1983 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 – AMT Ertl

83camaroz28-11Another one to join the line-up of all yellow Camaros is the third gen ’83 Z/28. One of the first to be utterly decimated by the new standards of the automotive industry of that era. While the late seventies saw a drastic turn already in output v.s. size, with still sizable 305 cubic inch V8 with Crossfire Injection, it only managed to reach a meager 160ish HP. And that was when they were new!

I’ve always been fascinated by the third generation, cause the styling was so utterly different from what came before. Granted, the square nature of the eighties had it going there regardless, but hey. Shame it’s always been such a damn slug of a car. Now way, way back in the early eighties MPC and AMT released a ’82 and ’83 Camaro kit, one based on the ’82 Indy 500 Pace Car and the other on the ’83 Z/28 street model. I happened to get my hands on the shabbily packaged 2002 re-release of it under their very cleverly titled “Muscle Cars” range.


I gotta admit, they’re selling the kit short with the ’02 release cause the proudly displayed model on the box is made with I’d wager 3 cents of enthusiasm and a whole lotta “ugh”. 83camaroz28-4Cause it’s actually a really good kit! Cleverly designed at the very least, although that’s also the kit’s giant downfall but I’ll get back to that later.

This one’s another one of those AMT kits that just has some supreme love and dedication put into figuring out the pieces and molding it, cause every detail’s there lovingly crafted ala Chevy S10, that kit contained lots of extras to make it the regular LS version or a bit toughened up SS. This one packs even more, it has the entire IMSA Camaro bodykit and interior(that’s bodykit, air intake front bumper, wing, rims, rollcage, race interior, race carbs, etc.) in this box minus decals and tires. Which is… just insane. I’m assuming it was all just cast on the same racks and they added the neccessary tires and decals at the end, but still it’s nuts to see all that in there.


The issue I mentioned earlier, the downfall of the kit so to speak is that for it’s clever design, the problem is that if one piece doesn’t fit, nothing will. To be fair, that’s how a real car works too, can’t just cram the firewall up against the engine and have it shake against it and basically destroy itself, that don’t work, but the benefit of real cars is that they don’t warp over time. In all fairness to the kit itself, I doubt the warping came from the plastic bags, but more so that this was a pre-owned kit from eBay that had a previous owner manhandle the thing before I got my hands on it.

The whole chassis is warped outwards so it refuses to sit within the body shell as it should and the firewall was just a struggle I gave up on quickly cause if it doesn’t fit, neither the engine, the chassis nor the body will fit either. It was warped, broken and epoxied to the chassis, I had to cut and break it loose so the chassis and the body would be able to meet around the engine bay.


But I digress, I keep whining about kits being in shabby state but I also keep buying second hand. It’s the compromise of being a Dutch person and having to buy kits Stateside. Regardless, the kit has all the detail you can think of besides one thing, oddly enough. A rear view mirror. Strange oversight! Then again, the S10 kit also lacked a rear view mirror, so I guess it’s a theme. Decals is a bit of a bare showing too, though of course Revell is just83camaroz28-7 spoiling us these days so I can’t hold it against AMT, it’s two grey-to-white Z/28 stripes, tail lights that you’re meant to put under the clear lights instead of paint(I painted them) and a set of license plates to cover up the iconic Chevy “USA1” plate if you desire.

All across the board the kit just screams detail, the not-so-beefy 305ci V8 is fully realized and looks wonderful. The interior is really nicely detailed thanks to a good mold, although the doors miss some finer details like window winders and so on but the dash is completely there. The chassis got plenty of love too, with a rather intricate and detailed suspension and axle set-up. A little downside of the wheels is as usual, the damn things don’t ever stay on and I always end up slapping the wheels full of epoxy so they stay on once and for all.


When it comes to my errors, I’ve made plenty. Apparently I didn’t stir the transparent orange enough and I’m used to it being quite solid, this time it apparently ended up running under the tape and into the reverse lights on both sides, put plenty of fingerprints on the damn thing cause I spend lots of time half asleep on this thing, but on the other hand this was a bit of a inspired build. The reason why the Crossfire Injection aircleaner has a red color and handwritten “Z28” on it is cause a friend of mine had a ’82 Camaro in 83camaroz28-3white(with matte black detailing), he ended up restoring the entire engine and had the cover sprayed in red and the detailer apparently wrote Z28 on there in the white paint stuff that you can wipe off with some soapy water, so he was to be able to find it back after putting it among other parts. Ah well I think it adds personality.

In the end it’s a really, really nice addition to the line-up. And it may just be the last yellow Camaro I’ll be making for a long time, unless the ’74 Camaro ever gets re-released. Next up with the Camaros is the line of 25th, 30th, and 35th anniversary edition Camaros.

’83 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 specifications:
Kit: AMT6561
Skill Level: 2
Parts: 77
Molded in: White
Scale: 1/25


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