RestoMods is presenting you an old school v/s new muscle showdown between two icons of the motoring industry. The contenders are slick, stylish, and more importantly, all American. Settling their family disputes are the 1968 Chevy Camaro 454 and its modern relative, the 2022 ZL1. Both cars share a high displacement V8, rear-wheel drive, and come equipped with a performance suspension. Chevrolet brought its A-game with the Camaro ZL1, and we recently pitted the car against the Challenger Hellcat, which left us surprised. However, this being an old v/s new item is quite different. The results, though, weren’t surprising.
As you may have guessed, the latest and greatest Camaro ZL1 won the race. That said, the ‘68 Camaro did lead the race, albeit for a brief moment. Before we take a look at these cars in detail, shoutout to RestoMods for setting up this test. Head over to their website to see what’s brewing. Right now, there’s a 1971 Challenger up for grabs, along with $20,000 cash. Get entered to win.
And now, back to the drag race.
1968 Chevrolet Camaro 454 Is As Cool As It Gets
When was the last time a series production muscle car had a 7.4L V8? Yeah, times have changed, and big blocks are now just reserved for drag strips. But this Chevy Camaro is from a time when muscle cars were all about displacement—the bigger your engine, the cooler you looked. Inside the RestoMods’ 1968 first-gen Chevy Camaro is a 7.4L Big block (454 cu.in) V8 pushing well over 400 horsepower. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 3-speed automatic, which today seems ancient. A manual transmission would’ve given it more flair.
One of the standout features of the first-gen Camaro was its coke-bottle-like design, which unsurprisingly was shared with its corporate sibling, the Pontiac Firebird. This bright orange example is striking to look at, as opposed to the all-black beast that is the ZL1. Adding to its appeal are the gorgeous 335-section wheels and tires, which are noticeably wider than the ones on the ZL1.
As for the engine specifications, the big block V8 features performance cams and a Holley carburetor, supplying air and fuel for this gas-guzzling behemoth. In addition to these, RestoMods has given the Camaro a few extra touches to keep it in line with 2022 standards. What you find are an upgraded cooling system and Ridetech adjustable coilover suspension. The braking system has also seen an upgrade, with 6 piston front and 4 piston rear Wilwood discs taking care of stopping this classic brute.
2022 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Stands For Refined Madness
The new-gen Chevrolet Camaro has morphed into something between a sports car and a muscle car. But before you get all worked up, it’s important to realize that the combination has only benefitted the Camaro. With the ZL1, the Camaro transforms from a docile two-seater to a whole different animal. When it comes to the Chevy Camaro ZL1, style and performance take precedence over matters such as cargo space and stereo speakers.
Under the hood sits a 6.2L supercharged V8 pushing out 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the sports car-derived traits, the Camaro doesn’t feel like a boat when pitched into a corner, something the old ‘68 Camaro can only dream about. Chevy has supplied the ZL1 with a 1.7L supercharger and 10 heat exchangers to keep the internals cool. On top of that, the muscle car gets Magnetic ride control with selectable driving modes. Braking comes courtesy of high-performance Brembo brakes, six-piston front, and four-piston rear.
Additionally, the interiors of the ZL1 feel a step above its predecessor, which you will notice as you spend time in the two. The ZL1, as opposed to the Camaro 454, also features a limited-slip diff and a 10-speed automatic sending power to the rear wheels only. This is one two-door coupe that you don’t want to mess around with.
1968 Chevy Camaro 454 Vs 2022 Camaro ZL1: Raw Power Meets Sophistication
It’s clear that no matter what you do, you cannot underestimate progress. Sure, the ‘68 Camaro could outrun the stock ZL1 with serious engine mods. But stock v/s stock, there’s too much of an age gap between the two. While the old timer took the lead at the start of the race, the ZL1’s computer-controlled systems enabled perfect traction and optimum gearshifts, which the ‘68 Camaro simply cannot match.
Also, there’s the power difference. The Camaro ZL1 produces roughly 200 horsepower more than the ‘68 Camaro and is significantly more aerodynamic. So, the ZL1 trumps its predecessor across every facet. But still, the charm and charisma of an old-school muscle car remain unmatched against the sophistication and tech wizardry of any modern machine.