The introduction of the Z/28 option code to the Camaro took place in December 1966, specifically for the 1967 model year. This brilliant idea was conceived by Vince Piggins, who proposed the concept of making “almost race-ready” Camaros available for purchase at any Chevrolet dealer. Interestingly, this particular option package was not advertised in sales literature, resulting in its relative obscurity among most buyers. The Z/28 option necessitated the inclusion of power front disc brakes and a close-ratio Muncie 4-speed manual transmission (with optional posi-traction). Under the hood, it boasted a 302 cu in (4.9 L) small-block V-8 engine, featuring a 3″ crankshaft with a 4″ bore, an aluminum intake manifold, and a 4-barrel vacuum secondary Holley carburetor with a capacity of 780 cfm.

The creation of this engine was specifically aimed at participating in the Trans Am series, which imposed restrictions on engine size (requiring engines smaller than 305 cu in) and mandated public availability of the car. The advertised power output of this unique engine was officially stated as 290 hp (216 kW), although this figure is often considered to be conservative. Chevrolet intentionally kept the horsepower rating below 1 hp per cubic inch due to various factors such as insurance and racing classes. In reality, the high-revving 302 engine had a peak output closer to 360 hp (268 kW) (when equipped with a single four-barrel carburetor) and 400 hp (298 kW) (with the optional dual-four barrel carbs) at 6800-7000 rpm.

Apart from its potent engine, the Z/28 was equipped with upgraded suspension, distinctive racing stripes adorning the hood and trunk lid, ‘302’ front fender emblems on the 1967 and early 1968 models, and ‘Z/28’ emblems on the later 1968 and 1969 models. It was also possible to combine the Z/28 package with the RS package for additional enhancements.

During the year 1967, only 602 Z/28s were sold, alongside approximately 100 replicas of the Indianapolis Pace Car. It’s worth noting that the 1967 and 1968 Z/28 models did not feature the cowl induction hood, which became an optional feature for the 1969 Z/28s. In the 1967 Z/28, air was sourced either from an open element air cleaner or from an optional cowl plenum duct attached to the side of the air cleaner, drawing air from the cowl vents. Furthermore, Z/28s were equipped with 15-inch rally wheels, while all other 1967-9 Camaros had 14-inch wheels.

The origin of the Z/28 nameplate can be traced back to the RPO codes, with RPO Z28 representing the Special Performance Package and RPO Z27 denoting the Super Sport package.