Culp Lake Car Show
HOW DID THE CAMARO Z28 GET ITS NAME?
Posted in April 17th, 2008
by Letz Roc in Z28's 1st Gen
The name Z28 started out as only a Regular Production Order (RPO) option code but has since grown into one of the most recognizable three letters in Camaro automotive history. It may just be a coincidence that the RPO code for the Camaro Super Sport (SS) package was Z27 and that RPO Z28 just followed it sequentially or maybe not. Whatever the case may be it was nothing more and nothing less than a RPO option code at first.
Some people mistakenly believed that the Z in Z28 stood for Zora Arkus-Duntov the Corvette engineer. Actually a man named Vincent W. Piggins (more on him later) had put a name on the original 283 “Z28″ prototype Camaro before he presented it at a October 1966 “show-and-tell” session with top management at the GM Proving Grounds. The name that he had chosen was Cheetah. However at the last moment Vincent took the handmade decal off the car mumbling something like, “Well, a name is a name is a name.”
Each year, engine builders from across the US gather for a week for the Engine Master’s Competition, held by Hot Rod magazine and Amsoil, and hosted by the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in Lima, Ohio. Each team’s engine is tested for 35 minutes on the dynamometer to measure how much horsepower and torque are generated.
I was honored to be on Ted Eaton’s team (Eaton Specialties, Lorena, TX), competing in the vintage class. Our 375 ci Ford Y-Block engine came out on top in the Vintage Class, with 603 hp, and Ted received his well-earned $12,000 award and related bragging rights. There will be extensive coverage of the event in an upcoming Hot Rod Magazine, but in the meantime, here are a couple of photos from the competition.