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Camaro Z28 = Cheap, Fast First Car?

This is a discussion on Camaro Z28 = Cheap, Fast First Car? within the Camaro / SS forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hey guys, I have always been a Chevy fan and am a huge fan of the 98-02 LS1 Z28 Camaro ...

  1. #1
    Shift4
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    Camaro Z28 = Cheap, Fast First Car?

    Hey guys, I have always been a Chevy fan and am a huge fan of the 98-02 LS1 Z28 Camaro (SS is better but much more expensive). I also like the S-10 Xtreme (4.3L of course) but I think its too slow (my family has a history of really nice fast first cars). I am basically looking for a fast cheap car that has some muscle behind it. 4 cyl's are not nearly as cool . . . So, what are your ideas on this - is it a good first car when performance is the key issue? Other cars that I have been lookin at are:

    S-10 Xtreme (4.3L - not sure whether auto or manual)
    MazdaSpeed Protege
    VW GTI (1.8T)
    Scion tC

  2. #2
    Don't Listen to Me NE98LS1's Avatar
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    you will be extremely dissapointec by the last 3. i am a former import guy and can tell you that unless you wanna put a considerable amount of work into them, they are not gonna compare to a z28. i think your best bet is a z28, you can pick up a pretty decent one for 12k, and it's going to make even a supercharged tC look like a dog.

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    mazdaspeed protege is garbage...my firend have on..scon tc is a pretty good car...and a 1.8t with a upgraded turbo is quick but laggy....and also the fact that you can't get an extreme in a stick with the 6cyl makes them all bad choices... a z28 will be real fast..and if i did it all over..i'd get a z28..not a SS and put that money into some mods. So is it a good first car...absolutely NOT!..unless you are extremely responsible...the car has a lot of power... and inexpierence kills. I'm not a fan of first cars being really fast..seen to many people wrap their brand new fast car into a tree.

  4. #4
    Hotrod
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrandonDrecksage
    mazdaspeed protege is garbage...my firend have on..scon tc is a pretty good car...and a 1.8t with a upgraded turbo is quick but laggy....and also the fact that you can't get an extreme in a stick with the 6cyl makes them all bad choices... a z28 will be real fast..and if i did it all over..i'd get a z28..not a SS and put that money into some mods. So is it a good first car...absolutely NOT!..unless you are extremely responsible...the car has a lot of power... and inexpierence kills. I'm not a fan of first cars being really fast..seen to many people wrap their brand new fast car into a tree.

    Agreed! WAY to much power for a kid's first car. You're probably very responsible but once all the buddies climb in that's normally when all hell breaks loose and someone gets hurt or killed.....Man I'm starting to sound like my dad already!

  5. #5
    Tinton
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    Go for it, I got a nice blue metallic '00 Z28, and I'm very happy with it. The only problem I have with it is that damned automatic transmission (its the devil). Try your best to get a 6-speed if you think you can handle it, if you can't, an automatic is just as good....just not as much fun. My Z28 was my 3rd car, I went from 80 hp -> 140 hp -> 350 hp, nearly doubling engine sizes each time lol (1.6L L4, 2.8L V6, 5.7L V8).

    If you want a fast car, the Scion isn't going to be it, and I think you'll be disappointed in the Mazdaspeed. The GTI would be a good choice, if nothing but just for the little "fast" thing they give away with the Mk 4's (you've seen the commercials). The Camaro is probably the best choice, its the fastest, and you can get a good condition Camaro for the same price as a brand new Scion, and have like 3 times the horsepower.

  6. #6
    Shift4
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    Yeah, I'm pretty responsible. . . I'm not interested in just going 20 mph over the speed limit all the time - I just want a car that I can nail the gas from anything 0-40 mph and get really good acceleration. The Z28 and MazdaSpeed Protege are two completely different kinds of fast. . . The Protege, like you guys said though, isnt that fast, its pretty quick but not that fast. Oh, and the guy who said you cant get the 4.3L V6 with a Manual 5 Speed - you can. I'm 110% positive.

    See, I go to a rich school though and all the kids have like brand new mustang GT's, BMW's, Mercedes', Audi's etc. I'm not rich at all though and I have to pay for my own car (have saved quite a bit) so I want something that I can be respected with in the parking lot. Oh, and good sounding (flowmaster!) exhaust is awesome too!

  7. #7
    Member Capster78's Avatar
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    Id say go with the Z-28 but most kids your age will have a car like that for a week.. Hit the gas at a light and swerve it into a tree and total it. So Ill have to say go with the slower cars. lol

  8. #8
    Senior Member ss~zoso~ss's Avatar
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    SS: NBM, tan top
    1998-SS, 2010 Jetta TDI

    my first car is a 1998 Camaro SS

    I am a responsible driver and have never lost controll of the car yet, everyone was telling me i was going to crash it, dont listen*to*†hem,

    You will realize the power of the car the first time you punch it, and when you are cruzing*in 6th gear at 70 and accelerating up a hill on the highway (pretty ballsy).

    Your Z28 or SS will probably not get respect untill you show people what its got for balls, i mean i'm a senior now and a MIDGET GT got voted best car, I mean WTF, not many people know about F bods, and how fast they are

    A kid i know thought he could take me with his VR6 Jetta, i told him that he shouldnt waste the gas





    Just be responsible, cautious, and smart, and you'll be fine in a powerful car such as a camaro,



    p.s. you'll RAPE 90% of cars on*the road that cost under 40 grand$
    98' SS Convertible Camaro-76k-Build # 1471, Cragar SS rims, RK SFC's, MAC Panhard, LSX Tune, Shaner S3,
    SLP:short thro,Strut tower brace,fan switch
    MTI Power induction kit,40 Series muffler,Pacesetter LT's + ORY,12 CD changer,3800lbs
    http://www.cardomain.com/ride/787506/1

  9. #9
    ls1hump
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    Dude whats wrong with you, there is no comparison at all between an import and a z I got my car in my senior year and boy was it fun. It was my first car and its pretty damn fast. (careful in the rain) If you think you can handle it go for it but ls1's got balls. Oh don't go with flowmaster get loudmouth if you want some respect.

    01 camaro ss
    lid, k&N filter, MSD (ignition, wires 8.5), SLP loud mouth, SLP longtube headers, cam, ripper shifter, subframe connectors, and polished 02 anniversary rims w/ nittos nt555rs

  10. #10
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    I agree. Not that you should be dissueded by it, but your insurance will be a nightmare, and the ls1 z28 is very powerful (it is quite underrated). You should concentrate on honing your driving skills if you intend on getting one. The z will take you into the high reaches of speed and its handling limit faster than you may realize, and if you don't have a good handle on it, bad things can happen.

    So I'd recommend that you first get some very good driving experience (preferably before owning a z) and plan for getting a z28 if it is really what you want. Be prepared!!

  11. #11
    Shift4
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    See but if I get a slower car I'm gonna end up being stuck with it. . . I dont think its worth it in the end. . . Might as well just have gone with the Z28 or SS. BTW, is the SS really any faster? what are the differences besides different exhaust and ram air?

  12. #12
    98V6
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    go with the z/28, im looking to get one for my senior year, sell the 98 v6 mustang and buy a real car (LS1)

  13. #13
    Shift4
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    yeah. . . I guess I would have to anyway because its so much cheaper! What are the stock 0-60 and QM times? Also, should I look at B4C Police ones even though they always have a lot of miles??

  14. #14
    Don't Listen to Me NE98LS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift4
    yeah. . . I guess I would have to anyway because its so much cheaper! What are the stock 0-60 and QM times? Also, should I look at B4C Police ones even though they always have a lot of miles??
    NO! my friend drives for the NSP and they all fight over driving the camaro in our district cuz they just beat the piss out of it when they do! haha, they all have like 145000 HARD driven miles, highway miles yes, but beat to hell highway miles!

  15. #15
    Tinton
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls1hump
    Dude whats wrong with you, there is no comparison at all between an import and a z I got my car in my senior year and boy was it fun. It was my first car and its pretty damn fast. (careful in the rain) If you think you can handle it go for it but ls1's got balls. Oh don't go with flowmaster get loudmouth if you want some respect.

    01 camaro ss
    lid, k&N filter, MSD (ignition, wires 8.5), SLP loud mouth, SLP longtube headers, cam, ripper shifter, subframe connectors, and polished 02 anniversary rims w/ nittos nt555rs
    Loudmouth? A friend of mine has SLP Loudmouth exhaust on his '95 Z28, it sounds pretty...loud. But more in a roaring sense. My '00 Z28 has Flowmaster, it has much more of a rumbling sound, especially at idle. I'm not even sure if I can compare them though, his being a LT1, and mine being a LS1.

    I'd say, if you're worried about it, go for a '98-'02 Z28 with a 4-speed automatic. The automatic is probably less likely to get you killed. I try to learn to drive on cars with weak motors. I learned to drive in my Dad's Saturn SL2, automatic with 125 hp. Instead of going and learning stick on a 6-speed Camaro, I got an automatic as a daily driver (easy on my leg in traffic), and I got a 1986 Fiero SE 2.8L V6 4-speed muncie manual. Its peppy up until about 70-80 mph, it has lots of torque (170 ft. lbs in a 2600 lb car), and it is less likely to get away from me.

    Also, other things to consider. The LS1 Camaros were underrated from the factory, at only 305 hp and 335 tq. My Camaro is stock except for K&N filter and Flowmaster exhaust, both provide minimal (2-5 hp) or no gains, and I got 285 rwhp and 311 rwtq. That's approx. 350 hp from an automatic car. I would think a stock 6-speed LS1 would get around 300 to the wheels. Also, these cars are...tricky in the rain, especially with mostly bald tires . You have to respect it in the rain, don't pull any BS or the car will punish you. I don't know how many times I've spun the tires like hell on wet roads (but knew how to get out of it). With my old 245's I would spin the tires flooring it at 80 mph on the freeway, that was great the first time I did that! . Try to find a car with ASR (Acceleration Slip Regulation, I think, its traction control, it works well to keep traction when you want traction, and it hurts performance when you want performance).

    Here's some interesting performance specs on the cars you posted:
    0-60|1/4
    1998 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 5.2 13.7
    1998 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 SS 5.2 13.6
    2003 Mazdaspeed Protege 6.9 15.4
    2004 Volkswagen GTI 1.8t 6.5 15.2
    2003 Chevrolet S10 Xtreme 10.3 17.3

    The S10 Xtreme looks like a BAD idea. That's only 180 hp trying to haul a 4,100 lb truck around.

  16. #16
    Shift4
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    My dad is telling me that I cant get a Camaro Z28 because insurance will be ridiculous - he says "A camaro is not a first car". I have to keep reminding him what HIS first car was. Take a wild guess. . . But I think he will eventually let me get one because he says no to literally ANY thing that I ask for at first (even though I'm buying it) until its actually time for me to get it. . . for instance some days he says no, your first car will be a honda civic, and just recently he was looking at rebuilt RSX Type S's for cheap on ebay. . .

  17. #17
    Impounded MikeSomething's Avatar
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    Pewter Metallic
    '00 Z/28

    I have a '00 Z28...

    If you do get one and wanna get a nice exhaust, go for "MagnaFlow"...
    I have a 40 Series Flowmaster exhaust, sounds great, but the other one
    will give you more power! My insurance in New Jersey when I 1st got it
    was $4k a year.

  18. #18
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    An a4 fbody will NOT relieve you of properly handling the car. You will have to know how to handle the camaro in many different driving situations, regardless of the transmission type.

    A hot a4 camaro mishandled will do as much harm to you or others as well as a manual.

  19. #19
    iburhucklebery
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shift4
    . . . I'm not interested in just going 20 mph over the speed limit all the time - I just want a car that I can nail the gas from anything 0-40 mph and get really good acceleration.
    Get really good acceleration, , sure as long as you can keep those tire from spinning you right off the road. I KNOW I would have killed myself if I had my car @ 16, 17, 18...hell I'm 27, only had the car a year and already:

    1) Blown a transmission (6spd)
    2) Blown an engine ($ 9000)-no! I had insurance
    3) been hit by a semi (trying to pass him with his blinker on, he showed me he was serious
    4) Blown a $200 tire passing someone in the emergency lane
    5) Been pulled over (can't count how many times)
    6) Hit a telephone pole (after spinning 2 360's and sliding across the road

    But don't worry I am responsible, and I am sure you will be 2


    Your dad loves you, and doesn't want anything to happen to you (or his insurance)....Take the advice and just wait

  20. #20
    Senior Member SeVeReDiStOrTiOn's Avatar
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    05 Wrangler
    00 Z28 sold :-(

    You can say you're responsible for a 15 yr old all you want...but bottom line is you're an inexperianced, testosterone driven teen. Soon as one of those rich kids in a new GT, audi, benz, ..etc lines up with you at a light you're going to race....even if you've only had the car a day. It's just going to take one time to lose control dude...the rears on high hp cars love to whip around. Good luck though...and welcome to the board
    Quote Originally Posted by shift4
    I'm not interested in just going 20 mph over the speed limit all the time - I just want a car that I can nail the gas from anything 0-40 mph and get really good acceleration
    Like I said..the rears go sideways really easy, just remember that if you do get a ls1. My auto will let'em loose from a 30 roll...can't even imagine what it's gonna do when I throw a stall in.

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