Mikey's Place

Camaro Logo by MikeyVector Logo

Index to Mikey's Camaro Pages:
|| Pg 1 (F-body Background and History) | Pg 2 (Factory Convertibles Return) ||
|| Pg 3 (Rare 87, Anniversary, Options) | Pg 4 (Tech Specs and Performance) ||
|| Pg 5 (Mods, Enhancements, and Fixes) ||

1987 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible
20th Anniversary Commemorative Edition
-- Sold 9/2000 --

The Long Convertible Drought:
Both coupes and convertibles were produced from 1967 to 1969. After which, no factory convertibles were available until 1987, a drought of 18 years! The lack of a ragtop during the 1970s was supposedly due to increased safety standards and the costs involved in making a convertible that would meet those standards. In the early 1980s, GM considered the idea of a convertible for it's new Third-gen Camaro, but year after year went by without GM actually beginning production.

Mikey's Camaro, top down

Aftermarket Third-Gen Convertibles
Before 1987, there actually were some Third-gen Camaro convertibles produced, but not by GM. Independent companies performed the convertible "conversions" for people who wanted their hardtops turned into ragtops that simply weren't available from GM. One such company was called Auto Form (then in Elkhart, Indiana -- but no longer in business). They produced approximately 500 of two-seater Camaro roadsters between 1982 and 1986 - the year they ceased production.

Mikey's Camaro, top down, left rear

GM Authorized Convertibles, the Beginning:
Another company that did convertible conversions was Automobile Specialty Company, also known by their initials ASC. By the mid-1980s, ASC was already a well-known company in the business of providing sunroof and convertible conversion services. They did so not only for individuals, but also for major auto manufacturers. Eventually GM made the decision to subcontract ASC to do the F-body conversions instead of making a separate convertible line themselves.

Nice fall day

From T-Top to Chopped Top:
Since GM was only making coupes, cars that were ordered as convertibles had to begin their lives as T-Top [CC1] coupes, because the T-Top cars had additional chassis stiffening built-in from the factory. This was done since cutting the top off a car greatly reduces the overall chassis strength, which can effect crash safety as well as ride quality and handling. GM then sent the cars -- minus items like the t-tops and the rear hatch that would not be needed on a convertible -- to ASC for the actual conversion process.

Top up. An older picture, but one of my favorites

"Factory" Convertible or Not:
To recognize whether a third-gen ragtop is a "factory" or an aftermarket job, the best thing to do is to check VIN number. If the sixth digit is a number 2, that indicates a factory coupe and a later aftermarket conversion. If it was ordered as a convertible, the digit will be a number 3. Another clue is to look at the RPO code sticker that is located on the inside of the center console glove box (if the cover is original). Factory ragtops will have a code CC1 (T-top coupe) as well as the code Z08 ("Model Conversion, Convertible").

If you drive an F-body, this speed limit is merely a suggestion :-)

Two Models to Choose from:
The two Camaro models for 1987 -- the Sport Coupe and the Z28 -- could each be ordered in convertible form. The Sport Coupe -- with it's lower price and sort of plain appearance -- was sold as the more economical of the two models. In contrast, the Z28 was marketed as the sporty model, with its more aggressive appearance and additional performance options. In addition, there were the LT and the IROC-Z option packages (not models) that could be ordered on top of the SC or the Z28, respectively.

Items indicated [XYZ] are factory option codes.

Index to Mikey's Camaro Pages:
|| Pg 1 (F-body Background and History) | Pg 2 (Factory Convertibles Return) ||
|| Pg 3 (Rare 87, Anniversary, Options) | Pg 4 (Tech Specs and Performance) ||
|| Pg 5 (Mods, Enhancements, and Fixes) ||

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This page last updated Oct 23rd, 2005
Mikey's Place © 1995-2005 Mikey. All Rights Reserved.