1979, despite being in the low-performance era, was a record year for Chevrolet,
producing the most Camaro's ever, 1st or 2nd generation, with an amazing 282,582
models. The LT model was dropped for the new Berlinetta as the
A stylish new front air dam was added to the Z28's front facia, similar to its
sister car, the Pontiac Trans Am. This air dam wrapped around the bottom of the
nose piece and up to flow into the front of the wheel wells. New tri-color
decals were also added to the Z28, though many enthusiasts argue they were far
too tacky (IMO, more suited for ricers). A rear-window defroster was added,
another way to differentiate from the '78 models.
1979 was also the year the oil dipstick moved from the driver side to the
passenger side on the Chevrolet small block V8.
Macho, Macho Man....
The DKM Macho Z was a package for the 1978 Z28, built by Dennis and Kyle
Mecham (hence DKM). They were famous for building the Macho T/A (a
modified Trans Am), but also did some work with the Chevrolet F-body.
"Macho Z" was actually the 1978 model name, which was changed to the
Z29 in 1979. Records indicate that the 1979 production plan was for 200
vehicles. Although the Mechams do not have any detailed records, indications are
that the actual number was very small. However, Dennis Mecham recently stated
that the Camaros were numbered separately from the T/As, and there is
documentation on DKM Camaro Z29 #12.
The Camaro's were ordered with the four-speed and posi-trac differential. The
"base" DKM's were modified with a set of Hooker headers, 2.5"
full dual exhaust with cross-over and dual catalytics. The Q-jet 4-bbl and
distributor were modified and the hoodscoop made fully functional. Some DKM's
could be ordered with more drastic modifications, like a Doug Nash 5-speed
tranny or a Traco 350 small block. With the Hurst-shifted 4-speed, the '78 DKM
ran mid 14s in the 1/4... remember the stock Z-28 at this time was running low
The Macho DKM was also built for handling, enhanced with "large"
Goodyear GR60 (front) HR60 (rear) tires on 15" aluminum wheels, Koni
adjustable shocks, larger sway bars with nylon bushings, and individual
The interior remained stock except for DKM emblems... optional were roll bars,
special seats and a 100-watt Fosgate stereo system.