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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hot Wheels 1985 Chevy Camaro IROC-Z

One of the most unsuspected surprises of the 2012 new model releases is the 1985 Camaro IROC-Z.  Most thought this was just a slightly-modified version of the '80's Camaro, but as you'll see in the pictures that is not the case because it's an entirely new casting.  Since then it's enjoyed plenty of variations in the original first release's deco.

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From Z-28 to IROC-Z

The 1983 Camaro marked a major turning point for the F-body GM muscle cars as a changing market and a stronger Mustang returning meant retiring the old second-generation model for a more modern version.  The Camaro has the square-jaw look while retaining the fastback look of the previous generation that looks good close to the ground while also being aerodynamic for improved fuel economy (the front grille is not open; instead air flows to the radiator underneath the front bumper)  The rear hatch even has a clean lip spoiler on higher-end versions.  Inside the interior was more modernized, but looked pretty bad with a large blank gap on the dashboard that looks like something should fill the spot.  The chassis now features MacPherson Strut front suspension, and in the case of the 1985 IROC a fuel-injected 5.0L V8 from the 1984 Corvette producing 190 hp. through a 4-speed automatic.  The IROC was based on the International Race of Champions race car Camaro's and featured upgraded suspension components and a lower ride height to the Z-28 package.  For a time the IROC literally dominated over the Z-28 until 1991 when the Z-28 finally returned it's glory.

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IROC variations, alongside the '80's Camaro

The first release was the best: in Red with black interior, PR5 wheels that nicely mimick the actual alloy wheels, and accurate detailing all-around, including the rear taillights!.  The front scoops are part of the interior tooling, and inside the interior is nicely done to match the actual car.  The only gripe is the large rear wheels eating into the rear fenders.

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Next is the black with red interior, which was so-so because the black had metalflakes that made the black look dark gray in sunlight, and the tradeoff of having hood scoops as part of the interior is red scoops.

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Then in 2013 it was made as a 3 or 9-pack exclusive car in a bright yellow, still continuing the same side and rear decals, wheels, and cool look to it.  In 2014 it again continues as a special 3 or 9-pack exclusive, this time in dark blue but sadly loses the rear taillight decal.

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As for the difference between this '80's Camaro that I found in the Wal-Mart-only Cars of the Decades series in 2012, the old one is taller, has a larger front grille, a full-width horizontal blind taillight's, raked rear with visible rear axle, side exhaust, rearview mirrors, and a metal base.  Otherwise the detailing is so close you could've swear the IROC looks just like the '80's Camaro!

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It's such an awesome casting in it's stock look.  I hope Hot Wheels continues to release more variations in this suit.

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