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Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Old 01-16-2019, 08:17 AM
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Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

I'd love to see your LOW OPTION Camaro's and Firebirds, I'm especially fascinated with early third gens with 4 or 6 cyl, completely stripped cheapskate plain jane models. The kind you never see. They give me a weird sense of nostalgia. Whenever I see an early third gen with whitewalls or completely void of any kind of ground effects it interests me. Interestingly enough, in 1982 and probably some years beyond that, Camaros came standard with Dog Dish Hubcaps but an internet search turns up NOTHING on this, except one picture of a stripper firebird. The dog dish caps do not even appear in the brochure, but instead the optional full wheel covers. I'd even like to see old historical photos or even your stories about a plain jane car you remember.

I have been looking at low option early sport coupes (82-87) on ebay for many years waiting on the right one to come up at the right time and it never came. Either it had too many options for what I was looking for or it would be across the whole country from me, or either I didn't have space for it at the time. I was kind of holding out for a 4 cyl iron duke that had been well kept. I recently caved in and bought a local 87 sport coupe with a 2.8 v6, manual trans, with very few options. It is completely original. It has the rear spoiler which I will be deleting though to make it even more base, just for giggles. Even though it is a stick shift it doesn't have a tach. it has idiot lights. manual locks and windows, it does have the 15" rally wheels, which I like. If I can find out more info on what the dog dish hubcaps looked like I might would consider clapping out this Camaro or a future one with them. Any info on this or stories/ pics/ good or bad it would be enjoyable for me to hear about.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:21 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

I've Never Seen A Third Gen Sport Coupe With The Standard Cap On The Left.

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Old 01-16-2019, 10:55 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

I don't think you will ever find one ,heck I googled for 4cylinder 3rd gens and there are barely few photos with them...these things are probably long gone.I'd love to see some too but I don't think we will ever see them.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:17 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Well, this one was discussed last year:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1983-Chevro....m43663.l10137
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:52 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds


I bought this one to flip back in 2000. 1982 Camaro, 4 cylinder, 4 speed manual. Crank windows, standard AM/FM radio, a/c, and that's about it for options. Had 60k miles and was like new. Bought it for $600 and sold it for $2,800

It had red wheels on it, but I put these on...
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:11 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds



About the only options on this Berlinetta I picked up last summer are AC and a rear window wiper. V6 (in pieces), 3 speed auto. No spoilers. Plain instrument panel. And from a quick inspection, very clean. It does however have a 'glass Z28 hood which I suspect was an add-on by one the previous owners (along with the rims).
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:18 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by gt4373 View Post
I've Never Seen A Third Gen Sport Coupe With The Standard Cap On The Left.

The first 3rd gen I ever saw had those base hubcaps. It was a silver Sport Coupe with maroon cloth interior.
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Old 01-16-2019, 08:55 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

It'd be kinda cool rockin' the base hubcaps. Seeing as they were standard equipment it wouldn't be posing. But I think they'd have to be 17's with a repop cap to match.

Last edited by skinny z; 01-16-2019 at 09:46 PM. Reason: be
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:09 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds




I like Sport Coupes, but... The typical stripped Camaro with a 2.5, 2.8, and poverty wheels is just sickening. You don't see them because they're ugly and boring. Without at least a V8 and real wheels, they're an abomination and should be destroyed.

Have a "Secretary - Workin' girl" RS instead.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:25 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

What of a stripped looking but packing ultra base trim Coupe (might need the deck spoiler at least though) and bigger steel wheel with caps? I'm partial to that look probably because I grew in that era of the dog dish. I had no idea the 3rd gen had that heritage.
To keep things on topic, is there a pic out there with the Sport Coupe "poverty wheels" ?
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:37 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Seldom saw many Sport Coupes back in the day with even the stock 14" Rally wheels. Those were the days when anyone over 18 walking past the Sears in the mall was offered a Sears card, and the American Racing generic wheels were flying off the shelves. Almost seemed like every one of those cars had at least some chromed steel wheels fit for a boat trailer.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:37 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by skinny z View Post
What of a stripped looking but packing ultra base trim Coupe (might need the deck spoiler at least though) and bigger steel wheel with caps? I'm partial to that look probably because I grew in that era of the dog dish. I had no idea the 3rd gen had that heritage.
To keep things on topic, is there a pic out there with the Sport Coupe "poverty wheels" ?
I've never seen a pic with them.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:10 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

A friend of mine had an '84 Camaro sport coupe as his first car. It was a 4cyl and 4 speed, but did have rally wheels and a rear spoiler.

Sport coupes were common in my area, there's even a few still kicking around now. But I've never seen those poverty caps before, just the full wheel covers.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:57 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

My '89 was a low option, base model Firebird. 2.8L, manual trans, no cruise, manual windows & locks. Amazing what some window tint and a set of wheels will do.

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Old 01-17-2019, 12:34 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Here's mine. 1986 SC V6, 5-speed, and as best I can figure out, only 5 options - body side moldings, 2-tone paint, carpeted floor mats, rear window defroster, and cruise control.




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Old 01-17-2019, 08:33 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

I have a friend that has an 87 GTA (not a base car I know) but it has paddle mirrors, manual windows and manual locks, and lacks another typical GTA option but I can't remember what. It's also a 5 speed car with some SLP upgrades from new. I know a GTA isn't a base car but I figured a completely bone basic example is fairly unique
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:17 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Firebirds just don't look good without the wrap around rear wing. The 87-90 black bumper pads just look horrible also. 91-92 Formulas and even base Birds looked so much better.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:45 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by ktthecarguy View Post
Here's mine. 1986 SC V6, 5-speed, and as best I can figure out, only 5 options - body side moldings, 2-tone paint, carpeted floor mats, rear window defroster, and cruise control.





Nice SC.
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Old 01-19-2019, 12:45 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by dmccain View Post
Firebirds just don't look good without the wrap around rear wing. The 87-90 black bumper pads just look horrible also.
That's a big jump over "UGLY AF", which is how you described the Camaro Sport Coupe last month.

Embrace the base model and rock it!
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:41 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

From a random google search:

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Old 01-19-2019, 07:42 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by ktthecarguy View Post
Here's mine. 1986 SC V6, 5-speed, and as best I can figure out, only 5 options - body side moldings, 2-tone paint, carpeted floor mats, rear window defroster, and cruise control.




I really like your Sport Coupe. I remember seeing lots of these around as a kid in the 80s. Most that I remember had the rally wheels like yours. Unfortunately, very few nice ones are around now.
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Old 01-19-2019, 01:54 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by QwkTrip View Post
That's a big jump over "UGLY AF", which is how you described the Camaro Sport Coupe last month.

Embrace the base model and rock it!
Well..sometimes I may not be as harsh but I assure u my feelings haven't changed in a month, base birds i do prefer a bit over an SC also. The nose on the SC and Berlinetta throw it off...way off.

Last edited by dmccain; 01-19-2019 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:57 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

KTthecarguy, I've mentioned it before.....that's all but the same as my first car, and at the time, mine was about as clean. I had AC, and it looks like you don't. But I had black mirrors and idiot lights. Your are painted and have full gauges. Wish I had better pics....

Loved that car.
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Old 01-19-2019, 02:58 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

What is the LEFT VENT / RIGHT VENT levers for???? I've never seen that before.

Last edited by Abubaca; 01-19-2019 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:01 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

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Old 01-19-2019, 03:19 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by KMK454 View Post
From a random google search:

That's better than what I've been trying to find. Some pic with the base hub cap.
I'm going to have photoshop a 17" wheel with the poverty caps onto my Coupe. Stay tuned...
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:22 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
What is the LEFT VENT / RIGHT VENT levers for???? I've never seen that before.
Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
That is what you get with no A/C. The 86 TA (carbed 305/T5/BW 3.70 gear) had the manual kick panel vents (as above). The heater controls were also cable rather than vacuum operated (at least in my case). Something I wish my current coupe had. To me it's just simpler. Plus fresh air...
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Old 01-19-2019, 03:54 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by skinny z View Post
That is what you get with no A/C. The 86 TA (carbed 305/T5/BW 3.70 gear) had the manual kick panel vents (as above). The heater controls were also cable rather than vacuum operated (at least in my case). Something I wish my current coupe had. To me it's just simpler. Plus fresh air...
I had those on my 86 IROC with no A/C back in the mid 90s. They were useful during afternoon summer rainstorms. Since there was no A/C to dehumidify the air to the defroster to keep windshield from fogging up, you had to add some heat to the defroster air. Then, open up those vents and crack the side windows open (as long as you had the optional drip moldings) and relatively cool outside air would flow to your feet when the car was moving. It wasnt great, but they did help.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:15 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

I think all the 3rd gen variants are likable but not in the same ways.
Just got to stop looking for what you want to see and start seeing the beauty that's right in front of you.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:40 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
What is the LEFT VENT / RIGHT VENT levers for???? I've never seen that before.
Thanks to skinny z for answering. Fresh air vents in the footwells. It really helps in summer. The only thing I wish it had was the bypass valve from A/C. That would help keep coolant out of the heater core in summer, and reduce cabin heat. I was told to try a ball valve inline in the heater hose. I might give that a try. Otherwise, except for the very hottest days in summer, the car stays comfortable. But 95* is 95*, no getting around it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:30 AM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

Originally Posted by KMK454 View Post
From a random google search:

Nice! Those are the optional wheel covers,
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:11 PM
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Re: Extreme Low Option Camaro's and Firebirds

One of my favorite Thirdgen's I owned was a bare bones 84 Firebird. 2.8L V6, 5 Speed manual and NON-Locking Factory T-Tops, that's it.

As far as gauges there was an 85 MPH speedometer and a big gas gauge, it didn't even have a trip odometer. No A/C, no map pocket, no defrost, no rear spoiler (I did end up putting one on), no delay wipers, no cruise, no tilt, manual windows, locks, etc... It did have a radio antenna, but had an aftermarket Alpine in it when I bought it, so I don't know if it came with a radio originally.

I used it as a daily driver, and I loved it for it's simplicity. And no matter what people said, the 2.8 with a 5 speed made it fun for a daily as well. The only thing that annoyed me was all the people who kept telling me to "put a V8 in it" even though I have my Formula 350 TPI for my fun car.

Sadly around 220,000 miles the little V6 let go. I put it in the garage and started taking it apart with the intention of restoring it, until I saw how much of a toll the Minnesota winters had taken on the rear subframes. Eventually the Non A/C parts found their way into my Formula. So a little of the car lives on.

I don't seem to have amy pictures on a computer, but I know I have actual pictures somewhere.... Will up load if I ever find them.
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