V6FBody Online's - F-Body History


 History Of The Chevrolet Camaro

1979 - Styling up the Ante 

Originally on: http://cars.dozer.com/features/camaro_history/camaro_history.html

By tigeraid

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 "luxury" Camaro.

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 16s...

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 suspension tuning.

The interior remained stock except for DKM emblems... optional were roll bars, special seats and a 100-watt Fosgate stereo system.


CONTINUE READING Things Starting Looking Up - 1980 


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