Photos by Jerry Heasley
We previously talked about not so final “farewell tours” and “last-of-its-kind” special editions. The 2002 Camaro has joined the ranks of the “not dead yet” car models now that the 2010 Camaro has taken the automotive world by storm.
The 2002 Camaro did go on hiatus in grand style with several special editions, both factory authorized and ones built by aftermarket companies. The core collectible cars are those known as 2002 35th Anniversary SS Limited Edition cars. They’re also known as RPO Z4C cars and were available as coupes and convertibles. The 35th Anniversary SS Limited Edition cars were Bright Rally Red with wide silver stripes that morphed into a checkered flag design.
The convertibles are rarer and considerably more desirable. A total of 1,398 convertibles were produced. The most desirable 6-speed cars are also the rarest, with only 609 produced. Automatic-equipped convertibles totaled 789 units.
On the coupe side of the ledger, there were 1,037 6-speed cars and 934 automatics, for a grand total of 1,971. All the coupes had the removable roof panels. Of the total 3,369 cars, approximately 3,000 were sold in the United States, with the remaining 369 going to Canada (or rather staying in Canada, since the Camaros were built at the Ste. Therese, Quebec, Canada assembly plant).
The SS Camaros received special air induction hoods, graphics, engine and exhaust enhancements at the SLP facility (also in Quebec). The LS1 5.7-liter V-8 produced 325 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. The automatic cars came with 3.23 gears, and the 6-speed cars came with 3.42 gears. All the cars had 4-wheel disc brakes, special cast aluminum 17x9-inch wheels, and Goodyear P275/40 ZR17 tires.
Any 35th Anniversary Camaro convertible is a sure bet with extra points for the 6-speed. The car featured here is an extra rare subset of the 35th Anniversary convertibles. The first forty-five 35th Anniversary Edition convertibles were dedicated as festival cars for the August 2001 NASCAR Brickyard 400 race at Indianapolis, Indiana. The key difference between the Brickyard cars and the other Anniversary convertibles was the large “Brickyard 400” door graphic.
Given the newness of these cars, collectors should seek the lowest mileage examples with complete documentation. The 35th Anniversary cars all came with special leather-bound owner’s portfolios that should be complete and in perfect condition.
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