its production 11:1 compression ratio was around 376 hp (280 kW) with 1.625 in. primary x 3.0 secondary tubular headers that came in the trunk when ordered with a new Z/28, carburetor main-jet, and ignition timing tuning.
After the 1967 Trans-Am campaign with the 4-Bbl induction system producing more horsepower than the competing auto makers’ 8-Bbl systems, for 1968 Chevrolet developed a factory ‘cross-ram’ aluminum intake-manifold package using two Holley 600cfm mechanical-secondary carburetors for Trans-Am racing. It was available only as off-road service parts purchased over the Chevrolet dealership parts counter. With the Chevrolet ‘140 1st-design off-road cam, the package increased a stock 302’s hp from 360 hp to approximately 400. Chevrolet went so far as to carry the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system over to the cross-ram induction system to retain emissions compliance mandated for U.S.-produced cars beginning in 1967, that also provided full-throttle crankcase pressure venting to the intake air to burn its vapors. Engines prepared for competition use were capable of producing 465 hp with little more than the 8-Bbl induction, ported heads with higher pressure valvesprings, roller rocker arms, and the ‘754 2nd-design road-race cam. 1967/1968 models’ cowl-induction system had an enclosed air-cleaner assembly ducted from its passenger side into the firewall cowl above the heater core. In 1969, factory ZL-2 cowl-induction hoods were available for both the single and dual four-barrel induction systems that were sealed to the air-cleaner base ensuring cooler, high-pressure, dense air from the center of the base of the windshield was supplied to the engine for combustion smoothness and maximum power production. Another popular service-parts-only component used on the 302 was the magnetic-pulse Delco transistor-ignition ball-bearing inductive-ignition distributor, introduced in 1967 and also used in the L88 427 Corvette, that eliminated the production breaker-point ignition allowing greater spark energy and more stable ignition-timing at high engine speeds.
The 302’s bore/stroke and rod/stroke geometries made it a natural high-rpm engine and were responsible for its being among the more reliable production street engines homologated for full-competition across all the American makes winning back-to-back Trans-Am Championships at the hands of Mark Donohue in 1968 and 1969. Trans-Am rules required that all engine components have Chevrolet production part numbers and be purchased through Chevrolet dealerships. However, the pinnacle of the 302’s use in professional racing was its being the primary engine that powered the outstanding but overshadowed 1968-1976 SCCA Formula 5000 Championship Series, a SCCA Formula A open-wheel class designed for lower cost. Weighing 1400 lbs., with 525-550 hp, a 5-spd. magnesium transaxle, and 20 in. wide 15 in. rear wheels, it produced incredibly exciting racing. Prepared with a Lucas-McKay mechanically-timed fuel-injection individual-stack magnesium induction-system that was paired with ported production double-hump iron heads, a rev-kit fitted roller-lifter camshaft, roller bearing rocker arms, and a virtually stock production crankshaft, it had a lasting impact on the series’ ability to conduct high car-number finishes and close competition events by the degree of mechanical success it provided to a series filled with star international Grand Prix drivers like David Hobbs, Brian Redman, Jody Scheckter, and Mario Andretti…..
Not a Mazda but plenty of ZOOM ZOOM.
Written by Ray Morrison