Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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When Chevrolet Wrote the Book, or at Least the Pamphlet, on Performance

Posted March 30, 2016 9:00 AM by dstrohl

The close of the 1970s wasn't exactly the high-water mark for performance cars from American manufacturers, yet that didn't keep automakers from marketing them. In 1979, Chevrolet produced a consumer pamphlet featuring a cover shot of IROC Camaros in competition, with the bold proclamation, "From people who know what performance is all about." Inside, the GM division touted its range of models aimed at enthusiast buyers, not all of which have stood the test of time.

The Camaro, in Z28 guise, was the starring attraction, billed (unironically) as "The Ultimate Camaro." The copy boasted of the Z28's standard 5.7-liter V-8, complete with a four-barrel carburetor, but one had to read the fine print to learn that the range-topping variant produced just 175 SAE net horsepower, or five hp less for buyers in California. Aesthetically, it came with a rear spoiler, fender gills, dual sport mirrors, aluminum wheels and a "simulated hood scoop," and while hardly able to deliver the performance advertised by the IROC racers on the cover, at least the 1979 Z28 dressed for the part.

Chevy's brochure on performance that seems humorous in hindsight.

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