“Woodward” Camaro Z28 pays homage to race-winning Camaros from the sixties
One of the more unusual GM vehicles appearing at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, June 25-27, is the “Woodward” Camaro. This highly modified Chevrolet Camaro Z28 was developed in 2002 for that year’s Woodward Dream Cruise, a classic car event that takes place each August in the Detroit area.
GM’s Performance Division, an in-house center designed to explore potential enthusiast-oriented versions of production models, developed the car as a dramatic tribute to the Camaro Z28’s illustrious heritage. Created solely for show purposes, the entire project was completed in just eight weeks with parts donated by GM Powertrain, GM Performance Parts and GM Design Center.
The GM Performance Division 2002 Z28 emulates the legendary 1960s and 70s Penske-Sunoco Trans Am racing cars. Although the Camaro was a huge hit with the public immediately after its debut in the fall of 1966, the performance Z28 option wasn’t widely known initially. That changed in 1967 when Roger Penske teamed up with Sunoco, and took the car to the track competing in the SCCA Trans Am Championship. With the highly professional Team Penske racing team and the legendary talents of Mark Donahue as driver, this made for a powerful combination.
In the car’s very first race, Donohue piloted his Camaro Z28 to the lead for several laps in the inaugural Trans Am race at Daytona, but ultimately was forced to retire. Even though that first outing didn’t deliver a win, the Camaro Z28 had shown its potential to its fans and the competition. In August of 1967, teamed up with Craig Fisher, the Penske Camaro Z28 scored its first Trans Am victory at Marlboro Maryland. The blue and yellow Camaro of Team Penske would score two more victories in the1967 season and forever burn an image into the hearts and minds of racing fans the world over.
The modern interpretation of this coupe pays tribute to the Camaro’s rich heritage. The car comes complete with a classic high dome cowl induction hood, egg crate grille, aggressive front fascia, and a rear spoiler. The dark metallic blue exterior and yellow graphics make for a visually striking appearance and the 427 cubic-inch, all-aluminum race motor (sourced from the Le Mans-winning Corvette C5-R) pumps out 600 horsepower to the rear wheels, driven through a six-speed manual transmission. The fenders are modified to accommodate the 315/30/18 tires in the front and 335/30/18s in the rear. The interior has the look and feel of a race car while the midnight black upholstery contrasts with the full bright yellow roll cage. The bucket seats are equipped with a five-point harness and the instrument cluster has oversized racing gauges and carbon fiber throughout.