If the 1969 Camaro is the most popular car of the muscle car era, then this 1969 Camaro Z/28 RS with the Cross Ram intake is the top of the food chain among Camaros. When you combine the solid lifter HiPo DZ302 motor with the Winters Cross Ram intake and two 4295 Holley four-barrel carburetors, you are producing 360 brake horsepower. (And that was at low rpms. It did not really peak out until it got to 7,000 rpm.) Not bad for a Pony car.
This week, Mershons in Springfield, Ohio posted a 1969 Camaro Z/28 RS with the Cross Ram intake, a real X33 Camaro for sale. (Find dozens of high resolution photos on the ad page.) It has the rare color combination, burgundy with white Lemans stripes and a white vinyl top. In addition, it has the rare original Code 727 Ivory interior. With both front and rear spoilers, it comes with a full California smog system and Rally gauges with factory tach and center console with gauges. Mershons tells us it comes with documentation including the original Protect-O-Plate.
You will see in the ad photos that it has a Muncie four-speed and a new-for-‘69 Hurst ball shifter. The Z/28 RS had a 12-bolt rear axle with 3.73 gears. The ZL2 fiberglass hood was perfect for the Cross Ram intake. The Cross Ram was a dealer installed option. The ZL2 fiberglass hood was a factory option. This Camaro came with the coil spring independent front suspension and live Positraction rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs. This one came with power steering and power disc brakes. The Z/28 RS package always had the 15-inch Rally wheels wrapped in Goodyear Polyglas F-70-15 white letter tires.
That HiPo DZ302 engine was designed to compete in SCCA compeition. It featured 11:1 compression, forged pistons, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, solid lifter camshaft, and Holley carburetion on a dual-plane intake manifold. Piggins and Chevrolet were being a little tricky about how they reported the horsepower on this car. Actual peak horsepower for the high-revving 302 with the dual quad Cross Ram was 400 hp at 6800 to 7000 rpm. Until this 1969 version of the Camaro Z/28 came out the general public was not aware of its performance capability.
1969 Camaro Z/28 History
When the Z/28 option code was announced in December of 1966, it was the work of Vince Piggins, the inimitable Chevy muscle car guru. His intention was to deliver a “virtually race-ready” Camaro right from the showroom floor at your local Chevrolet dealership for 1967. History will show that the RPO Z28 option went virtually unnoticed in sales literature and promotions in 1967. Most buyers were completely unaware of the Camaro Z/28. Piggins was focused on making it a “Special Perfomance Package” for SCCA Trans-Am racing teams.
But by 1969, Chevrolet could no longer keep it a secret. The solid-lifter 302 small block V8 with the DZ code was already being eyed up by every young muscle car buyer in America. That year the Camaro won the SCCA Trans-Am Championship. The 1969 Camaro will go down in muscle car history as one of the most popular designs and body styles ever produced.
Camaro likely would have won more SCCA championships if they had given Roger Penske the support he deserved. Roger Penske took Mark Donohue to AMC in 1970 and the championship title became a battle between Ford and AMC. The Camaro was no longer a contender. Ford won the champioship in 1970. AMC won it in 1971. .