In the early ''80s, muscle cars were on the endangered species list, with the Z/28 Camaro being one of the few V8-powered performance cars left on the market. Like the Trans Am, they were distinctive and in-your-face, creating a statement about American performance. You can''t blame a guy for wanting to get a piece of the action by building his own 1981 Z and adding big performance that the original never had. Unlike all the orange and white and bright blue Z/28s, this charcoal gray tribute actually looks sophisticated enough that you won''t have to make excuses for driving it every day. Paint and bodywork were done to a good standard in preparation for the full makeover, which included adding correct Z/28 bits like the chin spoiler that wraps around to the wheel openings, a proper hood scoop and fender vent, plus the ducktail spoiler out back. The urethane bits match the bodywork exactly, which is something you couldn''t say about the originals, and a full complement of high-visibility Z/28 decals have been professionally installed to complete the illusion. Even the correct Z/28 gas tank filler door has been installed, complete with matching multi-colored logo. If nothing else, the attention to detail on this car is impressive. Showing little wear since the build, the cool silver interior avoids looking dated by virtue of the black piping, generous side bolsters and matching deep-pile carpet. Matching door panels are in good condition, not even showing the usual wear on the driver''s side armrest. A full complement of gauges, including a correct 7000 RPM tachometer (yes, they all rest at about 1500 RPM when you turn off the ignition), has been fitted into the brushed-aluminum instrument panel. The steering wheel is a Z/28 piece that neatly replicates the string-wrapped racing wheels of the past and includes a Z/28 horn button the complete the look. The spotless trunk still carries its original mat and a correct space-saver spare that has apparently never been used. Granted, 1981 wasn''t the pinnacle of the horsepower wars, but that doesn''t mean that 30 years later, stuffing more cubic inches under the hood doesn''t fix everything. The engine is a built 400 cubic inch small block, topped by an Edelbrock carburetor, an aluminum intake, and a handsome Edelbrock dress-up kit. Chevy Orange paint on the block is traditional, but had gone by the wayside by 1981, and thanks to power steering and brakes, this car is potential daily-driver material. Long-tube headers feed a rumbling dual exhaust system, which terminates in subtle turn-downs that keep a low profile, which was probably the whole point. A TH350 3-speed automatic transmission delivers the power, which gets planted by the original 10-bolt rear. Black Z/28 wheels look right and wear 225/60/15 front and 245/60/15 rear performance radials. Real Z/28s can''t keep up with this one, and few of them have been restored to this level. If you love the look but crave a little subtlety, this is the car. Call today! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.