The first Chevrolet Camaro Z28 was introduced in 1967. It was created to compete in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class. Camaro Z28 featured a smaller and lighter V8 for improved weight balance, as well as quick-ratio steering and a heavy-duty suspension for track use. In keeping with its road-racing focus, the 1967 Camaro Z28 was not available with an automatic transmission or air conditioning.
The most-powerful engine available in a factory Camaro in 1967 was a 396 cid V8 with 375 horsepower. To prepare the Camaro Z28 for road racing, engineers specified a lighter, 302 cid V8, officially rated at 290 horsepower. While the 302 was not the choice for drag racers, it proved ideal for sports-car racing.
This 302-cubic-inch (4.9L) small-block was created by marrying the iron cylinder block of Chevrolet’s 327 V8, which had 4.00-inch bores, with the crankshaft of the smaller-displacement 283 engine, which delivered a 3.00-inch stroke, creating the 302-cubic-inch displacement that accommodated the engine-size regulation for SCCA’s Trans Am class.