General Motors Pulls The Plug On An ’80s Iconic Name

It’s 1985, mullets are in high demand and the International Race Of Champions series (IROC) was at the pinnacle of its career. The IROC series was a competition of only the best professional race car drivers. It was created by Les Richter, Roger Penske, and Mike Phelps, and was promoted as an equivalent of an American All-Star Game. Drivers raced identically-prepped stock cars set up by a single team of mechanics in an effort to make the race essentially a test of driver ability.

The Camaro had been the car of choice for the popular IROC series since its inception in 1975. In 1985, with a stroke of marketing genius, GM created the IROC-Z package for the masses. The IROC package included a 5.7- or 5.0-liter V8 engine, 16-inch aluminum wheels, Goodyear Gatorback tires, coupe or convertible top, larger anti-roll bar, Delco sport shocks, complete body kit, and custom “IROC-Z” decals.

The IROC-Z Camaro was produced from 1985 through 1990. Fans have been waiting for its return for over 29 years. In 2018, there was some buzz in the industry about the custom Camaro making its return when General Motors filed a patent to trademark the “IROC-Z” name. However, this patent was only for scale models and merchandising. But, there was still hope that the legendary package would make a return.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

According to GM Authority, GM abandoned the patent filing as of July 25, 2019. Again one of the most recognizable Camaro packages produced seems to be lost forever.

It’s hard to say goodbye to the awesome IROC-Z package and all of the racing heritage that goes along with it. In the ’80s, thousands of people were glued to the TV, watching names like Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti, Bobby Allison, and Jeff Bodine battle it out around the track to become the IROC Champion. As sad as it is, the IROC-Z will probably never return as a package from GM. However, this legendary car and all of its racing pedigree will not be soon forgotten.

About the author

Chase Havins

If you ask his friends about him, they will say he's a speed freak. If you ask him about it, he will tell you that it's just a little more fun when you live at wide open throttle.
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