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This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

Posted April 11, 2019 9:00 AM by dstrohl

During the summer of 1978, Foreigner’s Hot Blooded hit the airwaves, mixing it up with tunes from the Bee Gees, Wings, and Rolling Stones. Odds are good that a few of you may have been hot-footing it down a country road, belting out your own rendition of “Who Do You Love” (by George Thorogood & The Destroyers), when “The Man” lit up your rear view mirror with a set of wig-wags. Whether your brief encounter ended with a warning or a citation, the flashback continues in this edition of This or That featuring the cars pictured above: a 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit, both of which were previously featured in our Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine.

Let’s start with the antagonist: the Camaro Z28. The performance trim level was put to pasture as the 1974 production season came to a close, seemingly just another nail driven into the lid of the muscle car coffin. But after the ’77 models were rolled out to the public, Chevy reversed its decision and reintroduced the Z28 mid-year.

So, is it pedal-to-the-medal as the pursuer or pursuee?

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/11/2019 11:33 AM

I drove one of those old police cars once, wow, it had a lot of power, I was entering I95 from the on ramp I was going about 40 mph and floored it, that car churned the tires for a couple hundred feet, what a beast! Unfortunately the car was blowing so much blue smoke people must have thought the car was on fire... haha ...sure was fun to drive though....I never owned a Camaro, I had a couple of friends that had them over the years, the first one was a '67 with a 327 4 speed, my buddy had a Mustang '66 before that with the 289 4 speed, the new Camaro was a big disappointment, wanted the Mustang back, but it was too late, it was gone....The second was a '68 4 speed that my buddy had installed a 427 in, it was a beast!, it could beat my Honda CB750 within a block! Never tried against my vette, which had an LT1 350 350hp....would have been a good race...

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/11/2019 11:50 AM

One of those cars you drive, the other you take the helm.

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/11/2019 12:31 PM

Ha, more like strapping into a stock car...those cop cars were beefed up....

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/11/2019 2:23 PM

I'm sure they were. One of my college roommates had an early '70's Fury, four-door. Man, that thing was huge. You could land a helicopter on the forward deck, I mean hood. Three co-eds could easily sunbathe on the hood. But alas, at an engineering school, those of the fairer sex were rather rare. When I started, it was ten-to-one. By '85, things had improved to eight-to-one. Thank goodness Becker Junior College was only two blocks away from our campus.

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/11/2019 2:39 PM

In 1980 my uncle owned a '74 Fury III station wagon that had been retired from state government service. As it goes, at the time, he had recently lost his license and I had recently acquired mine so I ended up driving him around for a few months.

Yes, it drove like a boat. Turn the steering wheel and wait. Eventually it will respond. You have to anticipate when to adjust out of the turn. My uncle complained that I drove too close to the right hand side of the road. In reality, I was at a normal distance from the center line, it was just such a huge car it meant that holding the left side nicely to my side of center caused me to look biased to the right. We carried a little aluminum john boat in the back which we used to go crabbing on the Bay. When fully loaded he'd intone that it "drove like a Cadillac!"

It was absolutely not a babe magnet!

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/11/2019 4:09 PM

Maybe not a babe magnet but definitely surrounded with more steel than the vault at Ft. Knox.

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/12/2019 1:44 AM

I had a '72 Eldorado at one time...now that was a boat...

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/12/2019 6:27 AM

If anyone is interested a neighbor around the corner recently had a for sale sign on his aircraft carrier/car. Not sure if he ever sold it or not. I could ask him for details.

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/12/2019 11:38 AM

You mean one of these?

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/13/2019 10:13 PM

That's a flight line "tug" for moving aircraft around at airports.

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Re: This or That – Season 3: 1977 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 or 1978 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit?

04/12/2019 3:59 PM

Way back when I was in college, I had samples of both of these. Freshman year, I had a 1964 Chrysler New Yorker with a 413 Wedge with a Carter AFB and push button 727 Torqueflite. That car has tons of torque. Tons! Going around corners meant a lot of lean and if done too fast, some screaming tires!

Later, I had a 1980 Camaro with a 305 V-8 small block with a Quadrajet and TH350. Over the summer, my friends and I pulled the top end and put bigger heads, taller cam, double row timing chain, Edelbrock intake, Holley 650 and then put aluminum coated headers, 2 1/2 pipes, no cat and turbo mufflers. We also pulled the stock 2.56 rear axle and put a 3.42 posi. And it had to have bigger antiroll bars, so I put a bigger set on with urethane bushings - and pulled the stock 14"rally wheels and put some 15" 1982 Trans Am wheels with Goodyear Gatorbacks for grip! That car was a beast! Made all the right noises and hit 135 mph on a few occasions.

Between the two, I much prefer the Camaro. It didn't have the torque of the RB 413 Mopar, but the lighter body and stiffer chassis/suspension made the car much more fun to drive. And it looked A LOT better.

My vote - 77 Z28.

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