Most people would like to say they have a pristinely preserved car. Most people don’t. But Mike R. isn’t ‘most people’. He’s the proprietor of MARS, a mobile reconditioning lab that can make your car look brand new again. And suffice it to say, those professional talents have helped Mike keep his private collection looking pretty spiffy.
When Mike isn’t cruising around in his work truck, you can find him in this – a remarkably clean 1980 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. With only 34,000 miles on the odometer and those great ’80s graphics, it’s quite the looker. Read on to learn more about Mike’s Z28.
When did you purchase the Camaro?
I bought the car about 20 years ago. I call it ‘The Zapper’, hence the ‘Z28′. Ever since I was a kid I wanted a Camaro Z28 so badly. In fact, a few of my friends owned a couple of them in high school as their first cars, and they ended up wrecking them. I’m glad I waited until I was mature enough to respect and preserve the car. Good things are worth waiting for I guess!
Have you made any modifications?
I installed a performance intake and carburetor as one of the first modifications, along with headers and a free-flow exhaust system. I also swapped out all of the rubber bushings for polyurethane bushings and added a sportier suspension with subframe connectors while I was under there. Up front, the Camaro has the small block 350ci V8. The transmission is the TH350 automatic with a shift kit installed.
What is the Z28 like to drive?
It’s everything I hoped for. I love cruising on smooth, winding back roads because the performance suspension really handles very well. I actually get looks around town all the time because it’s in very good shape and it’s really hard to find one in this condition with such low mileage.
A friend of mine actually owned a Corvette and I asked him if he wanted to drive my car. He did and he said he couldn’t believe how well it handled in the turns. That’s probably what I like best about it, other than the condition of course.
Any weird experiences happen to you behind the wheel?
It wasn’t so funny at the time, but I was driving along and my horn got stuck on while I was pulling up behind someone at a red light. They were giving me all sorts of hand gestures thinking I was just being rude. Haha, sorry?