Friday, May 13, 2016

IROC? You might Rock but you sure don't Roc

I was driving my friends nifty Honda Element out near JFK somewhere when I passed by this blue sneaker and pulled an egregious U-turn to check it out:
What we have here is a 1987-1990 Chevrolet Camaro RS Convertible in Medium Maui Blue over Silver. The convertible was only introduced in 1987, and beginning in 1991 every Camaro hood had 2 large bumps on it, so we know it is within those years. My best guess is 1988 as there seemed to be a predominance of tu-tone paint with the silver along the bottom on that year only. 
Being that this is a completely flat hood we also know this is not a high performance model. If it were an IROC-Z there would be two black vents on the hood.
The wheels are not original but look the part surprisingly well. That little rectangle of gray behind the front wheel on the silver rocker panel says RS. Unlike days of yore when Rally Sport meant something, this was the designation for the base model Camaro. This might be packing the diminutive 2.8 Liter V6 under its hood. Good thing it's a convertible!
Much like a recent post of mine these cars started out with a solid roof before being converted by ASC (American Sunroof Corporation). If you went into a dealership to buy one of these back in the day your car would've originally been a T-tops model (not that you'd know). Some people brought their Camaros to ASC for the conversions themselves but then the VIN tag would have a 2 on it.
This is right up there with the worst convertible tops I've ever seen! Unless I'm mistaken someone has taken the effort to use an ocean of tape to fasten a clear piece of plastic over the back window opening. Whatever keeps the inside dry Bro!
With the loss of the trunk mounted wing you also lose the third brake light. From here we can see that the pinstripe is hot pink! That's about as '80s as it gets.
I'm pausing to give a shout-out to another period piece; the 1990-1991 Pontiac Bonneville parked behind the Camaro. I can only imagine that they're owned by the same person. This example is heavily tarted up with faux chrome outlining the wheel arches, lights, and grill, mini awnings over the windows allowing you to smoke in the rain, and a padded cloth roof. Only now is this starting to look a bit exotic, mostly because there is ZERO reason to keep one of these bricks afloat.
Much like its cousin parked behind it the paint is standard GM for the era; clear coat gone and fading fast. Who knows why GM paint was so terrible through the '80s into the '90s, but it almost always is. 
To put this convertible into perspective we need to think of it in context. General Motors stopped convertible production across the board in 1976 in answer to new rollover safety regulation. There were almost no domestic convertibles produced from '76-'86 (with a few oddball examples such as a Riviera & an Eldorado; both results of a partnership with an aftermarket conversion company). To go into a dealership and select a ragtop felt like a miracle! I've always like these as the lines really lend themselves to having the top down. With only a few thousand produced between '87-'90 I was surprised to see on in the wild.

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