Sales for the new Chevrolet Camaro may be in, as my colleague recently put it, a "death spiral" but demand for clean IROCs from the '80s appears to be strong. If you need proof, just look at this 1987 Camaro Z/28 IROC-Z that just sold on Bring a Trailer for $56,000. For perspective, that's more than what you'd pay for a brand new, loaded-up Camaro 2SS and just eight grand shy of a base ZL1. But look a little closer—and think a little bigger—and the idea that a 34-year-old Camaro can be worth that much is saner than it seems.
For that money, the buyer gets some fairly nifty creature comforts such as the T-top roof with removable glass panels, power windows, power locks, factory bucket seats, as well as a Delco AM/FM/Cassette deck with a graphic equalizer.
Under the hood, the IROC-Z is powered by a 5.7-liter L98 V8 making 225 horsepower, which may be laughably quaint by modern metrics but, um... still isn't amazing by late '80s standards especially when you remember the E30 BMW M3 made similar hp with just four cylinders while Ford's Taurus SHO that came on the scene two years later did pretty much the same with a 3.0-liter V6. That said, no one dropping $56,000 on a collector-grade '80s American muscle car in 2021 is likely doing so because it's a good performance value.
No, you drop that sort of money on an old Chevy because it's an immaculate time capsule, a perfectly preserved copy of the car you wanted when you were a teenager but couldn't afford at the time. And the buyer of this particular IROC will definitely get that. Probably. You see, even though this Camaro definitely looks pretty clean in the pictures and only shows 2,000 miles on its odometer (only 80 of those of which were added by the current owner since 2016), the listing is upfront about the fact that "The Carfax report notes a potential odometer rollover in 2003." So take that (and the low, low odometer reading) for what it's worth.
Other technical details include the presence of a four-speed automatic transmission, limited-slip differential, sport suspension, and Goodyear Eagle VR50 tires.
Notably, this isn't the most expensive 1987 Camaro to be sold on the platform. A couple of months ago, another '87 IROC-Z with 1,700 miles on the clock changed hands for $60,500. And therein lies reality: we're progressing to a point where you can use the term "concours quality" with a straight face to describe something like a third-gen Camaro, and we have to expect prices will keep rising as a result, especially for a prime example like this. After all, it's a top-spec car for its year, in a desirable color with (probably) extremely low miles. Auction results on Bring a Trailer can't be taken as true market values, of course. But they are useful in demonstrating whether someone will pay a stupid amount of money for a particular car, and that mere fact alone can sometimes kick off or boost an upward trend.
What say you? Is an apparently spotless '87 IROC-Z worth $56,000?
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: email@example.com