2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible - $24,900
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  • Overview & History
  • Specifications
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This particular red ragtop shows just over 28,000 original miles and has been expertly maintained its entire life.

The Camaro was always kind of like the Corvette’s kid brother, and the parents at General Motors were always careful to make sure that the big guy stayed on top. The F-body would get slightly watered-down versions of the Corvette’s powerplants, enough to keep pony car fans happy, but never quite enough to unseat their star performer. They played games with the numbers a few times and yes, there was that time that some enterprising dealers figured out how to stuff the Corvette’s 427 into the Camaro, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth-generation Camaro’s production that it was finally able to stand toe-to-toe with its big brother. The secret? LS1 power.

By the time this 2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible was built, the die was already cast and the Camaro’s days were numbered. But they sent it out with a bang, creating what was (up to that point) the fastest Camaro ever while simultaneously making it more comfortable, more efficient, and more agile. The SS delivered in a big way, highlighted by a giant gaping hood scoop that would force-feed cold air to the intake. A few years earlier the Camaro got a facelift with flush-mounted headlights and a rather elegant eggcrate grille, but the rest was all familiar F-body. This particular red ragtop shows just over 28,000 original miles and has been expertly maintained its entire life. The bright Rally Red paint sizzles off the rounded bodywork and still looks spectacular even after nearly 20 years. The color is deep and lustrous with none of the usual red chalkiness that you get on cars that have spent too much time out in the sun. Perhaps more importantly, areas like the low-hanging chin and rocker panels are in excellent shape and have not been blasted by the rigors of daily use. And if a bright red Camaro convertible with a rumbling V8 can be subtle, this is it—the design is remarkably clean and restrained for GM in the ‘90s. This is a really nice car, yes, but it has also been loved its entire life.

The tan leather interior is a little unusual for a red SS, and in a convertible it’s a better choice than the more familiar black. As the top-of-the-line Camaro, the SS is loaded with virtually every single option you could get, including power windows, locks, mirrors, and seats, cold A/C, cruise control, and a pretty potent AM/FM/CD stereo system. The leather remains in excellent condition with only minor signs of use on the driver’s chair and thanks to carpeted mats, the original carpets are unmarked. Big gauges are easy to read and they worked hard to make the SS a user-friendly car with big cupholders, simple controls, and a comfortable driving position. There’s even a reasonable back seat that’s good for kids or adults for short trips. 35th Anniversary badging reminds us that the Camaro has a rather long history but they didn’t go overboard like they usually do. Overhead, there’s a tan power convertible top that folds itself out of sight in a matter of seconds and stows under a snug-fitting boot for a sleek look. It’s also fully lined to help make the Camaro feel surprisingly civilized inside when you’re forced to put the top up. And while the trunk isn’t huge, it has a deep well that carries more than you’d think.

That’s all nice, this seems like a Camaro for grown-ups. But the SS has not forgotten its reason for existing or that SS stands for “Super Sport.” It took a few years for the Corvette’s LS1 powerplant to migrate to the F-body, but it showed up big. GM played all kinds of games with the horsepower numbers, but the fact that this Camaro runs neck-and-neck with a C5 Corvette suggests that every one of the Corvette’s 345 horsepower made the transplant fully intact. The SS is a seriously fast car. Thanks to all aluminum construction, the final SS lost a lot of weight off its nose which improved handling in a significant way. And the LS1’s durability is legendary, so it will continue to entertain for many years to come. It is also worth noting that it is 100% stock, right down to the air filter and exhaust system, meaning that nobody has been racing or abusing this car. That’s the way you want to buy your next Camaro. It’s been properly maintained its entire life, starts instantly, idles properly, and pulls hard in any gear. The LS1 was a big leap forward and if you haven’t driven one of these late 4th gen Camaros, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised by how civilized it feels. There’s a big hit of torque at any speed, of course, but it also likes to rev and never feels strained. Yeah, this is everything a Camaro should be.

The 4-speed automatic transmission is a great partner for the LS1, offering quick reflexes and a relaxed overdrive gear that lets the Camaro cruise all day at speeds that’ll get you arrested in all 50 states. Plant your foot on the floor and it snaps down two gears and barks the tires while it lunges forward, exactly the things a Camaro was designed to do. 3.23 gears with a limited slip ensures that both of those fat 17-inch tires is spinning at the same speed, yet it still pulls down decent fuel economy. The SS enjoyed an upgraded suspension with expensive Sachs shocks, bigger sway bars, stiffer springs, and a few other tweaks to make it a competent handler without killing ride quality. It isn’t a Cadillac, of course, but it isn’t the tooth-rattler that its ancestors were. The undercarriage has a bit of road grime but no rust or accident damage and it remains completely stock, including the factory-installed exhaust system. 4-wheel disc brakes are reassuringly powerful and in 2002, the Camaro included a rather sophisticated traction control system. 17-inch aluminum wheels are unique to the SS, and they’re wrapped in 275/40/17 performance radials, probably only the second set of tires this car has ever worn.

Documentation includes a full set of owner’s manuals.

The latest Camaros might be faster and kind of retro-looking, but we’ve found they don’t have much of a soul. This bright red SS talks to you in a way that today’s wundermotor F-bodies just can’t, and thanks to a life where it was never asked to do anything more than a comfortable cruise on a sunny day, it remains in outstanding condition. Fully loaded, great colors, and in excellent shape, this is the 4th generation Camaro to own. Call today!

Harwood Motors always recommends and welcomes personal or professional inspections of any vehicle in our inventory prior to purchase.

Vehicle: 2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible
Price: $24,900
Stock Number: 117044
Mileage: 28,383
VIN: 2G1FP32G222145312
Engine: 5.7 liter LS1 V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Gear Ratio: 3.23
Wheelbase: 101.1 inches
Wheels: 17-inch aluminum wheels
Tires: 275/40/17 performance radials
Exterior Color: Rally Red
Interior Color: Tan leather
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