1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (263)

This 1999 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 takes me back to 1991 when I bought the second Camaro of my life. It was new, white with a black convertible top, and only $22,000. The first Camaro coincidentally was white with a black top as well. It was a used 1967 model that I bought in about 1974 for $1,100.

The Alpha and the Omega of my Camaro experience and coincidentally the Alpha and Omega for Chevrolet’s Camaro, which it introduced in 1967 to compete with the Ford Mustang.

Things were much less expensive in the 1970’s and in 1974 my house cost $43,000 which isn’t uncommon for the price of some of today’s cars. The 1967 today, in its then condition, would probably go for nearly the $27,000 you’d pay for this new 1999.

Yes we made much less income back then, but the disparity somehow didn’t seem that great. Today that same house is on the market for about $450,000. If you analyze the numbers however they come out amazingly consistent, on average, over the past 40 years. Take a look at some ballpark figures:

  1964 1974 1984 1994 2000

Salary $10,000 $20,000 $40,000 $80,000 $120,000

House $20,000 $40,000 $80,000 $160,000 $320,000

Car          $2,000  $4,000   $8,000  $16,000   $24,000

From this you can deduce a car will cost you about 20% of your annual income to pay cash. It would cost you about 30% of your annual income each year to pay to live in the house.

If you ever wondered where your money goes it boils down to some pretty basic stuff. Two cars and a house, fairly typical, take about 40% of your income, Uncle Sam takes about 50% and food clothing and recreation take about 20%. That leaves a minus 10% that comes from savings or is charged to your credit card. I have a suggestion for that budget surplus Clinton is boasting.

Well in keeping with the formula to keep us surfs too busy to complain, the car plays its roll by giving us the wheels to get to that job to pay for everything – almost. Bob Barker would say “Come on down”, the price is right at between $16,705 – $28,115. Trouble is Bob; mom didn’t work back then. Dad could make enough for the family including a vacation. Now mom works and the two can’t coordinate time for a family outing.

Anyway, what you get in this Camaro is relatively very good. This classic muscle car gives much better mileage than did that 1967, which got about 7-12 mpg compared to 17 and 24 mpg today. Gas has gone up from about $.35 / gal to $1.35 / gal, so for every 10 miles driven you paid about $.35 back then and today it costs about $.70 to travel that same 10 miles.

You also get a safer more comfortable car today with gadgets like Acceleration Slip Regulation (traction control) and a high-powered Monsoon stereo system as available options. Camaro’s middle name is performance and has been a successful racecar for many years. Today, there’s bound to be a Camaro racing somewhere in America on any given race weekend.

Camaro is available in four trims: Camaro (base) and Z28, each as a 2-door coupe or convertible.

The competition:

Chrysler Sebring $19,735 – $26,560, Dodge Avenger $18,940 – $21,185, Ford Mustang $16,520 – $25,270, Honda Prelude $23,450 – $25,950, Mitsubishi Eclipse $17,697 – $20,187, Pontiac Firebird $18,250 – $30,460, Toyota Celica $21,440 – $25,009.

Good News:

Heart stopping styling and heart starting performance, thrilling acceleration, ease of use convertible top that adds to making this car flat out Fun to drive and relatively speaking it is a decent value for the money.

Bad News:

Tiny back seat makes this car, for all practical purposes, a 2-seater, visibility is not too good with the top up, difficult to get in and out of, poor storage area in the trunk, passenger side bump in the floor where the catalytic converter is situated.

Standard Equipment:

5.7-liter 305-horsepower V8, auto trans, power 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, dual airbags, daytime running lights, air conditioning, theft-deterrent system, 200-watt Monsoon AM/FM stereo cassette system, 16-inch aluminum wheels, a limited-slip differential, tilt wheel, folding rear seat, power folding top, and an available 6-speed manual transmission.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 24 Highway MPG.


MSRP $27,850

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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