The market was beginning to rejuvenate,
and Chevrolet was riding on record sales for the Camaro. The 1980 model was
largely unchanged in terms of styling, but several new features made it very
appealing. Most importantly, horsepower jumped to 190 on the 350 small block,
49-state smog legal. A new rear-facing cowl induction hood and front fender
engine-bay vents, both fully functional were added. The cowl induction hood was
electric solenoid-operated. Performance was still paltry by today's standards,
but this is was a major contender for its time.
1980 Z28s also received a new 3-color stripe package to replace the 2-color one
used in 1979. Shorter springs were also added, lowering the car and improving
Huggers at Daytona
Bill Mitchell built 90 "Hugger" Camaro's for the 24 Hours at Daytona.
Car #28 was his race car and the rest were sold as street cars at 48 dealers
across Florida. Mitchell began with 1980 Z28s, and painted most with the
red/orange color. Special stripes read "Hugger Bill Mitchell Special
Developments". The cars featured 14" Minilite wheels, Dunlop tires,
Koni shocks, hood pins, windshield clips at the top of the windshield, and an
IROC-style front spoiler with fog lamps. Some Hugger Camaro's built for the
street had T-tops, posi, leather wrapped steering wheel, and 180mph speedometer.
The Hugger packaged added $3000 to the price of a Z28.
Bill Mitchell's own #28 Hugger Camaro was repaired after engine damage in the
1980 24 Hour race... its current whereabouts are unknown.