1981 Camaro Parts and Restoration Specifications
The was the final year for the second generation Camaros. The final 2nd gen Camaro was only slight altered from the 1980 Camaro. Sporting a new grille and newly styled side markers the big block V8 was now only an option on the Z28 Camaro models. Both horsepower ratings and production numbers were both lower in 1981.
In a bizarre move to appease consumers, the Z28 Camaro, powered by a 350 cubic inch V8 was now only available with an automatic transmission.
After a 12 year run, the Second Generation Camaro was heading for automotive history. A lot had been written over the years faulting the impracticality of the car in general; the poor headlights, lack of controls on the steering column, poor seats, poor fuel economy, poor trunk space…. it was time.
Approximately 126,140 Chevrolet Camaros were produced in the year 1981.
1981 Camaro Model Options
- 3.8 L 229 cubic inch V6
- 3.8 L 231 cubic inch V6 (California models)
- 4.4 L 267 cubic inch V8
- 5.0 L 305 cubic inch V8
- 5.7 L 350 cubic inch V8
1981 Camaro Production:
- 52,004 V6
- 74,135 V8
- 126,139 total
Dealer Introduction: 9/25/80
Vehicle Identification Example: 1GlAP87K6BN100001
- First digit is Country of Origin: 1 = USA, 2 = Canada.
- Second digit: G for General Motors.
- Third digit is Division, 1 = Chevrolet.
- Fourth digit is restraint system:
- A = non-passive
- B = automatic belts
- C = inflatable restraint.
- Fifth digit is series:
- P = Sport Coupe
- Z28 Coupe
- S = Berlinetta
- Sixth and Seventh digits are for body style: 87 = sport coupe.
Eighth digit is engine code:
- A = 231ci V6
- H = 305ci V8
- J = 267ci V8
- K = 229ci V6
- L = 350ci V8
- Ninth digit is a check digit.
- Tenth digit is model year: B = 1981
- Eleventh digit is N for Norwood assembly and L for Van Nuys
- Last six digits increased one with each car built at each plant
- Length: 197.6 inches
- Height: 49.2 inches
- Width: 74.5 inches
- Wheelbase: 108.0 inches
Curb Weight: (in pounds)
- 1FQ87 (V6) – 3326
- 1FQ87 (Z28) – 3600
- 1FS87 (V6) – 3374
1981 Ending VIN by Month
- Aug – 100576
- Sep – 104729
- Oct – 108603
- Nov – 110502
- Dec – 113739
- Jan – 116764
- Feb – 121261
- Mar – 126138
- Apr – 130560
- May – 134765
- Jun – 139491
- Jul – 140012
- Van Nuys
- Aug – 102033
- Sep – 108330
- Oct – 114261
- Nov – 119960
- Dec – 124701
- Jan – 128995
- Feb – 136096
- Mar – 144475
- Apr – 152181
- May – 163093
- Jun – 178116
- Jul – 186126
1981 Camaro Spotters Guide & New Features
While the exterior of the 1981 Camaro was a carryover from the previous year, there were some significant changes under the hood. Most notably the CCC (Computer Command Control) emission system. This meant the 1981 Camaro was the only 2nd gen to have a “computer”, which controlled the carburetor mixture, along with a “check engine” light and ALDL connector. The transmission now had a lock up torque converter, also controlled by the CCC.
Camaro saw the following additional changes:
- Rally Sport model dropped.
- VIN number significantly different (17 characters vs. 13) than previous years.
- Power brakes now standard
- Space saver tire now standard
- Halogen headlights debut
- CCC emissions system
- Lockup torque converter
- “Check Engine” light
- Speaking of lights – the will the last one out please turn it off.
1981 Camaro Engine & Drivetrain Info
1981 Camaro Drivetrains
Axle Ratio Key:
- S = Standard ratio
- P = Performance (w/G92)
Engine Suffix Codes
* California only
- At = automatic transmission
- Ce = California emissions
- Ci = cubic inch
- Ex = export (Canada)
- Mt = manual transmission
- Uu = uncertain usage
Transmission & Rear Axle Codes
1981 Camaro Factory Options
|1FP87||Camaro Sport Coupe||62,614||$6,581.23|
|1FS87||Camaro Berlinetta Coupe||20,253||7,356.23|
|1FP87||Camaro Z28 Sport Coupe||43,272||8,025.23|
|AN6||Adjustable Seat Back, driver side||16,688||23.00|
|AU3||Power Door Locks||24,683||86.00|
|A01||Soft Ray Tinted Glass, all windows||112,832||70.00|
|B37||Floor Mats, color-keyed front and rear||65,490||25.00|
|B80||Molding, roof drip||57,849||24.00|
|B84||Moldings, body side||39,514||44.00|
|B93||Moldings, door edge||32,516||13.00|
|CC1||Roof Panels, removable glass||30,445||644.00|
|CD4||Windshield Wipers, intermittent||31,982||38.00|
|C49||Defogger, rear window||60,058||99.00|
|D35||Mirrors, sport right and left remote exterior||54,317||43.00|
|G80||Rear Axle, limited slip||12,126||63.00|
|G92||Rear Axle, performance ratio||933||18.00|
|K35||Speed Control, with resume||35,364||123.00|
|LG4||Engine, 305ci, 150hp V8||17,909||75.00|
|LM1||Engine, 350ci, 190hp V8 (req Z28)||37,400||nc|
|L39||Engine, 267ci, 115hp V8||18,826||75.00|
|MM3||Transmission, 3-spd wide range manual (req LC3 engine)||nc|
Transmission, 4-spd wide range manual (req. LG4, NA w/ YF5 cal emissions)
Transmission – 3 spd. automatic TH350C (Z28, converter locks 2nd & 3rd gear)
Transmission – 3 spd. automatic TH350C (converter Locks 3rd gear only)
|N18||Locks, wheel covers (Berlinetta only)||4,964||32.00|
|N33||Tilt Steering Column||69,837||75.00|
|P01||Wheel Covers, bright metal||3,341||43.00|
|QJY||Tires, P205/75R14 radial whitewall||63,839||47.00|
|QKL||Tires, P205/75R14 radial white letter||16,364||60.00|
|UM2||Radio, AM-FM with stereo tape||8,182||252.00|
|UN3||Radio, AM-FM with stereo cassette||23,665||264.00|
|UP6||Radio, AM-FM stereo CB and power antenna||208||487.00|
|U58||Radio, AM-FM stereo||26,008||178.00|
|U76||Antenna, windshield type||27,674||25.00|
|U80||Speaker, rear seat||7,667||19.00|
|YF5||Emission Equipment, required for California||9,911||46.00|
|Z21||Style Trim Group||49,834||72.00|
|Z54||Interior Decor and Quiet Sound Package||12,266||63.00|
* Option prices are retail for base model. Prices could be reduced or option could be had at no charge if it was included as standard equipment on the Z28 or Berlinetta model.
1981 Camaro Exterior & Interior Color Codes
Trim Tag (Norwood Built Camaro)
The trim tag, located on the cowl area identifies significant information about your car. Click Here for general trim tag decoding information.
- B = Blue
- Bg = Beige
- Bk = Black
- C = Camel
- R = Red
- S = Silver
1981 Wheel Color Code (P)
- 14P = Argent
- 19P = Black
- 57P = Gold Met
1981 Z28 Stripe Color Code (A)
- 12A = Silver
- 18A = Charcoal
- 26A = Blue
- 42A = Green
- 55A = Gold
- 74A = Red
- 78A = Orange
Click here to view Z28 stripe combinations
Interior Trim Codes
Code number is color:
- 15 = Silver
- 19 = Black
- 26 = Blue
- 64 = Camel
- 75 = Red
Suffix letter is trim level:
- B = Standard Cloth
- C = Custom Cloth
- N = Custom vinyl
- R = Standard vinyl
|Std vinyl||Std Cloth|
|Custom vinyl||Custom Cloth|
- B = Blue
- Bg = Beige
- Bk = Black
- C = Camel
- R = Red
- S = Silver
Interior Trim / Seat Type order code, availability & cost
- V**2 = vinyl Bucket Seats / N/A Berlinetta / no charge
- C**2 = Cloth Bucket Seats / N/A Berlinetta / $26
Includes glove compartment light and additional instrument cluster lighting, special insulation, “Berlinetta” type seats, seat trim and door trim. Requires D35 sport mirrors.
- X**2 = Custom vinyl Bucket / no charge w/ Berlinetta / $304
- F**2 = Custom Cloth Bucket / $26 w/Berlinetta / $330
1981 Camaro RPO Breakouts & Model Specifics
1981 Z21 Style Trim:
Includes body colored insert on door handles; bright roof drip, lock pillar, upper fender, hood panel and belt moldings plus bright accented parking lights.
1981 Z28 Special Performance Package
165hp 305 V8 with 4-speed becomes standard Z-28 power combination for 1981, with optional 350 reduced to 175 bhp and available with THM-350 only. Heavy duty radiator, dual exhaust resonators. All engines equipped with CCC emissions control, EXCEPT Canadian models. The Canadians could still order the 350 (non-CCC), 4 speed in 1981.
1981 Z28 Carburetor (Rochester Quadra jet)
Automatic transmission equipped with Lockup torque converter which locks in 2nd & 3rd gear.
10.34-inch, Same as 1980.
Ratios were 3.08 (including California) for Turbo Hydra-Matic and 3.42 for 4-speed. (reverse of 1980). Optional automatic ratio (3.42) required LM1 engine, MX0 automatic trans and YF5 California emissions.
- 11-inch, vented, cast-iron front discs with vacuum assist standard.
- Rear 9.5-inch drums. (unchanged since 1970)
- Overall ratio 13:1 (stock 15.03:1 to 10.61:1 variable).
- 2.61 turns lock to lock (stock: 2.41). Unchanged from 1980 (verify).
- Spring rates 365 lb./in. Identical to and unchanged from 1977. (stock: 300 lb./in.)
- Stabilizer bar 1.125″ (down from 1.2″)
- Stock bar: 0.938, F41: 1.0″)
- Spring rate 130 lb./in. (stock: 92-99 lb./in.)
- Rear Stabilizer bar 0.594 inch. (stock: none, F41: 0.5625)
Wheels & Tires:
Standard Z-28 tires were P225/70R-15 on 15 x 7 wheels.
Other Options, equipment, facts:
No external differences between 1980 and 1981 models.
Total Production: 43,272
1981 Z54 Interior Decor/Quiet Sound:
Includes glove compartment light and additional instrument cluster lighting; simulated leather accents on instrument cluster; special engine compartment, hood and interior insulation (Standard with Berlinetta)
Included Custom Interior, bright upper and lower grille, bright windshield and rear window moldings, dual pin stripe treatment, body color sport mirrors (D35), argent applique on rear panel, specific trim and either wire wheel covers (standard), now with locks to prevent people from stealing them or color-keyed aluminum wheels (N90, 14 x 7″) (optional). Amber-lite insulation blankets included in doors, rear quarters, roof/sail panels, behind rear seat, under package tray and under carpeting (RPO Z54 interior decor/quiet sound). Option U05 dual horns and U14 Special Instrumentation were also standard equipment.